Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

This blog started in the "playroom". That's what DH calls artwork- playing. Wish I could live in the "playroom" forever.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Let's Make and Break Bread Together- Rye Bread Recipe

This is a recipe I've made a hundred times.
You can make it with or without caraway rye seeds.
 I use my bread machine for the mixing and first rising, because it's easier on my hands.
 This is how the bread pan looks, after I've taken the bread dough out.  That thing in the middle is the paddle that mixes the bread.
 This gem is my mother's breadboard.  It's probably about 50 or so years old, and no I've never gotten sick from anything on it after all these years.  People worry too much about junk on their counters, and the cracks in a bread board.  I don't.
My mother made all her bread on this board, plus coffee cakes and pie crusts.  I was always fascinated and watched intently as she made all this stuff.  She never let me do it, but I have it imbedded in my minds eye, and that's how I knew how to do the same things she did.
 These are my two loaves- these are small- in 8 x 5 breadpans.  You can make one loaf in a larger pan, like a 9x5 or 6, but I tend to like the smaller loaves.
This is how they come out.
Here's the recipe and instructions:
I used the dough setting on my machine to mix and do the first rising.  You can do the same thing, using your kitchenaid or sunbeam countertop mixer with bowl- I forget what they call those things--and do the first raising in that bowl in a warm place.
for a 1  1/2 pound loaf
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg
Place these wet ingredients into bowl first.  Make sure your water is rather warm, but not so hot that it will kill the yeast.
Now place in the bowl:
1 cup rye flour
2 cups white bread flour
3 tablespoons gluten
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast (like from a jar)

Now let your bread machine do the mixing and kneading, or you can let your mixer do that, with the bread hook on it.  OR you can mix it yourself, by hand, if you like.

Make sure it is a nice moist mixture, but not too sticky.  It should be smooth when it's done with kneading.  Leave the bread mixture in the machine til the beeper goes off (that will take about 1 hour 22 minutes (that's when it's done raising.)  If you are raising the dough without a machine, cover your bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to raise.  It will take about 2 hours to raise.  Some ovens now have a "bread proofing" setting, So you can set your bowl in there to raise.

After raising, take the dough out and divide it into two equal portions, flatten into a rectangle, and roll it like a long cookie roll, I don't know how else to describe it, and place in a bread pan THAT HAS BEEN COATED WITH VEGETABLE OIL.  I usually roll the roll in the bread pan so that all of it is coated in oil, and leave the seam on the bottom.

Set in warm place to rise again, for about 20-30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit, and then bake bread for about 20-22 minutes.

Let cool on a rack, then take knife about edge of bread in pan, and the bread should just slide right out.  I have learned to place more vegetable oil in the pan, rather than less, but not swimming in it, so the bread will come out without sticking.

Let it cool for the most part, before slicing.

As, I said, I've made this recipe hundreds of times and it's always good!
Good luck!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Knitted Mitts- Getting Ready for Winter (!)

 I made mitts!!
My first pair of mitts!
For my project, I used Freia, fine handpaints, refined yarn: 70% Merino, 30% silk, in Lichen (color).  It's an ombre yarn, in worsted weight (4 Medium).  I also used size 5 needles.  I increased the cuff stitch number from 10 to 18 sts., and the total length from 9.5 inches long to 10.5 inches long.
This is the right mitt. . . . 
Left mitt. . . . . 
. . . .and the left mitt, uncuffed.
I made the finger section longer than required so I could cover more of my fingers while outside.  I didn't do a perfect job, but it will do.  I find, in knitting, there are LOTS of ways to put things together.
So FUN!!  Knitting is a skill worth learning.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Life Interrupted, With Peace, Is Possible

When you’re young, mostly you don’t think about this stuff, unless “something” happens to you, at least, I didn’t.  However, despite what I believed then,  life is constantly filled with interruptions.

I always thought my life would have unsettling parts to it, but for the most part, I always thought I would get to a point where everything was going to be smooth sailing.  It hasn’t happened yet. At least, not for very long.
This last move was a whopper.  I had a rhythm to life going on down there in Tennessee.  I had a room all to myself to sit and ponder, on the second floor of a new farmhouse.  I could stare out the window for hours.  I could watch the seasons change, the beans and corn get harvested, sit on the porch and take a nap, sweat a lot and make iced tea with lemon.  Then I got sick.

DH said we must move back to where we came from.  Better air, better everything.  It took me completely by surprise.  I had a hard time moving.  It was very strenuous.  It was worse than moving to TN.
So we got this farm, and had to live in a camper.  We thought it would only be 6 months.  It turned out to be 2 years.  2 YEARS.  We had a lot happen that took years off my life, I’m sure, in those 2 years.  Now it’s been about 3 years, and I’m still not back to where I was in my creative life, as before we left.

Sometimes I’ve gotten rather frantic, panicked and almost suicidal.  But I have to tell you this:

God has met me where I am.  I have always believed in HIM.  Sometimes, I’ve had my bad periods, where I can’t hear Him.  That’s because of my own worries. And incessant worrying is about one of the worst things you can do, if you don’t want to hear from God.

So, about two-three months ago, I really prayed for some answers to all this stress.  I just couldn’t handle it anymore.  I was really down, down, down.  Nothing was going right.  I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but I just gave up.  I wanted out-- of everything.
Here I was, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, for me.  I had a new house. Things were so much better in our living conditions.  There was much less stress.  Let me tell you, having things, nice things, does not guarantee your happiness.  Beautiful scenery doesn’t guarantee it either, although it can help a lot.  

I gave up, as I said.  I just prayed to God to let me go.  He didn’t.   I found a great Christian radio station that plays contemporary Christian music - K- Love - they broadcast out of Nebraska.  I started my day out with listening to this station, and praying for God to “order my day.”  
"Order My Day." That is my prayer every morning now.  It has afforded me peace.  I used to be scared to let go and let Him have every day of my life.  I thought He’d try to make me a missionary, deny all my belongings, and go off into the world, and get myself into uncomfortable situations, really putting my life on the line.  He doesn’t do this, unless you are willing and able. 

Instead, He Will Meet You Where You Are.  I mean this absolutely.  He will meet you where ever you are in your life.  With kids and husbands, or not.  With a great job, or not.  In the aftermath of a tornado or hurricane, or not.  In a crisis, or not.  He will come to you, no matter your daily struggle, or turmoil, or where ever you are, and give you mental peace.
This doesn’t mean you won’t have stressed out days anymore, or things that happen that might not be so good, that might be downright bad.  But HE will be there with you.  Let Him be there with you!  You will have peace in the fire.
I really pray for all those who’ve lost everything through the storms.  I’ve been there.  I know what it’s like.  (Hurricane Andrew)   He will help you pick up the pieces.  Sit and pray before you do anything, take a deep breath, cry, let your emotions out.  He will send His angels to help you.  Ask Him to Order Your Day.  You will see His answers.  You may feel really alone, but He will be by your side, and give you peace.  I guarantee it. 
I think those interruptions in our lives, is to get our attention, to wake us up.  We need to help each other through this life, not destroy each other.  Help me walk when I am faltering. I will help you too. 

I hope these words I’ve written today will give you some peace of mind.  Ask God to help you, He will!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cheerio, then, and Hello to the New

Stars and Stripes patch from Joanna Fiqueroa, Fig Tree & Co. Nantucket Mystery Block of the Month
After saying an anniversary prayer for the passing of mum, and unfortunately adding two passings around the same date, I bid farewell to them that passed.  Still feeling sad, I have been able to put my hands to the test and make a production of things.  One being namely the Stars and Stripes patchwork above.  How lovely is that??  I am so thankful Joanna Figueroa is in this world right now, to cheer me up!! 

A gift for a friend
I laid my hand onto paints and canvas, after so many years, and made the above gift for a friend, from a photo she sent of her front door.  I think it has made a pleasing picture, no?
And this is for you, my friend:  a pot of flowers to cheer you on this hottest day of days.
Remember this day in your coldest this winter. 
Think of those whom you love, and let it warm you.
The end.


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