Sunday, June 5, 2016

An Unschooling Sunday...and a bread recipe













Well, the tooth fairy forgot to come. So there was that. Shouldn't she be heading toward retirement soon anyway? Fortunately, an early morning bug hunt with daddy and a promise of another fairy visit tonight got us through the drama. As an old city neighbor used to say, "add a quarter to their grown-up therapy jar." 

Once the fairy dust settled, and the rain began to fall, my oldest and I went to the nearby HerbsTalk festival, an annual event intended to highlight the power and magic of culinary and medicinal herbs. It's one of my favorite events of the year, and this year we stocked up on some herbal seedlings from local Muddy River Herbals that we added to our tiny and very shady patio garden. We'll see how they do.

After planting, Brian and my seven-year-old jogged/biked to the local guitar shop to get some replacement guitar strings for my son's electric guitar. Once home, my son got to work. He searched several sites on YouTube to find the ones most helpful and taught himself how to re-string his guitar. Despite the fact that I have been playing the acoustic guitar for many years, this is still not something I have ever attempted. I was truly impressed--and further in awe of the ability of children to self-educate when given the freedom and opportunity to do so without coercion and in alignment with their interests.

While my son worked on his strings and my five-year-old took a little catnap (oh, those pre-dawn tears!), my oldest, youngest, and I walked to the library to return and restock our books, including borrowing the third book in Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember series that Brian has been reading aloud to my two oldest ones, who are completely hooked.

The day wrapped up with afternoon play with the neighborhood kids, a tasty family dinner (meatloaf, squash-and-apple soup, and homemade bread--see bread recipe below), some music and a movie. 

These days spent together with young ones are so full: so full of joy and awe, and so full of heartache and imperfection. Gratefully, there is so much more of the former.

EASY HOMEMADE BREAD RECIPE

I baked my first loaf of bread (in a bread machine), exactly five years ago and it was life-changing. Really. The transformation of flour and water and salt and yeast into a warm and crispy loaf was astonishing to me, and proved to be the initial catalyst on my subsequent journey toward nourishing my family with real, farm-direct, sustainably-produced food.

Fast-forward to about six months ago when a dear friend finally gave me just the nudge I needed to attempt oven-baked bread. It was so easy! And so good! My poor bread machine now collects dust, as I make this bread every couple of days. It's a huge hit in my home. I hope you'll give it a try--and let me know what you think!

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon yeast
2 1/4 cups of warm water
1/4 cup of honey
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups of whole wheat flour
3 1/4 cups of all-purpose or white bread flour (may want to add a bit more if too sticky when kneading)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix first five ingredients together well, and then add flours and mix some more. Knead to form a ball-shaped dough. Let rise in a large covered bowl for about 2 hours. (Dough should double in size.)

Then, lightly grease two loaf pans. Separate the dough in half and press into each loaf pan. Cover loaf pans and let dough rise again for 2 hours until it again doubles in size.

Bake loaves at 375-degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30-35 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

Enjoy!








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