Mine’s been super low-key. I felt rather yucky today so rather than spread whatever it is I have (I will know the results Tuesday morning), I stayed home from work.
Well all except for some emergency shopping.
The Time the House Almost Burnt Down
While the Husband and I had a ton of fun this weekend we also did some chores. Which for us on a weekend usually means laundry.
To make the time pass a little quicker we baked and watched some Netflix programming while doing a couple of loads. Makes sense right?
Well in the middle of a laundry load the Husband decided to go down to the basement. Which is when I heard him urgently calling my name.
I ran down the stairs and right away I could smell it . . . the definite smell of burning.
And I could see it too . . . smoke everywhere.
There were no flames anywhere so we couldn’t tell what was causing the smell. Immediately, we turned everything off and went upstairs.
Eventually (after an emergency call to our landlord) we figured out our washing machine had started to leak oil. Somehow that was causing the smoke and burning smell.
Thank God, the Husband went down! I don’t even want to think what would have happened if the oil had caught on fire!
Of course our lack of a washing machine meant we had to buy some new appliances. Either that or buy more underwear! Hee, hee!
Our First Grown-Up Appliances
I didn’t really know what to expect from our very first appliance buying experience. So I armed myself with an apple cider and headed with the Husband to our local Home Depot.
Confession – although we were only there for a washer and dryer I got distracted by all the store had to offer. All of a sudden I found myself daydreaming about designing a kitchen just the way I wanted!
Somehow, I managed to leave my daydreams behind and focus on the task at hand.
Given that this was a totally unexpected expense, we were thrilled to discover some fantastic sales!
After browsing a couple of different stores and reading online reviews we chose a silver frontloading Maytag washer and dryer. We’re seriously happy with the purchase!
In fact, as we walked out of the store I declared that doing laundry would be my new hobby! We’ll see how long that lasts!
I don’t have a picture of our actual washer and dryer but they’ll look something like this:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from 3 packages)
1/2 cup mild honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, for melting, plus additional for buttering pans
3 cups organic whole-wheat flour
About 2 cups high quality all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Heat milk and melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.
Resist the urge to eat the oatmeal mixture – it will look seriously delish. Hopefully you’ll have left-over oatmeal because you’ll likely want some for breakfast the next day.
Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (This part is key – if your yeast mixture doesn’t get foamy your bread recipe will not work) Stir yeast mixture, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.
Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 cup unbleached flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Add extra flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency (ideally you should be adding no more than an additional cup).
Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours (an oven or a microwave [turned off] would be ideal).
If you’re using a Kitchenaid mixer, incorporate the dough with the paddle then “knead” with the dough hook. I let the machine work for approximately 10 minutes – the consistency was perfect.
Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 25 to 30 minutes.
Be warned that the bread will brown considerably in the last minutes – feel free to tent with some parchment paper.
Remove bread from pans and cool until you can’t stand it anymore. Then cut yourself a slice and smear it with some fresh butter.
Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Question: Do you find yourself daydreaming about your future home?