January, 2008 | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for January, 2008

Bread – Bettina Style

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

copyright 2007 by Marceline Donaldson

from experiments dating back to 1970

Needed:

An Electric Mixer
3 cups warm milk (or apple juice or any other liquid)
3/4 cup sugar (or honey or 1/4 cup molasses plus 1/2 cup sugar)
2 packages yeast
2 generous tablespoons Liquid Lecithin
Organic Whole Wheat Flour
Sea Salt
3/4 cup oil (organic canola, olive, butter or your choice)

How to:

1) Put milk, sugar, lecithin and yeast in the electric mixer. We prefer using molasses, although the others are good for a change of taste. Let this sit until it starts to bubble so you know your yeast is working. Maybe 5-10 minutes. Add oil and salt.

2) Gradually add 5 cups Whole Wheat Organic Flour while blending with the mixer on medium for five-to-seven minutes. We use the PADDLE of the electric mixer for this stage.

3) Be careful beating this dough. We find if dough is not beaten enough it will either not rise or it will take a very long time to give a very small rise: if it is beaten too much it will be rubbery. Tread a fine line.

4) Add three additional cups of flour – more or less – and continue beating with mixer USING DOUGH HOOK until bread pulls away from bowl and begins to look a little elastic. If you prefer you can knead the dough by hand.

Kneading by hand is good if you are having an emotional or spiritually hard day. By electric mixer is good if you have other things to do, are pressed for time and/or have an appointment with your therapist to work out your problems. Kneading is cheaper!

5) Put dough into a greased bowl.  Pour a little oil on top and gently rub the oil all over the dough so its surface is covered.  Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise for one and one half hours (approximately) – until it looks at least doubled in size.

6) Cut or tear the dough into three pieces and knead each piece into a shape which fits into a glass bread baking pan. Glass because it will not react with the bread or leave minute residue on the bread surface (like aluminum would). We stay away from aluminum when we cook anything! We only bake in glass pans.

We remember Alzheimers wasn’t even on the radar before young couples were given whole suites of aluminum pots and pans in the 50’s and they became the sparkling and exciting wedding, shower, birthday, anniversary present. It may not be relevant and might be just our imaginings, but we are sharing our reality and the reality of our friends with you – so relevant or not – we stay away from aluminum in cooking.

7) One good characteristic of this dough is that it can be made into anything. So put two pieces of the dough into two glass bread baking pans and knead your favorite things into the third piece of dough: try a stick of softened organic butter (salted or unsalted, your choice) and then sprinkle the dough with raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate chips, coconut, sugar, etc. Then knead until those are all incorporated into the dough.

Form into a shape to fit the bread pan. Store-bought raisin bread pales by comparison to your own home-baked version.  Of course, you grease all of your pans with butter before putting any breads into them.

Or – you could make cinnamon buns by rolling out 1/3 piece of the dough until it is of a good size. A rectangle works for us. Thick or thin depends on whether you like your buns to have lots of dough or a little dough and lots of other stuff.  Spread the rectangle with softened organic butter and sprinkle heavily with cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, prunes, apricots, figs, etc. then roll the dough – jelly roll fashion. Once rolled, slice into thick slices to put into a rectangular glass baking dish – cover and let rise until doubled in volume.

Bake the bread at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. (possibly more, but seldom less)

Before you take the rolls out of the oven – mix powdered sugar with milk or cream (heavy cream is heaven here) to the consistency of a very thick liquid. Once out of the oven, brush the sugar and cream mixture over the rolls and let them sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. If there are leftovers, they can be reheated. These buns are wonderful either freshly baked or reheated. The little addition to taste from reheating comes from the crispiness of the toping which doesn’t happen with freshly baked buns.  We sprinkle a little water over the buns before reheating.

If you are Catholic, a little holy water while saying a prayer over your buns, please!  It’s good for the digestion!
For an excellent savory bun:  fry chopped onions, celery, green and red peppers, garlic and ground beef in about two tablespoons butter in a cast iron skillet.  If you are kosher, make that organic Canola Oil or better still Olive Oil.
It is extremely important that the ground beef be organic.  Let’s not set up for ourselves the possibility of eating road kill here – or worse, growth hormones to make this a dish that would pack on the pounds as those growth hormones go from the ground beef to you.
While this mixture is cooking, stir it a bit and sprinkle it with sea salt, cayenne pepper (keep that black pepper away from your food), thyme and oregano (to your taste, of course). Spread this mixture on the rectangle of dough. We have a heavy hand doing this because we like it better with lots of spread in those jelly-roll like slices.

As above for the cinnamon buns, roll this savory dish jelly roll style, slice it into thick slices, put them into a rectangular glass baking dish, cover and let rise until double in volume!  You will have a sumptuous breakfast, lunch or an evening snack!  They also reheat beautifully.

NOTES on BETTINA’s BREAD

Of course, all the ingredients MUST be organic – flour, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg,(especially all the seasonings) and on and on. Otherwise – why bother – you can get bread made from contaminated ingredients in any bakery or supermarket. This bread is pure, also restorative (you will be surprised at the increased size of your bowel movements) and the taste is amazing. This bread will be soft, light in texture, beautiful to look at – if you made it right.

Bread takes lots of trying until one day you get it – the process clicks – and you will then be able to turn out loaves of bread in-between all the other things you do – without feeling any extra strain and enjoying the results.

Contrary to popular mythology – this is not an exact science. Bread making varies with the person making it, the weather – sunny and dry, hot, humid, cold, etc. The ingredients also vary depending upon your taste, diet, what you have on hand at the time and your mood, which is why some choices are in parenthesis.  Besides our choices – you might have others. I’ve heard about chopped olives and olive oil; walnuts – if you have northern taste buds; or pecans – if you have southern taste buds; chocolate chips; – let your imagination soar.

Many of us are either afraid to make bread or we think it is so over our ability and/or time constraints we don’t try. When did all this happen?

It seems to me as cooking and baking became more commercial – money making instead of family feeding, it was taken over by male chefs and corporate types and the media took up the bludgeon to beat it into women that bread baking was way over their heads and they shouldn’t try anymore. “Why bake when you can buy” became one of many slogans which depleted our pocket books and our health.

What was the prevailing wisdom? Didn’t it go something like —– those who baked for generations should give up the task and turn it over to those who had never baked and whose interest was in turning bread into a profit center by using inferior and/or synthetic ingredients and all kinds of artificial equipment?

Under their hands and tutelage, bread for the upper classes became as white and light as possible resulting in that well known commodity – “Wonder Bread” and its cousins. Its a wonder our parents and grandparents lasted as long as they did and were able to be fruitful and multiply.

Before that time, bread was justifiably known as the “staff of life” or the “stuff of life”. It is nutritious, restorative, filling and it taste good.

The best, most nutritious bread was relegated to the poor and became known as “peasants bread” – one of the nicer epitaphs which some corporations tried to put on its tomb stone.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT searched the country for a recipe for a good, nutritious bread and found one which included molasses. The bread she found was made by poor country people. She took the bread and the recipe home to the White House and gave up “Wonder Bread”, that popular and expensive loaf which was eaten exclusively by her peers – no one else could afford it.

They thought the whiter and lighter the bread the more prestige to the family serving and eating it. Of course, health problems followed – which were either unknown or little known before that time, but it was a small price to pay for the prestige of serving this bread that looked and tasted like cotton.

Today, the rest of us put our pennies together and spend more then we should trying to imitate the habits of the wealthy of Eleanor Roosevelt’s day, without being aware of the history and without knowing why we have this cultural preference for cotton-like bread.  I am sure we all know people who look down their collective noses at that good old “peasant-type bread” and are hard-pressed to say why!  Better to give up this lifestyle – of making nutritious and delicious bread – and buy from bakeries and into the next generation also from super markets, then to be considered socially and culturally from the wrong side of the tracks.

However, do be careful, because once you start baking bread it will become an addiction. There isn’t much better than a slice of bread you’ve made — right out of the oven — covered with organic butter.

Enjoy – it is worth the effort.

Note:  I owe a deb of gratitude to the many bed and breakfast guests who tasted, commented on, suggested and generally helped me improve this recipe over many years.
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Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

 

 

Republican Women Unite

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

copyright 2007 The Bettina Network, Inc.

It is time for a revolution! And for some basic change!!!!!!

I’ve noticed as the hair turns grey, many of you get on the “blue” band wagon and put the traditional laundry bluing in your hair.

It is beautiful, with the silvery blue look that it takes on – however – you have been cast as being “red” – from “red” states and all of that. So take your political assignment seriously and start to look the part. (Society has made an interesting symbolic choice for you, especially given the fact that when we were young, “red” had a different meaning. If you were from a “red” state, McCarthy would probably have called you up before his House on UnAmerican Activities Committee).

So it is time to change your hair and publicly acknowledge your party affiliation. Not in a hat wearing, banner waving, slogan yelling way, but far more subtle and much more sophisticated. Political Correctness is important in this modern world, so instead of the laundry bluing, which is really more characteristic of Democratic women with their “blue state” origins than it is of you, get out your bottle of beta carotene – the vitamin A capsules from carrots in oil – and let us start a politically motivated health and beauty change.

This is also very healthy and good for your hair, unlike the bluing, which dries it out – or the hair dye, which is probably the cause of so much cancer in women – the beta carotene costs only pennies. You can give the money you save to charity.

For the few pennies this costs we could convert many women to Republicanism from welfare, the homeless, from the lower-middle-income category. This is also an excellent plank to add, under the diversity section, to the National Republican Party Platform when it is drawn up.

How to achieve “Republican Hair”?

1. Wash your hair – any good organic shampoo will do.

2. Wipe it with a towel to get the excess water out. Don’t dry it, just sort of wring it out.

3. Clip the tip of a capsule of beta carotene – making sure you have the kind with the oil inside.

4. Squeeze the contents of the capsule into the palm of your hand. This will turn your palms orange for a little while, but ignore that, it is healthy for your hands as well as your hair. If you really get carried away you can clip another capsule to put on your face. You will have to rinse your face with lots of water before going out to avoid stares, but your wrinkles will be gone! Well sort of gone!!!!!

5. Lightly and gently rub your palms together and then put the beta carotene oil in your hair. Rubbing your hands over your hair the way you would with any oil. You want to make sure you have a good, but not excessive application.

6. If your hair is shoulder length or longer you will probably need two capsules. If you add the facial you will need three!

7. Don’t blow dry your hair. This will defeat the purpose as the heat from the blow drying will get rid of the color. It will also probably get rid of the vitamins which you want to feed your hair on the way to making you politically correct.

8. This works best if you set your hair on rollers and let it dry naturally. After a few treatments with beta carotene, drying will be quick because your hair won’t hold all that water after washing – a plus for our side. Younger Republican Women won’t understand this since they have this wash and wear hair. They could reach political correctness if they put the beta carotene in their hair and instead of blow drying before leaving home, they went about their business with their hair still wet from the shower – as many do. (And we wonder why the number of people with pneumonia has skyrocketed of late.)

The rollers are well understood by that upper-middle-aged generation, which the young and haughty will join soon enough.

SOME CAUTIONS:

A. This hair treatment will help you understand why our female ancestors wore those frilly, dainty, lacy, shower-cap-like
contraptions to bed. If you don’t do the same, your pillow case will be orange in the morning! Although mine washed out just fine, yours might or might not.

B. The red color will last two or three days at most. The Vitamin A benefits continue much longer, but the color fades. It doesn’t exactly disappear, but it just sort of fades leaving your original hair color, with its grey looking as though it has a blond overcast. To make the color go away completely, simply wash your hair – and then start over again.

A PERSONAL NOTE: My hair color faded at breakfast in the midst of an exciting conversation. Folks around the table were a little awestruck as they watched my hair fade from carrot red with darker red streaks to its original dark brown with grey streaks. Although the color didn’t entirely disappear. It just sort of faded, leaving my original hair color with a blond twinge.

The health benefit? My hair has never been healthier. With all the other thngs I try, this one definitely helped old hair turn young.

Enjoy!

when asked to give our names and a paragraph about our bed and breakfast, we declined. Normally, we wouldn’t hesitate, but this being a political year with a highly heated campaign going on,  we weren’t sure folks could read this in the tongue-in-cheek manner in which we wrote it.  So if there is any flack coming from this incredible piece of writing, we will let the editors of the blog take it while we duct under the cover of anonymity.
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Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

Donate to Bettina’s

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Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $5.00 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

 

 


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