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Fake Great Harvest

March 31, 2014

Well, not exactly fake.  It’s real bread, but it’s not really Great Harvest.  I found a copycat recipe online here and tweaked it a bit.  I think the original person was baking at high altitude and using some kind of kneading machine.  This is in the hand kneaded midwestern version. I’ve made this with fresh ground wheat, but I have been using Dakota Maid recently (the cheapest and the best for whole wheat flour, in my opinion).


10c whole wheat flour (about 1400 grams, much easier with a scale!)

3tsp salt

2 scant T active dry yeast (yes, that’s Tablespoon, I was shocked too, but I tried skimping too far and it didn’t work as well)

4c really warm water

1/4c honey

Mix the honey and water, sprinkle yeast on top.  Let that sit while you measure the flour and salt into a big bowl. Pour the water/honey/yeast into the dry ingredients and mix it up.  Knead until it stays in a ball, then knead 10 minutes more. (Probably 12min all together). It’s a pretty wet dough, so sprinkle more flour on the table if it’s sticking too much.  Put it back in the big bowl, cover with a dishtowel and let sit 30 minutes.  Right after you set the timer, generously butter up two big sandwich-loaf sized pans, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and put a casserole dish filled with water on the bottom rack.  When your timer goes off punch the bread down (I like to give it 30 punches like the original copycat recipe says – kapow!), cut the dough in half and put it in the pans.  It doesn’t need to be “shaped” really, just pat it in there. Cover the pans with the dishcloth and let them sit somewhere warm (I leave mine on top of the stove) for 30 minutes.  When that timer goes off pop them in the oven for one hour. Get them out of the pans immediately and cool on a rack. Double wrapped the loaves freeze well.

In the world of gluten free paleo people and soaked grain traditions it’s a rather retro recipe. But so tasty. Good for snacking, sandwiches, grilled cheese, toast (french, cinnamon) – so tasty!


Ask My Why I Cycle Without a Helmet

September 17, 2012

–> Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation

–> The Vehicular Cyclist  – and its FAQ

Real Bicycling Safety Advocacy:

–> Dutch Cycling Embassy




May 2012

September 15, 2012

April 2012

September 15, 2012

March 2012

September 15, 2012

February 2012

September 15, 2012

Future Updates

September 15, 2012

It seems we have fallen off with the blog stuff.  My mom said it was just like her with the second child – only for her it meant less scrapbooking rather than blogging.  The next few posts will be an attempt to show you Macrina and Basil’s growth in these last few and important months.  Forgive the lack of commentary.


A Fair Monday

April 2, 2012

Happy Monday everyone.  And by “everyone”, I mean all those who read this blog.  I really should say “Happy Monday Basil Fans!”  And since you are all Basil fans, here’s an update on what he’s been up to this fair Monday.

After breakfast Basil got busy making some honey wheat bread.  He was an eager kneader.

After covering the dough to rise Basil was not so keen on letting it rest.  To avoid further poking and prodding we went downstairs to other duties.

Oh yes.  Laundry time!  Basil is rather fascinated with the washer.  Conveniently, our washer will continue agitating the clothes with the lid open, so we can watch the show.  (He didn’t fall in.)

A quick train stop since we were downstairs already.

And then to check on the bread.  I was nursing Macrina and trusting that the dough was not being pulverized.

The dough was safe.  But Dagmar the Duck tends to get hungry at the same times as Macrina.  So Dagmar got to nurse too.  And we all enjoyed reading “Sammy Salami” and “The Noisy House”.

               Then a bit of gluing.

And it was time to bake the bread!  I didn’t get pictures of that.  But it was followed by more food production on the earlier end of the process.  Basil planted lettuce seeds.  Carrots went in too, but they were mighty tiny seeds so I avoided having a helper.  But he did man the watering can to give our seeds a good sprinkling.Serious planting was followed by serious digging around in the dirt.  Which is a lot of work.  So we had lunch and it was such a fair Monday that we ate outside and got to exchange pleasantries with our neighbor Linda.  Squirrels keep stealing her lettuce.  We’re hoping ours doesn’t go the same route.

Tasting the fruits of his earlier labor.

Then there were a couple stories and an attempt at a nap.  It seems daytime sleep is a thing of the past for Basil.  Unless we’re in the car.  Then he’ll still fall asleep, if he’s really tired.  It’s hard to tell how much he needs it.  For now the rest hour isn’t going anywhere, that’s for sure.

Then Basil loaded and unloaded his garbage truck many many times.  I think the contents were diaper ointment and little finger puppets.  I couldn’t tell what the storyline was for the game.  This was at the same time as insisting on listening to the same song about Paris not being built in one day FOURTEEN times.  He calls it “The Ice Cream Song”.  I don’t get it.  But it is (thankfully!) a pleasant little ditty.

Then playdough.  We discussed “play” vs “real” dough since he experienced both today.  Toothpicks were added to the playdough tool arsenal today.  Very cool.

Playdough starting losing its allure about the same time dinner was done.  Basil wanted to keep playing inside, but I vetoed his plan on account of the weather.  It was far too nice out.

A bike ride all the way around the block.  With a stop to pat the bunny.  Among other stops, of course.

To the playground!

Most of the time was actually spent pulling the pulley by a jump rope someone left tied to it.  It makes a nice ding sound when it hits the end of the track.  He also nervously watched the other family that was there playing. 

Then it was back home for playtime with Papa, dinner, more stories and bedtime.

Wait… you’re a Macrina fan too?  You may be wondering where the younger sibling was during all the day’s excitement.  Macrina was surely along for the ride!  She practiced her sitting (she’s got it down, unaided (!)  but she’s only rolled over a couple times), giggled at Basil, and made goofy fake cough sounds in very conversational ways.  It’s pretty amazing how much Macrina is amused by Basil’s antics already, she really loves watching him.  She especially lights up when he comes downstairs after naptime.  The only thing better is when Papa comes home.  The lack of object permanence seems to make it an especially amazing experience everyday.  Macrina remains a most pleasant (the most ?) pleasant baby.  Last night she woke up in the middle of the night to kick her feet and smile at me.  I don’t wish the timing to be a habit, but it was heart warming.  Even in the middle of the night.

Both Macrina and I have a cold so it wasn’t really the best day for pictures.  But I did get a few good ones.

I guess watching the laundry work was… shocking?

Observing the kneading seems like it must have been a more pleasant view:

Tummy time in the kitchen is a usual perch.  It was dry and warm enough outside that Macrina got to play on the ground for the first time instead of being in arms in the out of doors.  She seemed a lot more excited about it than she appears in the pictures.

  And the usual hideouts.  

Here’s to a fair Tuesday!  (With fewer photographs.)

*Here’s the bread recipe.  It’s pretty tasty and VERY fast.  Swift enough for a 2.5 year old attention span!  I’m hoping to try adjusting the type-of-flour ratio and the honey.  *

Doctor De Soto Goes to Africa

November 17, 2011

I’ve been going to thrift stores recently and picking up some books for Basil.  I happened upon the book Doctor De Soto Goes to Africa by William Steig.  I never new there was a sequel to his Doctor De Soto, a book I consider a children’s classic.  Well, boy was I in for a surprise!

Here are a couple choice selections from the book:

“Doctor Bernard De Soto was such a one-in-a-million, humdinger of a dentist that the whole world knew about him, and also about his wife, Deborah, who helped him work his wonders.”

“A hand covered his mouth, and he was hustled off in the clutches of a certain rhesus monkey, Honkitonk by name.”

“Honkitonk bore a grudge against Mudambo, who had referred to him, in public, as ‘a moron.’  He hadn’t emigrated from India just to be insulted by an ill-bred pachyderm with a preposterous schnozzola.  He wanted Mudambo to suffer!”

The book was signed by William Steig in 1994, to boot!  When he was 87 years old!

… more pictures of Macrina to come…


A Joke!

June 17, 2011

It has been awhile since I posted here.  (Eric may think that’s a bit understated.)  But I’ve decided to make a blog post in honor of Basil making his first joke.  When we’re reading a book about animals, or sometimes when he’s playing with stuffed animals he labels all of them “mon-KEY!”.  When we say he’s silly and tell him the real names he continues with “mon-KEY” until he’s laughing too hard to go on.  This is a very funny joke!

Besides joking Basil has been having lots of fun outside now that summer is truly here.  Here are some photos of a morning at the beach:

There has been indoor fun as well.   One afternoon I stopped dinner prep to check on Basil as usual.  I figured he was watching the elementary school down the block dismiss (a favorite pastime).  Instead, I found him in a box!

Upon interview, the box turned out to be a “bo” on the “wa”.  While he may not have the ending of words down, Basil knows better than to sail alone.  The cat went along for the cruise:

But appears to have been dumped in the “wa”.  Oh well.

The corner of the hammock is visible in these pictures, so I might as well display it in all its glory.  Eric knows how to bargain at a garage sale and he haggled us a very nice spot to rest.

Basil has also recently enjoyed a couple visits to the zoo.  He has been caught at home enlightening the animal kingdom with fine literature.

Today Eric celebrates his last day of school for the year.  He will begin St. Kate’s training full time on Monday, but being a student promises to be much less daunting so it will still qualify as quite a “break”.

Little Patriot is flipping around nicely.  Our doctor’s appointments are weekly now and so far so good with no cervical changes since the surgery!  Tuesday will be 20 weeks, so we’re getting nearer and nearer to when things went downhill with Basil’s gestation, but we’re already in a better place to catch things early and rest as needed.  We’ll get another look at LP next week.