Category Archives: Food

Brown Bread – It’s named after its color

Okay, I have never done this before. I have seen others do it though, so I’m pretty sure it will be okay.

I’m going to share a recipe.

It’s nothing ground breaking. Just bread. Brown bread from back when they named it after the color as opposed to the whole wheat content. It might be more appropriate to call it a molasses bread. I got this recipe from my aunt. I think she may have gotten it from Grannie, her mom. It’s handwritten so I don’t even know if it was once in a book or not. I’m sure my mom will leave a comment correcting me on its origin, all I know is that it is truly yummy bread. A bit dense, cuts like a dream, toasts wonderfully to go with a nice hot cuppa.

In 1 cup of warm water dissolve 1 tsp honey and then add 2 tbsp yeast. Set aside 10 minutes.

Melt: together 1/2 cup of boiling water and 2 tbsp shortening and pour into your mixing bowl

Add: 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup molasses

Add: 1/2 cup milk, 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp salt, and yeast mixture. Stir well.

Add: Flour – approx. 6 cups to make a soft, light dough. Turn out and knead for 8 minutes.

Let Rise: in a greased bowl, covered, for 1 hour (150 degree F warmth)

Shape: into 2 loaves, place in a greased pans

Let Rise: 1 hour covered

Bake: at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
(cover tops with foil if they get too dark)

*Now, I said it was a bit dense, but I think that’s because I had two issues with letting it rise. I don’t think it was warm enough, and my mixing bowl wasn’t big enough. I was having trouble getting all 6 cups mixed in because of the size of my bowl and then I don’t think it really let the dough have enough room to rise. Does anyone have tricks to share with me on a warm enough place to let bread rise? I’ve heard put it over the burner that the oven vents through, but I have a glass cooktop and no vent.

**Second amendment. I am currently living in the UK and I could not find molasses so I used treacle. I only used about 2/3rds of what was called for thinking that it would be too strong, but I don’t’ think it was. I would edge toward using the full 1/4 cup next time.

***Third note. This is for UK folk as well. Everyone may know this already, but it was news to me. Shortening is Cookeen in this country.

****Final mention. The yeast I use calls for it to be mixed with salt at the very beginning. But since the recipe added salt later, I left it out of the initial yeast mix and it turned out very well. I think it would have been too salty if I’d added what the yeast jar had called for.

I have tried a few bread recipes now and they just keep getting better. This one in particular was lovely to me because it tasted like my childhood. I was very pleased that Doodle enjoys it as well. He had a slice or two as a snack, no butter, no jam, just the bread and he gobbled it up.

Let me know if you try this. I’d love to know how it turns out for you.


Monday Meals…give or take a day

Okay. So much for blogging with discipline. I totally forgot I had decided to do the whole checking out what Doodle’s eating on Monday. Okay maybe totally is a bit of an exaggeration. I remembered while I was in the grocery store yesterday that I was supposed to try Doodle out on Cottage Cheese. They don’t seem to have any in this country. So by the time I got home I had forgotten again.

Then I’m reading this blog today, and lo and behold it’s a recipe for homemade cottage cheese. I have to say, I found the idea of cottage cheese before rather revolting. Now I really don’t know if I’ll be able to feed this to my child. I am truly sorry to those of you who make this a part of your daily diet. My good friends Emily and Sam would eat it for lunch if they wanted something light. And I didn’t hold it against them. Much. but now that I have such a concrete way of making it myself I don’t know if I can go through with it. But I will try. Maybe.

To be fair, we’ve had kind of a major deal happen. We bought a car. Don’t get too excited. It’s actually 6 years older than our last car. Which was a ’99.  The Rocket Scientist is more distressed by this than I am, it actually reminds me of my first car, which I loved. I don’t have a picture for you today, but I will take a before and after (it wasn’t cleaned before we got it, but for 150 quid we’re not complaining).

Also my Mom is coming into town tomorrow. Yay!!! Well, I should say into the country, or maybe onto the continent, but you get the picture. So there may be more blogging without obligation in the next couple weeks rather than blogging with discipline. But I will more than make up for it with a barrage of pictures of her visit.

Off to get my beautiful son out of the bath.

And then it was Thursday

So all week I’ve had this and that on my mind but didn’t want to post it because it would have been a sentence or two.  Maybe a paragraph.  I’ve got to get it out of my head that posts have to be a certain length.  I got all inspired by C. Beth’s blog the other day and actually put both buttons on my sidebar.  And then proceeded to not blog for 3 days.  So now I’ve got a mosh of stuff….

Okay, I’ve actually forgotten most of what was in my head now because I’m so frustrated with the UK run around health system.  It’s ridiculously long and convoluted and I honestly don’t want to spell it all out again.  Although I could, and it would be very witty in a sarcastic way, but I don’t want to have it ruin my day and if I continue to dwell on the thoughtless inconsiderate manner in which this was handled I’ll just ramp myself up for the entire day.  Because this, like everything else is in my Father’s hands and He knows the timetable better than those policy-loving pencil-pushing non-communicative presumptive I do.  Have you guessed this is about my appointments with the fertility specialist?  Yeah.  The appointment I was supposed to have on March 30th, can’t even be properly re-booked until sometime after May 18th.  It took me a month to get the first one.  AND getting the appointment isn’t even the hard part.  The procedure that was performed in my doctor’s office back in Chicago has a waiting list here.  And no one can tell me how long that waiting list is.  I don’t see that as a good sign.  But what do I know, right?  Nothing.  Father’s timetable.  Not mine.  Got it.  Sort of.  Moving on.

I remember some of what I was going to say now.  Originally I was going to start off with a lovely little sentence like:  The joy has lasted.  And it has.  Even with this morning’s setback.  I do feel like crying.  But I don’t think I’m going to.  There are far worse things going on that have brought tears lately.  Yesterday we learned that a dear friend’s 5-month old grandbaby had just died.  Still waiting to hear how it happened and very sick at heart that it was possibly not medical.  I couldn’t think of it yesterday without being nauseated.  My heart aches for this family.  So while there is petty disappointment for me, there is tragedy for others and miracles for still others.  And yet, the joy has lasted.  My only conclusion is that it comes from that peace that defies understanding and I am oh, so grateful.

The other thing that I wanted to do was clear up a little bit of misunderstanding over my introduction to Monday Meals.  This is what happens when you edit your blog too much.  You don’t realize that in the taking out of certain things, if you don’t put them back in another form people don’t actually know that you’ve said them.  Or thought them.  Whatever, they don’t know it if you don’t post it.  First of all, I want to thank you all for the comments left.  (And Liz, I just remembered looking over those comments that you tagged me.  I’m totally on that tomorrow!)  I just want to explain a little further where we’re at.

We did a lot of baby-led weaning while we were still back in Chicago.  I made most of his food then.  When we were moving around so much during December and January it wasn’t really feasible to be making our own puree so we did more jars of food at that time.  Once we settled in here in Oxford, he had enough teeth that he was mostly just eating what we ate only chopped up into smaller pieces.  (Our boxes arriving put a damper on that and I took a couple weeks off and used pre-made toddler food but now we’re back to real food) So that’s where we are now.  He essentially eats what we eat and with the imminence of his molars I imagine there’s not much he won’t be able to handle within the next couple months.

My issue is this.  I don’t eat a lot of variety.  This is surprising to me more than any of you, because I really like food.  However, for the most part, I would prefer other people make that food for me.  If I didn’t have the Rocket Scientist to cook for I would eat the same thing all. the. time.  I do like cooking.  I would love to have a huge kitchen and spend hours creating something fabulous.  I just couldn’t be bothered half the time.  (And I currently have a kitchen the size of a broom closet.) However, I understand that that’s not always healthy, especially for growing toddlers.  And, I want to give Doodle the opportunity to develop a wider range of tastes than mine.  For instance, I will probably get him some cottage cheese to see if he likes it.  I will try very hard not to throw up while I’m feeding it to him.

I have quite a few cookbooks and I know there’s nutrition information and even some recipes I think in Dr. Sears Babybook (which I have just found again in my unpacking!) but I thought it might be fun to try some of your ideas and I thought it might be fun for you to see how someone else’s child gets it all in their hair enjoys it.  So Monday’s Meal, or snack, will be cottage cheese.  I really will try to be okay with that.

Elven Blood and Oreo Cookies

Just when I thought my addiction to the internet was waning and I might actually get something done from my never-ending/always-expanding project list, I get my umpteenth request to join something on Facebook called Elven Blood.

Now please understand, when I first joined Facebook, I was like so many others (Ann), wide-eyed and completely agog at all the completely useless yet must-have applications that I saw filling the pages of all my friends.  I had the graveyard and the aquarium and the garden and the superwall and the fluff friend (the one thing I actually kept, I mean who can get rid of a pengiun)…need I go on.  But then a few months ago, when I realized that Doodle was like nicotine patch for the internet (just like smoking with the patch on can do very bad things to you…same idea combining the internet with an awake Doodle).

So I purged (now that I think of it an urge I’ve had with so many things in life since he was born, hmmm, musings for another time), I purged and I put an ignore on the vast majority of requests that I was being beset with.  I didn’t want to give up Facebook altogether, I do find it an extremely convenient way of keeping in touch with people and a fun distraction for the five minutes I am allowed every day to see what’s going on in the virtual lives of so many people.  People I see all the time and people I haven’t spoken to except by way of “Accept Friend” in over 3 years.

And then it pulled me back in.  I blame Brayden (I love you, Brady).  *by the way, as I was typing this, Doodle woke up.  It’s like he knows*  Okay, so Brayden whom I don’t get to talk to nearly enough, sends me an invitation to Elven Blood.  I think, great, this might be a way to keep in touch more often, we can play this game together.  And then I get there and I’m totally addicted.  I just keep hitting the ‘Do Quest’ button like something exciting is actually happening.  I totally forgot to even check to see if I had enough life or stamina to do a quest and had to run away in disgrace.  I was devastated. And then I discover that there are three more games just like this one.  Aack!  I’m soooo hooped.  Especially if I manage to pull others into this insidious game, because right now my party’s too small to go to the next level of quests, so if you’re on Facebook and I send you an invitation to Elven Blood, please, please, please accept and join my party, I neeeeed you.

Okay, on to Oreo Cookies.  I just have to complain.  The Rocket Scientist takes cookies in his lunch, so I have to have them in the house.  I try not to take any, but come on, they’re in the house.  So I think, well, I’ll get some reduced fat Oreo’s so I don’t have to feel so guilty.  Big flaw in the Reduced Fat Oreos, I need to find out who to write a letter to.  They don’t separate properly.  Usually, you twist an oreo and the creme stays on one cookie or the other.  Not so with these ‘RF’ Oreo’s, oh no.  I would say my research is fairly conclusive, after all I tried it on over a dozen of the darn things.  Not a one separated properly.  So how much fat did I not ingest do you suppose trying to find one that was made right.  It’s all a conspiracey if you ask me.  I challenge you all to find a Reduced Fat Oreo cookie that separate’s properly.  I warn you, it’s not for the weak of stomach.

PS. Just in case any of you are thinking of putting together a food intervention for me right now, I would have you know I’m exaggerating to make my story more humorous.  I only had like 3 and then gave up in disgust.  But I’m still buying the regular Oreo’s next time.