Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Amish Cook

Every once in awhile I will come across a book that I can't put down. Mostly those are the incredibly well-written and intense fiction novels by those rare authors who captivate so well. Usually they are not non-fiction. And NEVER have they been a COOKBOOK - of all things! But here I am, toting my library-borrowed cookbook around for two days trying to read it in between chores and child care. I expected to get some good Amish recipes when I checked it out on Friday, but instead I got this autobiography of this Old Order Amish grandmother who I felt was teaching me all about cooking, gardening, and even life. What an eye-opener! And how refreshing too! I know that I gained much new insight into the plain life that I have always admired, but realistically thought was far too much like bondage. There is also a third side, I'd not yet considered which was revealed to me in The Amish Cook. I cried near the end. I also wanted to try almost every recipe in the book just for the fun of it. I look around at all of the "stuff" we have, the technology, the conviences... and I really think "wow" sometimes I am so disconnected with what really matters. And I want to stop and really think about that.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth has passed...but her daughter has picked up where she has gone and it is posted on the web.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bread Machine Recipes

I love the new bread machine! (thanks Mom & Dad) It is blessing our whole family, which is wonderful. I know I’ve been bragging to some of you about some great recipes I’ve found on the web…and so here they are. Unfortunately, I am not sure where I found them at, so I can’t give those recipe websites their due nod.

HOAGIES (great for lunches or dinner sandwiches-I actually make 8 instead of 6 sometimes, they are quite large for my taste)

Hoagies for the Bread Machine
Makes: 6 hoagies Total Time: 3 hr Submitted by: Pond Lady
Category: Breads & Muffins Sub Category: Yeast Breads & Doughs
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. oil
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cup flour
2 1/4 tsp. bread machine yeast
Place ingredients in manufacturer’s order into the bread machine. Use dough cycle.When cycle is done, "punch" dough. Grease hands or spray with Pam as dough is very "sticky". Remove dough from bread machine and place on floured surface/floured waxed paper. Sprinkle a little flour on the top of the dough and "smooth" it over the top of the dough.Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (Spray knife with Pam before cutting dough). Place dough pieces evenly spaced apart on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam. Shape each piece of dough into an oval shape. With kitchen scissors, make a "snip" in the center of each roll, about 1 to 2” long and about 1/4” deep. Cover and let rise 20 minutes.Bake at 400 degrees about 20 to 25 minutes.

And the pizza crust:

Wait Family Pizza Dough (Bread Machine) Recipe #187415
This is a fabulous recipe I got from my in-laws...DH and I contend that it's the best pizza dough we've ever tasted! We've also had friends agree - everyone who tries it loves it! *preparation time includes time in machine* *uncooked dough does not freeze well, but cooked pizza/calzones do!*
by godsjoyfulkid
16 min 1 min prep
SERVES 6 , 2 pizzas
1 1/3 cups water
6 tablespoons margarine, sliced
1 egg
3 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
DOUGH: Add first 8 ingredients to bread maker in order listed, (or however your machine says)select dough cycle.
At end of dough cycle, once dough has risen, dump dough onto floured board, knead, divide into 2 equal parts and let rest 10 minutes.
Spread dough on each of two greased pizza pans.
*This dough also makes excellent calzones, and also great cinnamon rolls -- or so they say!
Add pizza sauce, toppings of your choice, and cheeses.
Bake in preheated 400 F oven 15-20 minutes (rotate pans about halfway through cooking).
Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before cutting.

Lastly, I was finally allowed to go out the Country Pantry, which is a Mennonite Store out on Guthrie Highway. VERY COOL! I’ve been reading Cindy Woodsmall’s new series taking place in the Amish/Mennonite communities, so it was all the more exciting for me. I hope one day to go to Lancaster, PA, that would be more exciting for me than most trips to other places, I do think. Ah, to live a TRULY simple life!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So, in my relationship to the new bread machine: I 80% love the smell of the rising and baking bread, 15% love to try new recipes in it, and 5% love to eat it! At least the rest of my family likes to eat it. I am so far only having great luck on the ExpressBake and Dough cycles. I found a great recipe for Hoagies and Pizza Crust. Will and the boys seem to love all of it. Brielle and I enjoy watching the bread maker do all of the kneading for us!

I realized yesterday that I have a hard time throwing out old calendars. So much is written on them of our lives! We certainly fill up those little boxes with a lot! I feel like I’m throwing away a recording of some kind, like a journal I wrote in or something. But it doesn’t matter. Because, alas! There is a new blank calendar hanging in its place, full of beautiful pictures of beaches, with little boxes just waiting to be filled.
Here’s to the New Year of 2009!

Also…I am reading this incredibly great book (when I can) entitled, The Shack. Read it if you haven’t! There are many new eye-opening perspectives within and I feel it is definitely deserving of anyone’s time.