Saturday, December 6, 2014

Green Amish Friendship Bread

So, it all started like this...

I am mistrustful of yeast.  All that fermentation and bubble-ating.  Can you actually tell me it doesn't do those things after you eat it or at night - in your pantry - while you're sleeping?  And why do I have to take its temperature?  I don't take my children's temperatures and I love them.  I believe yeast and Gremlins are related.  My belief is that one day I will accidentally feed yeast after midnight or splash water on yeast and then I will have to fight it to the death in a hardware store on Christmas Eve.

So, it all started like this...

We have amazing neighbors, Mass Hysteria, Pandemonium, Chaos, and I.  They are wonderful.  They are wonderful to our children.  They have one of the coolest dogs I've ever met.  Great people.
So, it was no surprise when, 10 days ago, Neighbor Todd called Mass Hysteria to ask if I would like a starter of Amish Friendship Bread that Neighbor Rachel was making.  Nice, nice people.

Neighbor Todd rang the doorbell and presented me with a Gallon Size Ziploc bag of perfect, completely normal, off-white bread starter and a typed two-page instruction sheet.   The kids showed him their new basketball uniforms and he headed home, unaware that he had just left that poor, innocent bag of starter at the final resting place of miscellaneous baked goods.  That big loaf pan in the sky.  The place where dreams go to die.

I walked away from the door reading the instructions and preparing myself for a battle I knew I'd ultimately lose.

DAY 1 Receive fermented starter in ziplock bag.  Do nothing!  Put bag on counter.
*          No problems here, so far, so good.  This may not end in tears after all.

DAY 2 - DAY 5  Squeeze bag several times.
*          Not TOO bad.  I may have accidentally skipped DAY 3 and then subsequently over-squeezed on DAY  4, but all in all, things are going pretty well.

DAY 6 Add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of milk.  Squeeze several times.
*          Do not panic.  You have kept 2 children alive for nearly 9 years.  You can do this.

I give myself inner pep talks sometimes.

DAY 7 - DAY 9 Squeeze bag several times.
*          You, Rachel, have got this bread in the bag.  (It's punny, once you get it.)

**************It may be time for younger readers to stop reading.***********************

Mass Hysteria and I made a bad parenting call a few years ago.  Most bad parenting calls can be remedied with prayer and a heart-felt talk, sometimes an apology or a redirect.  This parenting call WILL NOT DIE!

Elves.  Year 4 and I am running out of material.  Pandemonium has figured it out, so we're all just going through the motions for poor, sweet Chaos who is 5 and completely DELIGHTED by the elves and their antics.

The evening of DAY 9, after the children were in bed, I thought, "Self, what can these dadgum elves do tonight?"  It occurred to me that it had been a year or two since those rascally elves dyed the milk green and sat in the fridge.  Problem solved.

The morning of DAY 10 dawned clean and fresh.  
Not a person others might consider a planner, I had not read ahead in the instructions for the Amish Friendship Bread.

DAY 10 In a large non-metallic bowl, combine batter with 1 cup milk, (GULP!!!), and so on and so forth
*          Why, yes; thanks for asking.  I did just dye all the milk green last night.

And, of course, on DAY 10 Pandemonium fell ill at school and came home with a fever (I only know that because the school nurse owns a thermometer.  I don't.)

Only now I am facing a real conundrum.  Because I am an oldest child and a rule follower, when my instruction sheet says DAY 10, I'm doing it on DAY 10, but, because I am a Mom who lives in Ohio in December where icy frost mist rises from the ground on DAY 10, I'm not taking the sick kid to the grocery store.

I used the green milk.  

Now, how can I make this ok?

My brain runs through many solutions:
1)  If I add spinach, the kids will get an extra dose of Vitamin A, Copper, Manganese, and              Dietary Fiber.  Doesn't everyone really need more Dietary Fiber?
2)  I could add red food coloring and pretend I was going for a Christmas theme all along.
3)  The recipe calls for 2 boxes of pudding and suggests trying different flavors.  

Pistachio is a flavor of pudding that is a similar shade of green to the shade of green of my current batch of Amish Friendship Bread Starter.   

Because, honestly, how bad can green Amish Friendship Bread be?  

Next time I should just walk next door and ask the neighbors to borrow a cup of milk.

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