Thursday, June 24

More Pictures

Here are a few more pictures:

Grandma and our  Dear Son J-.

Mommy and J after naked time. 

Then we have our first cloth diaper and our second or third, we went through the first three really quickly- the jelly roll works best so far for us.

Our first tub bath and the after bath towel. J was a bit upset when I accidentally dipped his face in the water. He was fine after we dried off but I was worried all that evening and into the next day.  Hormones grr.

That is all for now. I didn't get pictures of our first walk in the Moby or in the ring sling, I'll have some later. J and  I are headed off to Des Moines to go furniture shopping with some  of my friends. Our first adventure! Hopefully he sleeps in the car!

Tuesday, June 22

Picture Update

First walk in the stroller.

First time we had naked time.

More to come later.

Sunday, June 6


I've now tried making pretzels twice, well three times really. It went much better the last time I did it.
I discovered the key to boiling pretzels!! This is a bigger deal than you think. If boiling does not go well, it makes the entire experience frustrating. The water gets nasty. It is really hot.  The pretzels fall apart. They don't cooperate in general. They start to look bad and get water logged.

Boiling is the key to a chewy outside and soft inside, which my DH says is one of the most important pretzel components. The secret: boiling is not the key, water at boiling temperature is. The boil needs to be amazingly gentle. It can't disturb the waterlogged developing crust. You also have to leave the pretzels in long enough that they begin to form a crust. In the picture here, the water is boiling far too rapidly. In my final batch it hardly bubbled. At all, as a result, when I finished, the water was still clear and all of the pretzels turned out well. In the batch boiled in this water, only 3 turned out well, they went down hill very quickly after that.
I got the recipe from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers. She doesn't boil hers. I think that this makes them taste like bread, not pretzels.

I also decide how many to make by how easy it is to cut the dough. He recipe gave me 16. (I did 16 because I could half the dough each time. )I liked the size of a pretzels.

Between batches I froze the pretzels and then let them thaw in order to keep them from rising.
I also rolled mine out to 24-26 inches before shaping.  Getting ready to start. I also laid out all my supplies and greased my pans.

Sewing Project- Baby Blanket

I finally finished my baby blanket and soft rattle. I've been working on them for a while. Neither one was really difficult, I just didn't get around to the different stages for a while.
The cube I actaullay did in one sitting with the exception of closing it. I wanted to put something in it that would cause a rattling sound so I left it open. I finally figured out what to put in it last night. I used  film canister with a few pennies. It was small enough that it was well cusioned and larege enough that it makes a clear "change" sound.  Fun fun.
The blanket has just a flat back that is the same as the edge on the front. It also has a layer of batting in it. (I got a large box of  stuffing and batting for free on a garage sale - YES!) My DH really likes it. He says that he is a little jealous of Baby.  He has plenty of fleece new sews and quilts, but this is the softest one in the entire house. Plus, the raised bumps make it fun to feel.

Tuesday, June 1

June Baby Picture, drawing

We made it into June. I posted the May belly picture below for comparison. In case you didn't notice. This shirt is now failing to fit properly. No longer can it meet my pants. We continue to thank the Lord that things are still going wonderfully. I can feel that Baby is bigger and less comfortable. There is a lot more generalized pressure on me now. Sleeping is getting harder and harder to do, but since school is out, I can take naps. I am not feeling sleep deprived, but do drop very tired into bed at 9:00 p.m. sharp.

We are also taking votes about Baby. The entry categories are below. If you leave a comment we will enter you into the running. I don't plan on reading entries before allowing them to post.

1: Gender
2: Date
3: Weight
4: Length
5: Time (+/- 3 hours)

Deep dish pizza

I did a lot of baking this holiday weekend.  We made deep dish pizza for the first time, soft pretzels (totally SAD), and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Somethings. The pizza was a great hit. The pretzels were hit and miss. The CCC Somethings were alright. First the pizza. I will tell you about the other two another time.

 My wonderful DH and I LOVE deep dish pizza. Golden nearly fried edges, thick sauce, stringy cheese,  and plenty of toppings. When we make a pizza for the two of us, there should be leftovers because a few pieces are that filling. We've tried a couple different things. I even contemplated stealing a deep dish pan from a local pizzeria because I finally found one in a store an hour and a half from home and it was too pricey for me buy. (I decided that would not be Christ- like behavior.)

We usually bake our pizza on a stone and that is one of the things that does work really well. Getting pizza out of a stone casserole dish was not something that I was willing to try. Our pizza stone is very used and a wet dough will still stick to it occasionally. The casserole dish is not so ... broken in.
Finally, after wracking my brain, I was inspired to try a spring form pan. I had my doubts. Oil seems to have the amazing capacity to work its way out of anything {time to make a prediction- will it contain everything or no?}.  But we'd give it a go.

We (I) did not go into to this attempt willy-nilly. I have been studying and researching deep dish for a while. I also have worked at a pizzeria and have unveiled a few tricks of the trade. (Unfortunately the pan is one.)  Another is an very long cool double rise. We didn't have that much time, nor do I have a walk in cooler (or refrigerator space) to refrigerate a spring-form pan on a level surface on a regular basis. So we have to make due.

I did use my regular pizza dough recipe, with a few changes. I used half and half white whole wheat. I wanted it to turn out and simply put, white flour is more lenient. I also refrained from soaking the dough. Hopefully through trial I can bring back soaking and whole wheat and still have a fantastic deep dish product.

Step 1 I made the dough. Step 2- left in on the counter to rise till double(ish) then I put it in the fridge. If I had started the dough in the morning or even before lunch I could have let the dough rise in the fridge entirely. I will likely make this alternation next time (just one alteration at a time for scientific purposes). We didn't start dough till 3:00 so I didn't want to risk the slow rise.

Step 3- oil pan and roll out dough. I rolled the dough out till it was just bigger than the pan then gently placed the dough in the pan. I continued to press it out until there was a little lip . Step 4- leave the dough on the counter and go to church. (Picture below is when we got back just before pre-baking. You can see that it did leak.)

Step 5- put the stone in the oven and preheat both to 450 degrees. Step 6- prebake the crust for 5 minutes or so. I did this because Baking in my oven is slower than in a pizzaria oven. I didn't want to loose all the beautiful rise by piling on the toppings to and unsupportable weight. (As previously stated we like lots of toppings.) Step 6 take crust out and top quickly before popping it back in.
Step 7- I did take the pizza out when it was almost done. i decided to take off the edge of the pan to let the exterior crust brown. I learned to be careful to make sure that the crust is not stuck to the edge or you will start to rip open the pizza. Step 8- put the pizza back till the cheese begins to become golden (or other cues).

Step 9- take out pizza. If you can wait it is best to let it sit for a couple minutes so that when you cut it the toppings and cheese cut. This allows them to stay on top of the pizza rather than to be caught up with the cutter and be forced into the new cut.

Step 10- Serve with pizza sprinkles and Parmesan cheese and delight in your homemade deep dish.