Day 16: Words of Encouragement

Ordinary people don't know how much books can mean to someone who's cooped up.  Anne Frank

Hello, and happy Saturday to you. What are you guys planning to get up to today? It is going to be a beautiful day here. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the lilacs are in bloom. As soon as the temperature warms up a bit, it is going to be windows open!

I bought a gorgeous standing mixer that I am super excited to try out. I have never baked a homemade loaf of bread in my life, but this pandemic has encouraged me to try to become a bit more self-sufficient. For a moment, it didn’t look as if I was going to be able to find bread flour, but luckily, I managed to snag a 5 lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill at The Fresh Market the other day.

Finding specific foods is a funny business these days, isn’t it? You go into one store, and you might find yeast packets but no bread flour. Another store might have bread flour but no yeast or eggs. Or, you might find several packages of steak but no ground beef or vice versa. I discovered at Kroger last night that all of the bacon was gone. And, of course, tp and cleaning supplies? Yeah, right. Good luck with that! I hope that people will soon start to realize that there is no disruption in the food supply. We aren’t going to starve, people! Unless, of course, you panic and buy up all the food!

Aside from today’s foray into the world of bread making – wish me luck – I plan to cozy up and read. I just started Jenna Bush Hager’s book pick for April, a debut novel from Elizabeth Wetmore called Valentine. I also purchased The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. That one, in particular, promises to be profoundly inspiring and relevant for the time we are currently living in.

What about you? What are you currently reading? Or baking? Or anything!

Have a nice day, friends. Stay safe! x

27 thoughts on “Day 16: Words of Encouragement

  • Enjoy the bread making! Remember, even if the first one isn’t pretty, it will still taste good. It’s like any other skill – it gets better with practice. You’ll be baking bread like a pro in no time 😊

    • I can’t believe it, Luffy, it turned out great! I made crusty French bread. It wasn’t quite as tall as I would have liked, but I later learned that was because it is considered a quick-bread. The first proof was for just one hour. Do you think there is any harm in letting it sit in the bowl for two hours? I was SO happy, though. The outside was crusty and the inside was soft and moist. Hooray!

  • Haha! Baking bread is such fun! Unless it’s raining. Then the bread misbehaves. Btw, you do not need bread flour, unless your recipe is picky and unforgiving. If you’ve got a Dutch oven, you might want to try the simple recipe in my cookbook.
    I plan on baking a hoe cake today, to go with my beef stew of a couple days ago. I got the recipe from author Laura Frantz.
    Today I’m reading “A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne Tyler and a little booklet about personal and constant revival.
    Thanks for the daily encouragement, Wendy. I look forward to it each day.

    • Loving your words of encouragement, Wendy. I’m doing the same, baking my own bread for the first time in a while. I keep tweaking the recipe to get it just the way I want it. It’s always a bit of a lottery but we eat it all the same. We’ve got too used to having the perfect fluffy stuff from the store so I set my sights a little lower and I’m thrilled with the results. You will be too. Stay safe, my friend.

      • Wendy, thank you! I’m discovering that many people enjoy making their own bread. What kind do you make? I did a crusty French bread yesterday and was so pleased with the results. I may repeat the process today, just to get it locked in my mind. Then I might move on and do a white sandwich bread. You please stay safe too!

      • That’s fantastic. I’m doing a white sandwich bread because that’s the only flour I can get but often I do a wholemeal no knead loaf in a dutch oven. Easy peasy.

    • My bread turned out amazing! I still can’t believe I actually MADE bread. This fun new hobby is definitely not going to bode well for my ever-expanding waistline. 😀 Will try your recipe soon. I have a French oven that should work.

    • My bread turned out amazing! I still can’t believe I actually MADE bread. This fun new hobby is definitely not going to bode well for my ever-expanding waistline. 😀 Will try your recipe soon. I have a French oven that should work.

  • Enjoy your bread making. You can make yeast with potato water, flour and sugar. Also Irish soda bread doesn’t need yeast. We can’t drive around looking for ingredients. Only to the closest grocery store and make do. I use whatever flour I have. Sun is shining here and I’m reading and writing! Take care. xo

    • Thanks for the tip, Darlene. If yeast continues to be in short supply, I might have to go to alternative methods. I saw a news story this morning that said Spain may be getting past the virus peak. I sure hope that is true. Please continue to stay safe. x

  • I hope your bread came out well. I’ve used a bread machine for years, both for starting dough to shape on my own and having it bake in the machine – easy, but the results aren’t as good as the old-fashioned way.
    I just finished the last of my library books, taken out before they closed down, so now I’m venturing back into my book shelves. Took down ‘Cross Creek’ by Marjorie Kinnon Rawlings. We’ll see if I like it now as much as I did 30 years ago. (Yeah, it’s been there gathering dust that long –ha!)

    • It turned out so good! I made crusty French bread and couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. I may try doing sandwich bread today.
      I have heard of that book but have not read it. Isn’t it considered a classic?

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