Monthly Archives: March 2012

Filling the bread drawer takes unexpected turn

Our bread drawer was nearly empty today so I decided it was time to stir up the sourdough and bake some bread. My plan did not include making crackers or pizza dough, but…well…things happen.

Just an FYI for the uninformed: In the “olden” days, a bread drawer was usually made of tin, with holes punched in the lid for airflow. The purpose is to store bread safely and keep it fresh.

When we looked this house, one of the things I fell in love with immediately was the fact that it has two built-in tin bread drawers…just like the one in the house I grew up in.

This is what ours looks like. See? It’s empty.

So..back to the bread. Using some of the sourdough, I mixed up one of my favorite blends — whole wheat flour, cracked wheat, flax seeds, and white flour. While kneading it, I remembered that I could have used the Cuisinart for this part.

I put the dough in a big bowl to rise. Plenty pleased with myself, I went off to do something else. Oddly, when I checked the dough, it hadn’t risen. At all. Of course, that’s when I remembered what I should never forget. Yeast.  Unlike my big brother’s sourdough, mine doesn’t provide enough rising action so I have to add yeast. Except I forgot.

My husband reminded me that he did that once and baked it anyway. He thought it tasted okay. I considered that option, but decided I wasn’t up for unleavened bread. But..all was not lost. Crackers don’t need yeast, so we rolled half of it out for crackers and stuck the other half in the freezer for thin crust pizza.

That didn’t solve the empty bread drawer so I swiped more of the sourdough and mixed up another batch of bread. This time I cheated and let the bread machine do the kneading (it’s easier to clean than the Cuisinart).

I know what you’re thinking. Why doesn’t she toss the Cuisinart pieces in the dishwasher? We don’t have a dishwasher. Never have and according to the hubs, never will. Guess who does the dishes? Not me.

But we do have two tin bread drawers. And now they’ll both be full — one with crackers and one with bread.

Ike’s visit to the Windy City

Ike decided to tag along on a trip to Chicago this weekend. Actually, he didn’t see much of the city, since he had to stay home while the folks went to town. But that was okay…he had plenty of new experiences.

Here’s what he learned:

If he’s pushy enough, he can weasel his way into the front seat of the car for much of the five-hour car trip. Like a child, he spent the first hour popping up and down to peer out the window,  the scenery of which he did not recognize.

Good thing he doesn’t get carsick.

Sitting in the car for five hours was worth it. He got to spend much of the weekend running leash-free around the fenced-in backyard. This is a big deal for a Schnauzer whose only two times outside off-leash involved mad races through Bluffton trying to elude his weary captors.

Sadly, his dreams of catching up to one of those furry little animals that hop hop hop across the yard while he watches out the window, remain unfulfilled. He discovered today that they can out-hop him.

That’s not to say the hopping bunny didn’t give him an interesting adventure — there was that lovely-scented little nest that just begged for a good sniffing.

Those two little girls who look an awfully lot alike are lots of fun to chase around. Emma even helped him investigate the bunny nest.

Ally — or maybe it was Emma (he still gets confused over which one is which) renamed him Mike. He’s not sure how that happened.

New houses have new smells and sounds, all of which serve to both confuse and intrigue. New neighborhoods have unfamiliar dog smells, which requires careful investigation of every inch of grass and every tree trunk in every yard on the block.

What with all this excitement, life could be pretty boring back home.





Wait no longer…the men’s room is empty

Have you ever noticed how there is always a long line outside the women’s restroom at public events? We wait. And wait. And wait…while the men zip in and out of their own, with nary a line in sight.

Of course, men translate this to mean that we women are taking our time primping. This is not true. Let’s just say that the mechanics of emptying one’s bladder are more time-consuming for women than for men.

So…yesterday when I discovered yet another line snaking out of the women’s restroom and not a soul outside the adjacent men’s room, I looked at the woman next to me and said, “Cover for me, and I’ll cover for you.”

She grinned and agreed, as several “do-it-by-the-book” souls primly  looked on in disbelief. Maybe they don’t have any brothers. Whatever. While they waited another five minutes, we took turns standing guard outside the men’s room and were done in a flash. Several other like-minded women joined us when we discovered there were two stalls.

I’ll admit this isn’t the first time I’ve done this because several years ago, I decided it just wasn’t worth my time or vanity to forgo the use of an empty restroom — as long as I had a willing partner.

Here’s what I’ve noticed about my forays into men’s rooms. For the most part, they’re just as clean as the women’s and besides, germs are germs, right? Last I heard, germs don’t differentiate between genders. So…as long as we wash our hands, all is good.

And if a man happens to walk in on me? Won’t be the first time. I have four brothers who have prepared me well for dealing with such situations.

Grin and bear it.