Lately, shopping for bread has been a hit and miss situation.
While shopping at my local supermarket which has deep roots in New Orleans, there were no types of sliced bread or hamburger and hot dog buns.
Do not despair, if this happens just get creative with your bread choices. Bagels and English muffins were in pretty good supply when I last ventured out to shop. They can be used to make sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas.
You can find them in the bread aisle, refrigerated section, or the freezer. One of the latest food fads is to put a hamburger between two donuts. I have not tried it, but it is a unique idea.
Ground beef is another limited item in the store. I was able to find boxes of hamburger patties in the frozen food section. In addition, the meat counter had a variety of boneless cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. If you have a food processor, just cut the boneless meat into chunks, put it in your food processor, and pulse until the desired consistency is achieved.
If your search for bread has been a futile effort, here are a few recipes you can make at home. Remember that honey can be substituted for sugar when baking. I noticed that the honey was in good supply. The first recipe requires no yeast and is quick and easy to make. It makes delicious sandwiches. I suggest you cool it, wrap it tightly, and chill overnight. It will slice more easily if you follow my instructions.
1 cup finely grated row carrots
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup boiling water
2 large eggs 2 and a half teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 and one half cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard sized loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Combine carrots, sugar, baking soda, and butter in a large bowl. Pour in the boiling water and stir just enough to mix. Set aside to cool. Lightly beat the eggs and add to the cooled carrot mixture. Stir in the baking powder, salt and flours until well combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the pecans. Pour into the prepared pan and let stand 5 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for one hour. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before carefully removing form the pan. Makes 1 loaf.
The next bread uses biscuit mix for the base, requires no yeast, and includes cheese and wine. What is not to like? It is best served warm.
Wine and Cheese Bread
2 cups biscuit mix
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh onion
1 teaspoon dried dill weed or herb of your choice
4 tablespoons (one half stick) melted butter
One fourth cup dry white wine 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
One fourth cup milk
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, or sharp Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease an 8-inch round pan with softened butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Combine biscuit mix, sugar, onion and herb. Add the butter, wine, eggs, and milk. Beat until smooth; pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with your choice of cheese and bake 20 to 25 minutes until browned and done. Serve hot. Makes one 8 inch round.
Here are a few seasoned butters which can be prepared to add a little variety to bread and crackers. Allow these seasoned butters to soften a bit at room temperature before using.
Orange Honey Butter
2 stick butter, softened
One fourth cup honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Place into a container, cover and chill. Makes about 1 cup Strawberry Butter 2 sticks softened butter 1 cup crushed or frozen strawberries Place ingredients in a bowl and beat until well combined. Place into a container, cover, and chill Makes about 2 cups Onion Butter 2 sticks softened butter One fourth cup grated fresh onion One fourth cup minced, fresh flat leaf parsley 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Place into a container and chill. Makes about 1- and one-half cups.
As you are grocery shopping, do not forget the Easter candy displays. My local supermarket had an abundance of Easter treats, but who knows how long they will last? Be extra kind to those who are doing their best to keep the shelves stocked. That not only includes the people you see, but those who are behind the scenes like the baker, butchers, stockers, and truck drivers. I have been trying to keep myself busy during this time of minimal contact with other humans. Over the past few days, I have been teaching my dog cursive. So far, Gabby is not a willing student. If given enough time; however, I am positive his penmanship will be better than mine. Take care and stay well.
Linda is a contributing writer for the Sea Coast Echo and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.