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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Chocolate Rye . . . Oh My

I love to cook with my preschoolers.  Since we were learning the letter "B" this week I decided to break out my Crockpot to bake in for the first time this year.  Usually we make a yeast bread, but this year we made Banana Bread.

When we make bread I always have the kiddos make butter with me.  I was in kindergarten when I made butter for the first time.  My teacher gave each one of her students a small glass baby food jar with some cream.  I'm pretty sure Mrs. Handly would approve of my plastic bottle. :-)   I empty a 16 oz. water bottle into my coffee maker for cup #2 and then fill it halfway with cream and a pinch of salt before transporting to school.  I learned the first year 3/4 of the way doesn't give the cream enough room to move around and actually make butter.  We shook that bottle a while.  When the time is right I take the bottle out of my chill bag and we give each child a turn (or two) to shake the bottle really hard.  I usually finish it off.  The butter is done when the butter solids completely separate from the buttermilk.  There will be a hard ball of butter sloshing around in the buttermilk.

The best part of making butter is the buttermilk byproduct.  Because it's still fresh the buttermilk tastes like sweet milk.  Most of the kids are so excited to try it, and I have at least one every year try it even though they're scared and realize how good it is.  Buttermilk in stores has already been cultured, but ours never is, so it's much more palatable to a preschooler.
Chocolate Rye Bread
Progress continues on Love Never Fails.  I have fixed the bottom and am now filling in the diamonds.
The original bottom center read "LOVE".  I have free handed my last name in there.  That was either bold or foolish considering how many mistakes I have already made using the pattern.  I'm happy to say things worked out.
The dress is nearly finished.  School started nearly a month ago, and stitching has been mostly ignored.  I think I just need to force myself to stitch an hour a day whether I feel like it or not.  I'm hoping to have this piece finished by the Homespun Gathering in a couple of weeks.  That's probably very ambitious, but if I'm not done the goal will have gotten me closer than I might have been otherwise.
I have been looking for a replacement coffee mug for several years.  I bought two stoneware cups from Target around 8-10 years ago--one blue, one green.  Of course there are others in the cabinets, but these were stoneware, felt great, looked great, and were the perfect size.  In general, the others are ignored.   The blue cup's handle finally broke off a several years ago, so I was down to the green.  First, it developed crazing.  Then, there was a tiny hairline crack developing along the side.  From time to time, as I'm drinking one of my many cups, I hear the sounds of the crack lengthening. 

Finally, a our church's choir Christmas (German themed) dinner arrived.  We hear and receive the music we will sing at Christmas.  This dinner, a couple of weeks ago, got me to thinking.  I could use a beer stein for my coffee.  We don't drink anything stronger than coffee in my house, but vessels are fair game.  A little surfing later I came up with this beauty of a beer mug, and I'm totally in love.  It feels fabulous in hand.  It was made by hand.  It can be microwaved or placed into the dishwasher.  The best part of the mug is its 20 oz. size.  I get a full 16 oz. of coffee and there is still enough room for milk if I'm not using cream. :-)  I'm strongly considering the 32 oz. size for the ice when I make iced coffee.    This mug has been such a blessing and a gift. :-)

Until next time count your blessings--God's gifts to you.

Judy