Thursday, December 26, 2013

Passage of Time and Bread Baking

Early winter has been warm in Florida this year, and I’m thankful for the lighter load of ranch chores that fine weather allows.  While much of the country dealt with ice storms and power outages, we're lucky enough to still be growing green grass in the pastures this year.  December’s not always this way, but I have to say I like it.

The year 2013 has nearly run its course.  How quickly time flew by this year.   

Some years are slow and steady, others are packed with meaning.  This year, for us, was a year filled with the important events that mark human existence.  

So what does that mean in real terms?  Looking back, our family saw weddings and broken engagements.  We experienced births of babies, and children starting school.  Our young men came home from overseas.  Then there were the old friends whose lives transitioned towards new pathways which found them moving away from us.  And favorite aunts passed, leaving behind a huge hole in the hearts of our fold.  2013 was a year of beginnings and endings that lent us to feel life at its most intense, life at its fullest.

It was with some pleasure that we kept our holiday season quiet this year.  We pulled back and slowed things down and lightened up a bit.  We pushed aside the manic portions of the holiday to live the season a bit more sanely.   The plan worked out well and I hope we can celebrate in this fashion again.

One of the sweet spots of December has been that Davis has gone back to his oven.  Years ago, Davis was quite a baker.   His hobby got left behind in the ensuing years of raising children, handling loads of ranch work, and of course his off-the-farm career.   But as autumn rolled around this year, Davis began to remember his love of bread-making. 

I dug deep into the library and found an old artisan bread book I’d packed away and I placed it next to his coffee one early morning.  He didn’t say much, but during the next weeks I would see him reading through its stories and recipes after dinner in the evenings.  Then just after Thanksgiving, Davis arrived home one day with quite an array of flours, yeast, honey, molasses, vinegars, seeds, nuts and fruits, all in hand.  He had found his way back to his creative place. 

As the year 2013 comes to an end and we turn the page of our calendar over to 2014, this writer and her family can unanimously say we’re happy to be home from all the travel, content in our place on the planet, and grateful for the opportunity to be immersed in our own patterns of harmony, creativity, and productivity.   May the new year find you and your family embraced in the same peace of mind.

Happy New Year.

- Sanne Collins
   From the Ranch in Florida

Best of the Best Quick Bread Recipes 
Time Passes By Too Quickly 
not to try these!

Best Banana Bread

Dry Ingredients - Mix in a Large Bowl

2 cups whole wheat flour

¾ cup maple syrup

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients - Place in Blender

3 ripe bananas

2 eggs

2T oil or soft butter

1 oz orange juice if needed

1 – Blend ingredients in blender.  Add orange juice if it needs help blending.

2 – Add wet mixture to dry mixture and hand mix.

3 – Oil loaf pan

4 – Bake at 350 degrees F (or 175C) for 1 hour.   Test for doneness at 45 minute mark.

*Top with nuts before baking, or add nuts to dry ingredients if you like your banana bread with walnuts, etc. 

Best Carrot Bread

Dry Ingredients - Mix in a Large Bowl

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1tsp baking powder (double acting)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup maple syrup

Shred in Food Processor

1 to 2 cups carrots shredded

Wet Ingredients - Change Blade in Food Processor to Mixing Blade and Mix


2 eggs

½ cup salad oil

½ cup apple juice or apple cider

1 – Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and hand mix.

2 – Oil pan

3 – Bake at 350 degrees F (or 175C) for 50 minutes or until done.

*Feel free to embellish this recipe by adding nuts, light or dark raisins, etc.

What’s Been Keeping Me Busy Lately

Love Those Wide Open Spaces is a blog designed to follow my daily life as a freelance writer and rancher.  It’s a life full of constant change and a wide scope of interests.

Freelance writing, by its definition, requires the ability to write on a variety of subjects, to juggle many assignments during the times of plenty, and to fill the void when checks are slow.   That said, I’m always writing.

Much of my work is done for others such as corporations, websites, or articles penned for another person’s name.  I’ve sold the rights to these works, so they can’t be shared. 

However, many of my projects are available under my own name and can be read right here on the web.    

You can click on either the site or the story below to see them.

Check out what’s been keeping me busy lately!

Rural Florida Living 
Florida Outdoors: What You Can See in January 
First Day Hike - Start the New Year in Nature  
Florida Outdoors - What You Can See in December 
Campfire Cooking at Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park 
Florida Outdoors - What You Can See in November 
Florida's Endangered Sea Turtles are Rebounding 
Florida Outdoors - What You Can See in October 
Sinkholes in Florida 
Florida Outdoors - What You Can See in September 
Travel Florida: Learn to Blacksmith at Panhandle Pioneer Settlement 

Travel Florida: Big Shoals - The Largest Whitewater Rapids in Florida  
How to Become a Nuisance Alligator Trapper in Florida

Good Health and Positive Living
The Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee 
The Dangers of BPA in Everyday Plastics 
How to Improve Your Heart Health in 12 Easy Steps
How to Have More Energy No Matter What Your Age


No comments:

Post a Comment