10 August 2009

Is it August already? Friendship Bread update etc.

Wow, is it August already? Where did the time go? I'm not ready for all this!

Actually, for a quick update since the last post (end of May ~ wow):
1. We've had a couple of heat waves come through (that I swore were trying to kill me). Today feels good, though... raining off and on, but still 20c(68F) inside the house without having to turn the heat on!

2. I started a new project of scanning in my dad's old photo album. Many of them, he developed himself. Cool old Black & White pictures from all over Western Canada & Western US, Australia, and both North & South Islands of New Zealand. Still more to do, but I got a big chunk done! [Part 1; Part 2.] :)

3. More hiking in the woods. When it wasn't too hot and I had to hide inside, we went for shaded walks through the woods and along the saltwater.

4. Vegan Meetup Potlucks! Word has spread about the monthly vegan potlucks that I host, and the group is growing. Looking forward to another one this coming Sunday (late afternoon). http://www.meetup.com/Olympic-Vegans [Come hang out with us and have fun!] We even had a guest speaker on June 30th ~ Emily Shaules talked about the wonders of a Raw Vegan diet.

5. Had "iguana green" streaks dyed into my hair. Didn't last long... they've faded out bad. New colours next week, especially in time for the trip to Toronto. :)

6. Took a "girls-only" mini-vacation to San Francisco, California to visit my friend Janice. Had a wonderful time, took lots of photos that have me considering going professional, and got horribly (HORRIBLY) sunburnt. Lessons in life, right?

7. Sprucing up around the shop. Painting woodland scenes atop the outdoor bistro table set... Painted the couch in the back into a striped design of black, blue, & sparkles. More to come.

8. Seeing my older boy run off again and again. Good thing he always comes home. His team took 1st place in the State softball tournament. Now, he's off at camp up in the mountains. A couple of weeks ago, he formally took office as the Master Councillor of the local chapter of DeMolay. Threw a big party for that. Other than having one "meat option" for people, the whole dinner was vegan! :) It actually went over really well, and my cupcakes were a huge hit.

9. Homeschool. We've been taking it easy this summer, focusing more on "un-schooling". Paddy has been taking part in everything and helping out a lot. He really likes running the cash register at the shop, and he's become better at it than some employees I've had! :)

9. New Adaptations to the Amish Friendship Bread. Link to my original recipe. I'm taking a minute right now while the bread is in the oven baking. The recipe is never quite the same twice, especially with the option to add different things each time. I've stopped making the sugared crust on it anymore.

Originally, I was using Ener-G egg replacer, but have now dabbled with using ground flax seeds as an egg replacer. It's turned out really well. Sarah Kramer suggests using 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp. water to replace each egg.

Last time, I added carob powder to the batch. That was a hit with everyone! Right now, the batch that is baking has hempmilk, "live" spelt flour from Farmer's Market, ground flax seeds (as egg replacer), applesauce, vanilla hemp protein powder, and pecans... but *then*... split the batch into 2 bowls. Added 1/4c. shredded coconut to one bowl; 1/4c. carob powder to the other bowl. Then marbled the 2 together into the loaf pans. The 1/4c. carob powder was a bit much, and needed a sprinkling of additional hempmilk to wet it so it would blend. [Here we go... picture of it just coming out of the oven!]

We went out for lunch today at Toga's. I had always wanted to go when they were a fancy gourmet restaurant, but didn't. Now, they've done a huge overhaul / remodel and are a lunch place... soup, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. We had a Veggie Focaccia Panini, and then cups of soup (Curried Veggie Lentil, and Roasted Veggie) ~~ I have to say, it was really good. As we were looking over the pastry case, I asked if anything was dairy-free. Sadly, no. There was a marbled cake that Paddy loved the looks of, so I let him know we could "totally" do that ourselves. :)

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