Thursday, December 22, 2011

Whooohoooooo I am done!!!!!

I am packed and done at school. I just have to survive Friday with 16 crazy kindergartners!!!!!!!!!!!! Parent gifts and cards wrapped and sent home. Hats for kids done, unwrapped, worn all day, Christmas down, January up, home by 9:00 pm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tired Teacher Syndrome and the "Art" of Baking Bread

Mrs Rhoades has gone to sleep early the last couple nights. The children have just about lost it in kindergarten I'm told. Homemade pickles, jam, and bread as Holiday gifts for the teachers and the aides this year. On Tuesday, Mr Rhoades made 8 loaves of whole wheat oatmeal bread that were delivered fresh to the school and other local friends. The bread recipe follows.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread: all measurement are approximations since I refuse to take the time to do it correctly. That way it's always a pleasant surprise when the bread comes out of the oven. Pour ~2 1/2 cups boiling water over ~1 1/4 C. Old Fashioned Oatmeal, 1cup whole wheat flour, 2T butter or margarine (butter!), ~3/4 cup dark brown sugar ~1/2 to 3/4 T salt (A nice little pile in your hand. Maybe you should measure the salt if it's your first time in the kitchen.) Mix it all together and let it cool until it won't kill the yeast. You'll know, or you will surely know the next time! Next, mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1T or 1 packet active dry yeast and add it to the mixture. Stir it all together and give it a couple minutes. Then all you need to do is add enough flour (I use white unbleached) to make a nice sturdy moist dough. It'll be just a little sticky to your hands when you're done kneading it and it won't be sticking to the counter or the bread board. I cheat these days and use the Kitchen Aide Mixer to knead the dough. In that case the dough will be done when it no longer sticks to the side or bottom of the mixing bowl. Place a small amount (a couple drops) of veg. oil in the bottom of a bowl and spread it around then put your ball of dough into the dish to coat it. Next, flip the dough over and return it to the bowl oiled side up. Place a damp cloth over the bowl and let the dough rise until it about doubles in size. Grease or oil two loaf pans. Once the dough doubles in size punch it down and divide it in half. Knead the dough into a couple balls and press them into the bread pans forming a sort of loaf. Shake them out, turn them over, and return them to the bread pans. Cover with the damp cloth and let them rise once more. I let them rise just short of the top of the pan which seems to be just about right. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake them for about 40 -45 min. or until they make a nice thump when you give them a little pat. Turn the loaves out of the pans onto cooling racks once removed from the oven. Let them cool a bit before you cut the bread. Warm bread is great. Hot bread is a bad trip.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lots of change!

This is a picture of the last time Peter held Julia!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Time Magazine Person of the Year-Protester!

Happy Birthday, Mary! Thanks for being there with me! Thanks for all you have done and all you still do for the kiddos in New Holstein!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nice smells! Dec. 3

Take Heed!

Peter: Lost my good friend Herbie on Thursday, when the car he was riding in rolled over due to ice on the road. Herbie was a 9mo. old Australian Shepherd. After being injured in the crash Herbie took off into the swamp. It's winter here now so his chances of survival are not good. Driving with your dog? Crate him/her and strap the crate in or get one of the new seatbelts for your dog you will never regret it.

Sunday: After the crash the daughter of our friend Linda, Herbies owner, took the pair of Linda's trousers the medics cut up at the crash and a bowl of dog food out to the crash site hoping Herbie would smell them and return. It worked. Herbie was seen Friday evening near the food and clothing and was recovered. He was wet and stiff and hesitant to come even for his owner but came when he recognized his friend Taz, another shepherd. Welcome home Herbie!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Things remembered...Dec. 2

Sheryl Kohn made this for our family when I was teaching at Garfield.