How our Gardens Grow!

Aunt Tracy and Levi in their garden

Aunt Tracy and Levi in their garden

Our houseparents love to garden. It stretches the household grocery budget. Aunt Tracy likes the variety of teaching opportunities as she works beside the children in the garden. Gardening teaches lessons about patience, faithfulness, God’s timing, weeds in life, and being steadfast.

Housemother Tori writes, “Please pray that we are good stewards with all that God grows. We know we utilize much of our produce, but we also allow some to go to seed. We sometimes get into a mindset that it only costs $.75 to get a production of 50 tomatoes, so we definitely got our money’s worth, right? It is put into perspective when one of the children says, “We’re going to let that go to waste?” We are to be the examples of Christ and of all the stewardship that is involved with that.

*Our prayer and goal is to freeze, dry, and use it all!” *

This will be an undertaking since as of now, our rhubarb is out of control. How many recipes can you find for that?!?”

Speaking of recipes, try out Tori’s homemade bread recipe! Yum!

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Tori’s Bread Recipe:

Growing up, there are many memories of going to a cousin's house and walking in after school to the smell of homemade bread.  For many dinners, we will make homemade bread and it doesn't matter the meal that is prepared—if it is with "the bread" then it is the best meal ever!  Our children LOVE homemade bread.  We have gone through 3 bread makers in the past 10 years, so we needed to find a good recipe that wouldn't mean kneading and rising loaves ALL day. This is a pure recipe and the kids absolutely love it.  It takes very little maintenance and as the kids come home from school or from outside play, the comments are always, "Yes!  Homemade bread!"  

INGREDIENTS:

2 3⁄4 C. hot water, 1⁄3 C. oil, 1⁄3 C. honey, 2 T. molasses, 1 tsp. salt (Sea Salt is good), 7 1⁄2 C. of 100% whole grain wheat flour, 2 T. dry active yeast.

DIRECTIONS: 

Dehja (age 6) is ready to cook with her apron on and recipe in hand!

Dehja (age 6) is ready to cook with her apron on and recipe in hand!

Place the first five ingredients in the bowl and mix.  Add 2 C. Whole Grain Wheat Flour. (the addition of theflour cools the water, and it results in warm dough) Mix, then add 2 T. of Dry Active Yeast. Add 4 C. of Whole Grain Wheat Flour.  Mix until the consistency is even. Then continue to slowly add flour 1/2 C. at a time until the dough is slightly sticky to the touch. The trick is to have enough consistency to stand up with the least amount of flour so the bread will be fluffy. It will most likely be 6 1/2 C., but in any case do not exceed 7 1/2 C. of wheat flour.  Be careful not to over mix or the bread will be tough. When your dough is finished, cover the bowl and let it rise for about 30-45 minutes. The dough will rise, but it doesn't need to double. Grease two bread pans with Crisco and flour the pans. Mix the dough again just enough to knock it down at least close to the original size. Drop the dough on a floured surface so you can work the dough and shape it. Shape it with your hands to make a nice ball, getting enough flour on it so it isn't sticky. Divide the ball in half and do it again. Shape the loaves by turning the dough under itself over and over. When the dough is shaped the sides and ends will be sealed and all you will see is a nice oblong shaped loaf with smooth sides and top. Drop the loaves in your bread pans and let them rise until almost doubled. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 36 minutes. When done, turn the bread out of the pan to a rack to cool. You can eat it right away (a great time for real butter), but don't wrap it until completely cooled. (Condensation will make it soggy) Put in foil to store on the counter, but not in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!