Whether we pour our heart and souls into something or not, we still may need to sort things out and get to the heart of the matter. In comes the forsythia branch – maybe she can shed some light on the subject and we can flourish in a new perspective. But first…remember that bread recipe I promised?…not sure if you’ll “knead” it as much as I do, but none-the-less it’s delish.
Rise to the Occasion
When given the opportunity to take it or leave it, how do we know what to take and what to leave? Do we weigh out all the options until the cows come home or simply take the plunge and regret later? The occasion in and of itself could be a rather small matter or very monumental – but size aside we can dig as deep as we want and perhaps still not come up with an answer.
The Heart of the Matter
If you knead it will they come?
This is a recipe I have used for quite a few years and still do today. It makes the most delicious sweet(ish) bread and makes for great cinnamon rolls as well. Toast it in your toaster and kids will never want store bought bread again! After years of doing this all strictly by hand I switched to using my counter top mixer saving time and sweat. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
Amish White Bread (taken from allrecipes.com)
2 cups warm water *about room temperature*
2/3 cups white sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons active drive yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups flour (I prefer unbleached instead of bread flour)
1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water and then stir in yeast. Let yeast poof into a creamy foam (can take up to 1/2 hour or less).
2. Whisk salt and oil into the yeast mixture. Mix in flour one cup at a time using your bread dough hook. Put your heart into it and knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and spongy (lightly squeeze it like a ball and it should bounce back). Place in a oiled bowl (I use the same bowl), cover with a damp cloth with a plate on it and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, usually about 1-2 hours.
3. Punch down dough – yes, just as it says “punch it” as if to deflate a soft toy ball. Knead it 26-30 times in a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Could take longer depending on the temperature of your home. Slow rise is better than no rise.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
5. Enjoy the sweetness of this bread while it tickles your taste buds. Be sure to turn your oven fan on to make your neighbors jealous of the smell
6. Deliver a loaf to your neighbor 🙂
I’m a visual person and I honestly wish I had a photo of this bread for you, but quite frankly I’m not a recipe blogger so I’ll leave that to the professionals. Trust your gut and taste buds…it’ll be delish.
Just add water
Sick kids for five days straight not only had me scaling the walls but grasping at the thought of playing outside in the snow, but instead of climbing the walls I put on my boots and headed outside – alone. While scouring the yard and breathing in the fresh winter air, I clipped some forsythia branches, brought them inside, arranged them in a vase filled with water and fussed for a bit of where to place such an otherwise awkward arrangement. After deciding to place on the dining table I admired the left over leaves clinging to the thin branches and walked away knowing they would leaf out and extend their beautiful display of yellows with patience in a matter of days. Besides having fresh winter interest in the house I do have a point….
From something that was otherwise very familiar to her surroundings was taken out of her comfortable element, given a thirsty drink of water and began to bloom in her new environment.
Life can be full of endless decision making and sometimes our journey can take us to places yet unknown or even lead us to where we always knew we longed to be. If we put our heart into the matter of things, can we ever go wrong?
It only took a week and the forsythia went into full bloom and cheered us on in her journey. I’m here to do the same for you, whether your journey is leading your heart to unfamiliar places or to places that are just what you imagined them to be – I encourage you to bloom wherever you are planted and don’t be afraid to give yourself a “drink of water” to get yourself to bloom again.
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Until Next time…
Bound to be…helping you bloom where you are planted,