Just a recipe for today.  I’ve recently become a part of the world that is known as Pinterest.  I found this recipe there, and it quickly became a family favourite.  Now, my family, doesn’t like it as a sandwich bread per say, but some toasting and jam make it delectable. 

 

American Sandwich Bread

Ingredients:

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

1 cup warm whole milk (about 110°)

1/3 cup warm water (about 110°)

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

3 tbsp. honey

1 envelope (about 2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast

 

Directions:

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200°.  Once the oven temperature reaches 200°, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.

 

Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix the milk, water, butter, honey and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.  Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid.  When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes.  (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.)  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

 

Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 40-50 minutes.

 

On a floured work surface, gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.  With a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself.  Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.  Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20-30 minutes.

 

Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350°.  Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack.  Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and set the loaf onto the middle rack.  Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195°, 40-50 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.  Slice and serve.

 

Just over 19 months ago my world changed…again, with the birth of my fourth child, Kara Elise.  She came fast and furious and was welcomed into this world by her dad and I at 6:18pm.  Then, just over 13 months later my world was to change again.  My family was in the beautiful city of Paris for 3.5 weeks so Jason and I could take a French language class.  Long story…short….after being in Paris for a week Kara became very ill.  She was very lethargic.   I almost can not relive it, although I have a million times a day.  After a few tests it was determined that Kara had something large on her brain that needed to be removed….immediately.  Jason and I sat in a French waiting room for 7 hours waiting for the doctor.  Just after 2 in the morning they came.  She was still alive, but in a drug-induced coma and was being settled in the ICU.

Fast forward six months…here we are…February 7, 2012….6 months since surgery.  Six months since the night that we almost…very nearly…closer than I realized for quite some time, lost our little girl.  I think I could write a book of my thoughts and lessons learned over these past months.  But it boils down to this…the God I serve has watched over my Kara and my family in a way that I can not comprehend.  Kara’s life has been spared for His glory.

Here is where we are:  Kara had a vascular malformation (which, of course, we didn’t know about…one doesn’t CT scan their child when they are born)…this malformation hemorrhaged.  The damage that has been done to her brain can be likened to that which happens when someone has a stroke.  Kara is having to just allow her brain to heal, and she needs to relearn a few things.  The right side of her body will always be weaker.  She may never regain “normal” dexterity of her right hand.  But she is healing and there is continuous progress.  She doesn’t have the strength to stand on her own yet, but she is climbing stairs.  She does not use her right hand/arm for much.  However, I’ve been told by her occupational therapist that her muscle tone in her arm is back to normal.  Also, within the past couple of weeks she has begun to grab for things with her right hand…with a little coaxing.  But, we are getting there.  Underlying it all though, is the joy that I have for having the privilege to have Kara part of our family.  Her name means joy.  Yea, she brings just a little to all of us….

So…there we are…6 months later.

My little Kara bean.

Twenty years ago a wonderful woman succumbed to cancer.  She was my Gram.  She was beautiful….a model, in fact.  She was tall and thin and graceful.  She had the most amazing long fingers.  She was a wife and mother.  My mother’s mother.  She loved art and books.  I have memories of going to the MET in New York City with her.  She was an artist.  Her paintings are treasured.   She always sent my brother and I books.  And she was an amazing seamstress.    She was passionate about her beach in Cape Canaveral.  She loved nature, and instilled that in my mother, who passed it down to me.  This is my Gram.  Today, I’m remembering her last words to me. “I love you, and don’t ever forget it.” Today,  I’m missing her.  

I know, I know.  Some of you were probably thinking, “There she goes again, falling off the boat of blogging.”  No, I haven’t.  I’ve just been needing to give my family a bit more attention.  After a busy, but very relaxing Christmas season it was time to get to back to a routine.  So, we tried…and then Jason left for 8 days.  So, it was me, myself, and I running the show.  And, of course, about halfway through those eight days Charlie got ill.  Thankfully, I have great neighbours and friends who helped me out with school runs and food shopping.  Then, Kendra got it.  Then, Jane broke her finger….and then got the illness.  And, now, momma has it.  So, everyone has been requiring just a bit more of my attention.

 

I’m working on some new blog posts (in my head).  So…be expecting some new stuff soon.

 

Kara loves her daddy.

Homemade applesauce, homemade gingerbread and a cuppa.

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