I spent a lot of time last weekend buried in picture books. I was selecting stories to use as mini-lessons for a writing class I started teaching this week. I have appreciated some of Patricia Polacco's books for some time now but I got totally engrossed with her books and read book after book after book. January's Sparrow literally made me cry. The Butterfly moved me beyond words. We'll be using Chicken Sunday for the class and I'll also be reading several book back flaps to the students showing how they are based on real life experiences. Since the gist of this class is personal narrative, Polacco's books are perfect. Betty Doll is amazing. It's a letter that her mother wrote to her and wrapped in a box with the doll for Polacco to read after her mother's death. Heart gripping. On a lighter note there are the books John Phillip Duck and The Bee Tree. I'm *not* endorsing all of her books, but she has a wealth of excellent, enriching books. Here are some that fit with the personal narrative study (please preview for appropriateness for your dc's age/maturity/content):
The Perfect (Sandwich/Breadmaker) Bread:
I've been fiddling with a couple of recipes and this is what works for our family. In a few weeks I will probably mess with the flour ratio to get more wheat but when it was flip-flopped from what is posted below dh didn't like it (although the dc liked it fine). So, I want a happy medium of just enough whole wheat but not too much. I can't see us eating pure whole wheat at this time in life, but you never know.
The night before put the following in the bread machine and set it on dough cycle. Leave it in the breadmaker overnight. Alternative for those with no dough cycle: Mix the following in a bowl, leave soaking overnight, and put it in the breadmaker before the next step in the morning. The formatting on blogger doesn't always work the way I want so let's hope that this is readable:
-1 C water (does not have to be warm)
-1/4 C whey
[If I don't have whey I use about 3/4 C milk plus water to equal 1-1/4 C liquid; or water plus yogurt - it all depends on what I have in the house that particular day!]
-2-1/2 C unbleached white flour-1 C whole wheat flour
-1 teaspoon rye flour
[The rye is to add more phytase to help break up the phytate in the wheat flour.]
The next morning add the following to the breadmaker:
-2 Tablespoons liquid oil or coconut oil (I'm low on coconut oil right now so I've done it half-and-half or all liquid oil; mine happens to be safflower right now - I don't recommend canola based on NT)-1/2 Tablespoon demerara or rapadura (or honey or your preferred sweetener)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten
-1-1/2 teaspoon yeast
For my breadmaker the perfect setting is "2-3 Cup Basic Bread" and the color "normal."
Here is a picture of the last loaf. I tried to get a close-up to show the texture so hopefully it won't be blurry. Right now with my eyes everything always looks blurry so I would have no idea!