A while back, one of my students informed me that her husband was going to Las Vegas for a medical conference. She also slyly asked me, "Where do you think he is staying?"
Then I was reaching into my bag to pull out the emergency American money I had in my wallet. (What? You never know! I might have to leave like....NOW. What weird stuff do YOU have in YOUR bag? huh?!)
Sometimes, I just have to be reminded of this.
My mom has a hobby. She knits. It's a relatively new hobby and one that she has worked very hard at. She started a couple of years ago at the church. Someone was teaching a group of the ladies how to knit once or twice a week and then their goal was to make "prayer shawls" to send to people near and far who just might need a little comfort.
Knitting was not an easy thing for my Mom to do, but....she kept it up, dammit....and she, my sister-in-law and I all have scarves of varying styles and sizes to prove it.
I love my scarves. Not only are they warm, look really nice, but....my mom made them, so that in of itself, makes them so much more special.
This summer, when I was in Colorado, she gave me a small blanket that she had knitted. It's not so much of a blanket blanket, as it is a "something to put on your lap when you're watching TV on a cold night" kind of thing.
It's soft....and warm....and on a cold night, it's wonderful to throw over my shoulders and snuggle down on the sofa as I watch a movie or work on my computer.
....it's the perfect size.
Thanks, Mom. You're the best.
I grew up with a grandma who made bread once a week...faithfully. With another grandma, I learned a few secrets here and there and she and I could whip up some damn good cinnamon rolls when we wanted to. I loved the whole process of mixing it all together...kneading the dough...letting it rise...and then smelling it as it was baking. Those first slices, as the loaf was almost too hot to touch, slathered with real butter were absolutely delicious.
When I have the time, I like to do that, but....very rarely (okay...never!) do I have the time. Yes, I could get a bread maker, and I have had one, but it broke a long time ago and I've just never gotten around to replacing it.
And now....now that I've rediscovered a recipe for one of my favorite breads, I'll probably never get one.
If you like homemade bread and like me, don't really have a lot of time, then this particular bread is for you. Even if you say, "Oh, I can't bake anything....I'm terrible.", this bread will redeem you and give you the confidence you need.
If you have about an hour....some flour, a can of beer and a few other ingredients, you can make a most delicious loaf of bread. It goes great with soups (we had Chicken Tortilla Soup..yumm!) and is good toasted in the morning!
I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but, it's one that I have used for a very long time. Give it a try....you might be surprised.
3 cups flour...SIFTED
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
*if using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt*
1/4 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can of beer
1/4-1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 375 degree. Mix dry ingredients and beer. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Pour melted butter over mixture. Bake 45 minutes-1 hour, remove from pan and cool a bit before cutting.
*Seriously....SIFT the flour. You MUST do that. If you don't, your bread is liable to be "hard as a rock". Really....just sift it. Please.
*Different kinds of beer will give you a different taste. Be creative. Cheap beer? Works great!!
*I have also added different herbs to the flour...rosemary or basil are both good. I might have also at one time put Parmesan cheese...I've made a note on the recipe that it was "goooooood".
*I couldn't find my loaf pan the other night, so I just used a small round cake pan.
*I don't melt the butter. I just put little pats of butter all over the top before I put it in the oven.
Have a great weekend. I wish you something that keeps you warm on the cold winter days...something like hot, buttered bread....or a nice, warm blanket...and children snuggled in with you!!!