Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fire Water! Tap Water Shouldn't Be Flammable!!

I've talked plenty about how I'm a WV girl...

A few days ago an industrial chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or Crude MCHM, leaked into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia. I spent half of my childhood living in Charleston and still have many friends in the area.

Photo Source

This morning one of my close friends shared this video of her husband igniting their tap water. I've seen videos like this before, usually in regards to nearby fracking and contamination of the groundwater that local wells pull from, but this is tap water coming from a municipal water treatment facility! This is the result of the chemical spill into the Elk River. I personally know the people who filmed this video. I can assure you that this is real!

Over 300,000 people in the counties surrounding Charleston, WV have been left with tap water that is unsafe for any use! This is the result of irresponsibility on the part of Freedom Industries, the company that allowed this leak to occur. Please share this information and the video with your friends and family...we need to hold Freedom Industries responsible for this incident and the danger the people of West Virginia face!

This is simply unacceptable.  I'm worried for all of my friends affected by this contaminated water.  I worry about the long-term affects of this spill.  I'm especially worried because it took hours before the spill was reported and residents were warned not to use the water.

I'm asking you to please share this video and information about this chemical spill far and wide...

Read CNN coverage of the chemical spill by clicking here.

Wall Street Journal coverage - click here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Bite of WV Tradition – Pepperoni Rolls

What do you think of when you think of West Virginia?  Hillbillies?  Coal miners? Mountains?

For me, West Virginia is my birthplace and where I spent the first 23 years of my life.  It would be impossible to list the ways growing up a WV girl has affected me.  Certainly my cooking was greatly influenced.  And so, today I share with you a recipe so near and dear to myself and fellow West Virginians that they nearly made it the official state food last year!  Pepperoni Rolls!

If the recipe sounds bland and boring to you, I dare you to try it the way it is!  Pepperoni rolls are delicious in their simplicity.  After you've fallen in love, feel free to “doctor them up” any way you’d like (I know many enjoy warming them and adding cheese, marinara, or other goodies); but try them this way first!  Trust me, you’ll be hooked!

When I was growing up, my mom would regularly make pepperoni rolls for my brother and me and all our friends.  She uses frozen dinner rolls for her dough and the rest of her recipe is the same as mine.  I’ve been dying to make these with my dough recipe and I finally got around to it.  I LOVE the taste of my own dough, made from scratch, and feel that these are probably a smidge more like the traditional pepperoni rolls coal miners carried in their lunch pails nearly a century ago because of the yeasty dough I make.

I use pepperoni I buy in the stick at WalMart - brand name is Bridgford and it's usually on a shelf under the beef jerky. Be sure to remove the plastic AND the casing and cut into 1 1/2 - 2" lengths. Then cut each chunk into 12 wedges (or 8 if you want BIG pepperoni flavor!)

Here's my dough recipe (each batch makes enough for a dozen medium pepperoni rolls): Mix 1 1/2 cups warm water, 2 tbsp sugar and 2 1/4 tsp of yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. I use my stand mixer with the dough hook to mix the dough.

While the yeast is getting all happy and fed, I measure 3 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour and 1 tsp salt into the mixer bowl. When the yeast mixture is bubbly/frothy on top, I dump it into the mixer and mix the dough on low and then up one notch once all the flour is absorbed, until the dough makes a good ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove the dough hook and place the mixer bowl somewhere warm under a towel to rise for 10 minutes. Once the dough has risen, dump out into a well-floured surface and divide into 12 balls.  Flatten each ball into a disc and place two wedges of pepperoni on it. Roll the pepperoni into the dough and seal all the edges of the dough. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until they're golden. Let them cool about 5 minutes and rub a little butter on top.

That's it! Super yumminess!! Enjoy!

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