Yesterday we had a landslide of cranky-pants attitudes around here. By 10:30 am Momma was back in her room trying to regroup in a Mommy time-out.
I was laying on my bed having my own come-to-Jesus meeting trying to figure out how to patiently deal with the mood swings of teens and tweens. I can't remember much of the passage I was reading in my bible but a light bulb came on in my swirling head that said, "Make bread."
I went down to the kitchen and started rattling dishes and pulling out supplies. And what happened? Low and behold many of the cranky people came out of the woodwork to see what was going on. The kitchen is like a magnet.
So we made bread and all the bad attitudes seemed to dissipate and the joy in the room began to grow as fast as the yeast.
It also dawned upon me that Alex has mastered white bread, is a natural working with yeast, and she was ready to switch over to freshly milled flour. The others were just excited to play along.
We started with the mill. I've had this trusty sidekick for over 6 years.
It is so hard to use. We pour wheat berries in the top and turn it on. :)
But we have to be careful because if the mill isn't properly put together when you turn it on flour can spew out the side and add a nice white layer of flour dust to your kitchen. This can be fun for the kids but after the bread's all baked and you're tired the clean up is another story.
At this point Alex said to me, "How did people make flour before this machine was invented?" That girl loves history and I'm pretty sure she was born in the wrong century. :)
I jogged her memory a bit and we went back in time to Wild Cat Den in Muscatine and the Flour Mill we toured there. We also spent time outside crushing the wheat berries by hand. Those were the days.
Back to the flour which will be bread soon.
We add a few basic ingredients and soon we have a lovely whole wheat dough. I love milling flour for bread because it is so natural and you can add gluten or NOT depending on your consumers.
This recipe has 18 - 20 cups of flour in it (depending on humidity, altitude etc) so it is overflowing the mixer!
Then you have to dump the dough onto a greased surface and knead it and slam it for a while. We thoroughly enjoy this part. It gets out the aggression. Which may have been a contributing factor in the change of moods.
See how quick my movements are? HI-YA!
We took turns beating the dough but I didn't get more pictures. :)
For supper we were planning french dip so we molded some of the bread into loaves to accomodate our supper needs. The rest I let the girls make however they wished. Alex made a couple of loaves and a braided bread and Lucy made a mini loaf. I made buns for the freezer (which are almost gone and never made it to the freezer).
We let them rise until doubled and baked them until they were a pretty bronze color.
Alex took the braided bread to co-op today. She made a quart of whipping cream into honey butter to go with it.
The rest is disappearing quickly. Their excuse, after all, is that it has no preservatives in it and will dry out and mold in a day or two.
Well, the moral of the story is...when stinky attitudes abound whip up some bread. You can have Science, Home Economics and History all wrapped into one experiment, too!