29 February 2008

leap year lunch







is that a Jones nose or what?

happy leap year... day... leap... day... today.

28 February 2008


it's amazing what can happen in a year. i took this photo of my eight-months-pregnant belly a year ago today (those are my little feet below).

and here's Ash a couple days ago. she wears barrettes in her hair and pulls herself up on the couch and points at the clock and says 'ba' for 'please'. incredible.

this is real life.

26 February 2008

101 posts: like i said, a bread snob

fact: this makes 101 posts from cheese on rye. wahooo, huzzah, and smackity-yam! it's been 2.3 years since we got this blog rolling and i'm still at it. swell!

fact: you cannot buy an above-average (or by my standards, good) loaf of bread in Ephraim. this, on the other hand, truly saddens me. so i've been back in the bread-making business for the last few months. well, technically it's not really a business i since i'm not selling it or anything. but
English, Ash and i have been enjoying it (i'm baking some right this very moment) and if you feel so inclined, you can too. it's actually quite easy and i've all but perfected this recipe - Great Harvest is still rated #1 and i don't have the facilities to make a 48-loaf batch.
2 1/3 cups warm water (about 110º)
1 1/2 Tbsp. instant yeast
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. salt
3 3/4+ cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

1. in a medium bowl mix the water, yeast, honey, salt, wheat germ and 1/4 cup of the flour with a wooden spoon.
2. place 3 3/4 cups flour in a large bowl. add the wet mixture and beat with wooden spoon for 5 minutes (i think it's easier to mix it with my hands once the wet is mostly incorporated). add another 1/3 - 2/3 cup flour* to make a moist, thick dough.
3. turn the dough onto a work surface that had been sprinkled with some flour. knead, adding only as much flour as necessary* to form a soft elastic (and still sticky) dough, about 5 minutes. *less flour is better.
4. form the dough into a ball and place in a very lightly oiled large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. let rise in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
5. heat oven to 375º. turn dough out on a very lightly floured surface. gently knead and shape dough into a loaf shape and place in a large loaf pan. cover with plastic wrap or clean towel and let rise until almost doubled in volume, about 20-30 minutes.
6. bake for 35-45 minutes (for a softer crust place foil over bread after 25 minutes). transfer the bread immediately from the baking pans to a wire racks to cool.

you can add sunflower, flax and a variety of other seeds, raisins, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, etc. to make different kinds of bread. add these ingredients at the end of step three.

15 February 2008

House of Suds

we live diagonally across the street from a do-it-yourself car wash. you know the ones that have the high pressure water guns, foaming brush, spotless rinse... 11 functions in all. winter is pretty rough on cars with the salt and sand all over the roads so it stays pretty busy over there year round. plus, the other car wash in town fell victim of arson last fall when some butt-heads robbed the quarter machines and lit the place on fire. so the House of Suds has been hoppin' and we've been able to watch from the comfort of our kitchen window. we've been amazed at when people choose to wash their cars. we've seen people washing their cars:

• at 10:00pm on a cold winter's night
• at 6:00 am on a cold winter's morning
• while it's snowing - and showing no sign of stopping
• in 12 degree weather (that's 20 degrees below freezing)
• with the motor running
• at 1:00 am on a cold winter's night - and taking a pee while at it

these folks are nut cases, yeah? yeah.

11 February 2008

paradise found and remembered

it was a balmy 64 degrees in St. George this weekend. it felt like paradise. English was attending a conference (where they fed him turkey sandwiches with American cheese and talked about service learning... sorry, love), while Ash and i basked in the warm sun as much as we could. the last time i felt this fondly of St. George was March of 1997 when my three best friends and i spent a long weekend hanging out, eating quite a bit as i recall, getting tans - or burns, rather - and dancing in an empty parking lot. it was spring break and it felt like paradise.

back to 2008: Saturday night the Holiday Inn hosted the junior prom. borrowed Cadillacs and shiny Hondas filled the parking lot. lucky for us we were staying at the Holiday Inn and i could unabashedly watch from the mezzanine as teens filed in, fidgeted, smiled, talked awkwardly, chewed gum, looked at their shoes and adjusted their satin formals. i probably enjoyed it more than i should have but man, it was fun.

English took me to junior prom in April of 1997 at the Utah State Capitol, which has terrible acoustics but fabulous backdrops. i still carry this group photo in my wallet.

07 February 2008

it's a cruel, cruel winter

this time of the winter is hard. this is when withdrawal hits: Happy Holiday withdrawal, delicious-food-everywhere withdrawal, New Year freshness withdrawal (and of course serious warm-weather withdrawal). all of the skin cells that existed during those joyful times have been sloughed off and replaced by new, pale, bleak mid-winter cells and we ache. the sunlight coming from the south at an awkward angle creates drastic shadows and squinty afternoon drives. cold, dry air makes us cough as our nose hairs freeze. our bellies poke out and sag because of unwilling neglect and our skin can't get enough moisture.

this time of winter is hard. it's time for a small vacation to warmer climes.

04 February 2008

this just in...

this is a major break through - especially since it's been snowing like crazy here.

okay, you're right. this isn't the cover of Science News. it's actually January's installment of the cute, crafty crapola (i say that in a very loving tone) that my visiting teacher drops by unannounced and at the strangest times. i leave any further comments to you.

01 February 2008

ghosts of my past

last night i made a quick run to Wal*Mart to grab some generic brand NyQuil® for English. i got some bananas a flour and stuff like that too. it was pretty slow at the check out counters so i could have picked any lane. i was headed for lane 2 when the '10 Items or Less' cashier caught my eye and said 'i'm open'. now, this cashier happened to be one of my previous students... a student who basically missed the final and as a result earned a lousy grade in the class. but i wasn't going to let that bother me. as she was scanning my sensitive toothpaste and bagging my Fruity Cheerios we talked awkwardly about school and Ash and other things, and by the time i was pushing my cart by the 'goodbye greeter' i felt like a total jerk. as i drove home i tried to console myself by recounting the events of that final two semesters ago - how she showed up after it was pretty much over and so on - but it didn't help. all i could think of was her working the night shift at Wal*Mart and i felt really bad. so...why?