Friday, November 21, 2014


This is one of those cold days: remnants of snow on the ground, temps in the lower twenties, and a wind blowing 15 to 20 knots.  

This is a fresh bread and homemade soup day.

We have make homemade bread in a bread maker for at least thirty years.   We use the Breadman Ultimate which cost less than $100 on e-bay. 

Today I did a milk bread:  1 1/8 cup of milk, 4 cups of white flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of yeast. 

Just prior to the last rise cycle I took out the dough and remove the paddle (I don’t like the hole in the bottom of the loaf when the paddle is left in during baking.)   I briefly kneaded and replaced the dough back in the pan; then back into the bread machine for the last rise and baking.

About thirty minutes before the bread was done I put together a mushroom soup: I sliced about a half pound of button mushrooms, diced one medium onion.   In a stew pan I melted a large chunk of butter, then sautéd the onions and mushrooms with a tablespoon of dried parsley until the mushroom liquid was gone.  At this point I added a tablespoon of flour and stirred until it was well combined.  I stirred in two cups of beef broth (we use a product called McKay’s Instant Broth and Seasoning – vegan special, one teaspoon per cup of water – purchased at the local health food store.


 I brought the soup to a boil then add one cup of sour cream.   Using a hand blenders I pureed the mushrooms and blended in the sour cream.

A small spinach salad – a large bowl of soup and a slice of warm buttered bread, with a nice glass of Merlot on the side.   
I drink wine every day, therefore I can’t afford expensive bottles except for special meals.  I have found a quite good, cheap – vino de mesa – wine of the table. 

 Tisdale wines sell for four dollars a bottle at the local Hannaford supermarket.   If you are a wine drinker you might give these a try.

Soup, fresh bread, a salad and wine; it makes a day like this special.
the Ol’Buzzard


  1. Yummy! I love the mushroom soup recipe. I love homemade bread too. My bread maker is from a great thrift store. Taking the paddle out is also a great idea. I hate it when it doesn't want to release the bread.

  2. I haven't baked bread since The Old Lady retired, she usually beats me to it. I have made Nisu (Finnish cardamom bread) since she retired. Should make some soon again. Have never used a bread machine.

    Not much for making soup, but I bought some fatback so I can make baked beans in a crockpot. Got a recipe that uses three types of beans that works pretty good. I do the beans and fatback in the crockpot overnight and then add the rest of the ingredients and let it cook all day.

    Not really a wine drinker as the only wines that taste good to me are some sweet ones. Most wines taste like dreck to me, probably something to do with my tastebuds. In the late 90s I tried having a drink or two of red wine everyday after seeing some report that said it was good for the heart. Couldn't find any I liked and didn't feel like drinking Mad Dog 20/20.

  3. Bizarre as usual weather here...I was forced to work in shorts as it was almost 75 degrees! The plants are soooo confused. I did get a chance to take a hike in the woods and came back with a bag full of grey/yellow chantrelles and what we call pied de moutons...I used to find them in the USA and we called them hedgehog mushrooms....but they are both extremely delicious. My wife makes soup here...I love to come into the house and be enveloped in the aroma. I had a nice harvest of we make a pumpkin soup and freeze it. Today, though, it was leek and potato soup...I still have a nice row of leeks. I also have a row of brussel sprouts and cauliflowers. I love cauliflower soup...the classic version here is called potage duBarry. That's what is so great about soup, you can make a huge pot and freeze it in portions. I wish I could somehow send you a bottle of the wine from the chateau I have been working at for the last 12 years. Vieux Chevrol Lalande de Pomerol...the 2010 vintage won the second prize this year at the competition for the wines of Aquitaine. It's a little more expensive, even for me than the 4 dollar bottles you talk about. I have a pretty nice selection of reasonable wines in my local markets. Tonight, I am opening a 3 euro bottle of Cotes de Blaye...that is a Bordeaux region wine. Most of the regional red wines around here are Merlot and Cabernet blends, but the taste and character really depend on the soil and the technique of the maker. One of the jobs I do at Vieux Chevrol is a task called l' the spring, I have to clean the individual grape plants and control the new growth. Around the foot of each vine, there is usually new growth that has to be cut off. Why? Because since the early 20th century virtually every commercial grape vine is a graft. The varieties are almost always grafted onto wild American grape roots, because they are resistant to the pest which almost destroyed the wine industry in France at the end of the 19th century. I find it amusing that the shoots are referred to L'Americain......So tonight, My Cotes de Blaye, potatoes sauteed in duck fat with parsley and garlic and my favorite, Confits de Canard....

  4. I want to try that mushroom soup recipe

  5. I bought a bread machine two years ago and still haven't opened the box. But I use my crock pot a lot. I drink a cheap box wine that I like.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."