I'm sorry I've been absent lately... I have been in a funk for a while now. Everything has changed in this merge from summer to fall. It has thrown me for a loop. Summer is such a great time of year for me; an uplifting season. I do so enjoy it. When fall starts settling in I am so overwhelmed with everything: Canning and preserving everything I can get my hands on. Our garden has done very well, and it has been a very fruitful year for us. That is a really good thing.
I still care for my grandson, and I ferry him to and from school. He is enrolled in a private school, and part of his tuition is paid in volunteer hours, so that has kept me busy. He caught a cold the second week of school, and of course he shared it with me! I had a much harder time getting over it, and in truth I am still not completely well.
I have taken on more and more homesteading responsibilities with this frugal lifestyle we have chosen. I am now baking all our bread. The prices for a good loaf of bread in our town have gone higher and higher. It is around $5.00 for a good, whole wheat bread here now. I just can't stand to pay that when I know I can make my own for $2.00 a loaf. I know what is in the bread I am making, and that is important to me as well.
Whole Wheat Bread
1 cup milk
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. honey
1 t. salt
1 T. yeast
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or seeds of your choice (optional)
Heat milk, honey, butter, and salt until butter is melted, when it is cooled down to body temperature 90 to 110 degrees add yeast. Stir until dissolved, and let sit about 15 minutes. When you see it starting to foam up add your flours and seeds just until mixed. Knead about 5 minutes. I knead it right in the bowl, adding pinches of flour just until it isn't sticky. Pat dough into a nice round mound and set back into bowl. Let rise in a warm place (65 to 80 degrees) until it doubles in size. I use my microwave as a proofing box. I put a cup of water in and heat it to boiling, set it in the back corner and put the bowl of dough inside and shut the door. I don't open it for at least an hour, holding the warm moist air inside. The dough will double in no time at all. Punch down and shape into a nice loaf, place in a bread baking pan. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. If the top of the loaf is getting too dark cover with a foil tent.
It is getting cold here in Montana! I don't much care for the cold. So to get me out of the funk I have been wallowing in, I have started a walking program. Yes, I know...another activity to add to all the other things I am doing. Lol. This is for me though, and I know it is something I need to do. I thought I might start a journal of sorts here is this blog; a chronicle of my walking program. I am hoping it will help to keep me focused and accountable.
Walked exactly 5 minutes one way and retraced my steps back home for a total of 10 minutes. I hate to admit it but I was winded! Crap! I’ve been having a real bronchial event lately, and the coughing is making it much harder. Hopefully it will start easing up soon.
Walked 5 min. out and 5 min back! Not so winded today! Yay! Still coughing…ugh!
Walked 10 minutes. It wasn’t bad. The coughing is pretty tough , but I think it’s getting better.
No walking today, day off!
Went to the walking track today, and did my 10 minutes. it was nice not to have to dodge cars. I will probably go back tomorrow. Still coughing…I’m so tired of it! I don’t know what else to do to get it to go away???
I also made an old family favorite recipe today! Bread pudding, this is one of my husband's favorite treats, and a great way to use up old, stale bread.
3 cups bread, torn into small pieces
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark, depending on taste preference)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 T. rum (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk just until film forms over top. Combine butter and milk, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add milk mixture.
3. Place bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole.
4. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Pour batter on top of bread.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. (I cooked mine for 80 minutes) Serve warm. I cool mine completely, and cut it into 2inch squares, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
Wow! What a difference a few days makes! I plowed through 15 minutes like it was nothing…well at the end I was feeling it in my lower back a bit, but nothing I couldn’t handle! I’m feeling good about this walking! I only had a couple of coughing spasms, not even that bad. I think I am on the mend!!!! That is the best news yet! I think I will leave it at 15 minutes for about 5 more days and then up it a couple of minutes. Whoo hoo! Who’d a thunk it, I’m kinda liking this walking thing!
Cooper (my 5 year old grandson) and I went on our walk together, he was home because there was no school today. We took a bucket and collected leaves for a fall collage. He really got into the activity. I had to remind him to keep walking, as he got sidetracked by anything and everything he saw along the way. Our walk ended up being for about 20 minutes. I only coughed a few times. I am definitely feeling better. The sun was shining, and the leaves are all turning. It was really beautiful!