Sunday, June 21, 2009

oF CHICKENS, Eggs and "Mystery Bread"

Well, first off, it looks like perhaps we have found a home for one of the lovely little kittens. A young couple who Mandy "met" via her Facebook stopped by here Friday night with their little girl and decided they want to take Diego -the buff colored male kitten -to live with them. However, they are going on a vacation next week and asked if we would please not let anyone take that kitten in the interim but keep him until July 6th and they'll pick him up then. Sure, no problem. On second thought, I was thinking about this deal today and maybe I should have made them sign a contract that they will definitely follow through and take said kitten on said date, huh?

Then, later last night they called back and asked if maybe they could switch from taking Diego to getting his twin sister, Dora instead. Mandy's father-in-law had sort of put his dibs on Dora though but Mandy said she would talk to him and she figures if she tells him some really cute little three-year-old girl really, really wants Dora that he'll relinquish his bid on that kitten.

Today marked a big day in the life of my childhood friend and neighbor here. It was my friend Kate's birthday. Considering I've mentioned in the past on numerous occasions my own age and I will say this much that she is four months older than me, then you will know how old Kate turned on Saturday, June 20th, won't 'cha?

From the time Kate and I were little kids -predating elementary school even -our mothers started the tradition of us at least making sure that we gave a card to each other on those birthdays then and these many years since, it's something Kate and I have always tried to remember and continue that little remembrance. Her older sister Shirley and I also try to remember to do the same for her birthday and mine as well.

Occasionally we even give each other sime little gift for a little surprise too.

This year, I confess that I hadn't really given all the thought I should have for a little "something" to give Kate but came upon the idea this morning because I was figuring on baking a batch of bread that, if it looked like it was going to turn out nice (the bread, that is) that I would take a fresh loaf of bread down to her with her card.

Once in a blue moon I might break down and bake white bread or maybe cinnamon-nut-caramel rolls but normally, when I do bake bread, I generally make the recipe I have for the Swedish Limpa rye bread. I've given Kate and her husband -also her daughter, Karen as well as Shirley a loaf of fresh bread from time to time so I know they do like this type of bread. Shirley often sends me a loaf of her white Swedish Kaka bread -just like their Mom did for many, many years for me on my birthday and at Christmas. (They know I dearly love Swedish Kaka bread and also, that I have never made the stuff myself either so it's a real treat when I do get a loaf of Shirley's bread. It's every bit as good as their Mom's was and she was a ACE Kaka bread abkaer!0

So I started to gather up the ingredients and pulled out the flour containers, only to find myself a bit confused. Seems I have three containers of flours that I'm not sure what kind of flour each one contains. A few months back -in a flash of brilliant thinking -I decided to take the flour I had still in the bags and dump each type into a tupperware container so I could store it without fear of it getting "wormy" on me. Only problem with my really smart move is that I didn't bother to label what type of flour is in each of these three containers and now, I can't tell one from another!


Two of these containers I know contain rye flour and/or whole wheat flour and the third container, I have not clue one as to what kind of flour it might be!

So I ended up making a few phone calls to some others around here who I know are notorious for baking bread in hopes that one of them could give me a clue as to how to determine if the container with the red lid is rye flour or if what's in the container with the blue lid is rye or is it whole wheat.

In the process of making these phone calls, I didn't really get any hard, fast answers to my dilemma, but I did find out about a store up in Kane, Pa where one can actually buy the twice-ground rye flour that really is best to use in baking Swedish limpa rye instead of the stone-ground stuff that is the only kind of rye flour that is availalbe in ANY of the grocery stores within about a 60 mile radius, at least, of here. (Damn Pillsbury for discontinuing making rye flour anyway!)

So, I decided to take my chances on making the bread today and measured out flour from the container with the red cover.I mixed it up, tasted the dough on a couple of occasions and all that but still wasn't sure as to the type of bread I was gonna end up with -rye or whole wheat.

When the bread was finished baking, I hurried and got it out of the oven, out of the pan and on to the counter and then, just as quickly wrapped it in a piece of aluminum foil and dropped it into a little gift bag, along with the card I had for Kate.

I got Maya to go with me and Mandy had helped Maya to make a little birthday greeting too that she could give her from herself and Kurtis -she printed it all by herslef -with Mandy just telling her some of the words to print on the paper.

Before we left the house though, I reached in the fridge and got out a stick of real butter, stuck that into a snack-sized zip lock bag and took that with us as we strolled down the road to Kate's house.

When we got there, I coached Maya a bit, telling her to first give the card she'd made to Kate and then, to give her the snack-bag and to tell her that was soething for her birthday to go with the package Gram had for her. That didn't all go exactly as I'd planned or hoped it would, but it was close enough and Kate got a kick out of it -just as I kind of figured she would.

She was really surprised though when I handed her the gift bag and she figured out right away that it was a loaf of bread but she was really a bit flabbergasted when she realized it was not just warm, but rather still very hot from having just come out of the oven.

So, Kate and I had a little time to sit and visit, talk about this, that and other things. Just a nice remembering for us about lots of things.

Earlier today though, Mandy and Maya had gone over to Walmart -about 20 miles from where we live -and while there they saw a lady who lives up the road about 3/4 of a mile or so from us -Patti. Now Patti and her family have a great big garden with everything and anything I think planted there. Plus they also have cats, chickens and even a couple of huge -and I do mean really HUGE turkeys too. One of these birds weighs well over 50 pounds! Can you imagine having to slaughter that bird, dress it out and trying to find a pan big enough to cook it in? I sure as hell can't and I'm thinking at that weight, how many hours would you have to have it in the oven to roast it clear through too!

Well, Patti knows the kids love to come visit her and to see the animals they have there and she was telling Mandy that they just recently got a bunch of new peeps too and for us to bring Maya and Kurt up to see the chickens and turkeys, etc.

Maya was all ears about this prospect too but then she posed a question to Patti that really cracked her and Mandy up.

"Do chickens crap eggs out of their butts?"

Yeah, that's what Maya wanted to know today.

Patti laughed and told her chickens lay eggs and they push crap out of their butts!

And maya was quite content then with that answer -either that or for the first time in a long time, she was speechless and had no "Why?" question back to Patti's answer!

Don't 'cha just love some of the things kids come out with though?

Now, anyone out there got a sure-fire way for me to figure out what kind of flour I have in each of these containers? They both look a lot alike and I can't tell by the aroma nor could I tell by trying to taste the flour either.

Although, baked and sliced and slathered with good REAL butter, I kind of think the flour I opted to use today may have actually been whole wheat as it had what seemed to me a sweeter flavor to it than the rye normally does.

Whatever, at any rate, the bread turned out darned good -even if I do say so myself and we -the family and I - managed to polish off one loaf this evening!

That leaves us now with only two loaves of the "mystery bread" for us to enjoy.

So I think I'll be mixing up another batch, possibly Sunday afternoon -and if it turns out as good as this batch did, then I am going to bag up three loaves and take them with me to the homes of three folks from our church who are shutins and who are on my "caregiver" list. This is a new thing for the newly formed Caregivers group we recently organized. Each of us in the group is to visit -just a simple "stop to say hello, how're you doing" type of brief visit to those on each one's list and I was thinking that to take a loaf of freshly baked bread and give it, maybe it will help to break the ice a bit then for me with the three people on my list this month.

At least I'm hoping it will work that way. Then, I can most likely regale those folks with some of the antics of my grandchildren too.

That's usually another good ice breaker too.

At least, I'm sure as heck hoping it works out that way!

And before I forget, here's wishing all you guys who have children, grandchildren too, get the recognition you deserve and have a really great Father's Day!

11 comments:

Maggie May said...

So the kittens are slowly being bagged by people. Must be a bit sad to let them go, but you obviously wouldn't/couldn't keep them all!

All this bread making talk has made me very hungry and as we've just got back from church, I am now going to make the lunch!
'Bye for now!

Mary said...

Jeni,

Took hubby out for supper for Father's Day. It was a very disappointing meal. The only good thing was the still warm whole wheat bread they served.

Kids are precious. I always enjoy reading what Maya and Kurtis have been up to.

I can't believe that Brandon's graduation is tomorrow night. Yes, he did very well and had a good report card. I'm hoping to get some photos to post.

Love the mystery bread. As long as it's tasty, that's all that counts.

Blessings,
Mary

terri said...

I can imagine that any bread... if homemade... would be delicious, even if the wrong flour was used. What a fantastic gift!

Travis said...

I'll cross my fingers that those folks do honor their promise to take one of the kitties.

Dr.John said...

What a wonderful idea taking bread to shut ins. It makes them feel special and gives them a moment of contact.

Deb said...

Hi ~ Learning how to make a decent loaf of bread is on my to-do list. I have a friend who makes the best anadama bread and I need to get the recipe. You have motivated me to make a loaf or two soon. Thank you.

Linda said...

Ah, fresh-baked homemade bread ... you can't beat that with a stick!

Sorry I haven't been by to leave a comment too often, I can read at work from Google Reader but can't comment (the IT guy has verboten it!) and can't seem to get on a computer at home half the time with both girls here.

A third computer may definitely be in order as I'm missing so many of my favorite blogs! Of course, then I'd need some extra time in the day, too.

Smalltown RN said...

I love gifts like the bread you made for your friend....it shows thought was put into it..and then the fact that you take it to some of the seniors in your church...good for you that is community spirit.

Glad to hear the kittens are finding new homes.....

Happy Monday to you!!!

Sandee said...

I want a loaf of the mystery bread too. It sounds so good. All that butter just had me hook, line and sinker.

Have a terrific day. :)

Hammer said...

I miss baking bread. I think I'll have to wait for cooler weather before I start up again.

I hope all works out well with the kittens.

SnoopMurph said...

I cracked up at Maya's question...that is classic. My son would love that.

Mmm, baking bread. Nothing better than the smell of bread baking in the kitchen. Yum!

Your Walmart is 20 miles away? I think we have about 20 Walmarts within one mile of each other here! LOL.

Dora and Diego...sounds like an hour of Connor's morning tv. :)

Regarding Blogger-I keep getting a red warning sign that I am using all of my Blogger space. When I get more details, I'll let you know. The only thing I can think is that I tend to add a lot of high-res photos. Who knows?? I'll keep you posted.