Monday, June 13, 2011


I was browsing through recipes and food blogs today, looking for a new and breathtakingly exciting way to prepare a yard bird, while my bread was baking.  I thought, hey, self!  I should share my bread recipe with YOU.  The reason this is a fun recipe is because you can add all sorts of extra things to change it up.  It's my go-to pizza crust recipe as well.  And there is nothing better in the whole wide world than homemade pizza.  Seriously.  Makes my heart go pit-a-pat.  Here's the basic idea, folks:

2 Cups of bath temp water
1 Tablespoon of yeast
Sugar and salt.  It depends on whether you're going for savory or sweet, but go for more, not less.  Example:  for a savory bread, use about 2 Tablespoons of sugar and a big tablespoon of salt.  For a sweet bread, add more sugar.  You could also use honey, even better flavor.
A nice splash of oil, or a spoon of butter or shortening.  Whatever floats your boat.

Let that sit in the mixer for a few minutes.  It will get a bit frothy.  This is good.

Then, start adding in flour.  If you are health conscience, use whole wheat.  If you are budget conscience, use white.  Or use both.  Or go nuts, and use spelt!  Or some graham!  Or some oatmeal!  Mmm, oatmeal bread.

Now comes the fun part:


It's like an ice cream shop.

tons of cinnamon and raisins

orange peel and o.j. and dried cranberries


chedder and jalapenos and garlic salt


After kneading in enough flour to make it all come together smoothly (not dry, not sticky), cover it with the same towel you used to dry your clean hands, and stick it in a warm oven.  It will double in size after about an hour.  Plop that sucker on the floured counter and let it sit for a moment, meditating on becoming bread.  Knead.  Get out some aggression.  Shape into two loafs.  Let it rise again, but this time only for about a half hour.  This is the juncture where I sometimes go wrong.  If you let it rise too long the second time, it kinda gets deflated and hollow in places.  Turn up the warm oven (I usually have it on the lowest setting possible) to 375 and bake until all golden brown.  Don't ask me how long this takes.  I just stay nearby.

Slice and eat with butter.

Forget about dinner.  Who needs it?

The world needs more butter sandwiches.

Williams chitlins

This is my first born...

she's spunky.


Tough.  Except when she's not, and those times I don't know what to do with her.  I'm frightened for the teen years because she may throw me for a loop once those hormones kick in.

She borrows my shoes.

She reads incredibly fast.  Like her mama, and her mama before her.  Her favorite books are by Jonathan Rand who is from Michigan and writes the Michigan Chiller books (they're like R.L. Stein for those of us '80s children).  She wrote to him and he wrote back and now the letter (a personal one no less; you rock, Mr Rand!) is on her bedroom wall.

Also on her wall:  swimming ribbons.

She refuses to admit she's best friends with Schroeder because after all, he's a boy, and boys have cooties and all that jazz.  But when they forget that and just have fun together and she manages to go ten minutes without smacking him upside the head, it's sweet.

She gets embarrassed but she doesn't let that stop her from doing anything.  I love that about her the most.

This is my middler:

She's ridiculously photogenic.  She could make the silliest face and the camera still loves her.

She is messy.


Well mannered.  Most of the time.

Doesn't like trying new things, especially of the edible type.

Likes me to read aloud to her.  We've been on an Avi phase.

She means a lot to a lot of people.  I love how she's so many girls best friend.

She wants a camera.  And a cat.

Please do not mail her a cat.

She is very vertically challenged.  

This is my baby:

He told me just this morning, hey, lady, wanna buy two tickets to the gun shoe?  And then he showed off his muscles.

He's ridiculous.

He also asked me this morning, how are your feelings, Mom?

I don't know exactly what he meant by that.  But my feelings are mooshy and full of wuv, little man, thank you for asking.

He likes football and basketball and soccer and all things involving a ball.  But he'd prefer a gun. 

He wears a Lone Ranger mask frequently.

He doesn't like to bathe.  He prefers to be covered in a thin layer of grime, dirt, dust, sand, rocks, stickiness, and frog juice.

He has no fear.

Photos courtesy of my sis' pal, Kim.  If you need a photographer in the Idaho area, let me know, I'll hook you up.  She is talented and full of creative ideas.  She also took the one of my hunk and I smooching on my little profile area to your right.   And yes, Gramma, these particular ones are coming in your birthday box I mailed just today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What To Do In Daze Of Time-Off

Four days a month, we house parents get "time-off."  This means you pack up any belongings you find necessary (coffee, books, suntan lotion, chocolate bars) and any and all small children you may have birthed yourself (one without drugs, thankyouverymuchcanIgetanamen?) and GET LOST.  Us being the lone wolves we are and being so very far away from the people who are related to us, whether in blood or in spirit, we only get lost as far as across the driveway, to the little cottage we lived in a for a few weeks when we first moved here.  We rent movies and check out lots of books and eat whatever we please without having to submit our menus to the state of Michigan so that they can see we do indeed eat a well balanced diet.  We spend time with the mini-Williams who don't have to share their parents with anyone, and scratch Milo behind the ears more often, and hold up the laptop next to the window in the hopes that we can get enough of a signal to have the internet.  Here are the other things we do:

1.  Eat cheeses, French bread, salami, and apples for supper.  Gianni said and I quote,  'This was the best dinner of my life!'

2.  Mike conquers the world in Civilization.

3.  I blog.

4.  The kids watch Gnomeo and Juliet.  Fourteen times.

5.  We eat chocolate donuts dunked in tea.

6.  I realize all three books I brought were from the YA section.  I think I'm having a midlife crisis.  I'm just thrilled there is nary a vampire in any of them.  So far.

7.  Talk with that guy I married over a dozen years ago and actually get to finish a sentence.  

8.  Send the kids out to catch turtles and frogs.

9.  Go find new parks to visit.

10.  Go stroll downtown with Anna, who is my antiquing partner.

11.  Hit the farmers market for the first time this year!

12.  Go to dinner at a friend's house and watch O Brother Where Art Thou?

13.  Rent more movies.  Suggestions, anyone?  I just got Red, because I have a fondness for Brucie.  Also want to look for Waiting for Superman.

14.  Ride bikes to this country cemetery we recently found.  I have strangeness in my blood and so do my kids.  We love cemeteries.  We race around trying to find the oldest tombstone and make up stories for all the deceased.  We look for names the same as ours for shivers-up-our-spines moments and everyone politely waits while I cry over any and all children's tombstones.  Told you I was strange.

15.  Smoosh bugs with shoes.  I bought a twin pack of fly swatters but Schroeder and Moose used them immediately as light sabors and destroyed them in five minutes flat.  We get these crazy box elder bug invasions in the summer.  Plus, the skeeters are getting fierce; poor Cora's legs look like she was chomped halfway to the bone and left for dead.

That is all for now...I must drink more coffee and finish The Hunger Games...