November 27, 2008

Things for which I am thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a very random and by no means exhaustive list of the things for which I am thankful to God. They are not in order of importance, but just as I think of them.


• Salvation & Forgiveness of sin • A roof over my head • A dad who loves and protects me • Food to eat! • My sister who is always there for me • Warmth in cold weather • The beautiful land we live on • My wonderful mom • My wonderful extended family • BOOKS • The freedom to worship the one true God and read His word without fear • The fact that my dad has a job and provides for us • Chocolate (especially when it's hazelnut flavored...) • All my fabulous friends • The United States Postal Service and those who send me letters through it • Coffee • Air to breathe and water to drink • The beautiful flowers, trees and plants God has created • And in light of that, for cameras • Cookie dough • Clothes to wear • My parents choice to homeschool us • The way God always provides • Libraries • My parents' forcing me to keep playing piano when I was ready to quit • Music • Babies (and their moms who let me hold them) • Sewing and the ability to do it • Garlic • The harp that God graciously provided for me to learn on, through my sweet friend Raeanne • Quite appropriately, the smell of roasting turkey wafting through the house • My ability to write and all the other gifts God has given me • Creme brulee • Gardens in which we may grow our own food (and some weeds to boot...) • Vacations • History • My cat, Gavana • Mom's cat, Basha • The memory of Tara's cat, Scamper • And all other cats who have played a role in my life :-) • Good bread •

I could sit here all day and just keep adding to this list... but I will refrain from doing so. This is probably already so long that you didn't even read the whole thing. :-) Oh, well... it was fun for me anyway!

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

November 25, 2008

Fresh Irish Soda Bread...mmmm

irish soda bread

Nov. 26 update: For Miss Jocelyn and the rest of you who would like to taste this fabulous bread for yourselves:

Mrs. C.'s Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour, plus more for kneading
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup raisins
2 Tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1½ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, raisins, caraway seeds, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs and 2 Tbsp. butter. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients to form a dough.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 4 minutes; add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Form dough into a 9-inch round; place on prepared baking sheet. Brush loaf with remaining Tbsp. of butter. Using a sharp knife, score an X on top of loaf.
Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on wire rack before serving. Enjoy!
This is one of my absolute favorite breads! It mixes up pretty quickly and has a sweet flavor - sometimes we like to sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar (or other "large chunk" sugar) before baking. YUM!