Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vacation Dreaming {going home}

I awoke yesterday feeling a bit tired, overwhelmed and ready for a vacation from my vocation.  When did May become a second December?  What I mean is that with three boys in school, May becomes a blur of end-of-the year parties, field trips, birthday parties, teacher gifts, graduations and awards ceremonies.  On top of that comes registration for summer sports or camps, tryouts for fall sports and loads of battered school supplies being dumped just inside the entrance to the house.  And I love all of it ~truly I do~ but somehow I just wish it could be spaced out a bit more rather than crammed into the last two weeks of May.

I think part of my worn out feeling is that we have planned a summer getaway for an entire month.  The packing, planning and organizing the van for this three-day drive has been exciting and a great challenge to my list-making skills.  Then last night, at our older two boys' final track meet, my husband arrived, looking weary himself and gently wondered if I would mind postponing our trip for one more day so that he could finish up a proposal at work.  Suddenly the gift of more time, 24 hours of unexpected time, blossomed before my very eyes and relaxed the muscles in my shoulders that I had not even realized were so tensed.  What a simple but blessed gift - the gift of time can be.

Some of my friends who read my blog have asked if I plan to continue blogging while on vacation.  It has truly been a debate in my head for a while.  My first reaction is to make an announcement here that I will be "away" from technology until after the 4th of July but the truth is that I know I want to share my journey with you all in some way while we are there.  I guarantee that I will be Instagramming, Twittering , Pinning and Flickring often.  We are heading to my native homeland - the great plains of North Dakota - and I am sure so few of my readers have ever been there or even know that it is more than roaming buffalo and waving wheat fields.  

This vacation is going to be a tourist trip for my three sons and a walk down childhood lane for me.  We will visit the Block Houses, the Indian Mounds, the state capitol, the zoo, the Badlands, Medora and the Red River Valley.  Mixed in will be lazy days by the pool with nine cousins, overnights at grandparents' houses and even a girl's get-away for me with my best friend from college.  We will be bitten to death by mosquitos, stay up until the sun finally sets  (around 9:45 pm on the longest day of the year) and snuggle under blankets in the cool early mornings while sipping coffee on the deck.  I will sleep in the house where there are pencil scratches on the wall marking my height from two years old and up.  We will reconnect with our family and friends through the gift of time ~slow,  extended, unhurried and most welcomed ~ time. But I will also have access to my blog and I have a few posts prepared in advance so ~ I guess I will simply say this ~ there may be a bit of time between posts here on this blog over the next four weeks but I love it too much to stop altogether. So when you have a bit of free summertime for yourself, please stop by and come along for a  bit of my vacation as well.

Week 7 ::  Black and White
52 Photos Project


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Garlic Butter Naan {Baking With Julia}

The best part of this recipe is the fact that I forgot to knead the dough.  At all.  
And this recipe called for ten solid minutes of kneading!  
I was just so in love with the texture of the dough after it came together 
that I simply cradled it in an oiled bowl, 
placed it into a warmed oven and 
watched it double in size in less than two hours.   

 Only after the rise did I read the recipe a bit closer and 
realize my "knead-less" mistake.  (Sorry - I couldn't resist.)

Somehow I knew the dough would still be delicious so I improvised,
 shaping eight small disks with wet fingers,
 poking it fiercely with the tines of a fork,
 smoothing on a bit of pre-minced garlic 
and sprinkling with kosher salt.

The actual recipe called for scallions, cumin and caraway seeds 
and didn't sound as munchable for my boys and their guest.

I couldn't find a baking stone at Target (shocking!) so I followed instructions 
and flipped over a baking sheet. 
 The oven was set to 500 degrees and the bread cooked in seven minutes flat.   

As soon as I took it from the oven I slathered it with softened butter on the back of a spoon.   

It was profoundly delicious - as in - I could have eaten three of these buttery discs myself.
(but didn't)

The boys agreed.   

 All I could think about as I savored this bread was
 how ridiculously easy it was without the kneading.  
I simply stirred together the yeast, water and flour and let it rise.  
It occurs to me that these breads have infinite possibilities 
and seem destined to become individualized pizzas
 It bakes so quickly that it could be a perfect side for soups or salads.  
I urge you to follow the links below to find the entire recipe.  
I will definitely make these again and purposely skip the kneading.  

The 36th AVENUE

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