The Weekend Chef: Some things I have made

Two weekends ago I made these whole grain, fruit-filled bars, and they were delicious. They are the type of oatmeal fruit bars with a firm bottom crust, some fruit filling, and a slightly crumbly topping. The kind you buy at a coffee shop never seem to have enough of the fruit filling; well, neither did mine. I used up a jar of wild huckleberry jam I had in the fridge and was not eating. While it was tasty jam, there just wasn’t quite enough jam to go around. Next time (maybe tomorrow!) I’ll make sure to have more jam, and use a generous amount.

I also made chicken and leek pasties, which is definitely a recipe to save. Pasties make great take-to-school food.

Last weekend, I made Irish Soda Bread, using the very simple recipe here. I must say, this was definitely a much more satisfactory soda bread experience than my previous attempt.

Not only did I make the soda bread, but I used buttermilk that came from making my own butter the weekend before. Butter is quite easy to make. You simply take cream (that hasn’t been ultra-pasturized), and beat it with an electric mixer until it turns into butter. Then, you separate out the butter from the buttermilk, which is a watery liquid left when the fat in the cream has all turned into butter. This type of buttermilk is different from the cultured buttermilk you can buy in the store, but works perfectly well in baked goods. As this webpage mentions, it’s the kind of buttermilk that would originally have been used in Irish soda bread anyway.

(Take a look at this post for full butter-making instructions.)

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