Simplest bread recipe ever

We make most of our family’s bread. I like a simple recipe I can make from memory. I recently made this even easier by putting everything but the water in a zipper bag in the freezer.

Simple Bread

1 1/4 c. water
1 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2Tbl sugar
4 cups flour

Knead; go ahead and add flour or water if the dough feels too stiff or sticky. Rise till doubled. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Partially cool and bag.

  • For those of you who like more info:
  • I use white flour, just beacuse I don’t own a wheat grinder.
  • I use less yeast, because it makes the bread cheaper per loaf. Just let it rise longer.
  • I mix my bread one loaf at a time in our bread machine, then transfer the dough to a loaf pan and let it rise in a cold or mildly warm oven.
  • Just let it rise as long as takes to double in size.
  • I live in a very dry climate so I like to bag my bread while it is still rather warm to keep a bit of moisture in it.
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What brought me to blogging . . .

This is the story and essay that finally made me take the plunge into the world of blogging.

What might I miss if I put money problems ahead of my life?

 

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop: On expecting good through misfortune

By Kelly Kellett

I’ve head life compared to a lot of things. A few years ago I compared it to a many flavored sundae. I must have been feeling giddy with optimism. Lately I’ve been laboring under a more negative perspective. A couple nights ago we had a water emergency. My life was in danger for a handful of minutes. I inserted myself arms first, diving position, into the outdoor water culvert and was stuck torso down in a pipe where both shoulders touched either side. Desperation had driven me to an ill-thought, panic-stricken attempt to shut off the main water to our apartment. Anxiety attacks even now as I retell the tale.

And I spent yesterday in a clinging-by-a-thread haze. My mantras varied at points. I kept a steady chant that was mostly encouraging, but sometimes blackened into self-pity and downright tragic. I’m glad the powers that be don’t listen to the black speech, for I have verbalized an ending to my worldly woes more times that I care to remember. Or at least internally monologued them.

I was glad to be alive, and thankful for my family. But as the damages were assessed I felt the special stomach-pit swirl that comes from impeding financial doom. Today I have a bit of hope returning, and a bit of perspective. Finances come and go, but family is forever. Or perhaps I should say, “finances go and go,” since I’ve never mastered the art of making money. I’ve seen it done, and I know it can happen, in theory.

Toward evening, the adage “waiting for the other shoe to drop” came to mind. Negative events often leave us with a wary eye out for impending trouble. But then the adage did a marvelous flip flop in my mind. It turned around and upside down, and I realized that a shoe is a good thing. I should be expectant as a child on Christmas Eve as I wait for my proverbial shoe to drop!

If I embrace this new perspective, I could change my life. If everyone embraced my little epiphany, it would change our world. People would begin to expect good things to happen, and they would project goodwill. Statistics say that children roughly maintain throughout their lives the socio-economic levels they grew up in. My children would likely be more prosperous if their father and I managed to improve our situation. A sense of goodwill and confidence in the positive things which are coming my way will keep me working toward them. It is when we lose faith in the possibility of a thing that we stop working to bring it about.

So I’m thankful for my harrowing water experience now in hindsight because it is serving as a reminder that all of life is not bad. I had grown numb to what bad could be and like a grumbling child dragging his feet on the walk to school, I had started seeing only the dim side of my current life and my prospects. Emergency sirens have stirred my sluggish sleep walk and I’m marching once again with a purpose and armed with expectations that I can advance. There is work to be done. I’ll seize my next opportunity as soon as that next wonder-filled shoe drops down for me.

Whole in which I could have met my demise.

Dinner is NOT served

FoodWasteFriday

Here is a picture of the dinner I will not be serving. It is our food waste right before it hit the disposal. Have I mentioned that this is gross; yeah, I have. This week I’m issuing a challenge. I’ve ordered two produce baskets from Bountiful Baskets, and I challenge myself to use the produce in the coming week. I’ll plan my menu around what I get (it is always a surprise).

Back to school means back to bed

This is the part of “back to school” that I dread the most. The I-should-go-to-bed-at-a-decent-hour-so-I-can-get-out-of-bed-early-and-not-be-a-cranky-bear problem. I love to sleep. But I’ve never been down with the process of going to bed.

I seem to get my second wind about ten at night. (No, not at three in the afternoon when it would be fantastically useful.) And there always seems to be so much to do. So many things I put-off or don’t get to, or that I just remember.

I think I would prefer to go to bed at say 1am and sleep till ten. I might be able to manage this some of the time, but though we do homeschool, we are still “plugged in” to society in a multitude of ways. And the world doesn’t schedule itself according to my personal preferences.

I also have this nagging guilt that I would be messing up my kids.And Ben Franklin ringing in my ears’ “I you sleep in you’re a lazy slimeball who will never get rich.” Actually that’s more of a paraphrase. But still.

Going to bed is hard.And once I get there, staying asleep for an entire night is nigh impossible. So, Dum-da-da-dum, here is my plan:

I have two teen daughters who take care of most after-supper cleanup. I’ll take that time to perform showers and teeth brushing services for the four littles (8, 7, 4 and 1). 8 and 7 are close to independence on these tasks, I’ll mostly be in charge of keeping them on task. Here’s the list:

kids Showers and jammies
kids plan bedtime snack
me and kids floss and brush
my jammies
family scriptures, prayer, and crunches
everyone play or watch TV till bed
drinks of water for everyone
kids eat snack while I read story, then they sleep
me bathroom, meds, sleep

I am hopeful that by giving myself nothing to do after getting the kids to bed, I will get myself to bed more easily. And I am sure that getting a lot of their routine taken care of before it’s actually time for bed will get them to bed smoother and more quickly.

Okay, I know they are brushing their teeth and then eating again right before bed. That’s just the best I can do. Daddy got them on the bedtime snack deal, and if it isn’t eaten right before bed, they’ll want another before they go to sleep. Humph.

Is bed time problematic at your house? Does anyone have a plan or a fabulous tip?

Get out and vote in your primaries

Today is primary date in Wyoming. Last year hubs and I managed to get several members of our own not-so-political family members out to vote, and for a primary to!

It took me a long time to figure out what exactly a primary is and why I should vote in it. A primary is a pre-vote within the Democratic or Republican parties. All the folks running for office within that party are listed on the ballot. After the primary votes are counted, the top candidate will move on to the ballot for the general election; one candidate from each party. The general election is where we vote for the party of our choice, and hopefully for the values our party espouses, but the primary is where we vote to decide which candidate will appear on the ballot.

If lousy candidates make it through the primary, that’s when our votes at the general election can get meaningless. There may be no good options by the time the general rolls around. If we want good, honest people with convictions, we have to help them get on the ballot through the primaries.

My husband has been involved in politics since 2008. He reads and keeps up on current events. This is no small feat–believe me. He teaches a free local class. He helps put on political events. He runs for office. He contacts our representatives and officials. He goes on the radio.

My husband does just everything he can to further this cause that he believes in. And I for one am proud of him. This is a great country we have here, and we need to take part in its political processes whenever we can.

If we don’t bother to get involved, we may be surprised to find our input is no longer needed. There are power-hungry people out there, and they’re not the ones we want in office. But they are the ones most likely to seek it. There are little tyranies all over this nation and if you don’t belive me go to your next city council meeting.

Voting is vital. I’ve said it before. If you haven’t been involved this election year START NOW! And put it on your calendar to start earlier in 2014. Talk about the issues with that annoying politically aware rfriend or relative. Take your kids. Wear that little sticker proudly. Carpe facultas! Sieze the opportunity!

 

 

Political Activism IS for Kids

My daughter attended her first political protest at age 2. I’m happy about that. I went through my twenties and most of my thirties not paying much attention to politics. I probably paid more attention than anyone else I knew, because I did study the sample ballot and vote.

But it is not enough to tell our children to vote. We need to raise our kids to be activists. It is imperative that our children realize the importance of their participation in our political system. And while voting is vital, it is not enough. We need to learn. Attend the local debates. A lot of candidates have “meet and greets” where you can get some face-to-face interaction.

Is there a race you know nothing about? You may need to arrange for a debate. Talk to your local libraries, college campuses, or American Legion or VFW posts. They may be happy to host activities free of charge.

Is there a cause you support in theory? Try supporting it person. They’ll most likely be excited to see you.

Political participation, like everything else, is almost always easier without kids. But if not now, when? And if not with you, with whom? Of course I’m not advocating putting children in harms way. But most political events are peaceful, civilized, even boring-ish types of affairs.

If you find yourself reluctant, do it anyway. Start small. You don’t have to run for office right away. And if you start now, your children won’t be as reluctant/intimidated/disengaged as you are when they’re your age.

Is Friday the only day we waste food?

FoodWasteFriday

We’re changing the way we deal with trash here in the Kellett house. And I am horrified by the amount of food waste I find myself dealing with. When I was a kid, we have burnable, non-burnable, and feed it to the animals. Burnable was burned in the “burning barrel” and it and the non-burnable were taken to the dump periodically.

Up to this point in my adult life I used the “put it all in the dumpster” method. Now we are burning, recycling, and dumping, but the food waste-that’s the stumper. It should be composted or fed to the chickens, duh. But we have neither chickens nor compost space. And furthermore no use for compost after it would be composted. Hmm.

We picked two boxes of apples from a relatives tree. After prepping them through the slicer for pie filling I found myself in possession of 3-4 gallons of apple cores, peels, and bruises. Add to that the after meal plate scraping and floor pick-up,  and what I tossed from the fridge on Friday is a proverbial drop in the bucket.

Going out today is 2 cups of garden salad maybe 2 cups of cooked onion and green peppers from fajitas.