Thursday, January 11, 2018

Homemade Bread, Etsy Purchases and Grandchildren

Hello my friends.  I'm sitting here on a bright, sunny afternoon, enjoying the freshness after our rainstorm on Tuesday.  When it rains, it can pour down here in southern California.  Our pool is filled to the top but luckily it didn't overflow.  I feel so sad for all those people who have lost life or home from the ravages of the floods due to the Thomas Fire (which is about 100 miles north of where I live).  Sometimes, we can take things for granted.  I'm so thankful every day.

Being thankful, I'm so thankful for the many blog friends I have met.  I get so many great ideas from all of you.  It can be books, fiber arts, recipes, gardening or just some great advice now and then.  The other day I was reading Morning's Minion's blog and she had shared her recipe for some wonderful homemade bread.  She's an expert bread baker! I used to bake bread regularly but for the past few years, my yeast baking has consisted of rolls.  Today, I made the bread pictured above.  You can find my recipe at the bottom of this post if you wish to try it.  (I think it didn't proof enough hence the crack in the loaf).

The title of this post today mentions Etsy purchases.  I've finished my latest  needlepoint and I found this much needed little thread catcher on Etsy.  Isn't this just an adorable little fabric bag?  And, it was like $5.00!

I think I shared with you that I joined The Handmade Sock Society and I'm anxiously awaiting for the first pattern release.  I wanted (but didn't need :)) a new sock project bag.  I found this adorable little project bag from this seller on Etsy.  It was a great buy, too!  I used to sew back in the old days.  But, my sewing skills are circa 1970's and it makes me nervous with clipping all those threads, etc.  Hence, my love of knitting/crochet/needlepoint.

For the past few months, my dear husband has been having some medical tests are still inconclusive.  On our way home from the doctor on Tuesday, during a torrential downpour, we stopped at Trader Joe's and I just had to buy this colorful cyclamen complete with the flower pot.  I'm wondering if this is a plant and I can keep and have it bloom again?

My little granddaughter is here for a couple of nights.  Here she is at her home helping her Mom set the table.  Her older brother (my first grandchild), will join her tomorrow for a fun time with Grandma and Grandpa.  The joys of being a grandparent!

I hope that the New Year is being good to you.  Lilly is doing well and wanted me to send her "meows" to everyone, too!  Until next time . . .

My best wishes,

Pat's Whole Wheat Bread
2 cups lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
scant 1/3 cup honey/molasses mixture (you can use all honey if you wish or brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 Tablespoon salt
3 cups Trader Joe's pastry whole wheat flour*
2 cups all purpose flour*

I used my Kitchenaid mixture to make/knead this dough.  I placed the water in the warmed bowl and added the yeast.  Let it sit about 5 minutes.  Add in honey/molasses mixture, oil, salt and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour.  Start mixer to begin combining the ingredients.  You can give it a good stir with a large wooden spoon.  Add in all purpose flour, gradually, until mixture becomes a ball.  Don't add too much as you want a soft dough.  Knead a few minutes in the machine and then remove beater and cover dough and let it rise for at least one hour.

Punch down dough and divide into four balls of equal size.  Let the balls rest for about 10 minutes.  Grease well two 9 x 5 bread pans.  Shape each ball into a nice ball and place two balls in each pan.  Let rise for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place bread pans in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they sound "hollow".  Place a clean tea towel on the counter and put a cooling rack on top.  Remove bread from pans onto cooling rack.  Brush tops with butter.  Let cool and then slice or freeze them as you wish.

* I keep my whole wheat flour in the frig to prolong it's life.  But, when I looked at it today, it wasn't fresh so I used instead this Trader Joe's pastry flour.  It worked great as it's just a finer ground whole wheat flour.  In you use regular whole wheat flour, I would use two cups whole wheat to 3 cups of all purpose flour.  It's up to you whether you enjoy a fine textured bread versus a coarse textured bread.




  1. You did good with your purchases. I have never seen that particular thread catcher it is very cute as well as the bag. and yes the cyclamen can be kept and it will bloom again. Although I have never had any luck with them my friend has. Just google for the care.

  2. Don't over water Cyclamen, they should regrow, I put mine out in the garden, in the shade if your climate is hot. I keep most of mine in pots, through out the winter, and move them to the back of the garden in the summer, when I reuse my pots with summer blooms.

  3. Your new purchases are lovely aren't they. Hope that all will be well for your husband and that you can keep your pretty cyclamen going too! I plant them outside and sometimes they take and sometimes not!

  4. Hello Pat,

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your kind message. I am just the opposite moving from Southern California to the Northwest. I have never been very good with that whole yeast thing but your rolls certainly look yummy. Good luck with your Cyclamen and I have said a little prayer for your husband.

  5. Lovely photos Pat, all the best with your Cyclamen. I'm not so good at growing plants, I meant to buy a Cyclamen for Christmas but in the great shopping and organisation of all things Christmas, alas it was forgotten this time. All the best with it, Cx

  6. Grandchildren are indeed a joy. They can be very tiring though! It's years since I made conventional bread but I do make one from oats which is flavoured with rosemary and mixed seeds. I haven't sewn for a long time either, other than shortening a hem or making minor adjustments to things.

  7. I love your little thread catcher, Pat - that is the cutest thing! You found a nice bag, too. Glad to hear that you are far from the area of the fires. We've watched the news throughout it all and now the mud-slides - so very tragic. Your bread must've made your kitchen smell heavenly. There is nothing better than a slice of homemade bread slathered with butter (or for me - sugar-free jam) I think the cyclamen might survive if kept in a cool spot with filtered sunlight after blooming and kept moist. So nice to have the little ones for a visit - hope you get lots of hugs and cuddles. xx Karen

  8. I was scrolling along and thought, 'That's how I shape my bread!' For some reason I hadn't found your blog previously--or neglected to add it to my blog folder. Now I've done that!


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