I’ve been struggling with flatbreads. I had thought I had found a recipe that would work for me, and it seemed to the first time using it. But I’ve made it twice more, and failed miserably both times. I think it is me that causes the failures, but can’t really pinpoint my issues. I’ve been using the cast iron frying pan, and my latest attempt, made this morning, was more like fried bits of dough than a flatbread. I had a lot of sticking, which was resolved by adding oil, which I did not need to do the first time I used the recipe.
I have some sort of mental block when it comes to flatbreads. Of course I have all kinds of restrictions I put on the process. Whole wheat flour that I mill must be used rather than all purpose or any kind of white flour. Baking soda and powder are to be avoided, as they add sodium to the bread. The bread needs to be pliable, for use with meals that feature falafels, or refried beans. If I can I want to avoid using the oven, as it is a hydro hog. And last, but not least, the recipe should be easy to prepare and cook/bake.
The flatbread I made this morning is a pourable batter, with only four ingredients, flour, water, salt, sugar. It tastes fantastic, but the preparation is so frustrating, and failure so frequent, that I am looking for an alternative recipe.
Back to the drawing board, as they say.
Attila took a week’s vacation time, but it was not a vacation, it was a workation. Our porch was in very bad repair when we bought the house twelve years ago, and has been on the renovation list all this time. The first step has been accomplished by Attila over the last week, and it was hard work. The posts supporting the porch roof had deteriorated, and were poorly installed to begin with, so that the roof was several inches lower on one side of the porch than the other, and the whole roof line had sunk about three inches, causing issues with the actual roof of the house where the porch was joined to it.
Attila painstakingly jacked up the porch roof joist to the proper height, dug out and built support pads for new posts, and installed the new posts. He worked from dawn to dusk for six whole days to accomplish this task. And now it is done!
We needed to attend to this issue, just in case we find we need a new roof. The present shingles are those Attila installed twelve years ago, and no leaks yet, but the shingles are showing some signs of wear. When the roof needs to be replace we will need to put on new sheathing, and hope to have a metal roof installed. The sinking porch roof would have caused problems for a new metal roof, but no more.
I too had a workation. Over 40 jars of jams, pie filling, pickles, pickled peppers, and coleslaw were canned. Four times the dehydrator was filled with basil, celery, and kale, all of which was powdered and jarred. And of course I cooked some special meals for Attila while he worked away his time off work.
The warm weather we are having, combined with adequate rain, means that the garden is thriving again, and producing a lot of zucchini, beans, kale, tomatoes, and a bounty of peppers. Attila also harvested three large blue Hubbard squash, which are now curing.
The beans stopped producing through August, the drought period this summer, but bounced back after a few good days of rain. Tonight I will be canning dilly beans, and a few jars of dilly cucumbers.
The cucumbers are beginning to wind down now, this might be the last of the cucumber pickles for the season.
Attila harvested all but the winter keeper cabbages. He left the roots in place. So far we have canned six jars of coleslaw with the regrowth on the cabbages that were harvested. Attila feels the plants will produce enough new growth for another batch of coleslaw before the end of the season.
The tomatoes are doing well, they are being frozen as they are harvested, so that we will thaw and process them all at the same time. This year we are focusing our tomato preservation efforts on pizza sauce, and hope to freeze enough to last until next October, when we will make more.
My favourite tomato this year is the Sicilian Saucer tomato, big and juicy like a beefsteak, while dense and tasty like a Roma.
We have been enjoying our zucchini and tomatoes this year with a new recipe to us. Onions are sauteed, diced zucchini added. Two teaspoons of salt free garlic and herb mix is sprinkled over all, and diced tomatoes are sprinkled over all. Then a lid goes on, the heat is turned down, and the vegetables are allowed to steam together for a while. The lids comes off and the liquid is reduced over a medium heat. Into a casserole dish it all goes, topped with grated cheese, and microwaved to melt the cheese. We love this stuff! Attila is not on a low sodium diet, as I am, but he doesn’t add salt to this vegetable dish, it doesn’t need salt to taste amazing.
We eat everything I preserve. So far this season I have canned just over 290 jars of produce from our garden, and purchased strawberries. All of our home grown food is organic, all of our preserved food is low sodium, and reduced sugar. We keep having to buy more jars as the garden keeps sending us its bounty. By end of last week I was out of jars, but not out of produce. Yesterday we went to three stores to find 500 ml jars, and got the last three dozen jars in the last store we visited, all the other stores were out of that size of jars.
I am feeling much better these days, thanks to the surgery, and the physiotherapy early in the summer. I still have to be very cautious about what I eat, and the physiotherapy regime developed for me has to be followed religiously every day, and as a result the pain killers are only a memory. I had my initial consult with the vascular surgeon re my aneurysm, and feel relieved to have had an expert review my condition with me, offer advice, answer all my questions, and provide monitoring into the future. As it stands there are no longer any lifestyle modifications that can be made, all are already in place. Since I have familial hypercholesterolemia, I am inspired to explore medications that might improve my chances of long-term survival. Unfortunately many of them don’t work for me, or cause such intense side effects that they aren’t an option.
I love the autumn! The heat waves are passing, one more on the horizon, but it will probably be short. The garden is lush, the birds are exuberant feeding on the fall seeds in our garden, goldfinches, blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, chickadees, hummingbirds. Sitting on our own porch we are endlessly entertained.
Updated on Mon, Sep 12, 12:45 PM
FEELS LIKE 25
Wind 11 SE km/h
Humidity 80 %
Visibility 17 km
Sunrise 6:43 AM
Wind gust 17 km/h
Pressure 100.9 kPa
Ceiling 500 m
Sunset 7:24 PM
“Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.”
A good point. I think it is less worrisome than being a failure in a mediocre world.
Hi Maggie, glad to hear that you are feeling much better! My mouth fell open when I read how many jars of produce you have canned! I also love the autumn! Right now we are still in the throes of summer with a bit cooler temps but too much humidity for my liking. Hope you find the perfect flat bread recipe. Stay well.
Hi Maggie. Yay to better health and no painkillers! You and Attila have incredible energy and get so much done! Is Attila close to retirement? He seems to love the garden and making improvements to the house. I hope you resolve your flatbread recipe problems. (((Hugs))) !
I’m so glad you’re feeling better! (Enjoy your veggies!)
Hello Eileen, thank you for your kind thoughts. I too was surprised at the number of jars I have canned from our garden this year, and that in spite of a month without any rain! It is a reflection of Attila’s hard work, watering the garden faithfully every evening after he came home from work.
Like you, I do not care for the humidity, but the cooler temperatures make it more comfortable than it was in the heat of summer. The drought period was frustrating, because it was not only very, very hot, it was humid, but that moisture did not make it into the soil.
I will continue to try different flat bread recipes, and equipment!
Stay well dear friend.
Hello Sandy, thank you for your kind thoughts, I am very happy not to be taking pain killers! Attila and I are happiest when we have projects on the go, paricularly ones with either very short timelines, or no timelines at all. The garden and food preservation tick both boxes for us. The renovation projects are a bit stressful, we are always glad when we have finished. We are still working on the structural issues in this little house, it was a “tear down” when we bought it, and the projects have been tackled one by one. With my aneurysm, I am no longer to participate in the renovation projects to any significant degree, other than brainstorming, organizing, and taking over all domestic responsibilities that do not involve lifting, which, as it turns out, are quite a few. We are slowing down on the renovations, but nearing the end of the structural projects, just the porch itself, the metal roof to come, and hopefully metal siding. Then we can focus on making the interior more comfortable, and that has been a long time coming!
Eventually I will find a way to make flatbread! I have to, I cannot eat commercial products, they are loaded with salt, and preservatives, neither of which I can have. Thankfully Attila likes even my failures!
Thank you Joan for your kind thoughts. It is quite a relief to have passed through the first part of 2022 with such pain and mystery. As the years go by it is harder work to stay comfortable and pain free, so it was nice to eventually get some medical advice that actually addressed the issues.
We love our veggies! Since I don’t use salt, it takes a lot of experimenting to find ways to make vegetables taste great, so when I do find a recipe that works, I make it frequently.