Here we are in March and the East coast just came through another big snow storm. But there is light through the tunnel. This coming week we are supposed be in the 40’s. So maybe Spring will be right around the corner. Everyone is tired of all of the snow and the cold. We all need to see that Spring has sprung! This month has many fun and wonderful holidays, like “La Festa della Donna,”(this Sunday) St. Patrick’s Day, St Joseph’s day, first day of Spring, Palm Sunday, and we can’t forget my mom’s birthday. Before we get to those special days of March, this month is also known as “National Flour Month.” Come, join me as we take a look at many different types of flour and how can we use it?
In today’s world we have different types of flour that comes in many varieties of flavors, textures, and colors. Some of them I know you have used but some you haven’t and may want to try experimenting with. All purpose flour or plain flour is the most widely used. Bleached or non-bleached, that is the question? Bleached flour is when they put bleaching agents to whiten the flour which also gives it more gluten-producing potential. In my opinion, I use only non-bleached, but it is your preference. Bromated flour is another type that also has bleaching agents added to its finely milled flour. Bromated flour has been banned in much of the world, but remains available in the United States. Then there is cake flour, Graham flour, Pastry, Cookie, or Cracker flour, and Self-Rising or Self-raising flour, and Wheat flour. Some other types include; Corn, Rye, Tapioca, Brown Rice, Noodle, Buckwheat, Chestnut, and Chickpea flour. Did you know that Pillsbury began its annual “Bake Off” in 1950 to promote its “Flour” line?
Besides using flour for baking my family uses it as an egg and bread technique for frying fish, chicken, pork, and vegetables. Flour is added to the breadcrumb mixture as that will help the egg and breadcrumbs stick to the food. It also helps the fish, etc. not stick to the frying pan, and makes your foods crispy.
“La Festa della Donna, “is also called “International Women’s Day,” and it is celebrated on March 8th, (this Sunday) which honors the equality of all women. This holiday originates from ancient Rome to celebrate the first day of spring and the goddess called Ariadne. It is a day of remembrance and history for women all over the world.
There is another custom for this day, which men present flowers to the women in their lives. This custom started in Italy, some sources say, Rome in 1946. The particular flower of choice is called the “Mimosa,” and was chosen by Italian feminists. This flower was chosen because of its bright yellow color, fragrant scent, it is inexpensive, and it blooms this time of the year. The Mimosa is cultivated for its flowers and honey production. The essential oils are used in perfumes and cosmetics.
As we celebrate women this month I can not forget to include my mom in this post. Tuesday, is my mother’s Birthday. My mom is the heart of our home. She is the one that gets everyone together for Birthdays and Holidays. She loves to cook meals for the family especially her grandchildren. She exhumes Love, Joy, and Faith plus has the patience of a Saint. Everyone in the family can attest to her strength, her honesty, and her warmth. My mom embodies what a mother should be and shares her wisdom with everyone she meets. I have so many memories of my childhood with my mom, but these thoughts are a special way to wish my mom a “Happy Birthday!!!”
|My mom and myself|
"Italian Sesame Cookies”
4 cups of unbleached flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of solid Crisco
1/2 cup of cold milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
Cut in 1 cup of shortening. (Crisco) Beat slightly 2 eggs. Add to eggs and 1/2 cup of milk. Combine dry and liquid ingredients. Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll in your hands. Shape into a size of a finger and taper at each end. (You can also create any shape to make these cookies in example: crescent, star, round, etc.) Now roll in the sesame seeds. Bake at 375°F for about 12-15 minutes depending on your oven and the type of pans you use.
8 oz of chilled orange juice (fresh squeezed or in bottle)
4 oz of chilled Champagne or Prosecco
Pour orange juice into a chilled fluted Champagne glass over two ice cubes. Fill with the chilled Champagne or Prosecco, stir gently. Serve with a cherry, or a twist of an orange slice.
(Please Drink Responsibly)
Till Next Time………………….
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