Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cooking in Galena

One of the things I missed while visiting other parts of the world is cooking for myself. In Galena it's pretty much the opposite. There isn't a restaurant in town (although their is coffee shop that sometimes offers food) so we cook everything ourselves. Don't worry though, we're not starving out here. Here are a few recipes I've been perfecting over the last couple of months:

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread
Combine in a large bowl:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
2-1/2 cups hot water (uncomfortable to touch, but not boiling)
Mix well before adding:
1-1/2T of yeast (4-1/2t or two packages) 
Mix briefly and let the yeast work for a few minutes before adding the rest of the flour:
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2-1/2 to 3 cups of white flour

Once the dough is stiff enough to handle kneed by hand for 5 minutes. (The oatmeal will make the dough feel lumpy even after sufficient kneading, this is normal.) Place dough in a greased bowl near the wood stove (or other warm place) cover with a damp cloth and allow it to double in size. Punch dough down, divide in two and place in well buttered bread pans. (Don't skimp on butter, the bread will stick to the pans.) Preheat oven to 350 while the loaves rise. Bake for about 40 minutes until done. 

This started as a recipe from a cookbook called More-with-Less that I modified repeatedly to increase the amount of whole grain and simplify the procedure. It's now well over 50% whole grain, is quick enough to make once a week and it tastes great. 

Sometimes I add raisins or finely chopped apple to one loaf before putting it into the pan. 
Note: The heals are best eaten hot with butter and/or honey. 

Bacon Apple Moose Meatloaf (BAMM)
Step 1
Find a legal moose during moose season.
Shoot the moose.
Haul the meat back to town and grind some into moose burger... This really deserves its own post someday.

Step 2 
Combine in a large bowl:
~1.5 lbs ground moose
~1 cup chopped apple
~1 cup chopped onion
~1 cup rolled oats
~1 cup shredded Tillamook medium cheddar (theoretically another brand could be used)
~1/2 cup chopped bacon
2 eggs
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place the mixture in a baking dish of appropriate size and bake at 350 for about an hour. 

2 cups small red beans
cups black beans
cup white beans
Place beans in large stock pot, cover with water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Add:
10 cups of water
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp of olive oil
Add onion, celery, garlic, pepper and salt to taste (as available).
Bring to boil and place on wood stove to simmer until done (3-6 hours) stirring occasionally. Removing the lid part way through cooking will result and thicker beans. 

Sometimes I even eat beans with breakfast.

Baked Salmon
Thaw a fillet (If you're in a hurry just place the sealed fillet hot water for 20-30 minutes).
Set the oven to 450 F.
Place the fillet in a baking pan with the skin down.
Smear the top of the fillet with butter. 
Add salt, garlic, and black pepper to taste (I probably use about a Tbsp of each). 
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

My grandma gave this recipe to my dad years ago. If I remember correctly she originally used lard instead of Crisco. We didn't have either of those, so I used butter which worked very well. 
I made the Kolaches for a grade school geography club presentation Corrie and I did on Prague and the Czech Republic. Despite being less sweet than many modern American desserts the kids seemed to really like them. 
Prune Kolaches
Prune filling: cut prunes in half or maybe quarters and boil in a small amount of water until the mixture becomes thick. 
We only brought one cookie sheet out so I got creative. The cake pans worked well as did placing the Kolaches on a piece of foil to rise and then sliding them onto the cookie sheet for baking.  

Apple kolaches and poppy seed rolls
Apple filling: Basically apple pie filling, but with smaller pieces of apple. I cooked it on the stove for a bit before adding it to the kolaches to help it set up.

Poppy seed filling: Approximately a 1:1 mixture of raisins softened in boiling water and canned poppy seed cooked together for a few minutes at low heat.

As an experiment I made enough filling for three Kolaches using dried cherries the same way I made the prune filling. They were really good. 
We decided to subscribe to service called full circle that ships out a box of fresh vegetables each week a couple months ago. They recently sent us a pomegranate which I have never had fresh before. Corrie knew how to get the fruit out of the shell, I made whipping cream and Melinda shaved dark chocolate on top... It turned out to be a much fancier dessert than expected so we took a picture.
Apple Crisp also bakes fine in a cake pan. I think I prefer it without the chocolate though. 
Deep dish Pizza, yet another use for a 9" cake pan...  


  1. These look and sound delicious. Salmon! Pomegranate! Moose!!! I would love to try moose meatloaf someday--I bet it is amazing! I've never made (or heard of) kolaches--thank you for posting the recipe. I'd love to try it once my schedule is a little more flexible.
    We think of you all often. Hope you are well.
    Love from Faith & Isaac

  2. Thanks Faith & Isaac. I can pretty much guarantee both Moose and Salmon for anyone who comes to visit. :) I wish I could guarantee an Aurora show like we had last night, but they are a bit less predictable than the freezer so I'll post pictures instead.