Friday, January 30, 2009

Warm Bread

This is my week for the mixer (it is shared between the members) and to make bread for the co-op that I belong to. Once per week we either make 6 loaves of bread or have 2 loaves of bread delivered to our doorstep. I have been a busy beaver with the mixer over the week. I started with a sampler loaf of the bread I wanted to make. Ben and I discussed it and made the changes that we thought were necessary, and then today came the actually baking. On other days, I made bagels (24 since I won't have the mixer again for three weeks) and pizza dough.

So, today the bread for the co-op looks great. It rose just like it should have, and it is currently baking away in my nicely warmed oven. I can't wait to slice into one of the loaves, slather it with Irish butter, and consume it savory bite by savory bite!

Oh, did I just make you hungry for some homemade bread?

There is plenty to share, so stop on by . . . you may just need to bring your own butter, though, because I use a lot;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cooking 101

Sunday was my surprise day. All week Ben had been sitting on this secret, telling me I'm not allowed to plan anything for Sunday, I wouldn't be going to church, Sunday is all about me, etc. I started to get a little nervous Saturday because he has never before successfully kept a secret from me (ask me how he proposed someday), and there have been times that he is extremely excited about a surprise and it turns out not to be something I am overly excited about. So, Saturday, to ease my concerns, he let the cat out of the bag - I was going to cooking school!!!!!!!

My excitement built as I drew closer and closer to Portland where the class was being held. Who would be in the class? How would I compare to the others? Would we start out in the kitchen right away? Oh my, how excited I was!

I arrived about 15 minutes early and was immediately directed to my classroom - I had managed to get there even before my chef/teacher. Soon enough, others started arriving and before I knew it, the class had begun. We started with a power point and lecture, learning some basics on sanitation, terminology, and such. Then, it was in to the kitchen to tackle our knife skills. We practiced everything on potatoes and onions (oh, the tears!!) and I really got a feel for how to properly handle the knife. Our chef also did several de-boning demonstrations on whole chickens. It was pretty neat stuff. I'll never again pay for a chicken breast when I can get the entire chicken for the same price!!!

This was such an amazing and thoughtful gift from the love of my life! I know I have already said it too many times, but thank you, Babe!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Surviving the Chaos

Well, hopefully that is what I'm doing. Sometimes it feels like I'm drowning in it.

We returned home from Christmas back east on Sunday and have been in recovery mode ever since. Our suitcases are still on the floor in various parts of the house. My pregnant body has still not fully recovered from two weeks in a foreign bed and eight hours in the air. My house was a little clean when we returned but now looks as though it vomited all over itself. The good? The boys are both sleeping through the night and seem to have adjusted back to our time zone (thank you Melatonin!!!). I don't have to cook lunch or dinner since we eat at the college's cafeteria. And, I can give the boys a loving shove out the back door when the house starts to close in on us (thank goodness there is not a train in our back yard!!!!).

So, at times I am feeling quite overwhelmed with all our stuff hanging around. However, there are quick moments now and again where I feel so blessed to be here. To be with my boys (oh yea, and this little girl I'm carrying around!), to drink in their energy and love and enjoy the moments we have together. I guess that is the only way one can survive the chaos!