The Lazy Baker

Sure, when I was younger, I loved to bake, and would spend an entire day on my feet making cakes, cookies, etc.

But these days, I can only stay on my feet for short periods of time, never mind that I simply don’t have the inclination for complicated recipes.  And heaven forbid, I would have to do any kneading!

However, we have a whole room full of flour, sugar, and other baking supplies that we purchased at the beginning of the pandemic, and which must be used up before their “best by” dates.  Back then, we thought grocery stores might run low on bread, so we also purchased yeast.

Bear in mind that I had never, ever used yeast.  My prior baking experience really was limited to cakes and cookies.

The idea of standing for some awful period of time, kneading kneading and kneading, simply didn’t appeal to me, so I searched my recipe books for some way to bake bread and rolls without all that effort.

My first try was “feather rolls”.  They are yummy and easy to make (the recipe calls for ordinary white flour), but they must be used up immediately as they become stale really fast.  Plus, I needed some way to use the whole wheat flour my husband had purchased.  I tried the feather roll recipe with whole wheat flour, and while the rolls were ok, they didn’t light that fire that would make me want to bake another batch any time soon.

The regular bread recipes looked like too much work, and most of those recipes made several loaves at once.  There’s only my husband and me – how much bread could we eat?  And the only freezer we have is at the top of our apartment sized refrigerator.  No room there for even one whole loaf of bread, much less several.

Finally I found what appears to be the perfect recipe, at least for me.  It has only a few ingredients – yeast, milk, salt, whole wheat flour, water and molasses (but I used real maple syrup instead).  No fat! No eggs!  And even better – NO KNEADING!  And it makes just one loaf at a time! Win-win!

It mixes easily with a spoon, bakes up perfectly, and best of all – it does not go stale the day after it’s made.  In fact, it seems to get a little more moist a few days after baking if stored on a countertop.  In addition, this is the best toasting bread I’ve ever had.  Goes well with butter/jelly, or peanut butter, or cream cheese.

Just to be sure my first loaf wasn’t a fluke, yesterday I made some more.  Every bit as good as the first time.  I now have my go-to whole wheat bread recipe.

(For those who are interested, the recipe can be found in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook and is titled “Entire Wheat Bread.”  The Fannie Farmer book is my favorite cookbook for basic recipes – and, in case you want them, it includes the recipe for the Feather Rolls mentioned above.)

But don’t take my word for it.  What better way to judge the appeal of a food than to have someone literally begging for a taste:

Happy Friday, folks.  Stay safe and healthy.

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

Posted in Pets, Photography, That's Life | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Teddy Rosalie and Her Dog

’cause everyone needs a friend now and then …

… and Puppy Cody would rather eat Teddy Rosalie than cuddle with her (just like bunnies).

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Teddy Rosalie’s dog needs a name.  Any suggestions?

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

Posted in Pets, Photography, Relationships, Teddy Rosalie, That's Life | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Before the Storm

Big snow coming later today.

Up to 15 inches of snow expected overnight in my area.  While that isn’t an outrageous amount for Western New York in February, it will make driving anywhere hazardous until the snow stops and the plows do their job.

And, of course, there’s the cold.  With temperatures in the teens (Fahrenheit), even the slightest breeze makes it unbearable outside.  I’m glad I’m not a dog who has to do her business outside.  Poor Puppy Cody hasn’t even wanted to chase bunnies and squirrels much recently; she just goes out, does her business, and comes right back in.  If she stays out more than a few minutes, her feet freeze.  We tried those doggie booties a couple of years back, but that didn’t work out well and they didn’t stay on, so we gave up.

On the Hunt

Not that there are very many critters for Cody to chase in the yard anyway.   The hawk that’s been hanging out in our trees doesn’t seem to be having a lot of luck hunting for prey.  Good thing Cody isn’t a tiny dog!

Cody managed to get a bunny anyway – with a little help from Mom:

Got that Bunny!

Bunny All Gone

At least it kept her occupied for awhile.  Once the face was chewed off and the squeaker torn out, Cody lost interest and decided to take a nap.

Which sounds good to me (the nap, not the destruction).  There’s something special about hunkering down in a nice warm bed while the snow flies outside.

Hope all is well with you.  Stay safe and healthy!

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

Posted in Pets | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Beauty Discovered

It’s the dead of winter.  Streets and yards are snow-covered, temperatures are frigid, sunshine is rare.  In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is real; this year it’s heightened for many people.  Depression and other mental issues have increased in the general population as stay-at-home orders, mask-wearing and social distancing mandates continue.

Fortunately, I don’t suffer from true depression, but I have found the long winter a bit wearing.  It’s too cold and snowy to go out, except on work days, and my desire for photography and blog-writing is absent most days.

‘Cause, you know, since I started doing my own photography for this  blog, I find I can’t write unless I have a picture ready to go (or at least in mind).  And inasmuch I don’t care to go out into the snowy winter, I don’t have photos ready to go, and I find it difficult to create staged photos unless I have a post idea in mind.

It’s a chicken-or-egg-first situation.

Recently, I was at the end of another ho-hum workday.  I had just dropped a couple of finished projects into my boss’ in-box and was leaving her office when she called me back.

Even though it’s been three years since I left The Job From Hell, I still have that feeling of constant anxiety that I will be berated for something I have, or haven’t, done.  Certainly I know better – my current employers are wonderful, caring people who value their employees and who never yell or threaten, but the feelings are still there sometimes.

So, I turned back to my boss with a silent sigh, expecting I had done something wrong.

BOSS[CM], you are …

I’m what?  A good worker but sloppy?  A nice person but just a bit lazy? Too stupid to live and about to be the first employee ever fired at this firm (the latter half of this sentence being a direct quote from The Job From Hell)?

BOSS: … a wonderful photographer who takes beautiful pictures.  Go over to my window and see what’s there.

Now, my boss’ office is rather large and normally I have no reason to go over toward the window, nor to even look that way.  Rounding her desk and approaching the window-side table, I saw …

Her Christmas Cactus had bloomed!  Such a gorgeous cascade of luscious pink flower and succulent green foliage!

A camera-must.  All I had with me was my little Olympus pocket point-and-shoot, and I did my best:

Not perfect, but not too bad, even considering it was late in the afternoon and the light was bad.  I loved that my boss was fascinated by my efforts to get just the right angle, and allowed me all the time I needed, or wanted.  That evening, I edited the photos and emailed her the two above.

She thought they were wonderful, but I wasn’t satisfied.

The next day, I took my somewhat better Nikon camera to work and retook the shots, earlier in the day and with better light.  And I was pleased with the results (see photos at the head of this post and at the end of this post).

As I told my boss, she made my day.  Have I mentioned that I currently have The. Best. Job. Ever! ?

I’m easily uplifted by small kindnesses.  It helps that I’ve recently learned that several other bloggers have picked up my photos from Flickr.com for their own blogs (yes, with proper credit and link-backs!).  This makes me feel like a real photographer.

Happy February, folks.  Soon winter (and the pandemic) will end, spring will come, and yours truly will (hopefully) find the spirit and energy for better writing and more varied post scenarios.

Hugs, friends!

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

 

Posted in Covid-19, Photography, That's Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments