Well, I went out in the ice anyway. All I really needed was a lemon, but I came home with another $100 worth of groceries, which, as you might guess, only filled up three bags!
My mother always made potato soup on Christmas Eve, so, of course, I do it too. My variation on the menu is to make this bread recipe, which is one of my son Mike's favorite things in the whole world. Years ago, I came across a recipe for a quick bread made with Kalamata olives, and it sounded good, but I wanted a yeast bread, so I made some modifications. I like to make this a round loaf, but you can make it any shape you like. I prefer to use the olives that are packed in olive oil and then use the oil from the jar where the recipe calls for it, otherwise, I use extra virgin olive oil.
Kalamata Olive Bread
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 pkgs dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp thyme
one 8oz jar Kalamata olives, preferably packed in oil, pitted and chopped. (about 1 cup)
3 cups flour
Combine first three ingredients in large mixing bowl and let stand until foamy.
Saute onions in 2 tbsp olive oil until lightly browned and set aside to cool. Add the next five ingredients to the yeast mixture, then add the onions and knead in the remaining 3 cups of flour, adding one cup at a time, using enough flour to make a non-sticky dough. Cover and let rise in the bowl until doubled in bulk. Punch down and shape into a ball. Place in a greased pie dish--preferably a deep, ceramic dish--and grease the top with oil. Cover (I use a great big metal mixing bowl for this) and let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, then brush the top of the loaf with milk and bake for another ten minutes.
Serve with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper in small amounts on a plate for dipping.