I have been MIA for too long. I do peep in fairly regularly to quickly read my blogging friends' posts but just have not had time to do any of my own. My mother-in-law is still with us and her Alzheimer's continues to get worse. I know she will probably never be any better but we are hoping the decline slows down. Spring came, oh yes it did. We finally, for the first time in YEARS, had a real spring. We have had a great combination of warm days, cool evenings, chilly nights, and the perfect amount of rain. My tomato plants are nearly chest high already and are loaded with green tomatoes. I will have cucumbers and jalapenos in about two weeks. I planted lots of sunflowers and tried some new things this year, caladium, lantana, and a couple other things. I will take pictures one day this week and share because they are beautiful.
Onto another subject, years ago I was given a starter for Amish Friendship Bread. That was during a period in my life when I had just started my own medical transcription business, was working 12-16 hour days, and had two teenagers in high school, one cheering and one playing football. I never got enough sleep and was barely keeping up with the laundry, cooking, and keeping the kitchen clean --- I am sure every single person reading this has been there. Anyway, the Amish starter never made it past the starter stage in the bag. I was given another starter a few weeks ago. This time, I MADE the time to see what all the fuss was about. Oh. My. Goodness. I used the basic recipe the first time and it tasted like a big cinnamon sugar donut. My daughter said she thought it tasted like a big loaf of Snickerdoodle. I just never dreamed it would be so light, so delicious. The smell of it baking brought my husband downstairs to see what kind of lovin' was in the oven. I am on my second round of the starter and tonight I am making the lemon version. It smells divine and just came out of the oven.
While we are on the subject of baking with yeast, I have a confession to make. I am 55 years old and have never made homemade sourdough bread. I have an Oster bread machine that I have been very happy with and that is how I make my dinner rolls for holidays. Before that, we bought the most wonderful rolls from an Amish bakery in the next county. Of course, there was again the "time" factor. Let me just put it out there that I can bake cornbread and biscuits from scratch with the best of them. Paula and Martha have nothing on me in that department. Back to the sourdough bread … my husband's Aunt Flora came to visit from southern Mississippi a few weeks ago. She had never been to Kentucky and we were so happy to have her with us. She is a sister to my mother-in-law. She is 83 years old and the queen of southern cooking. She brought us 24 homemade sourdough rolls and a loaf (which made the best French toast ever). She shared her recipe with me and tonight I made the starter. I am documenting my first time…
The starter will stay at room temperature for 24 hours, then in the refrigerator for 5 days before it is ready to use. Her advice to me was just to not rush the dough during the rising process. Let it take its time for the first and second rising and also in the pan before baking. I am open to any tips from you ladies who have experience with sourdough bread. I will take pictures of the rising and baking process when the starter is ready, even if it is a flop. I am determined to master this and keep her recipe in the family and pass it on to my kids.
I have had zero time for quilting and this makes me incredibly sad. But, my to-do list for the weekend has "clean sewing room" at the very top and I have several projects lined up. I will have more time now that all flowers and vegetables are planted.
Big hugs from Kentucky, I hope all my blogging friends are having a wonderful spring, soon to be summer.