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Old 04-05-2008, 01:06 PM   #1
Head Chef
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mentor, OH
Posts: 1,037
Hi, from Mentor, Ohio

Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Joe and I live in Mentor, Ohio with my wife Linda and our son David (22). He likes it here and is not ready to fly the coop like his sisters did. I'm 57 and have been cooking since my mother taught me and my four brothers to do so at an early age. Mom always said she did not want her boys to be a burden on any woman, so she taught us cooking, baking and even how to mend socks (shows how old I am), sew on a button and even to crochet.

Just before Easter I started to bake bread because my mother-in-law passed away and none of her daughters were willing to bake the Easter bread for our traditional Easter brunch that Mom always did. Not wanting to lose this tradition for all the kids and grandkids, I bellied up to the bar, fired up Google, and the Easter bread was not only a reality, but it was also a big hit. Three loaves were toasted for 13 people for brunch, then two additional loaved were eaten with dinner at my twin brother's home that evening. BTW, my twin makes the Slovenian potica that our mother made when she was living. he's been doing that since 1999. Here's the Easter bread along with some mini loaves of banana bread:

Getting the white, egg and wheat breads was not too bad of a learning curve, but the sourdough breads are my current quest to get the perfect crumb. I use the cookie sheet and water method to get the steam in my oven, and I now have that nice crunchy, chewy crust on my bread and kaiser rolls. I still have a ways to go to get those nice big holes in the bread, but that will come with time, trial and more research. Here's the batch from last night's baking session:

These were made a few days ago:

The taste is great and the loaves disappear quickly, which gives me reason to do more baking. We have not bought bread from the store in over 4 weeks, and don't miss those prices, especially for the 9-grain and other specialty breads. I've learned that I can buy all the ingredients and put it right into the dough at the right time, thus achieving the same (or better) taste, and without all the preservatives.

Enough about me, I look forward to contributing some of my recipes and pictures in the near future.



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Old 04-05-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gray's Harbor Washington State
Posts: 181
Welcome Joe, you and I come from the same generation. Your breads are very impressive, I also was taught to cook by my mom for the same reason.

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Old 04-05-2008, 02:36 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
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Welcome to DC, looks like you have done some mighty fine baking there!
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:32 PM   #4
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Location: North Carolina
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My best friend growing up lived in Mentor. Welcome to Discuss Cooking!

Potica was a favorite of mine too - I remember my mother making it with fond memories. Loved when it first came out of the oven - we would "stare it cool"

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mentor, OH
Posts: 1,037
Thanks for the welcome. From the posts I've read it appears most people here are passionate about their cooking and baking. This should be fun sharing recipes with like-minded folks, and I'm certain I'll learn a lot of tips and tricks.

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Old 04-06-2008, 06:27 AM   #6
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Welcome to DC!! Lovely looking photos. Envious if they taste as good as they look. I make lead.
Too many restaurants, not enough time...
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:21 AM   #7
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Location: upper midwest
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Just wanted to say hi and welcome you to DC.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:45 AM   #8
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Hi and welcome from North Ridgeville, Ohio.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:52 AM   #9
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Welcome JoeV, your bread looks wonderful - can almost smell it !

Grandma's Boys - Isaiah (11) Cameron (3 )
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