Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

     So much has been going on here in Ellie's kitchen: a milestone birthday was celebrated with friends and family gathered around the table; I'm waiting (HOPING!) to hear back from a literary agent concerning a children's book manuscript; I've posted two new essays on the SageWoman blogs, and have been given an opportunity to blog for The Bookish Owl (http://www.thebookishowl.com).
     We've had several lovely warm days, and I've had my little boy out along the bike path that runs by the river, exploring nature, investigating bugs, and getting supremely dirty. (Because what could be more fun, really?)

     Today will be a down-tempo day, as my little bitty one is very sick (Sick enough that he fell asleep for a nap on his own at 9 am...and he had only been up for three hours. This is an unheard-of occurrence.) AND it's COLD OUT THERE! Soooo...an afternoon spent in the kitchen is in order, methinks. Sweet potato cookies? Sure thing. Fresh bread? Of course! What else to do when baby is too sick to play outside? Wrap him in a blanket, tuck him into a corner of the big kitchen bench, and feed him tea and warm fresh-baked goodness. In between baking projects I'll tap away at a couple writing projects.
Plus, I have to plan our Mabon celebration, which is soon upon us. I'll leave you now with my family's favorite dinner-time treat:  Farm-Style Bread. Enjoy!

Farm-Style Bread

1 package or 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) melted butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
7 to 8 c flour (I use a mix of unbleached white and whole wheat, but use whatever you like best)

1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water; allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes, until foamy.
2. Add butter, salt, eggs, and 4 c flour; beat until smooth. mix in enough flour to make a soft dough, not so sticky that it gets everywhere.
3. Turn onto floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes; place in greased bowl, turning to coat, and let rise, covered, for 1 hour.
4. Punch down, divide in two, shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
5. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before cutting...unless you don't care how it looks, then by all means rip into it right away and slather with too much butter. Ah, heaven.

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