Thursday, November 03, 2011
Okay, I am officially TIRED!
This morning I talked to the children about making healthy substitutions in recipes beifre we cooked. They were really interested in seeing of adding half applesauce instead of the whole amount of oil or butter in a recipe and only half the sugar would turn out and were excited about trying.
This morning we made four loaves of zucchini bread with freshly grated zucchinis.
Then we made three loaves of pumpkin bread with pureed fresh pumpkin. We had enough pumpkin for us to also make enough pumpkin muffins for everyone in the class to have one for our afternoon snack.
It was great for them to have the opportunity to taste the wares after making the substitutions and using fresh pumpkin. The muffins were delicious and a huge hit.
Our final bread of the day was the buttermilk cornbread. It was a pretty hilarious project. My cooks on this one were three 4th grade boys, all very enthusiastic. They were eggspert egg crackers; not one shell in the batter. However, my little guy with the electric mixer decided to try the 'powerburst' button and was surprised by its speed. The bowl, too close to the edge of the table, went flying across the room sending eggs and butter everywhere. What a slimy mess! They grabbed paper towels to clean up the explosion, while I went back to the kitchen for replacement ingredients. It is always an adventure to cook with children.
Once they finished their bread, it was moist, golden, and wonderful.
The aroma of the baking bread wafted throughout the school. It was a bit torturous.
I think I must have walked about five miles today between my classroom and the kitchen. I'm pretty certain that I walked off that mini muffin I ate.
Tomorrow we will be baking the yeast breads, parmesan bubble loaf, French bread, and challah. In the morning we will mix up the dough and let it rise. In the afternoon, we will shape the French bread, roll the individual balls of the parmesan bubble loaf in garlic butter and place them in loaf pans, and braid the challah, then bake everything.
As tantalizing as the school smelled today, it will be all the more tantalizing tomorrow with the yeast breads. I need to make sure I have protein snacks on hand to keep the Carb Monster from a full on attack.
Off to see Fernando now - I'll try to be perky, but oh boy - am I exhausted!
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Today and tomorrow I need my comfy shoes.
Our school is having our big Harvest Soup Supper to honor people who have contributed to our Annual Fund. My class traditionally bakes the bread for the event. We do quite a bit of baking and they are excellent bread bakers.
The children vote on what kind of bread they would like to bake for the event. This year, they decided on three sweet breads and three yeast breads; zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, cornbread, parmesan bubble loaf, French bread, and challah. Today we will bake the sweet breads because they stay fresh longer and tomorrow we will bake the yeast breads.
Usually I cook with whole grain flour, but for this event we will use refined flour since not everyone will eat a good whole grain bread. I will make the sweet breads a little healthier by cutting the amount of sugar and fat in the recipes. This is very easy to do with sweet breads. They still come out moist and sweet and delicious. We will also use fresh pumpkin instead of canned in our pumpkin bread.
I'll be on my feet most of the day. It is always an adventure cooking with 16 children.
After that, I need to rally my energy for my music lesson. What I'll want to do is take a nap!
Have a great Thursday.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
November 2. Entering November is hard for me. I try to remain in the present, but November challenges me with wanting to linger in sweet memories, ascend grief, and enjoy the present.
November 2. The day when my sweet baby granddaughter went down for her nap and forgot to breathe. A mysterious thing this is. Why did she do that? Please don't tell me that God wanted her. I wanted her. Her mommy and daddy wanted her. All of her family wanted her. We were not ready to let her go.
It is hard to lose a baby. They have not been here long enough to gather memories and stories, to share experiences, to garner the richness of life.
We have in our own ways found Lilee's Gifts.
For me, it was music. My father always sang to me, and I sang to my children. I was looking forward to singing to Lilee, but did not have many opportunities to. To start recovering from the pain of her loss, I bought myself my first guitar on her first birthday. I celebrate her life every time I play. I feel Lilee's spirit in the vibrations of its music. And yes, I do sing to her and write songs to her.
November 2. The last day of Dias De Los Muertos - the Days of the Dead. I love this tradition and celebrate it. These are the days to celebrate our departed loved ones, and I dedicate them to my great grandparents (I actually knew my great grandmother), grandparents, parents, granddaughter, mother-in-law, and my ancestors who I never met. Today I will place chysanthemums under the tree we planted over Lilee's ashes. And today I will sing her one of her songs.
Lilee is featured in my profile picture.
I particularly like this piece of traditional Dias de los Muertos art. It combines music and death, loss and life.
Today is a day to celebrate and honor our loved ones who are deceased.
I do not need condolences, just needed to blog.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
This made me laugh; sometimes just the key signature can be daunting.
I have had very different practice session this October, simply working on techniques and specific passages in difference pieces where those techniques are part of the music without working on any piece in its entirety. I am operating on faith that when I get back to playing entire pieces, they will come together in a cohesive way. Fernando has been giving me some very challenging assignments this past month. At first, when he assigned using the metronome to push myself to greater speeds with my tremolo, I was cursing him mightily during my practice sessions, but within a few days, I could really see the difference. My next lesson addressed doing the same thing with my arpeggios. I have been very pleased with my progress in both my tremolo and arpeggios.
No resting on my laurels though, this week's tough practice sessions entail improving my apoyando and tirando techniques. Right now, it's all about the speed. I have always practiced slowly to build up speed, but never got my speed... well, up to speed. Now I am pushing myself way out of my comfort zone. It can be frustrating, but it is really paying off.
I put in a minimum of an hour's practice time daily, and two hours if I have time.
I think about the 10,000 hours guideline for when one can actually perform with extreme competence. Darn! I started learning guitar so late in life! I think I probably now have around 2000 hours in.... but who's counting? LOL
Monday, October 31, 2011
My husband, who rarely notices or comments on anything related to how I look, said this yesterday,
"You are looking very chic."
I was wearing a grey ragwool oversized sweater, baggy grey jeans, and black fleece lined crocs - anything but chic. Comfy, but geeky,
"What do you mean?" I asked, "I'm not exactly stylin'."
"You are in great shape!"
"Oh." I said, "Buff?"
"Is that what it's called? You look great!"
Way to go, Body Pump!
Have any of you purchased the Spark Cookbook? I am wondering about the recipes in it. Having a nightshade allergy is very handicapping - when it comes to cookbooks, most cookbooks are wasted on me. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants are very nutritious so most cookbooks have recipes laden with them. The problem is, I can't eat them.
So my question is, if you have the cookbook what would you estimate the percentage of main dishes that have nightshades in them to be?
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