Beth Smith

Here’s What’s Been Going On

Little Buster has been having a hard week. Last Tuesday night (11PM-ish) his dad took him to the emergency room because he was having a croup attack and it just kept getting worse until he could hardly breath. So off they went and spent 5 hours there.

He seemed to be getting better. The cough was a lot better and he was running and jumping like usual.

Monday he went to the pediatrician for his 6 year old check up. He needed 4 immunizations and it wasn’t fun. They really do hurt when they shoot that medicine into your muscle.
So I took him for ice cream and said he could get whatever he wanted. Two scoops in a waffle cone was the verdict. It was as big as his head.

Then yesterday things started gettign worse again and there was lots of vomiting. Over 6 hours there were at least 12 episodes. So off I took him again to the ER. We were there for about 3 hours while he had a very much protested I.V. and some anti nausea stuff.

Today he is on the couch and there will be no playing in the snow…no matter how much he wants to tramp through the lovely smooth 8 inches of snow that happened yesterday and last night.

So before the sick yesterday I worked on moving more stuff to my new fiber room. In that plastic storage thingy will be lace and sock yarns. It is full now and I have more to add. Not sure what to do but…
This is just another view of the chaos. There is plenty of work to do. I think that wall unit will jsut be spinnign fiber. This all needs to be finished before the Sara Lamb weekend because Ryan’s new room will be my old fiber room and Ryan’s current room is going to be a guest room for teachers and family and friends.
After the fiber organizing there was bread making and I thought it might be fun to share my process. I’m a big preparedness girl and so have hundreds of pounds of dry goods including lots of wheat. So when making bread I usually grind my own wheat. I love my grinder. It will grind coars and fine and anything in between. For bread I like a finer ground wheat.
Here’s the ground wheat. Isn’t it pretty? That’s about 3.5 cups in there.
I also buy my yeast in those 1 pound blocks that are vacuum sealed. One pound of yeast lasts me for about a year. When I open the package the first time I just put it all in a zip lock bag and store it in the fridge. So I proof the yeast every time before I bake. I just add the warm/hot water (3 cups) and some sugar or honey (1/4 cup) and one tablespoon of yeast to the mixing bowl and watch for bubbles and signs of life.

When i am convinced the little darlings are willing to work I add a tablespoon of salt, and 1/4 cup of oil or melted butter. Sometimes I add an egg or two, sometimes I use milk instead of water – but then I have to warm the milk. You can proof the yeast in 1 cup of warm water and then use 2 cups of milk but adding cold milk slows the rising A LOT!

Then I start to add the flour. I rarely use only whole wheat flour anymore. Generally I use 2/3 wheat I grind and 1/3 white flour (also stored in big cans in the basement). The thing is my family will eat the wheat bread if I add enough white flour to make it lighter. Using whole wheat flour only makes a much heavier bread and it needs to be kneaded a lot longer in my experience.
So I mix the dough in the mixer until it starts to climb up the bread hook and won’t stay in the bowl. Then I turn it out onto the well floured counter an.d knead for about 10 minutes adding more flour as needed. When the dough no longer looks smooth and starts to have breaking places during the kneading I know I am done. I don’t over add flour because I think that makes a really dry bread
I put the dough into a greased bowl – I use Pam – and grease the top and bottom sides and cover with a cloth. Rising times are variable but I wait until I think it’s doubled. I have a hard time judging this but the bread’s almost always good so….

So this dough was risen until it was even with the top of the bowl then I punched it down and kneaded it again for about 5 minutes. It then rests for a short time while I turn on the oven and grease the bread pans. I split the dough into 3 evenish pieces and shape them into loafs.
This dough needs one more rise and you can see why I say evenISH. I let it sit until it’s about double again and bake it in a 375 oven for about 35-40 minutes.
This bread is really good and the family who won’t eat store bought wheat bread will eat this.

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