Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ugh! And other stuff!

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! to my little brother, Michael, who turned 19 today!! (Not that he reads this)

I've caught something. I don't like it! It's the "something" where your nose drips like a leaky faucet, your eyes feel ever so slightly like they are burning (although that may be due to the million sneezes that sneak up and act like they're gonna getcha, but then they quickly run away...), your throats a little raw-ish feeling, not from coughing though, from drainage, etc. Anyway, it's not fun.

This morning I got to walk down to the school and back 3 times. Alyssa has honor choir on Tuesday mornings at 7:50 which is about 25 minutes before school actually starts, so I can't walk the other kids at the same time. They can't get through the gate before 8:10. The 3rd time was because I'd forgotten to write a check for Rylie's lunch money and I hadn't packed her a lunch.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to be doing preschool. On the bright side, I only have 1 day this week since yesterday was a holiday. On the not so bright side, I don't know how up to it I'm going to be feeling tomorrow. I think I will for sure need to cancel running. I can hardly sit still without having to blow my nose every couple minutes...I don't want to take a box of tissues running with me, not to mention a bag to dispose of them in.

Yesterday was a fun filled busy day starting out with my morning run at 6:00, then a drive to the store for some ingredients that I needed for homemade mac & cheese. (I was trying out a recipe that I'd gotten at a recipe exchange in December.) My friend Lisa was bringing her kids over and we planned to go to the park which didn't last long because someone (probably a drunk teenager who'd been partying late the night before, because there seems to be a bit of that going on in our neighborhood) puked on the slide and in the sand and quite frankly we didn't want to deal with cleaning someone else's puke off our children. It's bad enough when we have to clean off their own puke! So instead we came back to my house and just visited while the kids continually tried to blow up water balloons with a balloon pump. We ate the mac & cheese for lunch but unfortunately, it wasn't as good as what I'd tasted at the recipe exchange. It was quite a bit on the salty side. I don't know if it was the sharp cheese or what, but I'll use mild next time just to be sure. I think I will also try my mil's recipe next time instead.

After they left, the girls went across the street to play with a friend, Camden spent a few hours around the corner at a friend's house, and Trenton and I worked on spraying weeds in the front yard. Weeds are such a pain in the butt! And HOA's are even worse, which is why I deal with the weeds, I guess. I need a good recipe for some homemade weed killer/preventer. Anyone?

About 4 o'clock, we headed down to the other park in the neighborhood, to meet my sil Leslie w/her kids. We spent a good hour and a 1/2 or so there and then I took all her kids back to my house for another hour, while she finished up some laundry at her mom's house, who lives a couple streets away from me. The kids were kept pretty entertained by the cats, which I'll be calling the animal shelter very soon so they can come and pick most of them up. I hate to do it, but we can't keep them all. I've explained before why so I won't go into that again.

A couple weeks ago my neighbor brought over a paper bag with a sample of some Amish Friendship bread and a "starter" bag. I've heard of Amish friendship bread before, but I was never aware that there was so much time put into it. When I first received it, I was rather confused, to say the least. I opened the paper bag and the girls and I quickly consumed the small sampling. It was good! So of course I was curious. I started reading through the instructions but was still not for sure what the whole deal was so I asked my neighbor to explain it to me. Well, I don't know if it still made much sense to me, but I was willing to give it a try. After the 10 (+2 cuz I was lazy) days were up, I finally had 2 pans of my very own, fresh, Amish Friendship bread...

Of course now I have 4 (+1, cuz my other neighbor who also received some when I did, brought me some of what she worked on) bags of starter. I didn't really feel like just assuming people would be interested in doing this, so I think I will freeze the bags and bake them all myself, eventually.

For anyone who's unaware and curious, here's the instructions that I got with the starter...

Do not use any type of metal spoon or bowl when mixing. Do not refrigerate. When air builds up, gently open the bag and let the air out. It's normal for batter to bubble, rise, and ferment.

Day 1 - receive the starter
Day 2 - mush the bag
Day 3 - mush the bag
Day 4 - mush the bag
Day 5 - mush the bag
Day 6 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk.
Day 7 - mush the bag
Day 8 - mush the bag
Day 9 - mush the bag

Day 10 - Add 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 cup milk. Divide into 1 gallon ziplock bags, (don't forget to mark days, 1, 6, and 10 with the dates) with 1 cup each for four of your friends and the remainder for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread.

After removing the batter for your friends, combine the remaining Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large non-metal bowl:

2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large package of vanilla instant pudding mix

Using a wooden spoon or spatula beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional).

Grease two loaf pans with butter, coat pans with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle left over on top.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.

I think partly what confused me in the beginning was that she had marked day 6 on the bag, but in the instructions she gave me, she had day 5 and 6 mixed up, so it said to add more ingredients on day 5 rather than day 6. I couldn't figure out why day 6 was on the bag. I finally googled "Amish Friendship Bread" and got that figured out plus I got the whole back story of why it's done and other tips and ideas so I felt a little better. Then of course once I got to day 6 and was ready to add the ingredients, I was concerned about the fact that I'd be adding the milk and just letting all this sit out on my counter for the next 4 days. I'll add now that I ate the sample bread before I understood this part, otherwise, I don't know if I would have been able to. But alas, knowing how good it was, I did consume several pieces of my finished loaves. (I will run extra!) The only thing I don't know for sure now is how to actually start the whole process from the very beginning, but technically, I may never need to worry about it cuz between the 5 bags I currently have, I could start my own business!

Anyway, I have pack meeting tonight, the kids will be home from school soon, I have laundry that I REALLY need/want to get put away (before I go adding more to the piles) so until next time..........


Leslie said...

My neigbor gave me a bag of the amish bread, and I had it sitting on the counter and my dad threw it away. So I didn't get to try it but I was excited since I have never gotten to try it before. Ohwell!!

CassiB said...

It freezes really well and comes out almost the same, just put it in the freezer after you separate it into baggies. Then you defrost it and use it right away or start at day 1. PS really weird but for me it didn't freeze hard it was still mushy in the bag. Yum that sounds so good I might have to start one. Cute blog. Your family is so cute!

Rach =o) said...

Sheesh! what a process. I'm sure its delish. I dont make anything that takes more than 30 minutes. You go girl!

Jenna Consolo said...

Hope you feel better! No fun at all!

Weird...I was given a Friendship Bread bag last week too! I'm on day 10. I've done it many times in the past and love the bread, and it is nice to keep a start around. It's basically a sourdough start, I think. Yummy, though, huh?

Love you!

Hannah said...

Ahhh good ol' amaish friendship bread. It's a vicious cycle I tell ya!! Each bag that you make makes so many more so basically you will soon be inundated with bags of batter. I did a couple of cycles and then got overwhelmed with the amount of bags on my counter (nobody wanted any starter from me) so I put 5 in the freezer and threw the others away. They are really good though. And if you google amish friendship bread recipes, you'll find tons of other things to make from the starter. My FIL made one where he just used cheesecake pudding instead of vanilla and it was super yummy!

I may just have to pull out one of my bags today, Thanks a lot Sarah!!

Katy said...

Where do I get a bag of starter? If I had any real friends, they would just drop off the bread already made because they would know that sweet stuff to eat is all I really want.

careyttops or Leesie Lou said...

i ♥ amish bread!! i used to make it all the time for people...but with all our moves i've lost my "starters". i'll have to google it and see if i can start my own. :)