22 May 2009

sunshine + sunscreen

hello + goodbye.
am wrapping up the week with random bits.


01. we're headed on a memorial day roadtrip. am hoping for super good weather, lots of fun and no teething episodes. we'll be enjoying all the comforts of home away from home; brothers and sisters, picnics and parks, saturday brunch, bike rides, sack lunches, cousins and a darling, doublicious two-year twin birthday party at my sister's house. (i have the candy necklaces packed.) i love attempting to squeeze a million things into one weekend.

02. i baked bread again the other day and thought i ought to share my latest tips (i have been getting emails about bread, gluten, yeast and dough advice, which i love and desperately knead). here we go with the unsolicited; work your dough til it bounces back. i use a kitchen-aid and mix the ingredients with a paddle and switch it to the dough hook when it starts pulling away from the sides. i let it knead on medium high for 8 minutes or more. then i work it with my hands if it needs it. i read that adding the salt near the end but still before kneading, is good too (haven't noticed much difference). also i like rising the dough twice. once in a lightly oiled bowl and then in bread pans; 1 to 2 hours each. though my favorite tip for you is to substitute warm milk instead of warm water for a velvety texture. for instance, my recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of warm water, i walk on the wild side and use 1 1/2 cups milk + 1 cup water instead. be sure to proof your yeast in water. believe me, adding milk has changed our bread for the better. just like that song from wicked. i'll never go back. am very happy with the outcome. bread baking is experimental, every time is different, every time i learn something new. so i am keeping a big post-it note in my cookbook to jot down new bread tips each time i attempt a new batch. oh and i hope you are brushing butter on the top of your bread after baking. it makes a shiny soft crust. mmm. have wrapped up a loaf for my mom and dad with high hopes they'll love it.

03. benji turns 9 months old on monday. oh boy, i have so much to say about him. i keep jotting wildly on loose note cards about the cute things i shan't forget. (must collect my thoughts and bind them or scrapbook them or journal them or type them up. any ideas for documenting your child? i feel like i'm doing random pieces; i need a better system.) he is nine months in, nine months out. when he was roasting inside last year, i had no idea that my nine month old babe would be scooting his way across the floor, batting at the stereo and managing to turn on the jack johnson cd in the same routine, every afternoon. it's hilarious how his little chubby hand turns the fat volume knob. (these days i'm happy we kept all our old crap; like said stereo, because i don't mind if benji pounds on it or shakes the cassette tape doors off. i doubt i'll need them, i haven't made a mix tape in years.) more on benjibear later.

04. speaking of jotting things down, i promise to write in a notebook this weekend. i'll smush it in somehow, perhaps on the car ride. if you're involved in write club, i urge you to do the same. write some words. i read this fantastic writer's group advice from tiffany and felt happiness all over. and completely motivated again. thank you, tiff. (can i call you tiff? i probably would in real life, if you liked it or not. i tend to do that. but i think you would like it. and i'd let you call me mini mart.) so the basic gist of it is i must get back to the notebook. have been slacking, as i'm sure you can tell. am determined to be better. lets compare notes when i get back. we'll all be suntanned and gorgeous and inspired and ready to rock and ready to roll.



how could i resist a roadtrip with these boys? benji still loves the 3 hour drive; knock on wood. with a warm car, his mini lazy boy and plenty of chew toys, how could he not? three cheers for roadtrips, family barbecues, bubbles, kites, sidewalk chalk, sunscreen and sunshine. i am glad to be with my/his family on the weekend where we remember loved ones who are smiling down on us. will be thinking of them too.

i would love to know what you have planned for the long lovely weekend. hope it's a good one. will be back with more stories, more snapshots and surely more freckles.

17 comments:

Molly said...

have fun & be safe!!!
~Molly P

Christine said...

great bread tips! have a lovely memorial day weekend.

Melissa said...

I love the way you describe things. (Benji's lazy boy) Sounds so fun and cozy. Have a wonderful weekend.

JJB said...

cute, cute photos. have a wonderful trip!

Tara said...

You and your family are just too adorable. :) Have a wonderful long weekend!
Since you asked, I'll be driving 3 hours after work to visit my boyfriend for the long weekend. I think we're going to squeeze in a baseball game, lots of cuddle time and maybe even sitting out in the backyard to catch some sun. :)
Hope everyone has a good and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Tiffany said...

The bread tips are making me drool. Not good for the computer keyboard. I love how you connected the milk in your bread to a great musical. :)

And yes, you can call me Tiff. I like you, Mini Mart.

Kelli said...

Enjoy your trip with your favorite guys. Your time at home away from home sounds relaxing and comforting.

debby said...

one of the fun ideas that i've come across for documenting your child is to write them a monthly letter, telling them about their growth over the month, any memorable experiences, etc. sadly, i didn't come across this idea until my daughter was eight months old and i decided to just go forward from there, rather than trying to backtrack. i also select about five to ten (usually ends up being ten) of my favorite pictures from the month and put them in a folder with the letter on my computer. when she is 18, i plan to make a book with the letters and pictures and give it to her as a gift.

Polly said...

I'm planning on spending my weekend having a lovely backyard luncheon with a bunch of crazy, silly nieces and daughters and one funny sister..of course I'm the serious one who has to keep control of all the hilarity going on..um I wonder who this strange group might be?!

Ashely said...

Headed to Moab for some mountain biking! I also will return with more freckles :)

Kayla Linzy said...

Have a great weekend! Our long weekend up here in Canada was last weekend, so hope you enjoy yours like we all did. (:

My mom used to make bread all the time, and I miss it.

ALFIE said...

such a cute post!
love the bread tips and the writing encouragement!
I've felt so motivated recently to get stuff on paper...can't wait to sit in the sun with my notebook and go ink crazy while we bbq!

have an awesome trip!

My Three Sons Designs said...

happy a happy weekend Marta! We're off to picnic ourselves right now...

That Tall Girl said...

Marta,
Working on the bread right now! Thanks for the tips! I'm actually on my second try. Round one: water was too hot, killed yeast. Round two: yeast bubbled up nicely...did all you said and its now sitting in microwave with a glass of hot water (trying to maintain rising temp).

Will keep you posted...can't wait to eat it!

summer said...

so excited to try out those deluxe bread tips, marta.
thank you! loved the "nine months in, nine months out." cleverness abounds here in m.world. and can't wait to hear more on the b.bear later.

oh freckles! i am jealous. freckles are specks of magic in my mind. always wanted some of those beauties.

holtkamp said...

hey marta! i heard you guys were down in our neck of the woods...slc...will you be riding the MS tour this year?

KJ said...

landscaping and gardening and maybe even a little farmer tan

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