#28 (mostly) white sandwich bread

It’s a cool 89 around these parts today and a nice breeze can be felt upon stepping outside.  In my mind this is the best I am going to get for bread baking these days.  Turning the oven on is somewhat torture when you are too cheap to turn your air conditioning past 84.  But, I don’t let that stop me.  I have a new years resolution to keep up with!

After a gorgeous walk at the wildlife refuge again, I decided to go with the old faithful.  White bread.  But first, I have to include some sad news.  Today on our walk, not one, not two, but three large gators swam right up to us while were looking out at all there is to see.  And when I say large I mean in excess of eight feet.  This was of course intimidating, exciting, and all together breath-taking.  But, the truth is in my seven months since living here, with an average of 2 visits per week, this has NEVER happened to us.  Which of course led me to believe some fool has been feeding them.  There are signs.  It is quite obvious.  If I had cuaght them in action this is what I would have said,

“Do not, under any circumstance feed the ginormous dinosaur like beasts at the wildlife refuge (or anywhere!).  It is beyond dangerous for you and everyone else who visits the park now.  You are essentially sacrificing that alligator for its destiny is now surely to be destroyed.”

I did the right thing, and I informed the people at the visitors center of my suspicions (which they confirmed sounded accurate).  They were equally disappointed.  It was a sad occasion.

Who are you that is this ignorant and selfish?

So thats that.

Onto the bread.

almost white bread (by, ME! yeah!)

Dissolve 1 tbs. yeast, I tbs. organic sugar, and about a half cup of warm water in a large bowl.  Once its all frothy mix in 2 cups of brown rice flour.  Mix and mix. And mix some more.  Then add in about 4 cups of all-purpose unbleached white flour and a tablespoon of sea salt.  Start kneading.  You will surely earn yourself a slice or two because you should knead it for at least 10 minutes.  You will be sweating.  I like to give Miles a little chunk to keep himself occupied during this time.  I also set the timer otherwise what I think is ten minutes is usually more like two.  Turn into a buttered or oiled bowl and cover with oiled plastic (I have been using a piggly wiggly bag!) for two hours or until doubled in size.

Cut in half.

Roll each chunk out into a rectangle.

Fold into thirds and seal it up.

Place each one into a greased bread pan and let them rise until about two inches above the edge of the pan. Then bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  For the last few you can take them out of the pan to crisp up the edges.  Take them out and cover them with a plastic bag and a towel so that the crust is not quite so hard.  Slice it up and lather with some butter!  We actually made some today to use up a little heavy cream I had leftover.  I falsely thought Miles and Rowan would love to shake the jar.  I envisioned them dancing around having a good old time in great anticipation for the completed product.  But alas, it lasted a mere 4.5 shakes.  Approximately.  Either way, it tasted wonderful.  I won’t bother you with the instructions, there are about a million on the web already.  But try it.  It’s fun and tastes awesome.  It is creamy and salty and perfect on this good for toasting bread.

And for your weekend enjoyment… our headphones came in the mail for long flight up north yesterday.  

This is a look of pure disbelief. 

Have a great weekend!  Be joyful! 

Aaaaaattttt last…..

Can’t you just hear the bow pulling across those strings?

Ah… Miles is all his glory. Finally. A little person his age to run wild with. A move is not so stressful until you hear the confusion in your little babies voice when they tell you time and time again that they miss their friends and would like to go see them. There is just no explaining distance to a two-year old.  Tears you open.  Guilt sits heavy on your heart.  It is ugly.  But this weekend there was a little less of that.  A little bit of friendship.  And maybe a little bit of that for his mama and daddy too.  So very fine.

a wild life (refuge)

It seems to me in my tiny somewhat isolated world, with minimal opportunity for any real observations, (okay not the best person to be handing out opinions but I will continue to do so regardless) perhaps when you live somewhere long enough you forget to seek out the special things to do in said area.  For example, when we lived in Arizona, practically neighbors to the grand canyon, you would be surprised at how many people I met that had never been there.  It was quite surprising.  Of course each person ought to spend their days doing precisely what makes them the happiest.  This is just my two cents.  If your asking me?  I like to be an expert on the area.  I like to go to see all the sights, visit all the museums, you know do some tourist-y stuff.  Then I can pick my favorite places I suppose.  So close, yet so far away.  ‘Tis the attitude of a local sometime.  That is sort of the beauty of moving.  You get to see it with new eyes.  Before the sights become mundane you can really experience them.   There are several in our area.  One is just seven miles down the road.  When chatting with other mama’s I have noticed that not one of them has even heard of this quite enormous preserve.  Well, with that in mind, I intend to invite each and every one out (those willing to make the 30 min. drive at least) to come and see.  But, I must admit, I have not heard of or visited many of the restaurants, shopping centers, outlets or the like that many of those kind mama’s have suggested wither.  Damn hippies (me that is).

Anyways, this wildlife refuge, it is gorgeous.  There are gators galore!  One just happened by us like it was no big deal yesterday.  Scared the b’jesus out of me.  Miles actually wanted to pat him!  Sheesh.  I’ve got to keep a close eye on that one.  That is for sure.  The wildflowers are starting to bloom, butterflies land on your shoulder, birds are calling, you can practically hear someone singing zip-a-dee-do-da for goodness sake.  It is that good.  It truly is.  The weather has been unreal.  Just enough wind to keep those vampire flies away.  Well here you have it.

we are loving the lowcountry life 

ask the expert (the librarian of course)

The varieties of birds around here are endless.  Bright whites, long wispy feathers, bold colors, flocks of thousands all diving and migrating and all together grabbing quite a bit of my attention lately.  I am an aspiring birder and proud to say so.  Not that any of my hobbies could be mistaken for much else but “granny-esque”, but I must say, this one takes the cake.  Oh well… Something about hanging those binoculars around my neck, putting on some high knee rubber boots (I still have to get those) and hunting down those chirping fellows makes me smile.  Thrill of the chase I suppose.  Either way, I have recruited my little Miles and Rowan to join me in my birding education.  We often feed them or go on hikes to scout out their homes and hang-outs.  With little knowledge on the subject though, I thought we might just have to gather some materials.

We headed to the library today and checked out a variety of children’s books discussing those feathered friends.  With the upcoming baby chicks joining our crew this will be the perfect introduction.  While my bird identification book is quite helpful, there is nothing like a good children’s book to really help you learn.  If you have a question, any question at all, I highly recommend heading to your local librarian and borrowing a book from the children’s section.  They are so comprehensive and with minimal technical vocabulary that may be confusing.

For now I am quite the beginner, but I do live in the vicinity of one of the best “birding” spots around (so I have heard).  There are many people with an abundance of knowledge to pass on.  I know, I talk to them.  Hmm…now I am beginning to see where that little boy might get his chatty gene from…

Happy birding!