In February we planted over 100 onion sets with the goal of having a good supply of storage onions for the fall and winter. Unfortunately, the sets I planted were a little too old and spent their energy going to seed instead of producing big beautiful onions. So between the crummy onion harvest and an excellent supply of dill in our backyard we made onion dill bread.
Dill is a wonderful herb to grow in your garden. It is fantastic on fish, in salads, and on eggs. But dill is an especially great herb because swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on dill, parsley, and fennel. We always plant extra herbs every year to encourage the butterflies. They are such graceful and delightful creatures to watch and I will happily share my herbs with them to have their presence in my garden.
Onion dill bread has always been a holiday tradition in my family. My mom would make this wonderful bread for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. She would set up an assembly line in the kitchen and make over 20 loaves of bread. She would then give onion dill bread as a gift during the holiday season. People loved it and always wanted more. Since we stopped eating industrialized bread several years ago, onion dill bread was the obvious choice for our homemade bread needs. Plus it freezes beautifully and can be defrosted in the refrigerator without compromising the texture. Onion dill bread also makes great toast, sandwiches, and croutons.
Making your own bread takes a little patience, but the results are greatly worth the effort. The other added bonus is that you know what is going into your food. With onion dill bread you will be able to pronounce all the ingredients needed to make this bread and you don’t need high fructose corn syrup or crazy chemical fillers. What a concept!
Plant some dill and make some bread. With the smell of freshly baked onion dill bread and butterflies in the garden what more could you ask for? Enjoy!
May is apricot season in the southwest and boy did we have a great season at our house. Thanks to friends and family we hit the apricot jackpot. With all these apricots and only solution is apricot jam with framboise. I also canned apricots in light syrup (the homemade kind not that yucky canned fruit goop), apricots in brandy, and apricot jam with cognac. My favorite has to be the apricot jam with framboise.
Framboise is raspberry liqueur typically from France. It should only be sugar, raspberries, and alcohol, usually vodka due to the lack of flavor. There are several brands of raspberry liqueur many of which are glorified high fructose corn syrup with artificial raspberry flavor. Stay away from this stuff. It is glorified cough syrup and tastes repulsive. Go for the simple packaging, no fancy colors or silly names, and ingredients that you yourself can pronounce. This will take you in the right direction. Remember too that like wine you cook with only put liqueur in your jam that you would drink straight. The cooking process will intensify the flavor of the liqueur and you want it to taste good.
Apricots and raspberries are a classic pair. The tartness of the raspberries complements the sweetness of the apricots and provides this jam with just that little something that makes it unique and delicious. Apricot jam with framboise is fantastic on toast, pound cake, ice cream, and even chicken.
Now yes, you can buy jam at the grocery store, but trust me once you start making your own jam you will never buy it from the grocery store again. Check out Food in Jars, foodinjars.com/2010/07/canning-101-how-to-ensure-that-your-jam-sets/, it has a wonderful posting on how to make great jam every time.Homemade jam is also a wonderful house warming gift, hostess present, and holiday gift. It is also very satisfying to capture the essence of the season and to re-live it any time of the year. Enjoy!