Building a Home

I wore myself out this weekend so leftovers go into the crock pot for Monday’s dinner. It will be chicken soup. I have put in here a frozen bit of cooked chicken, frozen stew vegetables from a previous meal, chicken or turkey broth (not sure which this is) and a can of white beans. This will blend nicely all day and I can make quick rolls, popovers, or might I even try for biscuits?!

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If you ever have the opportunity to work on a Habitat for Humanity house building project, please do. This is what I did this past Saturday. The weather held, not too warm, not too cold, and not rainy even though the clouds and wind moved in a bit. I signed up with my church to do this. I have always believed in this cause and admire former President Jimmy Carter immensely for his involvement.

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I do not tell you all this for my own aggrandizement. I have plenty of selfish reasons to be involved and this is only my second time. First of all I do not want to think of myself as old and unable. Second, if a man can do these tasks, so can I. I admit that is a personal untruth. I do not have the upper body strength that some construction work requires but I love power tools! And that can make a big difference in strength. Thirdly, it is “refreshing” to do physical work after spending all my working days using my brain instead of brawn. And it builds a home for a family that will never know my part in this. Anonymous giving. Except now I have told all of you. Oops!

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Now it is off to work to use my brain! Have a fabulous Monday!

Leftovers/a novel bread baking experience/pictures of food

As the title suggests this will be a stream of consciousness blog about food …

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Leftovers from dinner

First: I miss having the kids around to eat all this food. Sometimes I like to set a table with a well-rounded meal: meat, veggie, bread, dessert, etc. My step-daughters are good eaters. They always seemed to rave about my cooking and baking. I miss having them around the dinner table. My son became a foodie and likes good tasting food of good quality. There came a time when he stopped eating packaged bread so I had to make bread or have bakery bread on hand, along with plain yogurt, fruit, carrots and the like. Hummus was very popular with him. My daughter eats well of the basic foods minus cheese and milk products. Now these family dinner tables are reserved for an occasional weekend visit or holiday meals. The wee ones are growing up and going out on their own, establishing families and lives of their own, as it should be. But I miss them.

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Leftovers are not always a problem. Sometimes leftover bread becomes a problem. Especially should I get the notion to make a new loaf or muffins when the first batch has not been completely consumed. Like this evening. I was reading the KAF 200th Anniversary Cookbook again and looking at batter breads. I have half a loaf of pumpkin bread and a few pieces of Artisan bread left here!

Second: I decided to make a yeast pumpkin bread off the KAF website. It was a cool fall day and we were hanging around the living room parallel playing on our computers in between the hubby sleeping off and on due to having come down with a cold. You must understand that there are members of my family that think I am a fabulous baker. I am mediocre at best but I do bake which makes me unlike other people who do not bake or obsessively think about baking. Actually I must correct this thought. I am not mediocre; I am pretty darn good, just not always creative, or that knowledgeable about the science of baking. Mind you I have several books in my repertoire/collection that could teach me about the science but I have not memorized the information. I can tell you bits and pieces only.

That said, the bread dough is stiff and I set it out to rise. The recipe said this would take 45 minutes. So after an hour and a half I “call up” the KAF baker for a live chat about this issue. I have never called a baking or recipe hotline! I was not sure what to expect. It turns out that trying to rise bread dough in a 65 degree kitchen is going to take quite some time especially since I used the scoop and sweep method of measuring the flour instead of the proper method:

So the KAF on-line baker told me to boil water in the microwave, remove the boiling water, and put the dough in there to rise. This creates a warm moist environment that the yeast will like. It worked!

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So after the second rise I baked the bread in the oven and voila! pumpkin bread 004

This was fabulous.

Tastes good too!

Third: Since blogging about food I have been taking pictures of dinners and what I have made. I have not always written about a specific dinner but have enjoyed looking at the photos. Here are some in no particular order:

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Cole slaw made in my food processor when I just realized that it had a shredder attachment. Served with ribs.