Friday, December 31, 2010

in the year to come

2010 was a whirlwind year. Starting with the birth of our last child, Miss Jo, and ending with a quiet holiday, We've had all sorts of ups and downs. I can't complain. Life is quite wonderful. It's full of frustration, angst and crazies, but the good of it is awesome. I'm so blessed to have 3 beautiful children and a wonderfully loving husband. We have a large roof over our heads we were lucky to get, we have fridges and freezers full of food, and warm clothes to keep us warm (some of which I made myself! I really should share with you guys...) The only thing that might make it better is having a field of sheep.... But that may come in time.

2011 should shape up to be a good year. Ducky will be in his last half of Kindergarten (he's been asking me 'how many days left of holiday?' since Boxing day!) Xan turns 3 and Miss Jo turns 1 first thing this year. We have nothing planned, but that always leaves room for more crazy adventures.
One of these crazy adventures is going to be capturing the view out my front door every day for the entire year. We have the best view. It may not be a waterfall, or mountains, or off the edge of cliff. But I love it as if it were. And I want to have that view, saved for a whole year, just so if we ever leave here, I still have it.
Another adventure I hope to go on is visiting a bunch of over sized statues of things that spatter every town along drives we normally take. Let's cross our fingers that hubby will cooperate with that one!
I also hope to be more frugal, and convince my family that it is possible! Less waste, more time caring for the things we have, enjoying each other more.
And I hope to keep up with the blog more often. Perhaps a week of pancakes? Or pancake Wednesdays/Thursdays/Fridays? I can't just make normal pancakes after all....

I'm sure there are more things that will intrigue me through out the year. And I hope to share them with you and the world.

Best of luck in the New Year.

I leave you with this, my favorite version of Auld Lang Syne.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Red Lentil Bread

Hello again. It's been a while, but I thought maybe I'd come along and post this. Maybe you are all still there?

After having my 3 wonderful children, I've developed allergies! yay! :/ One of the definite allergies I now have is to Sulphites. Sulphites are in nearly everything!!! Especially in bread. So now instead of making bread because I enjoy the process, I have to make bread. I'm not complaining. Homemade is much better overall anyway. But one thing is I've gotten bored with plain bread! I used to buy the good stuff full of grains and whole wheat. So I've been adding things to my bread! this recipe is for bread with red lentils in it! Talk about yum! And bonus, lentils are full of protein and fiber!
Enough chat, here's the recipe!

1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup water
~In a large pot, cook the red lentils for about 30 minutes.

4cups of lukewarm water
4 tblsp sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 tblsp active dry yeast
approximately 12 cups flour (this can be a mixture of whole wheat and unbleached all purpose if you so wish)

Combine water oil sugar and yeast and allow to proof for 10 minutes. Cup by cup, add the flour. Start off with a whisk, Before it becomes to thick to whisk, add the cooked lentils. Once it becomes to thick to whisk dive in with both hands until well combined. Don't use all the flour at once. Once you get a semi wet dough turn it out on to the counter (lightly dusted with flour) and begin to knead. Knead like you've never kned before. for at least 10 minutes, but I recommend longer. Once yo've done this, put the dough back in your bowl and allow to rise for 2 hours. Don't rush the rise!!! this will give you nice fluffy bread!
Before the rise:
While you let it rise, do some laundry!
This is what it should look like after you've folded 3 loads of laundry, and played with your cute children :) (or pets or sat and read a book, or whatever it is you need/want to do in that time)
Now it's time to shape into loaves. What I find works best is to cut the dough into approximately even pieces and flatten into rectangles. Then I roll the rectangles into loaves. Place into your bread pans and let rise again for at least 30 minutes. I generally forget about it and end up letting it rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Preheat your oven to 400`F.
So long as the bread is at least doubled in size you are safe to put it into your oven. Bake it for 25 minutes.
Pull it out of the oven, enjoy the smell of fresh bread but wait at least 20 minutes before you cut into it. Slather it with butter and enjoy!