Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Blind Baker

As the title implies, I have been baking quite a bit, here lately. It's like I can't get enough of it. I blogged about making the Challah bread, which you can read. It's title is simply, "Challah bread." But, I've been making more than Challah. This month, alone, I have made 1 batch of Challah, 3 batches of cinnamon rolls, 2 batches of bagels 1 whole wheat and one regular, 2 batches of brownies, and 1 loaf of banana bread. In this post, I'm going to share some of those funniest and/or most interestingest points of those baking adventures.

On Saturday, July 3, the day I made 2 batches of cinnamon rolls and 2 loaves of Challah, started out busy and ended busy. At 9 that morning I was in the kitchen washing dishes. After the kitchen was cleaned, I cooked some chicken for chicken salad I planned to eat for lunch that week. When it was done, I cut it up in small pieces and put it in a container in my fridge to wait. I had to get things from the grocery store before making the salad. Then, my dear husband cooked pancakes for us, and I washed dishes afterward. After draining the sink of sudsy water, I hurried to take a shower and get ready to go to Walmart.

Mom and Dad...Lord, bless them...drove me to Walmart and we were there 2 hours getting the stuff I needed. My wonderful husband stayed home with the girls, which made the trip go smoothly, if it did take a while. So, anyway, when I got back home around 6:15, my DH cooked spaghetti while I washed dishes and started making my dough.

I had 2 bowls, one for the Challah and one for the cinnamon rolls, and I think I got confused somewhere along the way, because my cinnamon roll dough took forever to come together. All the while I was trying to mix up dough, my 2-year-old was running a fever and wanted her mommy to hold her. I did while I ate my dinner. :) Finally, the children's Motrin kicked in and the fever went down.

I was managing pretty well with the Challah dough, when I plopped it on to my bread board and started kneading, and found a piece of egg shell in it. :D The recipe calls for an egg, and I guess I'm not so good at cracking them as I would like to be. But, all in all, both doughs came together, but not without a lot of sweat and cramping hands. At one point, when my DH came through the kitchen to get some ice cream, I asked for a bite. You should have seen me, standing there, dough all over the place, sweat rolling in rivers down my face, holding that cold sweetness of chocolate in my mouth.

When it was time for the dough to rise, I put it in separate bowls and covered them, and then ran bath water for my girls. I spanked them all soundly and put them to bed...haha gotcha! lol Nah, I bathed them and lie down with them until they were asleep. At that point, I got back up, braided my Challah and set it on the baking pan to wait for the oven to come up to temperature. While it baked, I rolled out the cinnamon rolls. While using a heavy hand to sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on the rolled out dough, I ran out and had to find more, but it all worked out. The DH went to bed about that time, and i was not only alone in the kitchen, but in the dark...quite literally. haha! He turned the lights out on me! Can you believe it?

Pulling baking pans in and out of the oven, punching the timer again and again, washing the dishes as I went, and checking email, I spent the rest of the night in the kitchen. I went to bed around 2 that Sunday morning, and got up around 6:30 or 7 and readied myself and the baby to go to med express where we found out she had sores in her mouth and throat. No strep, though, but doctor did give an antibiotic.

The day I made the regular bagels, my friend, Anita was here to visit, and even though the bagels fell apart, I was surprised that they turned out so good. That first time, I rolled the dough in to snakes, pinched the ends together and tried to roll them, but the second time I made the bagels, I made balls and punched my thumb through them. The second batch stayed together and looked prettier, too. The interesting thing is, I didn't know you have to boil bagels before baking. I was worried about doing this, because the instructions say to flip them in the boiling water after 30 seconds, but I just used a big spatula and instead of flipping, I kind of stirred them around a bit. i only put 1 bagel in at a time, too. Next batch of bagels, think I might make cinnamon raisin ones. Yum!

"Ok Shannon," you are probably saying, "get to the funny part." Well, here goes.

I wanted to make brownies for my friend who was staying, but I didn't have a lot of energy to keep me going. So, knowing it doesn't take long to whip up a batch, I started in. I must not have been paying enough attention. I ran to the cabinet and grabbed a bag that felt like chocolate chips. i cut it open and poured half of the contents in to the brownie batter. When something hard hit the counter, I was like, what? I grabbed up the item, and like a dummy, put it in my mouth. Oh, my y'all, I had poured dried beans in to that batter, and I could not get them all out by spooning in to a cup. I had to throw it out and start again.

Now, I had some very very very ripe bananas on my counter and needed to get rid of them, so why not make banana bread? Well, while I waited on my dad to bring me some vanilla for the brownies, which never happened, BTW, I mixed up the banana bread for the first time. The instructions say to mix bananas, cinnamon and milk in one bowl, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in to another, and butter, sugar and eggs in a 3rd bowl. Well, when I was about to assemble all the ingredience in to one bowl, I realized i had forgot the eggs, my beaters were clean and my mixer was put away, so I just cracked them, put them in and gave them a vigorous stir. I also made a mistake when adding the salt, baking powder and baking soda, by putting them in the wrong bowl. Instead of the flour bowl, I put them in the banana bowl. haha! So, I gave up on the vanilla and made the brownies, which turned out yummy. I put the banana bread batter in the oven and an hour and 15 minutes later, cracked on top it came out. I tasted it the next morning,! It was moist and so very good. Usually, I don't eat banana bread, because it's too dried out or burnt, but that was perfect. Also, I tend to under cook things, so there's no way it tastes burned. The only thing i want charred at the very edge, is maybe a real, good steak, or some grilled chicken.

So, let's see, does that cover it? I think so. I want to make zuchini bread, but I don't have any zuchini and don't know of anyone who grows it. I'm too poor right now to buy some at the store, but now that I can get fresh fruits and vegetables through WIC, I'll get some next time I can. One good thing about my girls, if I don't tell them what's in it, they usually eat my creations. Then, when they grow up, they will try to say they don't like something like zuchini bread, and I'll say, "Oh yes you do." :)

Until next time, keep smiling, keep praying, and come to my book signing at Taylor Books in Charleston on July 26 from 1 PM to 3 PM. It's for my children's book, "Gold! A Tall Tale."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This Might Make You Mad, But...

Be forewarned, this post contains doctrine that is contraversial.

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall
judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the
word; instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not
endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their
ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:1-4 KJV

You all have seen them, email forwards with sweet and inspiring stories with
a challenge at the end to forward it if you believe in Jesus. I read them,
sometimes, but hardly ever pass them along, mostly because I don't see the
need. Passing along Bible verses or true stories, maybe, but most of the
time, these forwards aren't even true or scriptural. For instance, read
this story below. It showed up a few days ago in my in box, and I have
decided to show you in the Bible, why this email, while sweet is not
biblical. First, read it. Then, read my comments afterward.

[She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating
room. She
said: 'How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see
The surgeon said, "I'm sorry.. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make
Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more?
were you, God, when my son needed you?"
The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the
will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."
Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to her son.
She ran her
fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. "Would you like a lock of
hair?" the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's
put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally.
The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the University
for Study.
He said it might help somebody else. 'I said no at first, but Jimmy said,
"Mom, I
won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy
spend one
more day with his Mom." She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always
of someone else.. Always wanting to help others if he could."
Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after
spending most
of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the
beside her in the car.
The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house.
She carried
Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her
son's room.
She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his
room exactly
where he had always kept them. She lay down across his bed and, hugging his
cried herself to sleep.
It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Lying beside her on the bed was a
letter. The letter said
"Dear Mom,
I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you,
or stop
loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say
'I Love You'
. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see
other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be
so lonely,
that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if
decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us
do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know.
Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and
met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a
long time
to see everything... The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And,
you know
what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I
knew it
was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit
on God's
knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him
I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and everything. But I
knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper
and His
own personal pen to write you this letter I think Gabriel is the name of the
who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the
to one of the questions you asked Him "where was He when I needed him?" 'God
He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He
right there, as He always is with all His children.
Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To
else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give
God His
pen back now He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life.
Tonight I
get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you.. I don't hurt anymore the cancer is all
gone.. I'm
glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to
see me
hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me.
Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?
Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me..."]

Ok, so here's the Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Holy

John 3:12-13
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye
believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to
heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in

According to the words of Jesus, Himself, ain't nobody in heaven, but Him,
God and heavenly beings like angels and such. When Jesus went to raise
Lazarus from the dead in John 11, He told His disciples "Lazarus sleepeth."
When the disciples said it was good that Lazarus was sleeping, Jesus made
sure to say that Lazarus was dead. Then, when they got to where the dead
lay, Jesus called out for him to come forth. Lazarus came out wrapped in
his graveclothes. In First Corinthians chapter 15 long about verse 51, it
says, "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall be
changed," so see, it says "sleep", not roaming the hills of glory on our way
back down here to be raised up again. Ok, that's all the Scripture I'm
giving you, showing that little boy did not go to heaven. Whether we sleep
in Jesus waiting for His return or go to heaven waiting, is a doctrinal
point folks have been fighting over for centuries. I'm not trying to start
a fight, so let's move on. Since this is not the gospel according to
Shannon, here's another verse.

Matthew 27:46 KJV
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama
sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

So, was God with Jesus when Jesus was dying on the cross? Most definitely,
because He is God's son, He had the strength to endure, but if God cannot
look on sin.

Here's another thing, if God can only stand so much of His children's
suffering before sending an angel to carry them home, then why did he not
send an angel for Job? Yes, I believe God cares. Yes, I believe God hates
suffering. But, as difficult as it is for us humans to comprehend, God is
more interested in the eternal, rather than the temporal.

I know this post is long, but I have one more point to make, so stick with

I know hurting and troubled people are only looking for comfort and a sense
of peace wherever they can find it, but folks, it's time we stop letting the
world dictate what we believe. Just because a certain doctrine is popular,
does not mean we have to follow along. Read the Bible for yourself. In the
words of the apostle Paul, "Study to show thyself aproved unto God, a
workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
That is found in 2 Timothy, chapter 2 verse 15. Further more, if you want
to show the world you are a born again believer in Christ, get out there and
prove it. Email is fine. Playing on the internet is fine. Computers are
fine. But, what about your neighbor? Is he hurting? Is she hungry? Do
the kids down the street need shoes or a new jacket for school? Does your
church need a Sunday School teacher? Does your mom or dad smile when you
come around?

In this day and age, computers, email, blogging, text messaging are the
norms, but they can be so impersonal that I think we lose something
important, when folks start to think we can only witness while using google.
So, send your inspirational emails. Keep blogging with something good to
say. Keep updating those healthy websites that promote family, cooking at
home, going to church and living right. But, quit believing everything
sweet that ends up in your in box. Stop believing everything you hear on
TV. Get out your Bible, open it, and read. I think you'll be amazed at
what your Father has to say.