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Sunday, March 31, 2013

31 Days

This writing challenge began as a way to pressure myself into blogging more frequently.  My blog was intended to be a record of our family adventures, recorded mostly for the grand kids to read someday.  I had a small audience of family and friends who read what ever I posted, but I never set out to create an audience or to be an example of scholarly wisdom!  My Aunt Linda, who has always been my cheerleader, enjoyed a month of pictures I posted in February and she wanted to know what I was doing for March. I began looking around for something and being a frequent visitor to the website Two Writing Teachers I was familiar with but had never participated in their Slice of Life Challenge which requested that participants write something everyday in March.
I work best under pressure and sometimes that is exactly what it was.  I typed a couple of posts with heavy eyelids at the last minute, because I am just like that.  If I make a commitment I keep it.  One of my favorite quotes is from Horton Hatches an Egg, a Dr. Seuss story where Horton the Elephant says, “I said what I meant and I meant what I said, an elephant's faithful 100 percent.”
I’ve made it to the last day.  It may have become a habit.  I surprised myself some days, when I opened my word processor and wrote about something completely different than the post I had created in my mind.  I can be distracted easily like that!   Or some days I had to wait and something just happened in my ordinary day that sparked an idea. 
Thanks to new friends who commented along the way, and thanks to family who encouraged me along the way! I still have much to say and you know that my camera is never very far away so when I have writer’s block or a busy day a picture may let you know what is going on at the Ponderosa!


Jackie said...

This was my first year too....and I am glad I took the challenge. I think I read your post everyday...I like your picture..and the Meanwhile Back on tht Ponderosa. You have a great writing style...and I know your grandchildren will appreciate this. Hope to see you Tuesdays. Jackie Irish brown bread

Makes 1 round loaf

Brown bread, leavened with baking soda and made mostly with whole-wheat flour, is said to be the real Irish bread. The familiar cross cut into the top of the loaf allows heat to penetrate the center so the bread bakes evenly. This version, from Theodora FitzGibbon’s “A Taste of Ireland,” cools on a rack so the crust is crisp. For a softer bread, wrap the hot loaf in a clean dish towel until cooled.

4 cups whole-wheat flour (I use 2 cups whole wheat and 2 Cups White Whole Wheat)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2⅔ to 3 cups cold buttermilk ( I added about a tablespoon of molasses in one of the cups to give it just a hint of sweet)
All-purpose flour (for sprinkling)
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with authentic Irish bread
Recipe for currant scones
An Irish butcher celebrates Irish-American corned beef

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk the whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, baking soda, and salt to blend them. Make a well in the center and pour in 2⅔ cups of buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture lightly and quickly to blend fully. The dough should be soft and moist but not too wet. Add a little more buttermilk if needed.

3. Dust a counter lightly with all-purpose flour and set the dough on it. With floured hands, form the dough into a mound, but don’t knead it; too much handling will make the bread tough. Flatten it into a round about 1½ inches thick. Place the dough on the parchment. Using a wet knife, make a deep cross in the top of the loaf (do not cut all the way through to the bottom, but cut to the edges).

4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned, firm in the center, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. It is better fully baked than underbaked. Transfer the loaf to a rack and cool for about 30 minutes. Serve with soft butter. Adapted from “A Taste of Ireland”

Nanc said...

I loved reading your blog...and will continue to. I think it is so funny when I sit down to write something and something totally different flies out. love and am so jealous of the Ponderosa...maybe someday. xo

ssurridge said...

I also enjoyed popping in to see what was happening on the ponderosa. Your family is very blessed to have someone to record special memories. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. If you ever have time and miss doing all that commenting, I have a class of third graders who will be continuing to post and would love comments for the fourth quarter of our school year.