Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Of School, Work and Play

In Actions in Activities, Farm and Family on September 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Whew! We have been so super busy! I have started ¬†working on GED classes online and that has taken up a lot of my time on the computer, so that is why I have neglected you! ūüė¶ I’m sorry!

As I mentioned before, I have started online classes studying for the GED. Before I could start this I had to take a placement test, which I did a few weeks ago. In fact, while I’m writing this I’m taking a break from a lovely bout of fractions. Hopefully I will finish with the fractions tomorrow. It’s not so much that I’m really bad at them as that I just really don’t like them. Ah, well. Once I get done with fractions, I have decimals and then on to the fun stuff. I actually kind of like geometry and stuff, but I really can’t stand¬†arithmetic. After I’m done with all the math junk, I get to do English and science, my very favorite subjects! ¬†I already did one of the lessons on poetry. I didn’t think I’d really learn anything, but I did learn what the full definition of “poetic¬†license” is (specifically, not having to use the regular rules of grammar and English). In learning this I came up with a title for myself.

We’ve started speech and debate again. I still love it. I still get a horrible knot in my stomach every time I have to give a speech, but I still love it. I really can’t wait for the tournaments to start! Yesterday the teacher finally started talking about debate! ¬†It gets me so excited! I totally geek out about probably three things; a favorite word, birth, and debate. Three seemingly unrelated things that somehow make me absolutely giddy.

As well as the nannying/babysitting job we just started, I’m about to start working a corn maze. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m not sure yet what I will be doing. Some of the thing mentioned were manning big zip-line, the petting zoo, and driving the barrel train tractor. I can’t wait to start!

I went to the first Bible quiz a few weeks ago. It was really weird to be score keeping instead of quizzing, but it was really fun. What was even weirder was knowing pretty much everybody’s name, but no one knowing me. I guess that is because I was never a good quizzer, so I just kinda blended in. After the quiz was a pizza party. It was nice to get to see some of my friends I hadn’t seen since the last quiz event. One such friend drove me home because the party was quite over and mom was still about half an hour away. Once we got back we picked some apples and pears for them to take home. Then we went over to see the lack of pond on the way to the cow. Adam, who had been walking with us, ran out ahead to the pond and started throwing rocks in. When we caught up with him he told us to try “rock chucking” with him. We tried and found out that with how low the pond is, pretty much just a mud puddle, it jiggles really nicely. So, we chucked rocks for a while, then went over to see the cow and met Dad and Dory’s dad. We looked at the cow for a little bit, but then brought the dads to the pond to try the rock chucking. They could throw much bigger rocks so the mud jiggled even more. I could tell they were enjoying it, we stayed out in the pond, because it is so low, for quite some time. We were out there so long in fact, that Dory’s mom called to ask if they snuck out the camping gear. We chucked a few more rocks then sent them home. All in all, a good day. ūüôā

Produce Part 2: Apples and Grapes

In Farm and Family, Food, Pictures on September 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

A couple weeks ago my friends that I went to the auction with came out to our house to pick apples and grapes. It was amazing how fast we got one tree done with 9 people! I had no idea how many apples were on one tree. After we cleaned off about two trees we started working on the grapes. A lot of them were shriveled up like raisins, but some were still plump.

Once we had picked all we dared, we went in and started processing. We used the juicier our friends brought and juiced grapes. It was really funny to listen to the shrieks and giggles as the juicer spewed seeds all over the place while BMW and I sat in the living room taking care of the babies and watching Phineas and Ferb. They juiced until about 11 o’clock, when everyone decided it was time for bed.

The next morning we finished up the grapes and by the time the MWs got here we were ready to start on the apples. by the end of the day we had apple juice, canned apple pie filling, and just plain apple slices!¬†¬†A few days later, Meg and Claire made apple cake. It was awesome! Meg’s was like cookie topped pudding and Claire’s was like banana bread, except with apples. Both were delicious and wonderful for breakfast the next day.

Italian Swirl Bread

In Food, Pictures on September 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm


Yes, part 2 is coming, but I thought I’d let you know what’s going on first! ūüôā

I have decided to start trying to post once a week. This should get rid of the long gaps between rapid fire machine gun posting.

A few days ago I got the baking bug, so I decided to make cinnamon swirl bread. I saw a recipe in one of Mom’s “Cooks¬†Illustrated.” They take a recipe and work on it until it is “perfect,” so I thought this would be a good one to try. The article began by talking about how the author had been looking for the “perfect” cinnamon raisin swirl bread. None of them turned out how he wanted, until one day he found it. ¬†In an airport in Japan, of all places! He later talked to a¬†Japanese chef who taught him how to make it with the Japanese techniques that made the bread just right. As you can imagine, this kind of¬†overwhelmed me. I had no Japanese flour or equipment, and although his actual recipe called for more common ingredients, it was still more than I was willing to do (have I mentioned it was 9pm?). I liked his method of incorporating the swirl. He used a style of rolling and twisting called a Russian braid.

I decided I didn’t want to make cinnamon bread, but Italian! I didn’t want to stay up all night waiting for my dough to rise though, so I decided to use Mama’s pizza ¬†dough recipe. ¬†The cinnamon bread recipe said it would be a very sticky dough, so the pizza dough worked great. It was so sticky in fact, that I couldn’t really work with it once I dumped it out of the KitchenAid. After some trial and error (and¬†wrestling) I got the dough flattened out and cut in two. I put one half back in the bowl and spread my butter concoction on the other. ¬†I rolled it up, cut it down the middle and twisted it up. After repeating the process with the other half, I put my bread in the oven.

And this is the deliciousness that ensued.Would you care to try for yourself?

2T yeast

2 C warm water

2 t honey

2t salt

1t oregano



1 stick butter, softened

2t oregano

2t garlic salt

5 cups flour (I have used all white and a mixture of whole wheat and white, I’m going to try it with all whole wheat but I haven’t yet)

Pour water in mixer bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water, let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in honey, salt, 1 t oregano and oil. Add 2 cups flour and mix. Change to dough hook and mix in the rest of the flour.

While dough is mixing, combine butter, garlic salt and oregano.

Split dough in half. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface such as a cookie sheet, cutting board or clean counter top, and flatten dough (might help to sprinkle flour over top of this too). Spread half of the filling on the dough and roll up. Using a sharp knife (I used a chef’s knife) cut in half long ways. Twist strands cut side up, fold in half and put in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with other half.

Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 35 minutes.

Hope this works for you! It’s one of our new favorites.

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