Grandma’s Whole-Wheat Bread

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This bread is delicious! And it makes your kitchen smell so good!
For more notes on this recipe, read my post; Bread Making.

Grandma’s Whole-Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • About 12 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp dry quick rising yeast

Put the milk, sugar, molasses, salt, and shortening in a large saucepan. Heat and mix on medium low heat, until the shortening is completely melted. When the shortening is melted, turn off the heat, and stir in the water and eggs. Put the mixture into a large bowl, or an electric mixing bowl, and stir in six cups of the whole-wheat flour.

If you are using an electric mixer; mix for one whole minute on high speed. If not; stir until the ingredients are completely combined. Add the yeast, and mix thoroughly. Work in about six more cups of flour, with your hands, or a large wooden spoon. Knead for approximately ten minutes.

Oil one large bowl, (or more if you are making more than one flavours of bread) and set the dough into it, cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise for 1 1/4 hours. When your timer rings, take the dough out, punch it down and shape it into four loaves, put them in buttered, floured pans, and let them rise for another hour.

Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes.

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Bread Making

About a week ago, I was thinking about all my raw, healthy ‘baking’, and suddenly I began to miss the real baking; I thought about how I used to bake enormous batches of wholewheat bread, that would, if we froze some of the loaves, would last for a couple of weeks! (that may sound like a somewhat short amount of time, but for our family; amazing!) I asked my mom if I could bake a batch in the next week, she said sure, and then said, “why not make it right now?!”

So, I looked around for all the ingredients, and started! I used a recipe for bread that my Grandma gave us. I doubled the recipe, I didn’t have enough molasses, so I used half molasses, and half honey. I also didn’t have any shortening, so I used the rest of our butter, and grapeseed oil.

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Half finished dough

For the first rise, I divided the dough in half, and flavoured one with cinnamon and raisins, and the other with a herb mix called; ‘herbs de provence’. I got out two large bowls, and put grapeseed oil in one bowl, the bowl for the raisin-cinnamon dough, and olive oil in the bowl for the ‘herbs de provence’ dough.

I let them rise for about an hour and a quarter, (actually, a funny thing about that was that I was getting so used to doubling everything, that I was almost about to double the rising time too, but I realized that was not what I should do 🙂 )

The dough had been about halfway filling each bowl, but when the first rise was done, they were each overflowing with dough! I put the dough out on a floured counter, and rolled each kind into one big loaf and two small loaves, which left me with six loaves; two big, four small.

I oiled six bread pans, and sprinkled them with wholewheat flour, then I put the dough in the pans. I sprinkled the tops of the cinnamon-raisin loaves with rolled oats, and the tops of the ‘herbs de provence’ ones with poppy-seeds. I gently laid a towel over the pans, and set them out for their second rise.

 

Once the second rise was done, I popped them in the oven, and waited for the timer to ring. When my dad came home from work, the last loaf had just been taken out of the oven, and the first had just been cut open! I have to say, the house smelled really good; my mom had just baked potatoes, I had made bread, and it was starting to feel like a cozy Fall evening!

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They’re finally ready!

Everyone loved the bread, and I’m not sure if my loaves will be able to survive even another week, the way everyone is devouring them! For some reason, whenever I make bread, I feel as if I almost step back in time, and become a pioneer girl, who is helping her mother make bread for her family. I’m looking forward to more ‘real’ baking this Fall!

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Fresh from the oven!

 

Sparkles & Dirt

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Ducks & Geese

About five days ago, my family hitched up our big camping-trailer to our mini-bus, packed them both up with blankets, pillows, food, books, clothes, and a few extra mattresses, and set off for four days of adventure!

We drove for about two hours, until we got to our destination; the Meyers’ house.  The Meyers are great friends of ours, and they also have ten kids (and happen to own a mini-bus almost exactly the same as ours!). We set up the camper, unpacked a bit, and played for a few hours, then went to bed.

In the next three-and-a-half days, we had a great time; making dioramas (more about that later!), foraging for fiddle-heads, ‘garage-saling’, making dandelion jelly (that didn’t actually work very well), making apple-crisp and strawberry-banana ice-cream, playing uncountable games of ‘kick-the-can’ (kick the soccer-ball, actually 🙂 ), kayaking, canoeing, playing with Guinea Pigs, taking care of little children, swinging in hammocks, doing the horse’s hair, and playing one, epic, late-night game of ‘Capture-the-Flag’ with both the dads!

There were a few not-so-enjoyable parts as well, like burning myself multiple times on a hot glue-gun, or when I tripped and grabbed the nearest tree, which also happened to be covered in inch-long thorns, but I personally think that the god times utterly drown out the bad.

One day, me and my two friends, Piper Meyer, and Winter Meyer, walked for about a kilometer, in search of fiddle-heads – fiddle-heads are baby ferns, that are still rolled up. We sold them to a man who sold them to fancy restaurants. We found a really good place for picking them, and were probably gone for two or three hours, just picking and picking! In the end, we had about eight pounds altogether.

Also, Me, Piper, Winter, and my little sister Snowy, all went boating in the river in a kayak and a canoe; we paddled for a long time, probably and hour, until we came to a bridge, where we stopped and pulled the boats up on land, and the two dads picked us tired, black-fly covered girls up (I actually put a bag over my head, to keep black-flies out of my face!).

Me and Winter also put up the mini-horse’s tail, mane, and forelock, I braided her mane, Winter braided her forelock, and I did a fishtail-braid in her tail. That was fun, as none of my little sisters have hair that long or that thick!

We did a bunch of activities like those, but the one craft we were mainly working on, was making dioramas. A diorama is a mini-landscape – ours were made out of foam, glue, paint, glue, wire, tooth-picks, glue, hairspray, kitty-litter, glue, a few materials made especially for diorama-making, and some people used glitter. Oh, and lots of glue!

First, we cut out our platforms, and rocks out of foam, then, we glued the ‘rocks’ to our platforms with a glue-gun.  The thing is, if you want it to look more realistic, you want to cut out tiny little pieces, to look like rises and hills. Next, we glued on burlap, with the glue-gun, and pushed it into all the cracks we wanted to see, then, with a paintbrush, we painted white glue all over it, to make the burlap hard.

Once the glue was dried we painted whatever color each person wanted. I painted one of mine white (for snow) and the other one dark-green, light-green and gold. We also painted our rocks grey, though I painted mine silver (most of us left our rocks alone, not covering them with burlap). Then the fun really began! We sprinkled this powder-dust that looks like moss when you put it on, and then we sprayed hairspray on it to make it stick!

We made trees from tooth-picks, wire, paint, and another kind of chunky moss-like stuff, that was for making trees and bushes. I made two rivers, out of glue-gun glue, white glue, and blue and glitter, and it turned out better than I thought it would! It was really fun to be so creative, and be able to make your own little world!

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All of the people who made dioramas!

After four wonderful days and four tired nights, filled with the noise of two large families, we are back at home again. I personally, looking forward to my warm, cozy bed, because every time I woke up on the little pull-out couch in the trailer, I would feel really cold!

After four amazing, dirty, muddy, wet, happy, fun, slimy, cold, windy, sparkly, warm, sticky, dusty, cozy days, with twenty-three amazing other people, I’m glad to be home!

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Home at last!

 

The Sunny Snowflake Shoppe

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Raspberry ‘Cheesecake’

As well as getting into Kombucha, I have been making a lot of healthy and raw desserts. I had been making healthy desserts for my family for a few weeks, when one day my mom and I were talking about ideas, she told me that she thought it would be really neat if I started a ‘raw bakery’ where people could buy healthy desserts.

I liked the idea, so I picked out four of my favorite recipes, then my mom helped me set up a website, but I still didn’t know what to name it.  My little sister, Snowy, wanted to help me with the bakery, and when I asked my Mom what I should call it, Snowy piped up,”You should call it ‘The Sunny Snowflake’ because Sunny and me are doing it!” I thought that sounded like a good idea, so The Sunny Snowflake got its name.

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Me and Snowy

My bakery and my inspiration for it started to slowly fade, then one day, I got an email from one of my dad’s co-workers, he had ordered a blueberry cheesecake, I was so excited! But I hadn’t yet figured out any of the costs, so that week, I made the cake, my dad helped me figure out the price, and, since my dad saw his co-worker regularly anyway, it was easy to drop off.

The gentleman really liked my first cake and about two weeks later, he ordered two more things, but he ordered a cheesecake in cupcake style, so I had to figure out the price of each individual cupcake, as well as the mini-brownies he ordered.

He really enjoyed them too, and about two weeks later, he ordered again! It was three things this time, the carrot-cake, mini-brownies and the choco-peanut cake, (I’m going to put all these recipes up on my blog soon, so you can make them too) so I had to figure out those too!

 

I learned a lot from this experience, first: if you are going to sell something, figure out the price first! Two: be generous, but remember to count your time and supplies in the cost. Three: giving people choices about the quantity can be really nice for them, and Four: Having one person order every other week is the most customers I want to have!

There were hard parts, like weighing every single ingredient before throwing it into the blender, the going to bed at 10:30 after an hour of figuring out prices with Dad, and waking up at 6:00 the next morning to pack up the desserts.

But there were really nice parts too, like going to bed at night, knowing that I had done my job, sending Dad off to work at 7:00, satisfied that I had done everything just in time, that my customer and his friends were enjoying a sweet treat that wasn’t going to make them sick afterwards, and the video my dad took, of all Dad’s co-workers enjoying their desserts!

So I encourage you to try something new and adventurous, I had no idea how it would turn out, and I got to bless a bunch of people with healthy sugar-free desserts!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad’s 42nd birthday, and I wanted to make his birthday cake, so I doubled a gluten-free brownie recipe, you can find the recipe here, and then I made a doubled recipe of chocolate avocado icing, the recipe for it is here.

 

 

And then I made up a sort of raspberry sauce, with raspberries, maple-syrup, coconut oil, and some cashews soaked in water for a few minutes. I blended them all up together , then I spread some of it on the bottom layer of the cake, set the second layer on, and then covered the sides and top with chocolate icing.

 

 

For the raspberry sauce, I was originally going to use a toothpick, and make one of those pretty patterns using two kinds of slightly watery icing, but both the icing and the sauce were too thick, so I tried piping it, with supplies from a cake-decorating set I got for my birthday a few years ago. The piping worked out well, though I did need to put the bag in the freezer to thicken it up! Dad hasn’t seen the cake yet, so I am hoping it will be a surprise at suppertime… Happy Birthday Dad!!!

IMG_0141My brother, Dorian, also writes about his birthday cake, which is the same recipe minus the raspberry sauce, in his blog, Scouting From Home