The Amish bread (2)

OK – we tasted it – and besides being a tad strange (it’s, after all, a strange combination of cinnamon with chocolate) – everyone agreed it’s a yummy final to our adventure.

Like I said – next time will be the lime version and after that the butterscotch.

Thanks again, Emma!

P.S. I actually missed the walk tonight, I believe I’ll have to create a new Christmas tradition and take walks every night in December to enjoy the lights!


The Amish bread adventure

A week ago we received a bag with some batter in it, along with some (curious) instructions. After following each day’s steps (most of them consisting of ‘squeeze the bag; put it back on the counter’) today was marked as ‘Today is THE DAY’. A well-known ‘secret’ about me is that I can cook, but I am a lousy baker – and the reason? I hate following instructions (my cooking goes something like this: look through the fridge and pantry and figure out what ingredients I have; gather some that I believe will go well together; add things to the pan and when it smells right stop… one of the reasons I won’t be able to make the same dish twice, even if I want ).

This being said – that’s what ‘THE DAY’ became:

William: Mommy, it says ‘This is THE DAY’

Me: Yup

William: We need to follow the instructions

Me: Yup

William: When are we going to make the bread, mommy?

Me: As soon as I’m done here

… and the ‘soon’ is suddenly 8 PM, which, coincidentally is the child’s bedtime. No problem, how long could it take to mix some ingredients and pour them in the pan (for reference, I did read the instructions earlier in the day, to make sure I have everything… ).

Me: OK, William, read the instructions.

The child obeys and reads out loud: add one cup each of flour, sugar, and milk… oops… where is our milk? Ask grandma – answer: err… I gave it to William earlier… No panic, we can hop in the car, and in 15 minutes we’ll be back home, right? Wrong – it’s one of the very few evenings when I drank a glass of wine before William’s bedtime… can we use soy milk instead? I don’t think so. The powder one? I’d rather not.

Luckily for all involved – tomorrow is PA day, so no need to wake up too early – William and I got dressed quickly and decided to walk to the corner store. The advantage? the neighborhood is beautifully lit and we get into Christmas spirit and start singing carols all the way. About 40 minutes later we are back home – with the above-mentioned milk and with extremely bright spirits – there’s nothing like a fresh evening walk admiring beautiful Christmas displays and listening to yourself caroling on top of your lungs.

Back to our baking: we add the cups and mix. Next step? Pour one cup batter in 4 Ziploc bags. Guess what? No, I do have bags, lots, but not the 12 X 12… they are on the list… No problem, I found a few replacements.

Could anything else go wrong? As it’s about me cooking – yes, lots… in this case – we follow the instructions nicely to the very last one… add 2 packages of vanilla pudding… oh… I knew I forgot something! Of course, I have pudding in the house – but not vanilla… we don’t eat vanilla, we are chocolate people. Did I mention this is cinnamon bread?! I am trying to figure what kind of bread will become and I decide, whatever happens, happens – splash 2 chocolate puddings in it… next time we’ll try the lime ones!

Finally – the batter is on the stove and the child is licking the bowl, at least the uncooked mix is yummy considering I lost him completely inside the bowl…

I’ll let you know how the Amish bread tastes with lots of chocolate – until then William has decided that no matter the taste, this is what we should make for Christmas Eve dinner. I believe he had too much fun adding and mixing the ingredients.

Thank you, Emma!

Now we have only to find 3 people to give the new batter – one we’ll keep


Random thoughts (2)

I was enjoying a quiet evening last week when Florin came from the club with incredible and sad news: one of the club members has passed away. I thought it would be one of the older gentlemen, and I was preparing to hear one of the familiar names – you know that feeling when something wrong happened and you wait for those few moments until to hear what exactly happened to pass. Then he said: John. A rapid brain-check and a stunning me: Kokoris? Yes.

I had to sit down – John was (as many trapshooters are) a person full of life, you could always be sure you’ll find a good laugh in his presence. Not only that, he was what I will call still young, definitely not a vet… I knew he’s been sick for a while, but when I talked to him last (sometimes in the summer) he was confident he was over the worst and recovering. Apparently, it wasn’t the illness that took him away, but the all-so-dreaded heart attack.

As I was trying to comprehend what our trapshooting lives will be without John’s larger-than-life attitude, I became sadder and sadder: there won’t be any jokes from him from now on, no smiles when you shoot well, no comforting pats when you shoot not that well…

May you rest in peace, John (and smoke each one from now on, up there) – I have you and your family in my prayers!

And so I was again reminded to slow down and enjoy every single moment – to tell my dear ones they are loved, to meet my friends as often as possible, and to laugh a lot. Life is so precious and we spend way too much time being unhappy when happiness is just there, at the tips of our fingers. We just need to reach it and grab it.