Friday, March 20, 2020

Keeping Spirits Up On The Homefront

It's a simple thing to do.  Bake some homemade bread.

Who doesn't like the aroma wafting through the house of homemade bread just out of the oven?  Or being offered a warm slice of that bread slathered with butter?  (Perhaps not slathered as, if like me, you're kinda sorta rationing your supply of butter just now.)

We've had a wonderful source of sourdough bread for the past many months so I haven't been making and baking my own bread for that period.  (Go ahead and call me a lazy sloth.)  Well, except for a few times when I wanted to have some loaves of my Italian Bread to make into Garlic Cheese Bread.  (Come to think of it, using lots of garlic these days isn't a bad idea either.  It's been known throughout history for its health and medicinal purposes.)

Yesterday when I was cleaning out my refrigerator (does it seem as though I'm jumping around a bit disjointedly in this post?), I came across a really nice looking organic orange . . . that had one bad spot on the outside about the size of a dime.  Not wanting to waste the orange, I pulled out my recipe file to see what called for orange rind or orange juice.

Right away I saw my recipe for Dark Orange Raisin Rye Bread.  Gosh, I hadn't made that in a long time and it used to be one of our staples.  It's moist, makes wonderful toast with breakfast and a darn good peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


So that's what I did with my orange that wasn't going to last much longer.  Well, actually all I used for the bread was the grated rind.  I gobbled up the rest of the succulent orange myself.

If you're at home and have a bit more time right now to do such a thing, why not pick out a bread recipe of your choice and quickly become very popular with your family.  It will lift the spirits in the way homemade bread just out of the oven can.

27 comments:

Leigh said...

What a great post! Your bread sounds delicious.

This is definitely a good time to dust off some neglected skills. I'm thinking about soap making; something I haven't done in years. Of course, I really don't have any "extra" time being at home, since I'm always at home and always busy!

Michelle said...

Since I always have homemade bread on hand, and none of us need sweet or fatty treats, I'm going to have to figure out something else to bake that will lift the spirits. Actually, maybe not; flour was one of the things the grocery store was basically out of so I might want to kinda sorta ration what I have.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - I know just what you mean. We homesteaders (or whatever label there is for us) cannot begin to fathom people who are now quarantined or isolated at home and are bored to tears. As you say, no doubt out of thoughts of necessity rather than something to fill your time(!), you'd like to get back into soap making again. Have you noticed our daily routines haven't changed that much with this recent crisis? Or we aren't finding ourselves with extra hours at home? As my dear husband said today, "Why is it that you just finish one project and right away you have another one to start?" We definitely aren't bored! However, I am very thankful, grateful and appreciative of our kind of lifestyle. And I know you are, too.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I've even found myself being very aware of the number of sheets of paper towels I pull off the roll! Funny how your habits can change (and your thinking, too) so quickly. Another great aroma in the home is onions sauteing for a big pot of aromatic soup. You could go with that!

Michelle said...

Good idea, as I did buy more onions (which were plentiful) at the store. I haven't bought paper towels in years....

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I have to ask since my husband and I were just talking yesterday about what people used before paper towels. Yes, old towels or washcloths could be used and then washed and dried in the regular laundry but what about for really messy stuff like bacon grease left in the pan after draining and saving all possible, of course.

DFW said...

Silly me, I was close to running out of flour. I had taken the extra to GA to freeze a few months back. I said to myself - I'll just pick up a couple from the local grocery story. Ha! Not a package of all purpose flour on the shelf, of no less than 3 stores (1 a big box store). Finally found some today. I bet people that have never baked in their entire life are thinking they can just throw the ingredients in a bowl the put on a pan & bake, just like Pinterest shows. Hope they get a good loaf. Yes, I have berries that I can grind but not to that point just yet. The world is a crazy place right now! We were already stocked with everything else so no panic in this household. Hope you & Papa Pea continue to fair this well.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - I've been thinking a lot about people I know who eat virtually every meal out. And don't cook. I know, that seems impossible, but it's true. I've heard our local co-op grocery store has been out of yeast (and flour) and hope the people who emptied those containers know how to use it. As you say, there's an art to baking bread and sometimes the learning curve can be pretty steep. This current situation is a new (only about a week old) scenario for us all and although most of us "homesteaders" are in good shape, I'm nervous as to how it's all going to end. Yep, queasy tummy and all, but I'm trying to stay positive. But like you, no panic.

Michelle said...

Well, Mama Pea, I rarely fry anything (remember; we're vegetarians and my husband is a cardiac patient) so can't really say I've run into that problem!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I'm not a bread baker, but I wanted more room in my freezer for food that I had purchased, so I pulled out a bag of my frozen strawberries and a (quite old!) bag of my frozen rhubarb. Voila! strawberry rhubarb crisp! It was really good - in fact, I might have the last bit right now. -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - Oh, for sure, baking any kind of a goodie makes for wonderful aroma! Even though we're all trying to limit our sugar/treat intakes, you get a pass because you had to use up the frozen strawberries and rhubarb to make room in your freezer! Enjoy!

Sam I Am...... said...

that bread sounds delicious. I always make my own but I always make the same. I should try something new!

Kristina said...

Luckily, we have a loaf of bread in the freezer. Flour is hard to find here too. Hoarders! I will be baking pancakes with freezer strawberries and blueberries for our next breakfast round though.

Mama Pea said...

Sam I Am - A gold star to you (and Michelle!) for always having homemade bread in the house!

Kristina - We've been eating blueberry pancakes with regularity all winter long. Great antioxidants in those little berries! Our strawberry crop last season was pitiful, but I put in more plants of the best variety we've grown so we're hoping for a bumper crop this year. Fingers crossed!

Cockeyed Jo said...

Call me a hoarder, or just being practical, I buy my wheat berries a year's worth at a time. This way I can sprout and grind my own flour nce a week's worth. Last year was a lean extra baking year so the year's worth of wheat has lasted me over 18 months and we've still got about 30 lbs left. I only bought 100 lbs of wheat and 50 lbs of Amish ground unbleached flour.

I also buy my rye and sugar the same way. Actually, all my staples come into our homestead once a year. I save enough to pay for my trip to NC from GA by picking up free pint canning jars too. It's $34 in gas for the trip and I visit and stay with our YouTube subscriber (now close friend). When you calculate the savings of the cost of 2,000+ canning jars that I get for free over purchasing them, I can make the trip and buy staples for several years for free. My average costs for all the staples I buy for a year is about $200.

I can, on average, of 1K jars a year for our homestead. The other jars are used for crafts for sale and selling homemade jams and pickled vegetable so essentially I get my staples for free each year. That's just good economic sense.

As far as store running out of items. It's difficult but no real hardship when you homestead.

Mama, Your bread looks and sounds delicious! The taste of citrus just reminds me of sunshine. I made cinnamon raisin bread yesterday. The house still smells of it.

Goatldi said...

Bread looks marvelous MP. Unfortunately I have no rye flour on hand because it’s been along time since I made Ryebread and that is one thing that seems hard to come by.

And I have no idea what you mean about jumping all over the place in your post I understood you perfectly should I be worried perhaps?

Miss Genna is coming up tomorrow and spending two nights and I will be depositing her back at home when I go to Fresno on Tuesday. So we’re going to make beerrocks and we’re going to make blueberry muffins . Split a little wood and we are going to take the starter seeds out and put them in the little starter greenhouse kit that I snagged for eight bucks at a local nursery. It is two trays and two tops also reusable I think she’ll enjoy that.

We’re also going to do some organizing in the stall in the barn that the bucks will be going in on Wednesday. Gee as I read that over I don’t see the word boring or bored come up once I think we’re gonna be too busy. And with no television on either and maybe a rousing game of Farmopoly!

Did I mention Rockyroad ice cream? It’s been months since I bought ice cream from the store because I don’t want it hanging around my wranglers just because I’m cheap and I refuse to have two sizes of jeans. But Miss Genna takes after her Gammie and Rocky Road is her favorite so we shall be feasting on what it is exactly a treat not a steady diet and everybody’s always entitled to a treat don’t you think?

Goatldi said...

Gosh Leigh great minds think the same! I have everything I need except the lye. I get it from a company in Washington and have put off ordering it for several months. I guess I need to get with the program. 😂

Mama Pea said...

Cockeyed Jo - You are by no means a hoarder but rather practical AND sensible. If more were like you, there would be no panic or possible volatile situations created at times like this. I don't know if people don't realize how much more economical it is to buy in bulk or if they truly don't think they "have room" to store extra supplies. What about under the bed? On the floor of a closet? On a shelf in the garage for items that are not temperature sensitive. There are lots of ways of doing so. Very informative on how you go about your stocking up once a year. You made cinnamon raisin bread yesterday? Please tell me you drizzled a little powdered sugar frosting (not a lot!) over the top of the loaves. One of my favorites. (Creates heck in the toaster though.)

Goatldi - I hate to be the one to suggest it, but both my writing and your reading may be the culprits here. ;o) Sounds like you and Miss Genna are going to be making memories this weekend. So cool. Treats (Rocky Road ice cream) are not only allowed but required on the special occasions you two share. Speaking of those two sizes of jeans, I currently have them hanging in my closet. My old ones from before I dropped a bit of weight on our two-meal a day schedule (and cutting out my glass of wine at night . . . sigh) and the newly purchased ones that are actually starting to get a little roomy. Hooray for my side! (Or should I say back end?) I've been the lucky recipient of your soap in the past and I say, yes! You do need to start making it again 'cause it's GOOOOOOD stuff!

Goatldi said...

Why thank you MP. I hope we know each other well enough for me to call you MP? Oh I know my mind works different than everybody else in the universe in the world and the world universe repetition there it’s just a curse I’ve had all my life and I just work my way around it but it’s always nice to meet a kindred soul.

So here’s to Rockyroad ice cream Remy your jeans let’s hear it for the rear end and happy days!

Goatldi said...

Drat did again . What ever I said my phone misinterpreted. That in itself should be enough for Miss Susan to worry even more about Alexa.

Granny Sue said...

Looks delicious! I'm considering giving sourdough a try. It's the only bread I can eat pretty much, without bloating up.

Lots more people cooking and baking! I love this.

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - Just another reason for us all to be very wary of so much technology out there these days! ;o}

Granny Sue - They say (just who the heck IS "they?") sourdough bread is much better for us, easier to digest and more nutritional. So why-oh-why aren't we all on the bandwagon for making sourdough bread??!

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Katie C. said...

If people would stop going crazy in the stores, there would be enough for everyone! It is hard not to get caught up in the frenzy when you see other people buying so much. The trucks are still rolling making regular deliveries so far. I think things are going to get worse before they get better but I’m a pessimist.

If you have cake flour and a food processor, “Serious Eats” has a food processor pound cake recipe that you can add citrus to that tastes fabulous. I will admit that the first time I made it, I thought I would end up with scrambled eggs but it came out perfect.

I was working on relearning to sew by making kids “Easy Peasy” patternless skirts. I had made three and was just starting a fourth when my sewing machine just quit. It won’t even turn on. Sigh. On to something else. Maybe back to knitting?

One last complaint, the library is closed! I go every week so this really hits me where it hurts.

Take care, Katie C.

P.S. we got our seed order in so my guy started our tomato and peppers yesterday! Come on spring!

Mama Pea said...

Katie C. - Not so nice things happen when people panic. My hope is that when this latest crisis is over, those same panicking people will learn from it and take the not hard steps to make sure they and their families are more prepared. Even if supplies are never used, what a better feeling than that of panic. Ouch! Having your sewing machine quit on you at this time is not good. That's why I have a good working spare. It was necessary when I was making samples and commissioned orders for a quilt shop on a daily basis. Now I'd never be without my back-up! Not only to I miss having access to our library, but it's almost daily that I want to make a note to go there my next trip to town. Duh, it's closed, remember? As have been my trips to town been impacted! My plans at scaling back the garden this year because of needing more time for other projects . . . is now being rethought.

Cockeyed Jo said...

I made a XXX sugar glaze for my loaves.

Mama Pea said...

Cockeyed Jo - Way to go!!!