Month: December 2009

Holiday Food and old stoves

Not much knitting has been happening here lately.  I have made gifts for my friends and family and I will blog photos of those after they have all been delivered.   Right now I just want to share a story about  the baking we have been doing.

      The story begins actually before we were married.  Brian and I like old things, we live in an old Victorian that we are still rehabbing, after all.  Twenty two years ago our church was remodeling their building and was getting rid of the old stove from the 1940’s.  It is a Wedgewood 6 burner, two oven, two broiler model. We put our name on the list to get it but we were #10 or 12 and didn’t really think they would call us.  One day they did call us at work to say that if we could get over there and remove the stove before the end of the day it was ours.  So we bugged out of work, got the pick up truck and dragged it home.  It was the quintessential “used by little old ladies on Sundays” item and was in remarkable shape.  We cleaned it up and stored it in our garage for a couple of years while we got married and bought our house and got enough of the remodel done that we could move in.  It has been serving us faithfully ever since.
       Now if you know us at all, you know we love to cook, bake, can, and entertain, so this stove has gotten a workout over the last 20 years.  Many loaves of bread (Brian bakes all our breads) countless quarts of spaghetti sauce, soup, chili, pickles, salsa, ketchup, relish, veggies, fruit and jam have been canned, and many meals have been cooked on this faithful appliance. It has required little maintenance over the years and it is a good thing because the closest (and only) repairman for these stove is in Berkeley.  Well, last month Brian took a week long baking class at the San Francisco Baking Institute.  It is a French baking school and he spent the week perfecting baguettes.  Ever since he has been baking his breads using a pan full of stainless steel bb’s in the bottom of the oven that he sprays with water to create the steam needed for the first 5 minutes of baking. This makes the perfect crust. He used to just open the oven door a crack and spray water in every minute for the first 5 minutes, but the BB’s make more steam.  Of course just before I planned to do some cookie baking, one of the ovens stopped working!  The steam had blown out the oven pilot and it wouldn’t relight.  So we called the guy from Reliance Appliance   to come out and he replaced some things like this thermocouple. 

He told us that our stove was actually in great shape should give us many years of service. This is a good thing because he also told us that the refurbished stoves just like ours that he sells in his shop go for $5-6 thousand! The oven continued to work and we baked and baked.  Then the same thing happened again!  This time the Reliance guy told Brian over the phone how to fix it, and the BB steam method is no more. 

Here are some of the lovely baked goodies we have been enjoying and sharing over the last few weeks.

Spritz cookies dipped in chocolate then dipped in sprinkles.

Thumbprints rolled in sprinkle and filled with chocolate.

Snowballs AKA  Mexican wedding cakes AKA Russian teacakes.

Neapolitans:  Three layers of cookie, chocolate, butter cookie with chopped walnuts and almond cookie with pink coloring.

Gingerbread People

Chocolate Crinkles, a new cookie for us this year

Jelly thumbprints rolled in pecans and filled with homemade blackberry jam

Brians Holiday Meesh


Christmas morning Croissants for our Eggs Benedict
Here we are on Christmas Eve, all together and enjoying our favorite thing as a family, eating and good conversation.

We hope your holidays are full of whatever brings you joy and peace!