Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sledding Mishap

While at the sledding outreach today our resident missionary, Dr. Troy Manning, (Bible translator for Bibles International) was taking my four year-old on a sled ride down the hill and they hit a bump. Reagan was fine but Troy hurt his back. We had to call an ambulance and they were going to take him to the hospital to be checked out. I haven't heard anything more at this point. If you have a chance please pray for a speedy recovery. He's very busy with his mission work and I know he will not like to be "out of the loop". He has such a soft spot for Reagan and probably chose to take her down against his better judgement.

Cake Decorating and Various Ramblings

My twelve year-old daughter's cell phone cake

My four year-old daughter's butterfly cake

My ten year-old daughters flip-flop cake
(My eight year-old son didn't have a cake this year as we took him to Red Robin for his birthday.)

I'm off to take the kids to our church's weekly sledding outreach. (We serve hot cocoa and chips to the sledders and hopefully reach someone in need with the gospel.) I didn't have a chance to experiment with any bread yesterday as we were digging our mini-van out of its snow tomb so that we could take it sledding. (We keep our 4 wheel drive in the garage and my DH takes it to work. I wait till it is available to run my errands when possible.) Hopefully this afternoon when I return I will get a chance to experiment some more. I also have been itching to make some candy... chocolate covered nougat, I think.

Kara S. over at Ramblings and Writings (see my favorites) suggested Grandmother Bread from Suzanne McMinn's blog (Chickens in the Road- also on my favorites) as a good bread recipe so I hope to experiment with it soon. In the mean time I'm going to leave you with pictures of this summer and fall's birthday cakes that the girls and I created. (All inspired by Betty Crocker's book- Decorating Cakes and Cupcakes.)

Also if any of my readers has a suggestion as to what food item might go well with hot cocoa (for the sledding outreach) please leave a comment. We would like to serve more than chips. It should be easy to make and very little in the $$ department. Thanks!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Budding Bread Artisan

Don't come near me with anymore bread! I will attack!

What I want my bread to look like

What my bread actually looks like

Overbaked and brick like- sigh!

Not bad but not good

Hi all! Among the current bees in my bonnet... besides starting to blog again... is the urge to master bread baking- and I don't mean with the bread machine. I invested in Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible. Wow! A lot of science is in a simple loaf of bread. Could that be why I'm having issues producing a "perfect" loaf? I never was any good at science. Besides a coffee cake (which I don't count because there wasn't any yeast involved) I have not had success with the recipes. I will keep trying!

I'm teaching a Titus Two meeting for my church in February on bread baking so I'm on the mission to find a great basic recipe. I'm turning my attention to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I have heard about the book and around Christmas I picked up a copy of Mother Earth News (another topic to blog about) because the cover promised easy crusty bread in 5 minutes a day. The article was about and had excerpts from the Hertzberg/Francois book. So I'm going to give their basic recipe a try. I also have a copy of the book on hold for me at our local library.
So this weekend my family gets more bread. They aren't exactly jumping for joy. But I will keep trying until I master this process! People have been baking bread in some form since God created the earth and us so I must be able to do this- right?