in the kitchen

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas.  I think I can honestly say that the days of Christmas this year were some of the best I can remember — all the nieces and nephews were hilarious and played together so well, we had lots of time to visit and just be together, Midnight Mass was gorgeous, and it was just darn good to be home.  I was pleased with all the presents I had gotten for people, too, which always makes me happy.

And I got a bunch of great stuff.  As much as we’d all like to admit we only find pleasure in giving — and I do find great pleasure in it (I love trying to find the perfect present) — we all have to admit we find pleasure in getting, too!

This Christmas seemed to have a theme.  Besides getting books and other great things, I got a lot of things for the kitchen.

I found this very exciting.  For some reason, I have a hard time spending money on things for the kitchen.  I’ve had horrible knives for years (I could barely cut through the skin on a tomato) and yet couldn’t rationalize spending money on a single nice knife.  I’m not really sure why.  But my mom took the huge hint at Thanksgiving and I found Wusthof knives under the tree!  Yay!  They complement the amazing orange knife that my sister got me for my birthday!  woo woo!

Something else that joins good knives on the list kitchen must-haves is a microplane zester. Thanks to my sister, I can cross that off my list too!  Woo hoo!  And my brother and sister-in-law surprised me with an ice cream maker… a bright orange one, of course!  So the blog will soon be dotted with entries chronicling my efforts to make amazing ice cream while simultaneously trying to not gain fifty pounds before fitting into a bridesmaid dress in May.

Right now, my kitchen smells deliciously of baked bread.  My friend Mary told me about this: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day while I was home for Christmas.  While I knew I could trust her — and she had both pictures and a happy husband to back up her claims — it still seemed too good to be true.  Well, Mom and I tried it that evening, and it was true — great bread without kneading or doing really much of anything.  While we’ve just made the master recipe’s basic loaf, I’m thinking about getting the book and trying the other variations.  Of course, there’s that bridesmaid dress and I probably don’t need more bread…

Keep enjoying Christmas, everyone!


3 thoughts on “in the kitchen

  1. Mrs. H says:

    Joannie: Make your bread in a 2 quart cast iron dutch oven. 30 minutes with the lid on and 30 minutes with the lid off. You will get great bread with an AMAZING crust!
    PS In the Christmas pics from Jill’s blog I noticed that your mom and I have the exact same bows on our stairways! Too funny!

    • joanallegretti says:

      well, you’re the bread expert!! I guess that means a cast iron dutch oven goes onto the list of kitchen must-haves. But not right now– no storage space! 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    I have been making the no-knead bread Mary made for a month now and I love it. Mix up a batch, then let it sit in the fridge until I need to make a loaf. It works so well and is so much easier than pulling out the stand mixer or doing it all by hand and my family gets fresh bread most nights. It also produces very few crumbs, a major plus in my book!

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