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Monday, March 15, 2010

Messy Kitchen

Being raised a Midwestern girl I love my carbs. My husband, too, is a steak and potatoes kind of guy. He likes meat, potatos.... and his deep fryer.

If he were stranded on an island and could only have one item I'm pretty sure my husband would ask for his deep fryer. Okay, and a generator too. But, I'm telling you he'd be a happy camper with his fry daddy.

Ranch dressing is a food group in our kids' universe. It's a side of salad to go with their ranch and don't you mistake!

Yup. We're a bunch of health nuts over here. And, it gets worse.

Both sides of my family are filled with thin people but don't be deceived. Both my aunt and my sister have a hard time staying above 100 pounds and they eat like lumberjacks! If the world were a fair place I, and all my relatives, would be 300 lbs. We're constantly hungry and eat large portions. Anyone who's been to my home longer than 15 minutes will certainly have heard my children complain that they are hungry. Our only saving grace is that we have metabolisms like a hummingbird in flight.

Then, if the issue of cooking arises, most of my relatives head for the phone to dial delivery. Both my mom and dad were minimalists in the kitchen. My cooking skills were nil when I got married.

Once we had kids I did the basics (You know: steaks, lasagna, roast beef, spaghetti, pork chops, manicotti.... are you noticing a pattern here?) but never got much into baking, etc.

Brace yourself, now. I have an annoucement to make.

We've gone organic and are removing all traces of preservatives and chemicals from our food. AND, I'll be cooking EVERYTHING from scratch.

We're even talking organic vanilla extract people. (Which BTW is a total racket! To look at the prices you'd think we were dealing with precious gems or something.)

This is a drastic step, I know. I never thought I'd get to this place, but I have severe food allergies that have recently cropped up. Beyond my allergies I have felt the Lord tugging at my heart to improve out family's eating habits for A*'s sake. His diminished immune system needs the best nutrients it can get and chemicals/preservatives won't help.

So, it's organic boot camp over here!

At the beginning of last week I was not confident I could actually pull off this lifestyle change. But, after a week of cooking EVERYTHING from scratch I am now confident that I CAN do this. It takes planning and a lot of effort, but is doable.

Now that I've got a week of positive experiences under my belt I'm ready to branch out.

So many store bought breads have preservatives, and my kids won't touch whole wheat breads with a ten foot pole. ( I know, shame on me!) I needed to find a way to bake white bread at home. I easily found a plethora of white bread recipes on but quickly realized I knew NOTHING about how to make bread.

Punch dough?

Isn't that unnecessary roughing?


Why yes, I knead a stand mixer ASAP!

I found some lovely videos for beginners on (Don't laugh at me!) Since there may be others out there in the world who are completely ignorant of such subjects- as I was a mere 5 minutes ago- I figured I post them here. (It doesn't hurt that I can find them easily here if I need to refer back to them in the future )

Begin with the first video and follow through first rise and second rise.

Next, we'll switch to a lovely lady named Nancy ( I just LOVE her!)

She's gonna teach us how to separate loaves and form them.

Happy Baking :-)

PS- I do have a bread machince but I hate how that bread turns out! I've tried many recipes and haven't ever found one I like.

If anyone has a TRULY AMAZING recipe that couldn't double as a major paperweight let me know.


Allison said...

I use our bread maker on the dough settting and let it make the dough for me, then remove it and bake it myself in the oven. Way better than letting the bread maker bake it. HTH!

E said...

We've tried this switch so many times, friend. We're quasi organic over here. We try to buy organic where it counts and go for other choices where it doesn't matter as much. There are even things which are not organic, but aren't chalked full of preservatives. So we try to be conscientious while also watching the budget. It works okay. I only regret that we're still buying regular milk. We pay more for a brand that doesn't treat the cows with antibiotics and we do buy organic eggs...anyhow, we're still a work in progress and you are, indeed, bold to tackle the whole thing at once!!!

beBOLDjen said...

Allison- Thanks for the tip. I will give it a try.

Erica- It's not boldness it's desperation. I've had so many horrible allergic reactions lately I just am not confident the next won't won't be life threatening. So it's either make sweeping changes or risk my life. Ha! The choice was easy ;-)

Gina said...

If you're in a hurry, you can make the bread dough on the dough cycle of your bread machine. Then shape into a loaf, let rise about 1/2 hour and bake. It turns out better than baking in the machine. I also do dinner rolls this way often and they are really good!

beBOLDjen said...

I appreciate the tip Gina!