Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rainy Days and Cozy Kitchens

It has been raining, and raining, and raining!  Our new little brook has been filled to the top of the bank carrying water away from our front door.  Our driveway continues to be a local attraction, with children lining up to jump on it, like a massive trampoline.

Although the weather has been dreary, the kitchen has been cheery - positively bustling with activity! While the cook stove crackles away, Miss Serenity and I have been busy filling the shouse with mouth-watering, home-baked goodness.

Every Wednesday, we host what we affectionately call the "Twinkie Bible Study".  A few months ago, Princess Dragon Snack expressed a desire to have a bible study.  I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to encourage my almost 12 year old daughter and her friends and immediately agreed.  At tea that afternoon, I was talking with Sir Knight and told him I would be hosting a "Tweeny" (in between child and teenager) bible study.  Dragon Snack overheard our conversation and said she didn't like the term "Tweeny".  Sir Knight, quick as always, said "we'll call you "Twinkies", because everybody loves Twinkies"!  And so, the Twinkie Bible Study was born!

After the girls (there are 4 Twinkies) finish their bible study, they retire to the kitchen and have tea.  Each week, the tea flows and treats are served, as the clink of china and the giggling of girls fill the shouse.  Generally Princess Dragon Snack or I bake for the Bible study, however, today Miss Serenity did the baking.

Brownie Bites
Courtesy of Miss Serenity
As the rain poured and the fire crackled, Miss Serenity whipped up a batch of brownie bites.  Soon, the bites were done and the table set, and all that was missing were the Twinkies.  Before we knew it, the Twinkies trudged up the driveway, shrugged off their wet coats and settled in for the Bible study.  We read out of "Prayers for Girls" by Elisabeth Robinson Scovil, and today's subject was Truthfulness.  First we read the selection and then we looked up bible verses that dealt with truthfulness.  What a pleasure to watch the girls flip through their bibles and listen to them read the verses.  And I especially love to hear how they intend to incorporate the verses into their daily life.  Today we read:

For Truthfulness

O God, Who has told us in Thy holy word that Thou art the Truth, keep my lips from falsehood.  Do not let fear force me into saying what is not true.  Make me think before I speak so that what I say may not be untrue.  Strengthen me when it is hard to speak the truth.  Give me such a great respect for my word, that I never may break it.  Having promised, let me always perform.  Make me sincere in all my actions.  Take from me the wish to deceive, that I may be truthful both in word and deed.  I ask this for Jesus Christ's sake.  Amen.

As we were having our bible study, I had bread rising in the kitchen.  Earlier in the day, I had sautéed onions and diced cheese and put together dough for Cheese and Onion bread.  It is one of our favorite savory breads to have with soups or other hearty meals.  Today, instead of making loaves of bread, like I usually do, I decided to form the dough into rolls.  Mmmm!  As I formed the rolls, huge chunks of cheese stuck out at angles and browned pieces of onion clung to the dough.

This evening, I pulled the rolls out of the oven just in time to accompany Joe's Special (Enola Gay Version) on our dinner table.  What a wonderfully savory treat!

Cheese & Onion Loaf

1 1/2 C hot water
2 tsp. sugar
1 T. salt
1 T. yeast
4 3/4 C flour
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 C Cheddar cheese, shredded (divided)
2/3 C. Cheddar cheese, cubed
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped and sautéed

Mix together the water, sugar, salt and yeast.  Allow to "sponge" (sit and grow) for 1/2 hour.  While the mixture is sponging, saute the onions in a bit of butter and set aside to cool.  

After the mixture has sponged, add the flour and dry mustard.  Mix in the cubed cheese and 2/3 C of the shredded cheese.  Add the sautéed onion.

Knead dough until elastic (about 10 minutes) and transfer into an oiled bowl.  Allow to rise in a warm place until double in size (about 2 hours).  Form into 1 large loaf (put in bread pan) and allow to rise until almost double.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  While oven is heating, brush the top of the loaf with milk and sprinkle 1/3 C grated cheese on the top of the loaf.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until loaf sounds hollow.  Turn loaf onto wire rack (I have to loosen the crunchy cheese from the sides of the pan to release the loaf) and allow to cool completely.

Sautéing Onions
Diced sharp cheddar
Adding the onions and diced cheese
And the grated cheddar
Dough, ready to rise
Fresh from the oven
What a beautiful spring day this turned out to be - in spite of the dark, rainy weather!  And now we get to see what tomorrow has in store!!


  1. Yum! I can almost smell it from here..
    What an extra special Bible study. Lucky Twinkies!

  2. Parents know they are on the right track when their 12-year old requests a Bible study.
    Montana Guy

  3. This such a great idea. I hope you don't mind me stealing it, full credit will be given.

  4. Sounds like a great opportunity to teach your kids and make friends - as well as have some good food. You show how to make a house a home, no matter what the starting point is.