Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ding Dong Bell

Measles have made a comeback in this country recently.  There is a big debate about whether children should be vaccinated or not.   Apparently back in the days of the Brady Bunch, the measles were not a big deal.  Remember the episode where all the kids are sent home from school with the measles.  I vaguely remember it, but my daughter reminded me of this episode.  I think it originally aired in 1969 well before she was born, but the reruns played forever.  The episode was titled "Is There A Doctor In The House".  It was about the girls wanting a woman doctor and the boys wanting a man doctor, but that isn't what my daughter remembered.  She remembered all the kids ordering their parents and Alice around.  Each kid had a different way to get attention because they were sick.  One had a whistle, one a cow bell and so on.  Whenever they wanted something, they would use the noisy gadget.  Alice and the Brady parents were running themselves ragged, and then Mr. Brady and Alice got the measles too.  Here's the link if you want to refresh your memory.

I found a Public Domain photo of the Brady Bunch.

Now to the point of this background story.  As I have mentioned before, my 90 year old dad has had some health issues recently.  He has pretty much recovered from an infected gall bladder, sepsis, atrial fibrillation, and aspiration into his lungs.  He did have the stomach flu the past few days, but he is feeling better from that as well.  The first few nights after he came home from the hospital, I slept in a chair near his room so I would hear him during the night.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well.  I am the type of person who needs all conditions to be perfect before I can sleep well.  Since I needed to sleep in my bed, we came up with a variety of things to get my attention if he needed me, just like the Brady kids.  We tried a soda can with pennies inside, we tried a small bell, we even tried knocking on the wall.  I really couldn't hear any of these methods very well.  Then it dawned on us that perhaps a wireless doorbell would work.  I found one with the chime for $7.96.  It was much less expensive than a baby monitor, and I could put the chime portion in my room.  We have not needed it, but we tested it to make sure it worked.  I can hear it loud and clear, giving me peace of mind.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Quick and Easy English Muffin Bread

It's Fat Tuesday again.  Last year I made Paczki's which were not a complete success.  I think I will pass on it this year.  Maybe I can find a bakery to buy some.

I won't even attempt to make a King Cake.  The thought of it is not appealing to me.  Who wants to find a plastic baby Jesus inside a piece of cake.  Actually it isn't really a cake, it's more like a bread with colored frosting and sugar on top.  The colors of the frosting are purple, green and yellow which represent royalty.   It is also draped with Mardi Gras beads in a similar color.

Today my Fat Tuesday recipe has nothing to do with Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday.  It is another recipe for English Muffin bread.  This is the third time I have posted recipes for this.  Each are slightly different but equally delicious.  The first time was when I started this blog.

Then I posted my recipe for making traditional English Muffins.  I like this recipe very much, but it does take more time than most people want to spend.  Recently I found another recipe for English Muffin bread on  It is quick, easy and has the same texture as a real English Muffin.

English Muffin bread raising in the pans.

Easy English Muffin Bread Recipe
What You Need:
  • 5 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups warm Milk
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water
  • Cornmeal
In a large bowl, mix half of the flour with the yeast, sugar, salt, milk, and water. Make sure the water and the milk are warm so they help to activate the yeast. Mix together for a few minutes to give the yeast a chance to activate.
Add in the rest of the flour and mix until just combined. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer but you can simply mix the dough together by hand.  The dough is sticky.  Don't add more flour to make it look like regular bread dough, it is supposed to be sticky.   Make sure you do not overmix.
Grease 2 loaf pans and sprinkle cornmeal in the bottom of each pan. Divide the batter into the pans, sprinkle more cornmeal on the top, and let it rise in a warm place until doubles in size.

Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes.

This bread is best toasted but it is moist enough to eat plain.

Monday, February 16, 2015

February School Concert

Today is President's Day.  In honor of February and President's Day two of our grandsons participated in a school concert.  Sam is in 5th grade and Jack is in 1st grade.   My husband stayed home with dad who is recovering from a serious illness, so I was able to go.  The gymnasium was full of parents, grandparents, friends and all the children.  The theme was America and all the songs reflected that theme.

Jack singing Yankee Doodle Dandy.

They even had the Statue of Liberty.

Sam had a speaking part and did a great job.

I was happy I was able to attend.  These kids are growing up so fast, and I don't want to miss these special times.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pinecone Bird Feeder

I try to write about our grandchildren equally.  All five of them are special and mean the world to us.  Ewan is the youngest.  He will be five at the end of March.  He is a very lucky boy and is loved by so many.  We are a little boring and not nearly as fun as his other grandparents.  They provide him with a lot of exciting experiences.

They let him paint.

They go hiking.

Grandpa Wayne and Ewan playing cowboys.

They relax and watch TV.

At Christmas, Ewan made gifts with his other Grandma Beth.  They did a great job choosing a gift they knew we would like.  Ewan knows we love to feed the birds.

They made pinecone bird feeders.  They spread peanut butter on pinecones and rolled them in birdseed.  I hung them out in the tree right away.

It took a while for the birds to discover them because I hung them away from the area we usually use for feeding the birds.  Birds are amazing, if there is food, they will find it.

A Junco.

A Sparrow.

A Chickadee.

Thank you Grandma Beth and Ewan.