Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bread and more potential gardening futility

Before getting into the topics mentioned in the title, it must first be said that one of my biggest parenting pet peeves (Geoff's too) is bedtime "games." Consequently, that is probably the only area I have been fairly consistent at dealing with, usually successfully. But two of our three are natural-born bedtime game-players who have required extra diligence in keeping tight boundaries around that whole area, and they will routinely test those boundaries to make sure they are still firm. Tonight has been one of those nights (for both of them) and Geoff is not home this evening so it has all fallen on my shoulders (and they are sagging). One cried for over an hour, and the other one is just not going to sleep... It has finally been quiet for almost half an hour now and the school order I wanted to place tonight has finally been accomplished.

On to lighter topics...

Here are loaves from two separate batches of bread. They are both made from a bread machine recipe called Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread from the book Smart Bread Machine Recipes (must be out of print because the prices listed for it there were about 10x what I got it for a few years back - I wouldn't recommend it at that price - check the library). I'll try to post the recipe in the future - it's too late now. We use this bread for everyday - sandwiches, toast, snacks, and so forth - and usually go through 1-2 loaves a week. Our machine is big enough for a 2-loaf batch.

This is not the best "control" batch for a photo and explanation because I had help on the first batch from a 3yo who altered the process slightly and who also distracted me (notice how I'm shifting blame) from getting the buttermilk powder in, but the results were still pretty much the same.

The loaf on the left is made with flax seed meal which is substituted for the oil in the recipe. It is supposed to be really good for us because it has a lot of fiber and has some of those good omega-type fats that are highly recommended. It did not raise very high and is a denser loaf.

The loaf on the right is made with lecithin granules in place of the oil. I started using lecithin about 3 years ago and really like the results. Here is a plethora of results to the question "What is lecithin?" Basically, it is a soybean product that acts as a natural emulsifier and "conditioner." What I have found it to do, is produce a lighter, smoother, more attractive, nicely textured loaf of bread. So far I've only found it at the local health food store. The book recommended using the granules instead of the oil because it is very thick and difficult to work with (i.e. to get off of the measuring spoon).

Enough about that. Here are the littlest girls at our house enjoying the summer-like day. Record highs today and tomorrow of around 85F and then they are forecasting a high of 48F on Thursday. Crazy mountain weather. Better not put the seedlings out yet. It's so hard to be patient!!!A related fun fact: very few homes have air conditioning here because it rarely gets up to 90F and then usually only for a week or two. It is also very dry so it doesn't feel as hot, and cools off tremendously at night, so if the windows are left open all night and closed in the morning before it starts to warm up, the house stays pretty cool. I used to know the percentage of homes here without AC and it was in the very high 90's.

Today was our first day of "summer school" which I will have to write about at another time.

1 comment:

  1. Flag weather is totally freaky. This week, Washington weather is the same. We had a high of 95-ish, and today was in the 50's. MAKE UP YOUR MIND I want to yell at the computer screen in the mornings. :)

    I don't have a bread machine. Do you like yours?