Tuesday, November 1, 2011
SUZI: Flour on Floor
Scott and I are trying to eat out as little as possible, which means that we’re making as much food at home as possible. When we got home from being overseas, we realized we had gotten pretty spoiled with our food. In both Jordan and Prague, the bread we bought was fresh and had to be consumed in just a few days or it would go bad. The fruit and vegetables weren’t picked before they were ripe and then stored somewhere for a long time before being put on the shelf. There weren’t a lot of preservatives in the food we ate. It’s been difficult adjusting to so much of the food here – everything tastes so processed. Apparently we have unintentionally become food snobs.
So I decided that I was going to try to make our own bread. My dad used to bake bread, and I thought I could surely carry on the tradition. I’ve done it for several weeks now. I’m still just working on some basic white bread to get the hang of things but am hoping to move on to some more nutritious and exciting options soon. It’s not really that hard, but it does take a while. It’s definitely a time commitment to do it every week. Mondays are usually bread making days. I make two loaves which last us for the week (the loaves are much smaller than store bought loaves). One gets left out and one gets frozen until the other is eaten. It is infinitely better than store-bought bread. When I don’t feel like baking bread, I just think about some butter melting on a fresh, warm slice and suddenly I’m a little more inspired.
The only “problem” is that you have to knead the dough for about ten minutes. This isn’t truly a problem except for the fact that Cooper wants to watch. For anyone who read my blog entry about cooking with Cooper in the kitchen, you know that he wants to be held while he watches. And while you can knead dough with one hand (I can attest to the fact that it is possible), it isn’t ideal. Some days Cooper will happily play by himself with some toys while I get the dough ready to go. Other days, he’s a little needier, so I try occupying him by giving him a little bit of dough that he can play with. This didn’t go so well. He stuck the dough in his mouth for a bit and then decided he didn’t want it. He handed the sticky, globby mess back to me and wanted to be picked up.
So one day I had the brilliant idea to give him a plate with some flour on it. I figured flour would be easy enough to clean up. He has a little step stool in the kitchen so I put the plate with the flour, a spoon and another bowl on it. He spent most of his time neatly (as neat as a 17-month old can be) scooping the flour from his plate to the bowl. Great! The next week, he spent more time raking his fingers through it. Fine! He’s occupied and how hard is it to clean his hands off? A couple weeks later, he was happily playing in his flour when he suddenly decided to dump the plate, upside down, on the floor. Hmmmm…ok…but what can I do? I have four more minutes of kneading to go. Let’s just say that by the time it was all over, Cooper was lying on his belly in the middle of the floor, flapping his arms and legs back and forth (imagine making a snow angel except on your belly…and in flour instead of snow). He was happy as a clam. And absolutely covered in flour from the top of his head to the bottoms of his feet (Aunt Helen, remember Cooper in your sand box? Yeah…like that.). He became quite irritated when I started washing him off and couldn’t understand why he couldn’t go tromping through the rest of the house until I stripped him down and cleaned him off.
Then, of course, we had to get the vacuum out to clean up the floor and great glee ensued. There’s nothing quite like the joy of having a toddler who is delighted with flour and a vacuum cleaner.
And in case you’re wondering if I gave Cooper some flour the next time I made bread... (pause for suspenseful silence)…you better believe it. And there was plenty of cleaning and vacuuming afterwards.