Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Tastiest Bread Ever

This really was the best loaf I have yet made.  I'm writing it down as a recipe here, but really I was feeling experimental just added this and that until it looked right. I could never recreate it completely.  Hopefully this is close.

I did it in the food processor, so that's how it's written.  If you're more of a bread purist, you probably know better than I how to do it by hand. :-)  It would basically be the same recipe, but you add your dry ingredient mixture to the yeast and water instead of the other way around.

The cereal is my first attempt at making granola.  Honey and walnuts.  It really is as easy as it seems!  I used Leila's recipe as a starting point, but I don't like coconut so that was left out.  And I left out the dried fruit too, since I only had a meager handful of Craisins for all that cereal.  That can always be added in later.

And now for a goofy picture of my children:

The Best Bread Ever

In a one-cup Pyrex measuring cup, combine:
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
Let rest until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, put dough blade in food processor.  Add:
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp salt
Process for 10 seconds to combine.  Add cold water to yeast mixture until foam just reaches the rim of the measuring cup, about 1 1/3 cup.

With food processor running on dough speed, slowly pour in the yeast mixture.  Keep processing until the dough all clumps together.  If it's too sticky, add more flour.  When dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl, process for 45 seconds to knead the dough.

Let rise, covered, for one hour.  Punch down and shape into a long loaf.  Let rise approximately 45 minutes longer.  Score the top of the loaf.  Bake at 350* for about 45 minutes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Nuptiality, Sexuality, and Pot Roast

--- 1 ---

My sister Elizabeth got married on Saturday! Definitely the biggest news around here. It was a simple, intimate wedding, exactly what Jason and Liz wanted. A lifetime of joy to you!

--- 2 ---
I adapted this recipe for the slow cooker yesterday.  And changed a bunch of stuff, so I think it counts as being original.

Trim a 2 1/2 lb. chuck roast of all visible fat.  Heat a tbsp of oil in a skillet, sear the meat on all sides.  Put meat aside.  Saute one chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, and a package of sliced mushrooms in the pan.  Put the vegetables in a crock pot, put the meat on top.  Add a bay leaf, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Pour a can of beef broth over the whole thing.  Cook on low four hours.

Add 1/2 cup of pearl barley, cook on low another four hours.

Remove meat.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas, turn heat to high.  Peas will be ready in about five minutes.  Empty crock-pot into a colander set over a bowl to catch the gravy.  Yum.

--- 3 ---
Note to self:  Do not chop onions while wearing the baby.  She cries too!

--- 4 ---
Speaking of baby wearing, I've been wearing Katie Rose pretty much All. The. Time.  With Anthony, I would wear him because I'd read about how beneficial being close to Mother is for babies.  This time it's because I need two hands free when Anthony's around, I don't like moving the baby from one landing zone to another constantly, she doesn't take kindly to being left in the swing or bouncer for more than a few minutes anyway, and I need to protect her from her big brother's affections!  So purely practical, not at all idealistic.  I've read that first borns tend to be idealists, while second borns are pragmatists.  I believe it!

--- 5 ---
I'm back to doing French lessons with Rosetta Stone.  I took a hiatus when baby time came, but I actually remembered all of the vocabulary!  Hurray!  Now I'm on to some more about families.  The phrases for hugging and kissing in France are quite difficult to me.  If I go to France I'll just have to maintain my personal space.  I like that the words for "wife" and "woman" are the same.   It is in the nature of the woman to be a wife.  Every vocation is nuptial: We can be married to a man or else be brides of Christ. "Her desire will be for her husband."

--- 6 ---
In the same vein, my friend Kate shared a crazy thought with me this week:  Ballroom dancing is really Theology of the Body in a nutshell.  It's actually quite brilliant.  I keep coming up with more ways it fits.  Here are a few:  You can only dance with one person.  It needs to be male-female pairings to really work.  The man has to lead.  If both try to lead, they fight each other, and if neither leads, nothing happens.  If the woman leads, it doesn't really work so well because the woman's role is to be receptive.  She is the one being spun around, dipped, etc. in most dance moves.  They could technically make it work, but it would require much more effort in communication than if they did it the traditional way (e.g. The man only has to turn his hand a certain way for her to spin around.).  It's easy to come up with them.  Share yours in the comments, if you're feeling inspired.

--- 7 ---
Kudos to the Boy Scouts for holding fast to their policy of excluding gays from being members or leaders.  And boo to Mitt Romney for trying to appeal to both sides on matter.  Romney's been an all-around disappointment, so this is really no surprise.  Fence sitter since 1994.  At least he's consistent.  Bah.  Anyway, I wanted to talk about the Boy Scouts.  The Supreme Court upheld their right to exclude whomever they wish as they are a private organization, but the pressure has naturally been turned way up of late.  I hope they stay strong.  They're absolutely right to keep gays out.  The great thing, or one of the great things, about the Boy Scouts is that they are unapologetically masculine.  That is a rare, rare thing nowadays.  Even the military is more and more feminized!  Boys need to experience manliness, to test their mettle against nature together with other boys.  Adding a gay kid to the group would completely change the group dynamics, no matter how much sensitivity training occured beforehand.  This shouldn't need to be explained, but it would just be plain awkward to have to share a tent with someone who might be sexually attracted to you.  Boy Scouts ought to be a safe place to test and develop one's manhood.  Adding homosexuals to the mix would automatically hinder that process by making it self-conscious.  It wouldn't be fair to the majority of the boys, and most likely the gay child would have a hard time of it, too.  They would sense that their presence is a problem, even if everyone were outwardly very accepting.  And homosexual leaders are just a bad, bad, bad idea.  Let's not repeat the clergy abuse scandals that arouse from admitting gays to the priesthood.  If people object to this policy, they can start their own organization rather than bully the Boy Scouts into changing it.  The American Heritage Girls were founded as an alternative to the ever more liberal Girl Scouts, and they are thriving.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!