Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oh I love a rainy.... day!

Yep, we got a good steady day of rain yesterday, and into the early morning this morning. Refilled the water tanks over at the FIL's for the plants this summer, and watered our new seeds & seedlings in well.

(The FIL does have a well, but it's nearing the point of needing to be redug, so we water from the rain barrels as much as possible, to preserve water for the FIL & MIL. When it's very dry, the FIL & DH have treked through the brush behind FIL's house down to the gravel pit/fly-pond that's back there and pumped water from the pit/pond to the barrels for watering purposes. But, we'll take the rain over the pond-water if it's given to us.)

Anyway, so DH & DD spent about half of the day in town yesterday with FIL shopping & bumming around, which gave me a chance to do some baking & watch recently taped episodes of SG:1 and SG:Atlantis. *sigh* Ahhhh, bliss!

Here are a couple of pics of the baking: These are only 2 of the 3 loaves that came out of this batch. (The third went over to my next-door neighbour before I snapped this pic.) They all 3 rose beautifully, but I don't know WHY this one loaf is so much bigger than the others. I guess it must be my inability to estimate quantities & sizes. I have a hard time making evenly sized loaves. But, it's homemade, so it's all good, I suppose. And it tastes delicious, so what more could a person want??? *grin*
For the record, this is my favorite Challah recipe. I'm not of Jewish descent or anything (not that I think it'd be a bad thing if I were, I'm just not), but as a teen I babysat for a Jewish couple with 2 darling little girls. At first they had me take care of their daughters at their home, but then invited me to go along with them to their Sabbath service to care for their daughters during the sermon (or whatever they call it). I would be downstairs during the religous part, but would bring the girls up during the Seder dinner that they would share as a congregation and was welcomed to take part. It was a very small congregation, of about 20 or so people all together. As a rule, about 14 people would show up for the sermon & Seder. The rabbi's wife did the baking of the bread (as was customary, it seemed to me), and the main dish (a brisket, I believe). The rest of the congregation would bring accompanying sides. All kosher, and all delicious, though the Challah was my favorite. And She (the rabbi's wife) made the most beautiful big, golden braids. Both brushed with egg white after baking for that sheen that mine don't have, and one of them sprinkled with poppy seeds.

I fell in love with Challah during those few Seders (the family moved not long after, or something, and I stopped sitting for them), and spent a few years trying to find a good recipe and learning how to bake yeast bread for myself. Took some trial & error on my part & some searching, but I finally found a recipe that I like (and didn't use a crap-load of eggs), and figured out the proper way to buy & store yeast so it wouldn't die on me before I could use it. Anyway, so I use a recipe called "Low Cholesterol Challah" using only 1 egg in the bread, and 1 for brushing over the top, though I don't do that part. I don't recall the title of the cookbook I found it in, only that it was this fat, silvery-gray paperback cookbook that I found at the library.

This was DH & Puck, making dinner last night. DH brought home a whole, cut-up chicken to barbeque. We boiled it first, for 20 minutes, in lightly salted water seasoned with a Mesquite barbeque seasoning (a dry seasoning). Then he grilled it nice & slow for about an hour & a half, till it was cooked through, basting it with a honey barbeque sauce (store bought, I don't recall the brand) towards the end. We had some HUGE artichokes that he got at the grocery store, and some mac & cheese (the blue box, certainly nothing fancy). But oooooohhhhh, the chicken & the artichokes made up for the humdrum mac & cheese. (DH & DD wouldn't give me any ideas for what they wanted to go along with the chicken & artichokes, so I just did up a box of the mac&cheese really quickly as SOMETHING to go along.) I just thought this picture was too good to NOT snap. Puck wanted to be out there with his daddy, and DH was sitting out there listening to the rain fall on the roof above his head while he grilled. They both looked rather bored & chilled. *wry smile*
Anyway, so that was MY Memorial Day. A nice mellow rainy one. I hope everybody else had a peaceful, mellow day with loved ones. And while I'm glad for the rain we had, I hope most of the rest of y'all had sunny days for getting outside & sharing the time with your family.
Have a Blessed Day!


Michelle said...

Glad you had a good memorial day. The bread looks delicious. Wow, it would make such a delicious french toast! :)

My memorial day was spent PMSing and watching reruns of some show on tv. Certainly not the most productive of days, but when your body decides to be all crampy and icky feeling, it's about all one can handle!

Anonymous said...

Your bread looks great! Mine never come out the same size either but thats okay.

Brightest blessings


Connie Peterson said...

How about sharing your recipe??

And you like StarGate? OOOOOOOOO!! Me, too! Me, too!


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I'm glad you had a good weekend. The bread looks delicious!

peppylady said...

I haven't made bread in years and it looks all so yummy.

FoxTayle said...

I have had such a difficult time baking bread - I can't ever get my dough to rise the way it should and it comes out so dense even though I've been lessening the amount of flour. Your loaves are gorgeous!