Ah. Today. I have big plans for you.

Spring is upon us, although it never much felt like winter here, thanks be to God and South Carolina. After 10 days of house guests, who are missed, I have some cleaning to do. I also have a plan: clean and declutter one room per day until done. There are many, many toys that need to go, and many, many boxes in the garage that probably should have gone to Goodwill a year ago, in Chicago.

I am feeling inspired by this article based on a book by Jen Hatmaker (a project I am seriously contemplating) and our very, very vague plans to move (calm down) closer to ‘town’ later this year. We have too much stuff. Even after a year of purging leading up to our move here, we have too much stuff! And I want simple.

I am feeling less inspired due to a little random condition I call “Sunday night insomnia,” which for whatever reason, included Charlie Horses and hot flashes last night.

Please tell me it’s too soon for those hot flashes…!

So, I started slow this morning: fixing a bug on Rod’s website, catching up on some mail I need to send, throwing an easy load of laundry in the washer, and finally, having a simple breakfast:

(That’s some slow cooker apple comfit and white cheddar toast) Since discovering this recipe for ‘Amish White Bread,’ I have finally convinced my dear husband that the preservative-filled, flimsy store bread is not the only way for him. I am 100% baking our bread these days. The recipe is easy and so yummy. This week I am going to try freezing some for a little road trip next week and see how that works out:

Chicagolina White Bread

2 cups warm water  (I use the hottest that comes out of my faucet)
– 2 tablespoons white sugar
– 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
– 1/4 cup oil (one part natural/unsweetened applesauce, 1 part oil works well)
– 6 cups all purpose flour

  1. In metal bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water. Add yeast and allow it to proof (looks foamy).
  2. Add salt and oil/applesauce; mix.
  3. Mix in flour, one cup at a time. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes in a stand mixer).
  4. Place in oiled bowl, turning over once to coat. Cover and allow to rise for one hour.
  5. Punch dough down. Divide in half and place in oiled, standard load pans. Allow to rise about 30 minutes, more if you want the bread to rise above pans.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with butter, cheese, apple-something-or-other, jam, soup, stew, deli meat, garlic…um, you get my point…