Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Oh, yoo hoo!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Well, hi there!  My how time flies and I can't believe it's been 5 days since I last posted?!  And it's already the last day of summer.  Time has just gotten away from me.

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

  1. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Divide the dough evently into two well-greased and floured (or sugared) 9"x5" bread pans.
  3. Bake in 350° oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pans.
TIP:  You can have some fun trying different additions to the batter before baking.  How about adding raisins, chopped apples, drained and crushed pineapple, candied fruit, coconut, mashed banana, dates, chopped nuts, and/or chocolate chips?  If you decide to add, use 1/2 cup of the add-ins.


I'm sharing this recipe with this week's Farmgirl Friday hop.  Go check out what other folks are up to!


  1. I remember making this a few years ago! I loved it but we eventually stopped. I think I need to make some again!

    1. Me too! I remember helping my grandmother with this when I was growing up and we'd take it to church and share it with new church members. But I haven't made it in forever. Finding this recipe in my grandma's cookbook brought out all those memories again. I'm going to make some and take it to work.

  2. what a great sunset. that is a great shot.

    i will write these down. i need to find a few friends. does it make a lot? once my mom started one ... sorry don't recall the name but it grew & grew .. but when she went on trips it would die of course because of not getting fed & so forth ... i don't want bread every where. just a few friends here. ha. ha!! (:

    1. Hi, Beth! I think you hit on the secret...you have to give it away otherwise it will take over your kitchen. :-) It quadruples every 10 days if you don't use your 1/4 to make bread. If you don't want to feed it, then use it up. Yum!

  3. Hey there!
    I took a break too...longer than your break :) Ya do what ya gotta do.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. We kept this recipe going for quite a while when I was a kid. We loved it and my Mom gave lots away. I think we eventually got tired of having it around all the time so Mom used up the starter. I think you can freeze the starter too. I'll have to try it soon :) It's baking season again, woo hoo!

  4. I used to make this years ago with a recipe from an old neighbor! Thank you, I havent been able to find it in forever!


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