Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How do you say Bagel?

Bay-gle?  Baggle?  How about delicious?

Yeah, I had the energy to make these yesterday.  They're so damn delicious, but they do take some time so it doesn't happen very often.  Let me explain.  (These aren't quite the same as the ones you can get in a bagel shop, but WAY better than the crappy doughy ones you can get by the half dozen at the grocery store.)

1 1/4 cups warm water
3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (you know, to make it ok to eat more than one at a time :))
3 tablespoons sugar or honey
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: an eggwhite for brushing the tops and your choice of topping. (Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse sea salt, dried onion flakes...)

*a pot of boiling water with a 1/4 cup of sugar in it.

In a large bowl, combine water, salt, sugar, and yeast.  Let sit for about 10 minutes to let it get frothy to make sure those yeasties are up for the task of making you delicious, fluffy bagels.  Add the oil and flour, one cup at a time until you get a good dough consistency that is easy to handle.  Knead for about 15 minutes or until the dough is nice and stretchy.  Pour a tiny bit of oil in the bottom of the bowl and place the dough back into it, rolling it around so that it has a nice coat all over it.  Let rise in a warm place for an hour or two.

Once it's doubled in size, punch it down and shape into bagel shapes.  I made 10 smaller ones, but you could also make 6 giant ones if you want.  Let rise for another 30 minutes until they get a little fluffier.  In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the sugar (or some honey if you prefer.)  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  If you have toppings (other than the salt), sprinkle them onto a smaller plate so that they are ready to be dipped in. 

Now, boil each of the bagels for a minute on each side.  Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and dip the tops into the toppings.  (You can also brush them with an egg white wash before dipping them if you prefer.)  Arrange them topping side up on the parchment paper.  Bake them for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Try them toasted with cream cheese and lemon curd and ENJOY!  I promise, you will.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Greens are Yummy

The results are in: the ladies LOVE the greens. Here they are, being enticed by the tray.

The chicken yard is growing but still too sparse to let them at it. We still have another tray for them and will plant more here soon. It fells really good to be able to grow something just for them.

On another note, I haven't posted any Sunday harvests lately but we have been harvesting things here and there. Unfortunately, I haven't been keen on vegetables lately and have been too tired to be out there much so things have been neglected.  But, the other day we thoroughly enjoyed a dinner that was made up of at least half things from the garden.  It was so damn good.  I kinda want it again.

Edamame and potato salad with home grown carrots, onions, and cucumbers.
I also made a delicious zucchini bread and have been enjoying delicious sandwiches with all the tomatoes I'm getting. We have some serious potatoes in the ground too.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sometimes Life is Extra Interesting

So some of you may be wondering what happened to that experiment where I was going to try out all those eco-friendly menstrual products.  Well, trust me, I haven't forgotten about it and I still can't wait to do it.  However, it is very likely that I will be trying out eco-friendly baby diapers before I get around to trying the pads and diva cup.

Yes indeed, Shawn and I are expecting.  Ooooh, boy. (Or girl.)

If you're not planning on reading the rest of this post, read this first before you click away:  PLEASE let's keep this whole thing off the wonderful world of Facebook.  Though we are not keeping this news a secret, we are also not wanting the WHOLE WORLD to know about it.  At least not yet.  I'm sure it'll get there somehow, like a herpes virus, but for now I'm not ready.  We've told the important people in our lives and now that it will be on this here blog, I think everyone who needs to know and has the right to know will know.  Eventually, I know that it will become too obvious to keep it much of a secret, but for now, I'm not ready for the barrage of Facebook likes and comments.  There's just something fake and overwhelming about it, you know?

So what does this all mean for this blog?  First of all, it will not turn into a mom blog.  Not that there's anything wrong with them, I've been an avid reader of several mom blogs for a few years now.  In fact, this blog was started because of all the mom blogs that started cropping up several years ago.  But there are lots of them and I feel like I have something special and a little different going.  (Well, not that I have the only urban homesteading blog in existence, either.  But I'm special, dammit!)

Over the years, this blog has become an extension of myself.  A lot of the goings-on in my life (that pertain to the theme of the blog) are shared here, and I have found myself being more experimental, ambitious, and motivated to try new and fun things so that I always have things to write about and to keep things from getting stale.  Considering this relationship I have with the blog and since it mirrors much of my everyday life, I'm sure this whole baby thing will indeed make an appearance from time to time.  I just hope that it doesn't become an everyday thing and a place where I post incessant pictures of every cute thing the wee one does.  And yes, I know I will think everything is cute, but I also know the rest of you won't give a sh** most of the time.

So there you go.

I'm 14 weeks now, feeling fat and bloated.  Overall, being pregnant has sucked donkey balls.  I have almost every side effect possible, from nausea, to constipation, to constant heartburn.  I get sick when I move too fast and too much, but I also get sick when I sit for too long.  So I have to maintain a constant life rate of two and a half miles an hour to stay comfortable.  I've probably gained more weight than I should have at this point and I can't wait to have a legitimate belly so I have a reason to have a belly beyond the fact that I've eaten too many carbs and haven't worked out for 3 months. 

I could complain a lot more but I'll spare you the pain of reading it.  Hooray for getting all knocked up and stuff.  I haven't told my boss yet, that's causing some anxiety.
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