Maxi Multi-Tasking

What an interesting day I've had! And it isn't over yet!

I had a Gardening article due to our County Horticulture agent today...and, with all of my meandering last week, well...I hadn't written it yet. Truth be told, I hadn't even started writing it yet. Oh, I guess that's not exactly right...I have given the topic (which I was assigned last January) a good bit of thought and consideration on how I was going to write it (theme, style, etc.). I probably "wrote" three or four passable articles in my head as I tried to keep my mind off the remaining number of miles to home on Saturday. But "pen to paper?" Nope...not as of 8:00 this morning.

So, with my deadline looming (hey, 11:59 p.m. Is STILL today, right?), I got my second cuppa coffee, fired up my PC and printer, and...decided to bake bread.

OK, some might call this procrastinating. I prefer to think of it as getting something out of my system. And, while I was writing the article, the bread could be rising. Multi-tasking is my middle name!

So why was baking bread "in my system," you ask? On Saturday while visiting Cousin A in Dickson, she asked me if I still baked sourdough bread? She remarked that I had once brought her a loaf, years ago...and she allowed that it was quite tasty. I guess if a 104-year old remembers something like a loaf of bread, then maybe it was good.

She was right. I used to make sourdough bread every week, using a recipe I got from the old, brown Southern Living Southern Country Cookbook (one of my go-to resources). This recipe calls for making a "starter" that gives the bread that classic sourdough taste. Trouble is, you have to make the starter at least three days prior to baking a loaf of bread. Hmmmm...

So, I began by mixing up the starter. And then, since I already had the yeast, sugar, and flour out on the counter, I pulled out another old recipe for a basic white bread. The yeast smell had put me in the mood for bread...and you know how that goes.

Out came the stand mixer, which has a dough hook, and makes the mixing and kneading process much easier. Then, while the dough was rising, I noticed another old recipe for Lemon Pound Cake...and I was off on another tangent.

And, what goes great with homemade bread? Why, homemade chicken noodle soup, of course. I had the remains of a rotisserie chicken that I popped into the stockpot to boil the meat off the bone as well as make the stock needed for the soup.

By noon, there was a bubbling pot of soup on the stove, and this is what was cooling on my counter.



And, I had yet to write Word One. Ahem...

Right. Need something to keep my strength up. Time for lunch!

By 1:00, I finally got around to starting my article. Nearly 1,350 words later it was done! Before 3:30, I was printing out my copy...and getting the file ready to email off for approval. See? I got all those other distractions out of my system so I could concentrate on the main task at hand.

Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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Sourdough Starter inspired by Southern Living Southern Country Cookbook

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup very warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 T dry yeast
1 T salt
2 cups warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour

Sprinkle one teaspoon sugar over warm water. Sprinkle yeast over this and let stand in warm place until doubled in size, about 10 minutes. Stir well.

In a largebowl with a cover, add remaining sugar, yeast mixture, and other ingredients. Stir, using only a wooden spoon or paddle, as metal retards growth. Cover loosely and let stand in a warm place for three days, stirring the mixture down daily.

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I'll post the link to the article as well as the recipe for the bread...and how to feed the starter later. It's now tomorrow...and time for bed.

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