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Mom Bread

Mom Bread

I do derive a sort of primitive satisfaction through providing food for my family, and I have ample opportunities at present to do so.

Early in the shut in, I was unable to find any decent bread and decided to make my own. I started with honey wheat. The product was leaden, underproved, and raw in the middle. Paul Hollywood would have gagged. No, Paul Hollywood would not have let it pass his lips.

My kids loved it.

Eyeing my few remaining yeast packets and not finding any in the store–though a one-pound bag was available through Amazon if only I could wait a month–I decided to create a yeast starter. I figured this could be my forever yeast source and went on to attempt herb bread and then a repeat of the honey wheat loaves.

During each rise, the dough needed multiple hours to heft its glutinous flab to a semi-upright position despite my cheerleading. Picture Toad in Arnold Lobel’s story “The Garden,” and you will have it about right.

These loaves were likewise leaden and underproved but had at least become fully cooked. I didn’t know that starter is meant to be used in addition to dry yeast.

No matter. My kids loved them.

Bread had begun to repopulate the shelves of my local Safeway but by now my children (22 and 25!) were requesting “Mom Bread.” I found myself both puzzled and flattered.

So. I’ve continued my pandemic baking.

I decided to actually READ the bread instructions. An angel dropped a one-pound bag of yeast on my door step. After several months of use, I have somehow discovered that I have a Proof setting on my new oven. Thanks to the convergence of these fortuitous happenings, I have just produced something called bread.

Real bread!

This post courtesy of my 4:30 telehealth client who didn’t show up and didn’t respond to my call or email.

 

 

Good Fences

Good Fences

I grew up hearing “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Good headphones are the good fences of this pandemic. At least in my home.

We are four adults, two dogs, and a cat trying to work, attend school, Netflix, and socialize within these four walls. I think we are doing a creditable job.

Can we use this pandemic to invent something called Fence Parties? On one of our next sunny days,  I want to see if our neighbors will set up a picnic on their side of the chain link fence where we can see them from our picnic on the other side. What do you think?

This reflection was generously paid for by client X, who was unable to find a way to reconnect after her phone died five minutes into her video therapy session. I thank you for my lovely respite during one of the busiest days of my week.

And now to hit “publish.” I will not be damned by my overthinking tendencies today.

Tulip image by © Cody Logan / Wikimedia Commons / “Tulips by clpo13”, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1723143

Rule # 6: Food is Love

Rule # 6: Food is Love

We called my mom “Farm Wife.” She really knew how to cook. Still does. Mom so enjoys our enjoyment of her excellent dishes. She got her name because no matter how much we requested, the portion we received was inevitably trucker sized. Whenever my sister and I eat with her and it comes to serving a cake or pie, we act this out:

“How big a slice would you like?”

“Just a sliver.”

“How’s this?” (Holding the knife in just the right place to deliver the dainty smidgeon.)

“Yes.”

“Ok, dear. Here you go.” (Turning the knife at the last minute to loudly whack off ¼ of the dessert.)

An addendum to this rule should be Butter. Mom is a believer! Butter on beans; butter on carrots; butter on broccoli; butter on corn; butter on potatoes; butter on bread, butter on sandwiches, toast, muffins, bagels, and biscuits. Mom would have loved my college friend Petter Jorstad, who taught me about banana and butter sandwiches. Is this a Norwegian thing or was the guy a genius?

This post is part of Family Rules. For the prior post, click here. For the next post, click here.

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