J. and I have been hard at work on refurbishing the deck on the old house, which entails rolling on deck cleaner, then scrubbing, powerwashing and restaining. It sounds backbreaking but it's really not that hard - it's more time-consuming than anything else. We're putting on a new product called Desk Restore, which you roll on with a special textured roller. This product has sand in it and is really thick, so it does a great job of filling in the cracks. But the process feels a little like painting with mud. I'll have pics for you when we're closer to being done.
On top of that, I came down with a nasty cold on Monday and haven't felt like doing anything. I love fall, but why do I always end up sick? The weather change, I guess.
Tomorrow, we're taking a break to have some fun, though: it's Heritage Days in Jamesport, Missouri. I have been waiting for this all year! Jamesport is home to one of the strictest Old Order Amish Colony in the world. These "plain people" use no electricity and use horses for their transportation and in many aspects of their daily lives (even for churning ice cream!) They are renowned for their beautiful quilts and outstanding handmade furniture.
The highlights of the festival are an open air market with what I hear is wonderful food, live music, and I'm hoping to learn lots from all the "lost arts" demonstrations like soap making, weaving, candle dipping and open fire cooking. Are these lost arts? I suppose they are among the majority of society.
So to kick things off, how about a recipe for Amish Friendship Bread? The idea behind this is that you make the starter, then give some to your friends so that they can make their own. And, of course, when they make that bread, they share it with their favorite cranky puppy, whoever that might be. (What? It's me, of course!)
Amish Bread Starter
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 3 cups milk
On Day 1: Dissolve the yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. In a large glass or plastic bowl, sift together 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Make sure this is thoroughly mixed or it will get lumpy when you add the milk. Using a wooden or plastic spoon, slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover the bowl loosely with paper towel, cloth, wax paper or plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature (do not refrigerate).
On Days 2: Do nothing.
On Days 3 & 4: Using wooden or plastic spoon, stir the mixture once a day.
On Day 5: Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk. Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until everything is well-mixed.
On Days 6, 7,8 &9: Using wooden or plastic spoon, stir the mixture once a day.
On Day 10: Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk. Remove 3 cups of mixture and give 1 cup each to three friends. Save what is left for yourself and make.......
Amish Friendship Bread
- 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
- 2/3 cup oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Divide the dough evently into two well-greased and floured (or sugared) 9"x5" bread pans.
- Bake in 350° oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pans.