Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dig In!

I did something Tuesday afternoon that I haven't done in several months now. And you know what, I think it's a little bit because I've been taking a few of the meds my doctor prescribed for me to give me a little assist when I start getting really stressed out -the way I was the end of last week! That would be those nice little xanax tablets, ya know!

No, they haven't -if you see the time on this post -exactly corrected or changed my sleep patterns as here it is going on 4 a.m. and I'm awake. Although, I did have a really nice nap in the recliner from about 7:30 p.m. till a little after 11 p.m. plus, I slept last night too for roughly five hours that wasn't all a bunch of tossing and turning either.

Tuesday afternoon, I got in a mood to bake!

I used to love to bake cookies, cake -especially different kinds of bar cookies. When I worked for one special employer back in the 90s, that place I've mentioned a time or two before that is the "World's Largest Private Weather Forecasting Company, I used to bake stuff and take the whole pan full into work the next day to see how long it would take for the vultures I worked with to descend on the stuff and make it all disappear!

I used to always back then bake oodles and oodles of cookies at Christmas and fill up a big cake taker of the Tupperware variety with a large assortment of those cookies and take that in every day then over the Christmas season until I'd pretty much gone through all the baked goods I'd made for the crew at work.

When my kids were still all at home, I baked a good bit for them -and for myself too. But, by the mid-90s, my son was in the Army then, my girls and I liked an occasional cookie or brownie -stuff like that -but to bake a whole batch of cookies, brownies or a cake usually meant half of it would go stale, uneaten by just the three of us in the house. Now, if my son was around, the baked goods didn't last near as long cause he was then running very strong competition to the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.

But without him around to munch all the stuff up, including the crumbs, and with me still having the urge to bake, that's about when I started trying to feed the masses at my place of employment. So many of my co-workers there were young guys, fresh out of college, living on their own for the first time, not having all that much money nor the knowledge or impetus either about baking so when I would show up with a big container of goodies, I think I could have taken most anything in and put it out in the break room and they would have eaten it all and done it with great relish too!

But anyway, yesterday I decided first to bake a batch of Swedish Limpa Rye bread. I love this stuff and since I started baking this kind of bread about 3-4 years ago, it's something the whole family really enjoys too. Then, because my son-in-law's two middle children -Shane and Sierra -who live with their maternal grandmother -were going to be here for supper, I decided to bake a batch of Raspberry-oatmeal bars as well cause it just so happens that Shane (age 10) loves those bar cookies -a lot!

And what's more, I decided to show you some pictures of these items too!

Here's what one of the four loaves of bread I baked looked like -all glazed with a little bit of real butter on top of the crust and ready to be sliced up for the supper table.

Here's the plate full of freshly baked, sliced Limpa Rye bread -still a little warm from the oven too -all ready to be slathered with REAL butter on it and eaten with the homemade chicken noodle soup I'd cooked up for supper. (Unfortunately, the soup was okay but not great and also not really photogeneic either, come to think of it. -so not pictures forthcoming of that entree.)

And here's the plate of those Raspberry-oatmeal bars I baked too -before the stepgrandson, Shane, got his fingers dug into them. The plate had 35 bars stacked on it originally and now, the tally is down to about a little over a dozen of them left for snacking today.

Now I'll tell you all a little secret too about baking both these items -easy-peasy! I do NOT bake or cook anything that is really what would be classified as difficult, complicated or any such word along those lines. If it looks like I may have spent hours putting something together but I really didn't do that, and if it tastes great too, then that item goes to my "Do it again" list! I could easily qualify to be the original Marshmallow treats mother, leaning on the doorway and telling the family how I'd just "Slaved hours and hours to make that for you" when in actuality, I'd spent very little time and effort to put the stuff together. Those Raspberry-oatmeal bar cookies take less than 10 minutes, tops, to mix up and get them in the oven and only takes about 20-23 minutes of baking time too. Yep, one bite and it does make most people think they took a lot of work and effort but they didn't!

After I got up from my little nap earlier tonight, I saw the dishes were still piled on the countr by the sink so decided I would finish up that clean-up before heading to the living room, reading blogs, doing my post. That too didn't take me all that long to get that done but it did take me a lot longer to clean the mess up on the kitchen floor when I discovered there was water accumulating there.

In checking the situation out as to the source of the water on the floor, I discovered -much to my chagrin -that whoever had put the dishpan back under the sink earlier sometime yesterday had also inadvertently knocked the drain pipe off-kilter from one half of the sink, so I had to take all the stuff under the sink out, mop that mess up and then, mop up all the water that had sprayed over half the kitchen floor as well before I could get to the task of washing up the supper dishes. Now that was not exactly in my iniitial game plan as you can well imagine. Gonna have to get after the son-in-law to fix that drain pipe so the fixture doesn't come loose again and spray water all over the place for me!

Now, pretty soon, that xanax for the day will start to kick in and I'll be able to go to bed and get a little bit more of a half-decent night's restful sleep. Maybe another nap a bit longer than the normal 3-4 hours my system only likes to allow me too -who knows.

And before doing that, while waiting for the meds to fully kick in, I'll be able to get a couple more stitches in place on the pillow case I'm trying to get finished too!

Tonight -Wednesday evening that would be -Mandy and I are planning to attend a conference on Autism to be held over at Penn State at the Innovation Park there. This is also going to be filmed and broadcast at some later date on the PBS network that Penn State belongs to as well and I'm really looking forward to this event. Here's hoping Mandy and I come back home with some good ideas of ways we can incorporate more things into helping Kurtis and Maya to learn to the best of their abilities.

After all, that's what it's all about isn't it?

Oh and yesterday,when I was using my hand mixer to start the first process of mixing up the bread dough, we even got Kurtis to put his hand on the mixer while it was running and beating the ingredients in the bread dough. THis is a big step for him because for a long, long time now, he would tend to panic and scream bloody-blue murder as soon as I tried to turn the mixer on! Just a few baby steps there for him but darned important ones too, all the same.

If anyone wants the recipes for the bread or the Raspberry-oatmeal bars, leave me a note and I'll be more than happy to share them too! If you're in the vicinity, stop by and have a slab of the bread too if you care to try it too!

Peace and Happy Eating to All and to All a Good Night and better day today too!


Anonymous said...

Here's my donation to the Drivel. Great! Glad to hear you were baking. I knew you sounded good on the phone! Very happy for you. You are a great baker!

Hammer said...

That looks really good.

I've been baking quite a bit too, home made cinnamon rolls, banana bread, french bread cookies.

It helps relieve stress.

Red said...

Um... I didn't see my rye bread show up on an over-nite express package to Jennyland. LOL. That sounded delic!!!!!!!

Maggie May said...

What a great cook you are. That looks lovely food! Yum! I am trying to diet though.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I ate a dozen of these bars so you only have a very few left. I just couldn't help myself.

Have a terrific day honey. Big hug. :)

Dr.John said...

Both bread and cookies look great.
I only bake bread I can make in the bread maker.

terri said...

The baked goods look delicious! I'm all about anything that's quick, easy and yummy.

Mary said...


The bread and the raspberry bars look delicious. It's been a long time since I baked bread. I really should be doing it with bread the price it is.

I'm glad Kurtis is making such great progress. Please let me know how the autism conference went.
I'd be very interested in what you learned.

Take care and try to get those sleep patterns back on track. I can relate. I'm having the same problem.


Mary said...

PS. Be sure to drop over to my Writing Nook. I have a little something there for all my blogging friends.

Skittles said...

Ohhhh Jeni!!! You have me drooling here!

I like Xanax. Xanax is my friend. :)

Sweetie said...

Hi Jeni - Both the bread and rapsberry bars look delicious. I'd like to have the recipe for the raspberry bars. I used to make bread all the time (with the bread machine) but somehow got away from it. I have attended several presentations regarding individuals with autism or Aspergers symdrome. The intermediate unit where I was employed before retiring (still work occasionally) operates a program dealing with children with autism and operated early childhood classroomes where children were mainstreamed. I hope that the conference provides some helpful information.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Jeni, I am thrilled to have "met" you!!! A surviving sister! My cousin is autistic, and so I know that you have had a difficult are an inspiration! Thank you so much for your kind visit! Blessings to you! I will return! ~Janine

P.S. The bread and bars look/sound scrumptious!

RuneE said...

That bread looked good enough to eat, but a recipe will not help me :-( But if the bread could travel...

TechnoBabe said...

We use bread machines to make wheat bread, sometimes with raisins or dates. Would love to get your bread recipe when you have time please.