sick

Happy 4th!

I’ve been looking forward to this week for months! I took some vacation time (Thursday and Friday) to have “me time” and then ended up getting sick over the weekend and was home on the couch Monday. So my work week consisted of Tuesday! That was it!

I had a few things planned for my time off. Michael had to work, which was a bummer, but at least he got the 4th off. We got to do some fun stuff. (And he kindly put together our new bistro set that I bought for us to spend time together in the evenings this summer.) It looks so cute:

For the 4th of July we spent the day pretty low-key. Logan and I got up early and had breakfast then went for a walk/jog on part of the neighborhood loop we used to do a lot (and stopped for coffee and lottery tickets!). We did about 3.5 miles and he started getting fidgety in the stroller around mile 2.5!

The rest of the day was easy and quiet. Then we went to a friend’s house for a holiday BBQ. Logan’s BFF was there and they played so hard. Logan was covered in dirt, bubbles, chocolate and god knows what. 😉

Our friends have a nice little enclosed yard in inner SE Portland, perfect location for all things Portland. And the yard was perfect for a little BBQ. They did burgers, chicken, sausages, veggies and veggie burgers. People brought sides. I made a Greek Orzo salad that turned out really yummy.

Someone made a blueberry pie and homemade cupcakes (both were delicious and decadent!). It was a bit crazy with two 2 year-olds just running wild, but…that’s what summer is for, right?

Only a few minor meltdowns…it was way past Logan’s bed time so we headed home. Long before any fireworks really started (but I did bring the pop things that you step on and they pop–the kiddos LOVED those).

I still wasn’t 100% from my gnarly cold so It was ok with me to go home before the fireworks. Way different than the old days when our neighborhood would get the GOOD stuff (aka illegal fireworks from Washington) and it would be a show late into the night. I was in bed at my normal bedtime this year, with my book. PARTY ANIMALS!

Bread

I had a success this weekend!

My sourdough! I think this is the 4th loaf I’ve tried and it’s definitely the best so far! I didn’t let it rise overnight this time, but it did rise for about 12 hours before I baked it.

I’ve been having much better luck with this sourdough recipe:

Sourdough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 5-6 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaping Tbsp salt
  • 1 cup filtered water, cold or room temperature

Instructions

  1. In a very large bowl, mix starter, water and 3 cups of whole wheat flour with a wooden spoon and combine well.
  2. Add salt and remaining flour ½ cup at a time, attempting to completely stir in the flour with each addition. When you can no longer mix with a spoon, use your hands to mix in the flour. Continue adding flour until your dough begins to resemble dough, but is still sticky and "pourable."
  3. Pour dough into large loaf pans and fill ? way up. Cover with a towel and allow to sit in a warm place for 4-12 hours, until the dough is at least doubled in size and looks to be "domed" on top.
  4. Place loaves in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Bake bread for 50-60 minutes, until the edges are golden and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  5. Remove to cool on wire racks for at least 30 minutes. Makes 2-3 loaves, depending on the amount of flour used and size of loaf pans.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=55052

It came from this blogIt has some pretty good tips in the post, too, so worth a read through.

I also recently bought this: Round Banneton Dough Proofing Rising Rattan Basket & LinerI’d seen it in some different blogs about baking and read up about it. Basically it’s for the last rise of the bread and to make those pretty grooves in the loaf.

I was so happy that it rose to the right shape, had the grooves and the right color I was going for. I let it cool a bit and then sliced into it. It wasn’t as sour as the last loaf, but the flavor was good and it was light. Not quite as airy as the sourdough professionals make but it’s getting better each time. It wasn’t as dense, too.

So happy with the result!!!!

In other news…I ended up getting sick this weekend. Michael was sick last week with whatever the nasty cold is that’s going around. Last week I was so exhausted I could barely function, but I thought I was going to miss this illness. Sadly, I did not. Saturday I got up with a stuffy nose and swollen glands and it progressed as the day went on.

What a bummer. 🙁 Not how I wanted to spend my weekend! We had plans, too. Now, of course, Logan is starting to show signs of getting the cold, too!

So I spent the weekend in and out of bed with cold meds, chicken noodle soup and my homemade sourdough bread. And the second season of Marcella on Netflix.