6.18.2012

multiple personality disorder

Now, all my kids enjoy make-believe, or pretend play. Ella and Rico have been known to come up with (mostly Ella) and play out elaborate stories that go on for days. Morty and Ferdie love a good pretend phone as well as the next guy. But sweet Lou is by far the most dedicated to her imagination.

For starters, she is very insistent that we call her by whatever nickname she prefers at the moment. Currently (and for the past several months) that is "Big Loopy." I don't know why that one, but I'll call her anything else (even her given name), and she'll reply, "No! I'm Big Loopy!" And she's so cute I just can't say no.

But when she is pretending to be someone else (real or make-believe), she is just as insistent on being called the correct name. There was once that for a couple of days, she insisted on being called Caluken. Without fail, she would correct me if I called her anything else.

And then, without warning, she was Molly.

Once, when my parents were here, she insisted that she was Grandma, and Grandma was Lou. Everyone had to refer to them correctly, or suffer the wrath of an indignant three-year-old. (For the record, she also insisted that Rico was Grandpa and vice versa.) On that trip, my mom brought me a tin of buttons. (I have an unhealthy obsession with them.) When Louie saw them a week or so later, she commented that Lou had given them to me. "No, my mom did," I replied, slightly confused as to why she was referring to herself in third person. But she insisted that Lou had, until I remembered that she had been Grandma that day, and Grandma had been Lou.

Sometimes it's Rapunzel (a perennial favorite around these parts), sometimes it's Benjamin (a little boy in our ward), and sometimes it's completely off the wall, (like Caluken), but it's always cute.

6.05.2012

My mother's daughter; or how I got out of doing the dishes for a week

My mom's hands have been scarred as long as I can remember. Nothing big, just dozens of tiny scars scattered across the backs of her hands. (They show better on the backs.) At any given time she had at least one cut, burn, scrape, or some other wound in varying stages of healing. And whenever I would ask what had happened, or how she got a particular scar, she would frequently (and honestly) reply, "I don't remember."

As a child, I found that hard to believe. A) that she could have injured herself so. many. times., and B) that she could have FORGOTTEN what had happened, sometimes even before the wound had healed.

But now that I'm a mom, with a kitchen of my own, I find myself following in her footsteps. I have 2 parallel burn scars on my left forearm, no how that happened. A mostly healed burn on the inside of my left wrist, from making popcorn. Burn scar on the back of my left hand near my thumb; no idea. A burn scar (those seem to be my injury of choice, but I think that's just because they scar better) on the inside of my right wrist; I remember it was hot oil, but can't tell you more than that. Burn scar on the knuckle of my right ring finger; no idea. Various knicks, cuts, and scrapes sprinkled here and there, most of which I would be hard pressed to list any cause.

But there is one finger that I've apparently had particular malice for of late. My right middle finger. First, I zested a fair amount of skin off the upper knuckle. It hurt like the dickens and bled a bit, but it was fine. Before that finished healing, however, I was trying to pick up a chunk of concrete in the backyard and it rolled and crunched the same knuckle, skinning it and causing more pain and more bleeding. Not more than two days later (yesterday), I sliced the inside of the SAME knuckle on my dough scraper, trying to reach around it in the drawer.

When I was still bleeding heavily more than 10 minutes later, I figured I should probably get it looked at. I knew if I just tried to bandage it up it would keep pulling open, so I called a friend to come and stay with my kiddos (bless her) and drove myself to urgent care.

After waiting nearly two hours (!) (and calling to arrange an alternate ride home for Ella), the doctor on duty agreed that stitching it up was the way to go.

Three stitches (and one lovely bout of nausea-lightheaded-wooziness) later and I was on my way.


And now I can't do the dishes for a week. It's a good thing Tom is a good sport.

6.01.2012

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I've been making the large majority of our bread for several months now, maybe even a year. For quite some time I was making a honey whole wheat bread out of this book. It was no knead, which I LOVED, and tasted excellent, but the texture left something to be desired.

So a couple weeks ago, I was making some french bread for panzanella (YUM), and I doubled the recipe, thinking I'd try it in a loaf pan. Though it weighed about the same as the loaves I usually make, it got ginormous. I really wish I had taken a picture because it really was ridiculous. It reminded me of MegaMind's head. (I haven't actually seen that, is it any good?). I think there was more above the pan than in it.
(Like this, only not blue)

Besides the size issue, the texture was phenomenal, but it wasn't quite sweet enough for sandwich bread (in my opinion). So I fiddled with (and multiplied) the recipe a bit, and thus was born the best bread recipe ever.

(Disclaimer: I apparently have large bread pans. Though they seem fairly standard to me, most recipes look pitiful in my pans, so you might need to adjust accordingly.)

Honey Whole Wheat
Slightly adapted from Freckles in April

4 T yeast
8 1/4 c warm water
1 c honey
4 T kosher salt
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
22-24 c white wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat. I make no promises about other flours, though I've heard good things about King Arthur Flour.)
3/4-1 c vital wheat gluten

Sprinkle the yeast in a large bowl, add the water and honey and let it stand until foamy. Add the salt and oil, then add the flour a few cups at a time. Continue adding flour until the dough comes together. Turn it out onto the counter and knead in flour until you reach a smooth consistency. Then sprinkle your gluten on the counter a quarter cup or so at a time and knead until that is fully incorporated. Continue kneading another 5-10 minutes. Then, cover the dough and let it sit for an hour, kneading it a few turns every 10 minutes or so.

After the hour is up, shape it into six loaves (weighing them to make sure they're even, if you're obsessive like me) and place in greased loaf pans (mine are 9 5/8" x 5 1/2"). Let them rise until doubled, about an hour. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, covering loosely with foil once they've reached the ideal level of brown-ness.


They slice best once they've cooled, or even better the next day, but you must try at least one slice warm slathered with butter. We generally go through one loaf the first day and then I slice, bag, and freeze the others the following day.

(So, I took step-by-step photos, but I feel lame posting them. I feel like a fake, since I'm not actually a food blogger, or anyone with real know-how. Just a girl with some wheat.)