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.

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.


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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