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All posts for the month February, 2013

Homemade bread from scratch…I conqured you!!!

Published February 25, 2013 by z24racerchic

I remember the smell of bread and rolls at my grandma’s.  Now of course before frozen bread dough my grandma made it from scratch but when I was a kid my one grandma used frozen bread dough.  I have done that also.  I decided to get froggy and explore with a recipe on making homemade white bread from scratch.  While this sounds intimidating, it was actually quite easy. 

First off the bread flour that I got was King Arthur, the older flour company in the U.S.A. It started in 1790 and is the oldest in the country.  It also impresses me by not using GMO wheat.  It is a company that is owned by its employees.  Actually at our local Wal-mart the price was $3.78.

Here  is the recipe I used.

2 Packages active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup slightly warmed milk

2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup cooking oil

7 1/2 cups sifted flour. 

Dissolve yeast in water.  Add sugar, milk, oil and salt.  Stir gently.  Add about half of the flour mixure to make a batter.  Continue to stir to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed throughout.  Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Dough should not be so sticky that it stick to the sides of the bowl.  If after adding the remaining flour and the dough is still sticky, you may add additional 1/4 cup of flour.  Extra flour should only be added in SMALL increiments.

While in bowel cover with towel or lid and allow to sit for 20 minites.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surfae.  Knead for about 5 minutes.  DO NOT OVER KNEAD.  THIS MAKES A TOUGHER BREAD TEXTURE.  Divide dough into two 9×5 bread load pans.  Let dough rise for an hour to an hour and a half.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Bread will sound hollow when you tap on it.  Remove the loaves from pans and allow then to cool.

I Learned this recipe can actually make 3 medium sized loaves.  The smaller loaf turned out perfect according to my mom.  The second bigger load I kept was doughy in the middle, but still good.  I put it back in the oven for 10 minutes.  It was okay though.  Watch closely as your oven may cook different like mine does.  You can always stick a toothpick in it and make sure it comes out clean. 

This is my first experiement with bread from scratch.  My mom called me joyous and told me it was almost like her mom’s.  Great, I guess in my second life I did it like my first lol.  Inside joke! Enjoy the recipet;  I cant wait to try rolls, pepperoni rolls and more. 

In case of emergency…..power outages

Published February 13, 2013 by z24racerchic

Yesterday we had high winds.  We live on a hill to begin with so when we have a “wind advisory” look out because we are going to get a lot more wind.  All of the limbs and branches I picked up on Sunday had mysteriously found their way out of the box in the garage for kindling wood and back into the yard…..hmm. At 4:30 my husband texted me at work and said “The power is out…no joke.  It is not coming on.”  I was waiting for it.  Tree blew over somewhere.  We had a thawing event and the ground had turned muddy.  Wind could easily uproot trees. 

When I got home we unplugged the TVs, game system, dvd players, microwave, etc. When it started to get dark I went to my emergency stockpile of jar candles and put them out to light.  We ate cold leftovers. Got batteries out to put in our LED Lantern.  Oil lamps were readied.  I cut coupons in the dark and my hubby built a fire in the woodstove. 

Here are some things to think about having on hand “just in case.”

-Batteries. A “duh” thing I know.  But I mean batteries for flashlights and lanterns.

-Candles.  I have two piles of candles.  My smelly good candles I got and use anytime I feel froggy and the emergency candles which are votives and jar candles that I have in case of long hours without power.  I keep these in a hall closet and in the garage. I have an amazing supply of them. Everytime I get some in an auction box I keep them.

-Oil lamps and lamp oil.  Back when Snowmageddon hit in 2010 and we had no oil lamps, no lamp oil and was unprepared, we ran to the store.  Of course most of the county was without electric and my parents requested lamp oil…Good luck finding it.  They were OUT.  We had to call everywhere to find any and most stores were out.  You can get new oil lamps anywhere but they do not have the same quality of the older ones. We were lucky enough to get some from auctions and lamp oil (which I need to get more of now)

-Alternate heat source.  Whether it be a kerosene heater (if you want to get one, get a flat top one) or wood stove or pellet stove have an alternate heat source for wintertime outages.  We have a wood stove that we alternate using anyhow to save on kerosene costs.  A flat top kerosene heater I recommend because you can actually heat stuff on it.  Ask my dad.  He did all the time during 2010.

-Canned soup and other easy heat stuff.  If you have a wood stove like ours you can heat water, soup (which I have) hot dogs, whatever on.  I don’t recommend trying to cook pasta like I tried.  It does take a while for the stuff to heat up. 

-Coolers.  If you are out of power in the winter and for a long while grab a cooler, put snow in it, put your frozen, fridge stuff in it and bury that thing in the snow outside. 

-Water.  In case you don’t have heat and your pipes freeze.

– Flashlights (another “duh”).  We also have emergency lights that charge. LED battery operated lanterns.  I also have battery operated candles.

-Games.  We are spoiled, let’s face it.  Get some boardgames, cards, something. My husband has some hand held games and a PSP.  We also have a portable DVD player.  ALl great but you have to keep them charged and of course they will only last so long.  Though if we were out, I would take them to work and recharge them.

– Grill.  Sounds dumb, but trust me in 2010 I would have gave a kidney (joke) for a grill to cook on.  I wouldn’t have lost meat that way and we would have had something more appetizing than turkey sandwiches for a week.  I could have used this to cook so much. Still frustrates me to think of it.

– Corded phone.  Think about it.  If you have a landline, make sure you have a corded phone.  even one you can get out and plug in in case of emergencies.  We have one in a spare room we keep plugged in.  Obviously the cell phone isn’t going to stay charged forever.

Hope this helps.  We survived our experience.  Electric was only out for about 4 hours, came on for 45 minutes and out for another 20. 

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