Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Sermon in a Loaf of Bread

"In a sermon on the feeding of the five thousand by our Lord, a minister lately spoke of the lad who brought the barley loaves and the woman who made them. Little did she think as she pounded the grain, and mixed the dough, and tempered the heat of the oven, that her loaves were to feed the gathered companies, who sat down in orderly ranks on the green grass, and were refreshed by a meal presided over by Christ. As little do we know whereunto one small act of ours may grow. The obscure agents in this world are oftener stronger than those which are seen."
Signs 5/29/1884

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Kitchen, an Interesting Room

Edith Schaeffer shares insights from her experience as a homemaker and mom in her book "The Hidden Art of Homemaking". Her goal is to share creative ideas for enriching everyday life. I love how she expresses herself and shares what sounds to be a very delightful time in the kitchen with her children.  See what you think.

"For growing children at play, there is nothing so interesting as really 'doing things'. To 'help cook' is one of the most enjoyable things of childhood --- to say nothing of being a sure way of producing good cooks.  A child can cut up carrots at a very early age, with no more risk of injury than from falling down outside at play! A child can mix and stir, knead the dough and be given a piece to make a roll man, cat or rabbit with raisin eyes. A child can fry eggs or make scrambled eggs ---- one of mine did every morning from the age of three! The kitchen should be an interesting room in which communication takes place between child and mother and also among adults. It should be interesting in the same way as in an artist's studio, as well as being a cosy spot in which to have a cup of tea while something is being watched or stirred, or while waiting to take something out of the oven."

Now, doesn't that just create the most pleasant word picture in your mind? I hope it inspires you to make your kitchen such a place! It inspired me!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kid's Size Loaf of Yummy Bread

Winter is a time for nesting. And there's nothing more fun than cooking in the kitchen with kids! So invite a neighbor, grandchild, or one of your own children, and share in the experience together. Here's a recipe for a kid's size loaf of delicious, wholesome bread. It's perfect for little hands to knead and mold.

In a small bowl, mix together:

1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. honey

Stir together and then let mixture sit for five minutes. The yeast will start to bubble and rise.  Then add:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

Knead the mixture for ten minutes, adding sprinkles of flour as needed so little hands don't get too sticky.

When the dough is smooth and like elastic, place it in a bowl and let it rise until it is twice the original size. Make sure it is warm and free from drafts.

Spray vegetable cooking spray on the sides and bottom of a small loaf pan.

Punch the dough down. Form it into a loaf. Place the dough into the prepared loaf pan.

Let the loaf rise until double the size.

Bake the loaf in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 20 - 25 minutes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January and a Cup of Hot Tea

January is nearly past, but I think it is important to acknowledge National Hot Tea Month!  I hope you have taken the opportunity to enjoy fresh, hot tea every day in January, even if you are busy away from home.  Here are some tips to help make it happen!

Ten Ways to Enjoy Tea When Away from Home

1. Take a thermos of hot water and tea bags with you in a tote

2. Brew your favorite hot tea, then chill and place in a water bottle

3. Keep a portable hot pot that plugs into a cigarette lighter and brew tea in your car

4. Tuck a tea bag in your pocket and make tea at the convenience store by using their hot water dispense and hot beverage cups

5. Stop at Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop and ask them to brew you a cup of black tea

6. Learn about courtesy cups of tea available at places you visit (tire store; beauty shop; hardware store)

7. Keep a hot pot by your desk at work and brew up a cup at a time

8. Make a local tea room a part of your weekly routine; you can skip the food and go right for the hot cup of tea

9. Cultivate friends who enjoy tea and stop by to visit them and share a cuppa

10. Make a new friend; take a thermos of hot tea to a nursing home or retirement home and seek out someone who looks like they would enjoy chatting over a hot cup of tea

Enjoy National Hot Tea Month!

Monday, January 09, 2012


After a holiday season shared with family and dear friends, I'm finding it difficult to get back into blog posting. The warmth and vibrancy of the holidays has morphed into simplicity and chilly weather. A transition post seems to be the best answer. Christmas in review is shown in this collage. . .soon to be followed by future posts which exemplify January days. Happy New Year to you and yours!