Monday, January 21, 2013

Organizing the flour

Something woke me up at 4 a.m. and I just couldn’t get back to sleep. I never expected to spend the next two hours organizing my flour collection and spices. I’m not a baker, so why do I even have a flour collection? I actually inherited the coconut flour, almond meal and ground flax seed from a low-carb cooking friend of mine. The wheat and white are around because someone gave me Amish Friendship Bread starter that I kept going for a year, and stashed in the freezer for later.
Then, my friend gave me three packets of yeast that had expired in December. My mom said yeast is so “iffy” that she wouldn’t even mess with it, but I just took that as a challenge. That’s how we ended up with the friendship bread, rustic bread and a variation of Greek bread, all with a combination of all those flours and additives.
That was fun, and now I’m done. No more baking for quite a while.

Dark Horse
My new professional chef friend said she didn’t taste the caramel at first. Then she let her Dark Horse Chardonnay “warm up” a bit, and tasted it just fine. Makers also boast aromas of ripe, red apple and peaches layered with buttery notes and nuances of caramel and vanilla. You learn something every day. Guess I don’t have to be anxious about how chilled the chardonnay gets. Hey, my friend is still into freezing the stuff for a chardonnay frosty.
Now, back to Dark Horse in particular. Cabernet Sauvignon is a favorite of mine and this one proclaims to be rich and intense with flavors of mocha, dark fruit and hints of vanilla. I kept this bottle going as long as I could, because the most tiny of sips was so good and fulfilling. Both Dark Horse offerings were winners.

Sit and Sip Tour
I met Charlie while killing time in Houston. He was handing out samples of Garrison Brothers Distillery Bourbon and he was an actual Garrison Brother. I loved the molded into the bottle and he told a great story on the challenge of creating that custom look. It’s the first legal bourbon distillery in Texas. Tours, in the Hye area, are $10, or free if you show up on a horse. The very next day I see in Southern Living magazine that they offer something like a bourbon camp. Get to know the brothers better at

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