Post #564 Stormy Weather Stormy Health

March 4, 2018 at 2:55 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #564 Stormy Weather Stormy Health

Well, I spent another week at home.  I actually went to work on Monday for the whole day and felt fine.  Tuesday, I was not “up beat” then started feeling dizzy and feverish.  Went home about noon-ish.  Woke up on Wednesday feeling the same so made an appointment with my doctor.  Saw her on Thursday, and she scheduled lab work for Friday and told me to stay home until Monday.  Thursday afternoon, I wanted to try making bran muffins since I like them and they’re a good diabetes friendly snack and breakfast.

When I was in college, my sister and her husband had a cookbook that was sort of diet/lifestyle/health tutorial.  We used a lot of the recipes from this book.  I wish I still had it because it had a bran muffin recipe that was delicious.  It used whole wheat flour, bran, honey, and other ingredients I don’t remember.  They were light but hearty, and one would fill you up perfectly.  I’ve eaten plenty of good bran muffins since then, some that I’ve made myself.  But don’t ask me what the recipes were, because I just don’t remember.  But, I also knew that there were several good brands of cereal that included recipes for bran muffins so I chose a box at random.  Well, lucky me, after reading the recipe, I had to make a very wet batter with the cereal and eggs and water and let it soak overnight in the fridge.  Yay.  So I got up Friday morning, did the lab work, stopped at the store on the way home for the inevitable items that were forgotten the day before, and headed home.  My idea for the muffins was to overfill the muffin tins to make fewer muffins, but larger ones.  I wanted to make some with blueberries and some without.  Once I got the batter ready, I made six that were plain.  Then, instead of blueberries, I added crushed pecans to the rest of the batter and made two more.  That’s all I had left.

The two with the pecans on top had the crushed pecans in the batter.  I ate one while still warm.  Guys, I do not recommend this recipe.  Instead of getting a nice light hearty muffin tasting of bran and honey, we got a spongy thick heavy muffin that tasted like sweet cereal sludge.  Not the best, so I’ll keep searching because I like muffins.

We started talking about dinner and we thought about Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches.  We had all the stuff except the rolls so I said I’d make some!  I did a quick search and found a good whole wheat recipe from ATK that I could make.  I quickly threw it all together and got it to the first rise.

And the power went out because of this wonderful No’oreast Bomb storm running through my part of the country this weekend.  Using our phones, we went to the website to find out when power was expected to come back on and found it was only going to be out a few hours.  Meh, a shrug, a groan, and a change of plans.  I texted people at work to find out if there was still power in that area.  It was a sporadic outage.  Although they were reporting statewide outages, there were pockets of areas with power.  By four o’clock, the dough had risen and fallen twice and was completely unusable for the recipe I wanted.  We couldn’t actually cook anything, so we decided on an early dinner at a nearby restaurant.  We kept getting updates and the prediction for power returning kept getting pushed further and further out until finally they said Monday afternoon!  We had plenty of things we could eat until then; actually, we had to eat it all or let it spoil.  We weren’t going to starve.  It was getting cold, but we had blankets and a space heater puppy so we weren’t going to freeze.  We were more concerned with keeping our phones and computers charged.

So imagine our complete relief when the power came back on at 11:30 Saturday morning!  We’d gone to our favorite diner for breakfast where they’d invited us to charge all our electronics, but we didn’t do that.

So I tossed the old dough.  Partner/Spouse suggested turning it into sourdough starter, but I didn’t want two gallons of starter hanging around.  I cleaned out and washed out all the bowls and utensils I’d used the day before and started over.  And they turned out wonderful!  That’s the thing about ATK.  If you follow their recipes to the letter, you get reliable and very tasty results.  Since it was a whole wheat recipe already, and I’d added a tablespoon of bran to it, it was healthier than before.  The rolls were cooling on the counter when the power went out.  Again.  And a string of cursing left my mouth and sent the dog running in terror.

Luckily, the power came back on a few minutes later.  So dinner was made, but not Philly Cheesesteaks.  We made beef gravy, shaved beef sautéed in onions, and had that over toasted rolls.  Sort of an open faced beef and gravy sandwich.  So good!

We were binge watching some television show and about 11:30pm, the power went out again.  Screw it, we said.  Let’s just go to bed.

An hour later, blazing lights woke us up.  We’d forgotten to turn anything off.  But we had power, and this time, it stayed on.  So far.  The weather system has passed.  The winds are gone.  Rain stopped yesterday.  Rivers are flooding over their banks; tides are horrendous due to the rains and storm surges; trees are down all over the place.  There are still pockets with no power.  But we’re good, stayed fed, stayed warm, and managed to make healthy food from scratch.

Here’s the recipe for the rolls, if anyone wants to try.  They really are good.

Rustic Dinner Rolls

  • 1 1/2 cups plus one tablespoon water at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole bran (optional)

Whisk the water, honey, and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer making certain no honey remains in bottom of bowl.  Add flours and mix on low speed for three minutes with the dough hook on the lowest setting until a cohesive dough is formed.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap and sprinkle salt evenly over the top of the dough.  Knead on low speed for 5 minutes scraping dough down if it climbs the dough hook.  Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and tacky, but not sticky, 1-2 minutes.  Lightly oil a medium bowl and transfer dough to it.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour.

When dough is ready, use a rubber spatula and fold dough onto itself.  Turn the bowl a quarter turn and fold dough onto itself.  Repeat twice more.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes then repeat folding.  Allow to rest 30 minutes.  Turn dough onto flour surface and sprinkle top of dough with flour.  Using a bench scraper, cut the dough in half.  Flour your hands and shape the dough into two logs about sixteen inches long.  Cut each log in half, then cut the halves in half.  Cut those halves in half resulting in sixteen total pieces of dough roughly the same size.

Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with vegetable spray.  Preheat oven to 500.  With well floured hands, gently roll each piece of dough into a rough round coating all sides with flour from your hands.  Place pieces in cake pan, one in center and seven around the edge, eight pieces per pan.  Sprinkle lightly with flour.  Cover loosely with plastic and allow to rest 30 minutes.

When the oven is heated, and the dough has rested 30 minutes, uncover the pans and spray mist the dough lightly with water.  Bake in oven at 500 for ten minutes then remove.  Set oven to 400.  Tip the rolls onto a rimmed baking sheet, then turn over so tops face up.  Using oven mitts, separate rolls and position them on bake sheet so none touch.  Cover loosely with a towel.  When oven is ready, bake rolls for 10-15 minutes.  Remove and cool for one hour.

These rolls will be crusty and well baked.  I actually used only half the salt and they tasted fine.  They are smaller then I normally make so next time I’m going to experiment with size and shape.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Let me know if you try these and how they turn out.

The upshot of health issues is that my blood sugar is dropping as it’s supposed to, but my heart issues have ramped up a bit.  I’m scheduled for an appointment with a cardiologist soon who will look at my blood work, the test results from the hospital, and determine the next steps.  But I’m good, and returning to work tomorrow.

As always,


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