29 June 2011

I used To think I liked Baking...

I made the "Amish Friendship Bread" last night.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I want to say that the recipe is a cute idea and how tasty the bread turned out to be and how glad I am to have participated...however -

- it took a lot of work and A LOT of ingredients (I think I lost close to 6 cups of flour and just as much sugar to that "bread" - that's an absurd amount of flour and sugar to lose to ONE baking affair!) And it's not bread at all - it's more like cake. And when I say "more like cake" what I really mean is "it is cake". I admit I'm a little disappointed with the cake, too, because I could have had a cake that tastes just as good and would have cost me less in ingredients, time and energy by using an instant cake mix from Betty Crocker.

So that's a bit, you know...frustrating.

And my escapades with the "Friendship Bread" are still not over: I now have 4 (four!) ziploc bags of fermenting gook on my counter that, according to the recipe, I'm supposed to give to four of my friends.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, either.

On the one hand:
I should end this crazy "Friendship Bread" chain and save my friends from hours of slaving over sticky, smelly dough while sacrificing copious amounts of basic food staples to what is, ultimately, nothing more than a culinary disappointment.

On the other hand:
Maybe I know some people whose definition of "fun" is to slave for hours over sticky, smelly dough. Maybe I know people who would actually love this bread/cake stuff. Maybe I should pass the dough along and let my friends and neighbors decide for themselves.

So if you're reading this, and you're interested in one of my ziploc bags of slimy gook, let me know. You are more than welcome to take it.

24 June 2011

someone Should have googled "Amish" Before printing...

A co-worker offered me a bag of "Amish Friendship Bread" dough today. I was touched by her offer, and gladly accepted the bag of gooky (and questionably odorous) contents.

The dough takes 10 days to bake, nine of those days being spent adding certain ingredients on certain days and allowing the dough to sit, undisturbed and without air, for the rest of the time. On the tenth day you add the last of the ingredients, separate the dough into four parts, and bake one of the parts for yourself. The other three parts go to friends, with a copy of the recipe, and so the "friendship" bread continues.

Cute idea.

Here is a quote from the recipe:
"This bread is very delicious and makes a great gift. Only the Amish know how to create a "starter" so if you give them all away, you will have to wait until someone gives you a new starter to bake more yummy bread."


But wait a second...

...one of the ingredients is "1 large box instant vanilla pudding mix."

The Amish came up with this recipe? Really?

I'm not claiming to be an expert on Amish culture, but I can't help having some doubts concerning the origin of this particular recipe.

(Completely unrelated note that I cannot resist divulging: Stargate-SG1, season 3 episode 16, "Urgo." Dom DeLouise. Hilarious. Your quality of life will significantly increase within the hour it will take you to watch this episode - you need to watch it and hulu.com has it. Go!)

20 June 2011

my Life in The last two Weeks: condensed

I'm too tired at the moment to write anything clever. So instead, I present to you the words I've been trying to write for the last hour. I think the juxtaposition more adequately expresses my thoughts than any linear writing could have done. Enjoy.

"Lawd a-mussy! Ah is in pain!" And then I stop and wonder to myself, '"I is? I is?...is that correct? I don't think that's correct... Why did I say that?'

Last month I read "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker. It's fantastic (of course). I took it back to the library to get another book from my to-read list, and it just happened to be
"Beloved" by Toni Morrison. Also fantastic (of course) but it is heavy. Not a book for the light reader, certainly. So after delving through that, a friend recommended I read
"Their Eyes Were Watching God' by Zora Neale Hurston. Fan-freaking-tastic and I loved it a lot. Yessuh, I b'lieve y'all should read that book - tha's some good readin'.

How can I wash my dishes with the least amount of energy expenditure possible? Answer: watch TV instead.

Dealing with all kinds of pleasant gunk in my sinuses, but I thought I had it under control, and then the infection (or whatever it is) moved to my eye. (You can't tell, but I said that to you in the most indignant tone of voice I could manage while looking slightly offended.) My eye! So I stumbled out to the InstaCare with a bloodshot, swollen eyeball, feeling like Quasimodo escaped from my dark prison to terrify the masses.
I know I'm hideous - for both our sakes, please just look away...

I had forgotten how much I love "Stargate SG-1" until I watched 9 episodes of Season 1 in one night. Oh, insomnia - you take so much from me, and yet I glean from you some of the world's greatest forgotten treasures. I loathe your presence and then long for you to linger - ours is a love story for the poets.

As you may or may not know, all three of those books are African American novels, dealing with roughly the same themes of slavery vs. freedom, black vs. white, and male vs. female. The books take place within the same five decades 1890 - 1940 and at least some, if not all, of each book takes place in the South. So, you know, they're similar. Pretty easy to get characters and plots a little mixed around. Not to mention how the speech centers of my brain have been impacted by reading that southern dialect for weeks and weeks in a row...

Maybe it's totally normal, but it's never happened to me before, so I'm just the teensiest bit anxious: it hurts to swallow. A LOT. I have to brace myself for it and I shudder afterward and think, "Mussy mussy upon mah po' body..." It's not just sore; something back there is swollen. I can feel it and it concerns me. Is this what it feels like when you need to get your tonsils removed? Maybe it's cancer. It's cancer, isn't it? I'm dying. I don't know which is worse - that I think I'm dying or that I have to swallow again. shudder shudder shudder shudder

Cream of wheat, tomato soup, toast and applesauce are fine foods - I'm just as crazy about them as the next person - but I can't deny that I was pretty thrilled when I felt well enough for solid food again.

Life has been going on. 'Nuff said.

01 June 2011

I guess It's Wednesday

I haven't been feeling well for the last week or so. Pretty sure I'm getting sick/am sick/same thing.

When I saw my mother on Monday she hugged me and said, "You look horrible, by the way. Are you contagious?"

Thanks mom.

My first impulse was to be offended ("Whaddaya mean I look horrible?"). But on the other hand (after spending most of the day dragging myself around and trying to pretend to be feeling great when I just wanted to jump in a hole and die/go back to bed), it was nice to have someone recognize how terrible I was feeling. Validation.

I feel much better today, by the way and thank you. Although, that could just be the caffeine I've been putting into my system to get me through my work days.

I'm not sick enough to really miss work, but I sure am draggin' two hours into my shift. So I make myself come, give myself a little caffeine-enhanced-sugar-boost, and it gets me through the day and gives me insomnia the next night. Fantastic.
(And by "fantastic" I mean "not fantastic at all - it's a terrible arrangement and I should stop because my body is never going to recover if I can't sleep properly through the night.")

Actually, that's the argument I've been having with myself for the last two hours: to have caffeine or not.

"I am not leaving my desk to check that refrigerator for soda. There's probably not even any soda left. There was tons left over at one time, but that was days ago. Weeks. Don't get up and check, it's guaranteed that it's all gone by now."

"But how do you know? You don't know unless you go look."

"I don't want all that caffeine and sugar and extra calories anyway. I don't. I've had way too much soda in the last four days - more than I've had in month. I don't want any more today."

"But you're so tired...you just need a little pick-me-up. Just a little one. One small can - it's only like 100 calories, no big deal."

"I sure am tired...but I think all that sugar is going to make me feel sick more than anything. I'll just tough it out and be tired today. Not the first time. I'll be fine."



"I already said 'fine'."

"Well, fine then, I'm just saying it again."



(I think I just inadvertently confessed to a deep-seeded schizophrenia that I was previously unaware of... Awkward...)