29 April 2012

Family Dinners..... what happened to them?

Remember before you had kids when you had all those lofty ideals about how YOU would do things different... or things you would NEVER do with YOUR family?  I, like you, had a huge list of those things.  And while some of them I've managed to stay true to, some I was a dismal failure hit by the reality of WHY parents do them...

One of the things I never could understand was the staggering statistic that less than half of American families eat one meal together daily.  I scoffed at that.  PLEASE I said... I'm a stay at home mom... I have high standards... we will NEVER be THAT family. 


What's that you say?  That was me falling off my pedestal. 

In spite of my best efforts this week... my family of 5 was sitting at the dinner table together 2 times.  GASP.  I know right! TWO.  It's appalling.  How did this happen?  It is called EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES.  Plain and simple. 

The husband is in an MBA program which takes him away from the dinner table 2x a week.  The older 2 boys are in Martial Arts training which takes them away from the dinner table 2x a week (thankfully I've synced those to be the same 2x).  The oldest kiddo is in Little League which takes him away from the dinner table 1x a week.. and he had 2 games this week which took the rest of us away from the dinner table 2 more times this week.  That is 5 nights of activity. 

What's the solution?  No extra curricular activities?  That's one idea... but that isn't the right solution for us.  Leave it to my mom.... the answer is so simple.  Eat breakfast together every day.  I love her. 

So while our schedules are in the hectic season I will make a point of all 5 of us sitting down at the BREAKFAST table at the same time. 

The other idea she had that I LOVE was to make the dinners we do have together special occasions.. with special food that everybody loves and dessert.   I do have 3 boys after all... all it takes is some dessert to make a memorable meal.  Thanks mom!

Which meal do you all eat together? 

28 April 2012


Ever have an idea so obvious you are sure everyone knows about it and no one bothered to tell you? 

I have had one.  And probably you all know about this and do it already.... why didn't you tell me?

I make bread a lot.  I make scones a lot.  I make pizza a lot.  I roll out cookies a lot.

I usually dip my hand into the bin of flour to sprinkle it on my surface.  No more.  I use shakers.  And you should too.

I cleaned out 2 empty spice jars and put all purpose flour in one... cornmeal in the other.  Brilliant right?  Again... how come no one told me?

Now when I roll out pizza, dough or whatever.... I use my flour shaker! I am in love with this idea.  It is so nice... less mess, even distribution, etc.

And when I pull out my preheated pizza stone to sprinkle cornmeal onto so the pizza doesn't stick...... I use my cornmeal shaker!!

Go... tell the world... oh wait... you all already knew right? 

Oh well.


18 April 2012

Sprouted Wheat Bread

One of my fondest memories as a child is the smell of bread.  My mom made bread.  GOOD bread.  She made THIS bread.  I loved it.  It was one of the things I missed most when I went off to University.  There is nothing like a thick slice of home-made bread slathered with butter.  YUM.

So here is the family recipe.  Shhh... don't tell anyone. 

Sprouted Wheat Bread

2 large loaves
(my mom's recipe)

1 1/2 C wheat, soak it in water for 3 days... yes 3 days
on the 4th day, drain and rinse

Scald 2 cups milk (I used almond milk... worked just fine)

Add drained wheat to scalded milk... either put a little at a time in a blender or drop an emersion blender in and give it a good mix.  Most of the wheat kernels need to be broken up.

In a LARGE bowl

dissolve 3 1/2 t yeast into 1/4 cups lukewarm water
add (one at a time)
1/4 C melted butter
1/2 C honey
1/4 C molasses
4 t salt

Then dump in the wheat / milk mixture

Then dump in 2 1/2 C flour, stir.  Continue adding flour until it feels right.  You will add about 6-8 cups.  At some point you will have to start using your hands to kneed in the rest of the flour and make sure you've got the right "feel".  If you don't know what that means..  every now and then poke your finger deep into the dough... if it still feels wet... keep adding flour and kneeding.

Put the whole thing into a large greased bowl.  Rise until doubled. 

Shape into 2 loaves, let rise again...

Bake at 350 for 15 m, then at 300 for 45 minutes.

Brush tops with melted butter.