Art, Beer and Bread. This is the life!

I have, this week, spent a fortune on craft supplies. Sitting in front of a computer all the time serves no good purpose for me. . . well, it serves few good purposes and many bad purposes. One of the good ones is all the inspiration I gather flipping through blogs. Petra Borner is swoon worthy. Maybe after I regain practise, I will, once again, be as confident handling a line.
Two days ago I was reading up with Domicile, caught glimpse of a concoction called Beer Bread and was frothing at the bit. A quick google and a handful of recipes later, and every recipe had similar ingredients with similar ratios. This recipe is for one loaf. If your arms are strong enough to make several loafs at a time, I don't see why you couldn't double the ingredients to get multiple batches going at one time. So, here's what I came up with to try:

3 cups all purpose flour (I used McArthur's Organic)
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
2 T rosemary (fresh fresh fresh! No rosemary is better than dried rosemary in my opinion)
1 clove garlic (2 or 3 would be okay, depending on your tastes)
12 ounces beer
1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix mix mix mix. Grease your bread loaf pan, pour in your dough. Honestly the word pour isn't a great descriptor, the result is a pretty thick and true-to-bread dough ball.
Bake 45 minutes. Use the toothpick test to check for doneness.

I am quite sure over the next couple of months I will be working on minor changes and improvements, but the taste I had of it last night has me convinced I will be making this for all of the upcoming holiday meals and heavy stews that seem to accompany cooler weather. Really I can't imagine a better fall meal than a Portuguese style vegetable soup and a hefty slice of this bread goodness. And the total prep time? I'd say 10 minutes, but I had to do a bit of rifling around the cabinets to find the ingredients I wanted.

I am not, by any means a great cook. I don't really enjoy cooking unless I am inspired, and Charlie does most of the day to day cooking in our house. Part of the excitement of vegetable gardening is eating the produce, and when the garden is bountiful storing and sharing are not only good for the spirit but necessary.

I have taken baskets of figs to people. One particularly sweet neighbor (Yes! There are nice neighbors around me!) I gave a basket of figs, fresh basil and several red zebra tomatoes. Half the fun was putting a pretty basket together to take to her. Charlie watched and poked fun of me as I assembled it for her, but when it was all finished and there was still another gallon of figs to share, he followed my lead and put together a basket for my brother and SIL! Giving presents always feels good. Even though we are in a gift bag culture, long gone are the days of paper wrapped presents it seems, presentation really makes the surprise even more gratifying.

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