Monday, August 12, 2013

koulourakia and colors

first twist
At church again, this time for baking cookies for that upcoming festival. We made koulourakia, which most of us bakers can't pronounce, so we call them "the twisty Greek cookies."

The dough, made with seven pounds of butter, had been prepared last night and stored in the fridge. We scooped it out with melon-ballers and rolled the balls into ropes.

Japanese anemone

And outside I caught this graceful and lovely flower in bud and bloom. I haven't looked it up yet to find out what it is....though I might have known in the past. Do you recognize it? (update: Jo tells me in the comments it is a Japanese anemone.)

GJ twisting

After their twisting, the cookies get an egg wash and then a sprinkling of sesame seeds. They are basically a butter cookie, and though some recipes include orange juice and/or zest, our current version is "plain." But I came home with my hands smelling anything but plain.

In our back yard now we have three cherry-sort of tomatoes: Juliet (red); Sun Gold and Sunsugar (orange); and Michael Pollan (pointy green striped). So I can put them all in a salad to colorize it! Not to mention, this year I have three colors of nasturtiums, red, orange and yellow -- so I put all those petals in my salad as well. That's a visual feast as well as a feast for the palate, as last night's guest said.

In case you can't see all three tomatoes, here is a close-up:

Today the thermometer reached 75° - woo-hoo - so we hope we are 
in a warming trend.


Jo said...

Oooh, those Greek biscuits looks yummy. I have never tried them. Your church has very jolly celebrations with lovely food!
The flowers are Japanese anenomes. When I see them, I know it's autumn. So lovely.
Technicolour salad. How gorgeous. I am doing pretty boring winter green salads right now. Looking forward to some colour.

M.K. said...

I am so enchanted by how your church bakes, cooks, and eats together so regularly and faithfully. Lovely! We eat together, cooking, serving, cleaning, and storing each week too. But we don't make cookies like those! They're really beautiful. Yum. I just showed them to Adam.

Your salad and tomatoes are so nice too. Wish I could have a bite :) Aren't tomatoes bursting with flavor? Thanks for all the deliciousness of this post!

Heather said...

That salad is gorgeous.

We are in the 90's here. I'd gladly trade you a day for some 70 degree weather. Just one day off from the heat would be wonderfully refreshing :) I guess I'm already dreaming of Autumn.

Farm Girl said...

7 pounds of butter? That is awesome I bet those beautiful cookies melt in your mouth. Your tomatoes are lovely. Really 75?? How lovely. You must enjoy summer instead of dread it like I do sometimes. You made me laugh with your last post. If the silly flower produces seeds I will send you some for next year. How is that? I will be planting lots of purple ones next year since I didn't get a chance this year. You have such a green thumb. Have a wonderful day.

wayside wanderer said...

Your salad is a work of art...beautiful! And so are those pink posies. And wow...those are a lot of yummy looking cookies. That is how cookies should be....pan upon pan and covering every surface imaginable. :)

magsmcc said...

The redemptive power of colour and baking smells. I can feel it now x

Haddock said...

Those twisted ones (before baking) looks almost identical. Was it made by hand?

GretchenJoanna said...

Yes, Haddock, each cookie was individually twisted by the hands of one of the six or eight workers.

Gumbo Lily said...

I love the sense of community in your church as you bake together. You must have a fine kitchen to work in. The cookies sound delicious.

Your tomato salad is definitely a feast for the eyes. I'd love to taste it. What did you dress it with? The other day I put some balsamic vinegar and salt on some tomatoes -- what a great combo!


GretchenJoanna said...

Kim, I'll take you up on that offer!

GretchenJoanna said...

Jo, thanks for the info! I updated the post to include a name for that beautiful plant.

Dana Ames said...

How interesting that M. Pollan has a tomato named after him! I hope it tastes good and local. Let me know where you got it, please...

Also, Fr Ted has some more bee photos and ruminations.


Sara said...

Mmmm, deliciously colorful salad. I tasted a sunsugar tomato for the first time last week, fresh off my sister's vine. They are amazing, and very aptly named. I plan to go to the festival for the first time this year, here at the GO church where I live. Looking forward to tasting all those goodies. Perhaps next year I'll also be helping to make them, as you are doing.

Jo said...

Gretchen Joanna, I was wracking my brain, because I know the Japanese anenome has another lovely name, but it eluded me until today - it is also called a wind flower. Isn't that evocative and descriptive?