Thursday, March 31, 2016

No-Knead Oatmeal Bread

Hello, all, and happy spring!

The sun is shining and the temperature is mild...something no one who lives in the Pacific Northwest takes for granted at this time of year. There's a reason why we are known for having such lush, green plants and trees, and it's a direct result of all the rain we endure in the winter and springtime. (Days and sometimes weeks at a time!) So when we are blessed with a sunny day, we take advantage of it!

When the sun shines, we get outside if at all possible. But we still must feed our loved ones, and today's recipe might work well on such a busy day. You see, it's a recipe for yeast bread, but there's no need to knead. The bread is tasty and makes a good sandwich bread, which you can use for tomorrow's lunch if you have any leftovers. Really, that's rather surprising to me, because a no-knead bread generally is crumbly, while this loaf performs quite well.

The bread may not be pretty, but it's a great addition to your recipe cache. It works up fairly quickly, takes minimal input from you, and produces a tasty loaf that will put a smile on your family's faces. What's not to like about that?

No-Knead Oatmeal Bread

2 to 2½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup rolled oats
1 tsp. salt
2¼ tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
1 cup water
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup butter
1 egg

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, rolled oats, salt, and yeast; blend well.

In a small saucepan, heat the water, molasses, and butter to quite warm (120º to 130º). Add the warm liquid and the egg to the flour mixture. Using electric mixer or beaters, blend at low speed until flour mixture is incorporated and then turn the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing for 3 minutes. Stir in an addition 1 to 1½ cups of the flour to form a stiff batter. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the batter rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

Stir down the batter and then pour it into a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise until the batter reaches the top of the pan.

Preheat oven to 375º and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove the bread from the pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.
I hope your day is going well and that there is time in your day to pause and simply glory in God's creation. To my way of thinking, that is always a boost to the spirit.
Blessings and peace to you and yours,

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Using Epsom Salt in the Garden Helps Plants Grow Lush and Productive

Hello, all!

I was asked to write a guest blog post over at Amish Reader, and decided that--because the days are lengthening and warming up--I'd write about the uses of Epsom salt in the garden. I learned the secret of using Epsom salt many years ago from an elderly Amish Mennonite woman, and since then I've expanded my use to include the veggie garden and fruit trees.

You can read about these uses at