Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rainy day, baking bread with my toddler

This winter has been so mild and beyond dry. So when rain was finally in the forecast, I celebrated a bit, and then came up with a plan to adapt our routine up a bit to account for afternoon wet weather.
Usually, our routine allows us to get out to run errands or visit the park before lunch and naptime, and then after big brother gets picked up from school we play in the backyard or take a walk around the block until sunset. This allows me to wear him out enough so we can relax for a bit and catch the evening news before making dinner for the family. S loves to help me in the kitchen, a trend that I hope will continue for a long while, since big brother and my husband have no interest in cooking.

Yesterday, I decided to skip the park in the morning, and instead we stayed home in the backyard. S hunted for ladybugs and rocks, while I did a bit of gardening, weeding and cleaning my vegetable box for early-spring planting, which will happen in the next few weeks. I love living in California. After our afternoon snack, the clouds had come in and it was threatening to rain, so we stayed indoors and finished up some housework, which S helped with, as much as an almost 2 year old can. Afterwards, it was still to early to start on dinner, so I decided that it would be a good time to get some baking done.

I set out a quick snack for S while I picked the bread recipe, got the ingredients ready, and set up a stool in front of the mixer so S could watch. I added the ingredients to the stand mixer using the dough hook, and was surprised how fast everything came together. I got the mixer for Christmas and was used to making yeast dough by hand. See my post Nut and Raisin Bread For a Rainy Day for the recipe. After the dough came together, S helped me knead it on a floured board for a few minutes, then we put it back into the greased bowl to rest and rise. While we were waiting, I got out another type of dough, our homemade play dough, to smoosh and smash around while I cleaned up. After our dough (the edible kind) had risen, I shaped them into two loaves and set them next to the stove for rise #2 while I cleaned up the play dough and got started on dinner. S had already lost interest by then and was playing with his trains in the living room. By the time dinner was put on the table, the bread was cooling on the counter. We enjoyed it before bedtime with a bit of butter and a glass of milk.

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