Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts. Life throws us all curves now and then and we roll around the corners and look in a new direction searching for the sunshine that will come after the darkness. Kirk says we've become too complacent. In what way I'm not sure yet but he's going to have to expound on that comment as soon as we slow down enough to catch a breath. As we open our arms invitingly and move our things around in our small home to make room for 4 more, we are seeing much that we could really do without.
For instance, if I can get away with not wrapping a present I don't. So why do I have a large package of bows? I don't' use them. They must be 8 years old. They're bent and bedraggled and though they match perfectly with the quality wrapping you see on presents from me, poor quality that is, I think I can safely toss them and not feel a pang of guilt. Besides, I like them much better as flowers on our granddaughters artistical drawings and the offering of them to the girls made me real popular despite the fact I make them wash their hands umteen times a day. If you're going to cook with me your going to have to wash your hands. The minute I get a bowl out the girls are there with a kitchen chair slid up against the counter. They both climb up and take turns cracking eggs for whatever I'm making. They consider themselves essential assistants.

It's amazing how they whack those eggs on the granite counter, I have to stop them after the third good slam, and though there's a little yolk or white dripping off their hands and onto the counter, no egg shell makes it into the bowl. I insist they use a cereal bowl just in case. It must be true Michelle, if you crack an egg on the counter not on the side of the bowl you won't have egg shell in your food. The girls have thoroughly tested the theory. Good thing the hens are laying well because between the three little girls, they can eat 6 eggs and 5 large pancakes. That's 7 eggs not including the adults. Kirk's learned not to expect over easy. Right now it's not on the menu. The eggs are scrambled when they come out of the shells.

I'd really like to talk about meat but I need to substitute. Here's the recipe and the tale of its creation. I loved the results.

Pizza Dough

1 cup water
1 Tablespoon sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
I used instant yeast and it proofs very quickly.

Then I added
2 cups white flour / add the extra 1/2 cup if needed.
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon salt

Plus a drizzle of olive oil about 2 tablespoons.

Stir until you have to switch to kneading. Knead and knead and knead until it withstands the window pane test or in other words you can stretch it thin with out it creating a hole. Try your skill one handed while holding a tired 1 year old who's flopping back and forth between watching the bowl and laying on your shoulder sucking her thumb just to heighten the challenge.

Skip the putting the dough into a lovely clean oiled bowl. One more dish to wash is just too much so just dump it back into the bowl you mixed it in and place a plate on top. My commercial sized plastic wrap roll is over fifteen years old. It probably will be displayed at our fiftieth wedding anniversary. If I can get away without tangling with the stuff, I do.

When the pizza dough has doubled in size punch it down. Go rock the crying 1 year old who's hanging on your leg and break up the disagreement over the Barbie with the 3 and 5 year olds. Pass off the baby to Grandpa and return and decide chicken noodle soup sounds much easier and push aside the rising dough and begin chopping carrots and potatoes. In the stew pot dump in some frozen broth from a chicken you roasted a few weeks back, chicken thighs you bottled last year, some purple pearl barley to make the kids ask, What is this?" while staring into their spoon, along with the last of the frozen semolina noodle you made last week.

Then call it quits on the pizza dough and though it's on its partially risen again toss it into a storage container and put it in the refrigerator. Give the kids baths and let their mom who just returned and Grandpa take over from there. Meanwhile you call your older sister and ask her if you should roll the pizza dough out, let it raise, then freeze it or freeze it before you let it raise. Then tell her your sob story for the day and be so exhausted from the tale that you decide to just put the dough in the refrigerator for tomorrow's lunch.

The next day take it out and roll it out into a pizza crust. Let it raise then add desired toppings and cook at 4oo Fahrenheit on a preheated pizza stone.

Got all that?

The sauce was a bit too spicy for the kids I'll have to tone it down but the pizza dough was awesome, a cross between Pizza Hut's thin crust and a thick crust. It has a slightly flaky texture. My oops, will definitely be put on the repeater list.

Yup, life is one BIG adventure.

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