Saturday, January 17, 2009

Survived the December Project!

OK, Michael is away from his computer for the day.... so here goes.... an actual blog post! The December project went pretty smoothly. The first two weeks buzzed by as we butchered, and butchered and then butchered some more. The last two weeks went by fairly well as I caught up on laundry, got back into large amounts of bread making, and wondered what I was missing by not going into town for a month.

The laundry went much easier as we were blessed by warmer temperatures in December! The weekend would be cold, the beginning of the week was cool and by the end of the week the temperatures were spring-like. It was great for doing large amounts of laundry by hand. Michael also helped by being careful to not create loads of laundry. Which was tricky, I am sure, because of all the butchering we did! Sarah was not so careful! As usual, her outfits got dirty on a daily basis but her outfits are much smaller and easier to wash.

The bread making was an adventure too. I tried different combinations of wheat flour and white flour. My battle is trying to really limit the white flour and use more wheat flour. The more wheat flour I would use the less it would rise. My mind is stuck on the picture of pulling a loaf out of the oven and it being like Mrs. Baird's store bought bread. I also worked on making loaves the size that the propane oven would cook all the way through before the bottom burned. I remedied that by making buns for sandwiches.

Now as for what I missed. I honestly have to say it had to be the thrift and antique store visits. I did not miss the stores, the people, and especially not the holiday madness! I like the thrift and antique stores because you never know what kind of good deal you will get! It is like a treasure hunt! Sometimes you find treasure and sometimes not! It is the same way with garage sales - you just never know what you may find. I did sort of miss the driving just because that is when I could enjoy some silence away from the day to day activities of a wife and mother. I did not miss the yoyo gas prices either.

With the beginning of January came community work day. Most of us picked up rock for the smokehouse project. We found a few rocks that you could tell were cut pretty square like they were going to be used in a building project. It would be interesting to know how the people that lived on this land many years ago cut the rock as square as they did. It was a pretty nice day all in all. Then we gathered at Michael's office and enjoyed a taco supper. Praise the Lord for all his wonderful blessings!!

In Christ,


At April 1, 2009 at 7:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Danielle,

Welcome back to blog land!!

Yes I bet the loaf size/oven size/timing is challenging. Have you tried using vital gluten as you've increased your wheat flour? Robin, who introduced me to wheat purchasing, grinding and baking, recommended it and it seemed to help. She liked SAF instant yeast too, so at the time I ordered 2 blocks of it, but couldn't find it in the store when I wanted more, about 9 months ago, so bought Fleishmans instead. It's o.k. too. Her recipe for 5-6 loaves, called for making a sponge first which may help. Just some ideas. My oven has 100 degree rise on it, but you could turn your oven on, let it warm, shut it off and put the rising bread in there for a better rise too perhaps. Of course your temps should soon be warm enough for rising without an oven, if not already!! It's snowing here right now, lightly. (roll of eyes!)

Thanks for this update and those that follow. Nice to hear from you.



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