Rise and Dine

A Grandkid-Tested Recipe from Barb Howe

My mother was known as a wonderful baker. Saturdays during my childhood typically began with the aroma of yeast rising on the kitchen counter and ended with oven-warm treats. Decades have passed since then, yet the scent of freshly baked bread always reminds me of Mom. I stood on a chair to reach the counter next to her as I learned the craft of bread making under her careful instruction.

Recently, I began experimenting with her original recipe (shown below) to include health benefiting fiber and incorporate tasty, fresh herbs from my garden. The results have been outstanding. A few simple adjustments to her original recipe yield a plethora of different flavors and uses, from herb and onion bread to better tasting hamburger buns than any I have found at the grocery store. 

Try her recipe out for yourself. Below is the Original Recipe that Mom used. Contact me via the link for some of my Grandkid-Tested Detours.

Ahh! There are days when homemade bread makes this grandma feel like a kid again. Thanks, Mom!

Original Recipe for Sweet Yeast Dough

Mix together in a medium size bowl and set aside:
2 packages dry yeast (4-1/2 teaspoons)
¼ cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
1 teaspoon sugar

In a large bowl, combine:
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Pour over mixture:
1 cup scalded milk

When butter is dissolved and sugar and salt are incorporated, add:
2 eggs, well beaten
5 cups bread flour

Stir together and turn dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth. Form dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. 

Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk in a warm, draft free area. Punch down dough and shape it into a loaf. Let rise until doubled in bulk. 

Separate dough by half. Then separate each half into four equal parts and roll into long rolls. Braid the rolls together and tuck into a loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough to make a second loaf.

Allow to rise until doubled in bulk in a warm, draft free area. Bake about 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool and remove from pan to cool completely (Or, pull the braids apart and eat while warm the way I used to do.)

Ask for Grandkid-Tested Detours from Mom’s original bread recipe at barbhowe.org.

Take a Break

Photo by Barb Howe

It surprised me to count the number of grandparents I know who are involved with raising their grandchildren. I’m not talking about the ones who get to see them during occasional holiday visits. I’m talking about the ones who are on the front lines of child rearing, supporting their adult children. It’s a tough job to keep up with the energy level of anyone younger than 20 years of age when you’re sporting a crop of grey hair. 

Allow yourself to take a break. It’s a good idea for everyone involved, including those grandchildren. Breathe deeply, take in the splendor of all the good things God has given. Genesis reminds me that He placed the first man and woman in a garden, so gardens are where I like to be when rejuvenation is what I need. A large, public landscape garden near my home is where I go to find year-round periods of refreshment.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”
Psalm 62:5 

Visiting this place also reminds me that any challenges I am facing have already been resolved by the Creator of all things. It gives me pause to recall the many times He has carried me through trials of many kinds. My job is to allow Him to work in me, to continue the transformation of my heart, so I can be more like Jesus. It is a huge task.

His reward to me is the blessing of peace, joy, and love. Perhaps that is why, in the first chapter of Genesis, God rested on the seventh day. I believe he was demonstrating to us the need for periodic moments of down time. It’s as if He is telling us to “take a break” so we can be reminded that our grandchildren truly are a blessing from the Lord.

“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”
Psalm 116:7 

Read more posts at barbhowe.org.

Compare Notes

Photo courtesy of Alvaro Serrano on Unsplash

Admit it, the world we live in doesn’t always make sense. A quick glance at the news reminds us that our country is undergoing a long season of trepidation and rebellion. Given the conflicting deluge of messages thrust upon us daily, it’s nearly impossible to know what to believe. Thankfully, there is one source of information we can rely upon for absolute truth: the Bible. Eternal wisdom flows from its pages.  

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God,
keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations
of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
Deuteronomy 7:9

We probably all have concerns for our grandchildren’s physical and spiritual well being. Having many decades of experience, we’re reminiscent of the Farmers Insurance ad tagline, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” Our perspectives and collective wisdom are vital for these young ones. That old cliche’ reminding us “it takes a village to raise a child” hits home here. Please, allow God to be at the center of it all. 

It is a blessing to have friends that share the same concerns for their grandchildren as I do for my grandson. We support one another with prayer, encouragement, and advice, much as mothers of young children do amongst themselves. Think of it as comparing notes with other people whose ultimate goal aligns with yours: to spend eternity with our grandchildren and other believers in heaven. Be sure to bring a notebook the next time you meet.

 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Visit barbhowe.org.