Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brass Beds and Bannock

Just in case you didn't know it.....we've had a pretty lackluster summer here. Below seasonal temperatures and lots of rain through the bulk of the summer.  The last two weeks of August did provide a few excellent days of summer weather, but for the most part summer was a bust here.  Now we are hoping for a lovely fall which can be a gorgeous season here.......and based on the last few days.....it's looking pretty good:)
We are back to school after a very busy few weeks of travel and having house guests.  Three house guests in three weeks has to be some kind of record for us!  When we moved to Prince George and eventually bought a house......we were told that a spare room was unnecessary as no one ever comes here to visit.  For our last visitors we even needed to finish up a bit of work on our other spare room in the basement to accommodate our guests.  It was lots of fun filling the room with the odds and ends of furniture we had tucked away. All pieces with sentimental value and good memories attached to them.  It's coming along now and perhaps we will feel more inclined to finish up the window trim, plug ins and ceiling, now that it has had it's first use.
The old brass  3/4 bed that DH grew up sleeping on came from his grandmother's house.  The brass head and foot boards and exposed box spring are very interesting.  Laying on it is rather more like floating as it is quite wiggly.  I like it!  The pretty triangles quilt and crocheted log cabin throw are from his paternal and maternal grandmothers respectively.  Some day I will dig into my mountain of vintage sheets and make a copy of this quilt.  I think the muted tones of some of them might duplicate the aged look better than new fabrics.  And then on the other side of the room is a little something from my grandmother's farm.....her dresser.  All good and interesting things with stories to tell......if only they could talk.
In order to entertain my MIL and SIL, we took them to the farmers market on the Saturday morning and had the most delicious Bannock melt there.  Ike was so enjoying his that we decided to make some at home.  Home made bannock is very easy and pretty quick to make and this savory version can be pretty addictive.  In Canada, the flour version of bannock is believed to have been introduced to the Canadian native population by European fur traders.  Now bannock is synonymous with Canadian native culture.  It can be baked (if you are a purist) or fried, and I would encourage you to try the fried version only because it is ten times more delicious than the baked variety and perhaps a few times less healthy. A trip to a local pow wow might present the opportunity to try bannock burgers, bannock tacos, bannock with jams or honey.  There are many possibilities!  All delicious.  This recipe has worked well for us.....although there are many out there to try.
Bannock
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp powdered milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
about 1 1/2 cups water

Mix all dry ingredients well in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the melted butter and most of the water.  Gently mix the flour into the center working in all the flour to a firm dough. Use additional water if necessary.  Pat the dough into a flat disc about 2 inches thick.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.  Heat 2-3 inches in depth of oil to 330F.  I use an electric wok to minimize the amount of oil needed and can only cook one at a time.  An electric fry pan also works well but will require more oil to get a good depth of oil.   When you are ready, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Take one piece with oiled hands and shape it into a flat circle about 5-6 inches across.  It should be fairly thin especially in the center as it will puff up a lot as it fries.  Gently place one bannock into the oil and fry gently for 2 minutes per side.  Bannock should be a nice golden colour when done.  You can serve with cinnamon and sugar, with butter and jam or any way you can think of.
The Bannock melt we made was split in half, filled with a thick slice of jalapeno havarti and a very liberal sprinkling of Garlic Plus seasoning.  We kept the dough wrapped in plastic wrap for 3 days while we made a few each day.  They are best eaten while still hot.

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