July 26, 2012

My Favorite Bread Recipe

When I was growing up,my mother always baked fresh homemade bread;I recall eating the dough and then paying for it later with an upset stomach-which my father told me was due to the dough 'rising' in my intestines....I'm still not sure if he was just trying to keep me from eating the dough or if it really does 'rise' in my stomach.......I should Google that.

Since becoming a wife and mother,I have been searching for a recipe I could make my 'own' signature one.
I have finally discovered one!
I enjoy making my bread into a braided loaf-which we generally use as a side to soup or with butter as an addition to any meal-and this recipe works wonderfully!

It doesn't come out heavy or tough,and instead is super fluffy and light-which makes it not last very long in this house-but it's so yummy it's worth it!!

It's so great I thought I would share with my friends-YOU!

Honey-Whole Wheat Bread

prep:35 min; Rise:1.5 hr;Bake:45 min
Makes 2 loaves-total of about 32 servings

3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup shortening -I use a non-hydrogenated one
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages regular or quick active dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 1/4 cups very warm water ( 120 degrees)
3-4 cups all purpose or bread flour
Butter melted if desired for brushing over loaves after baking

Mix WW flour,honey,salt,yeast,shortening and water until well mixed (this will be very moist-no fear-you will be adding more flour).
Then add the AP flour one cup at a time until the dough is easy to handle ( think not stick-but not dry either).

Take the dough and place on a floured surface;knead until springy (think 'dough-boy' not to heavy,but very bouncy).
Place in a greased bowl-coating dough evenly by 'turning' one placed in the bowl;place in a warm spot,covered (I use a dishtowel over my bowl).
Let rise until double (usually about 1-2 hours) and then place on a lightly floured surface.
At this point it's up to you how you shape your loaves.

You can make a classic bread loaf,or-like me- you can split the dough into two sections,and then use each of those to make a braid by dividing the dough into three sections and braiding.

 Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
You can allow the loaves to rise more while the oven pre-heats.
I don't generally need to bake for anywhere NEAR 45 minutes-it's closer to 20 minutes-so watch closely!
Soft and fluffy braided bread

I use the same recipe for ooey gooey cinnamon rolls

July 25, 2012

"Diagnosis Depression"

It's been almost two years since the sobbing,irritability and a host of other symptoms consumed me.

For the past few weeks I've been frantically seeking therapy-and for the first five phone calls I was told that because I have insurance I couldn't qualify for a reduced fee and since my insurance wouldn't pay a single cent towards counseling until our deductible is met,I had to slam the phone down out of frustration each time.

Every time I would hear "I'm sorry,we aren't able to help you" I would feel instant sadness....How could I keep putting myself out there,asking for help and being turned away?

I finally received a phone call back from a christian counseling clinic.
"We can help you"


I had to wait a week for an appointment that would fit into my schedule.....and that week was LONG.

Today was the day.

I met my therapist.
As soon as she asked me to share my 'story',I just burst into tears!
"I'm sorry,I thought I might do this" I said.
"You aren't the first one,it happens a lot" she replied.

I started my story by explaining how my life turned upside down soon after I became pregnant for Jacobi in October 2010.
I told her how I'd been sick and how I wanted to sleep all day,yet no matter how tired I was,getting to sleep at night was impossible for me.

I went on to share how after I had Jacobi,I was unable to shed the baby weight and how completely exhausted I was.
I explained that I cried a lot and how I just wanted to lay in bed all day.
I described-with tears streaming down my face-how difficult just providing for my other children had become,how making the boys dinner took everything out of me.
It was at this point that she looked me in the eyes and with a sympathetic face asked "Do you know now what all of this was?"
I nodded.

"Postpartum Depression"

She didn't have to tell me....

I went on to share how my whole life is affected by these feelings.
How I still don't want to get out of bed,how anxious I feel and how I often just want to run away.

When I told her how I have reoccurring dreams about leaving my children at home alone while I go somewhere,only to remember and rush home to them,she informed me that I am probably very hard on myself.

"You want to be a good mom,but when you don't do something as 'good' as you think you should,this is your brain continuing to beat you up,even in your sleep!"

We talked about some homeopathic things I can try.

Omega-3's and avoiding caffeine are on my list.
Recognizing when I'm feeling a certain way and writing it down in a journal so we can discuss ways to manage those feelings.
She is glad that I'm a breakfast eater and wants me to continue with the type of diet/nutrition I am currently eating.

After over an hour of balling my eyes out,I realized that I had touched on so many subjects and I still have more to talk about!

My therapist said a prayer to close my session,and I just couldn't stop crying!
"I must have needed this for a while!" I said.
"It can be good for you to get things out" she replied.

She handed me a book "Women's Mood's-what every woman must know about hormones,the brain and emotional health" by Deborah Sichel M.D. and Jeanne Watson Driscoll,M.S.,C.S.

I look forward to having quiet time so I can read it.

She also noted that I shouldn't yet rule out medication because sometimes it is really needed and can be very helpful.
"I don't want to leave you hanging out there for too long" she said.

Thank God.

I'm tired of hanging.
That's how I feel most of the time...I'm just *here*.

I'm only getting through the day-not living it.

Hopefully a few months of ball-my-eyes-out sessions will help me get back where I want to be......