Today was a pretty good day. We got up way too late, we spent time puttering around the house (had to skip church because the car window is shattered and it was not safe to drive in it to get there), the kids spent time with their friends and I spent a chunk of the day trying out a different version of a new bread I'm working on (Multigrain Molasses Bread, in case you're interested.)
And then I checked my FaceBook messages. I got a message asking for my Molasses bread recipe.
Hmmm... This could present a problem.
The "problem" wasn't that I was not willing to share - in fact, sharing allowed me to come up with my 3rd gift in the 29 Day Challenge. But the Multigrain Molasses Bread I made yesterday was not quite where I thought it should be. The crust was (if you'll pardon my hubris) excellent - it had a wonderful buttery-molasses glaze to it. It was crisp but not tough and the inside had risen perfectly. It was, in short, a beautiful loaf of bread. But outside of the crust, it didn't taste much like there was molasses in it and I love molasses in my bread. I wanted to taste the molasses all through the bread.
So instead of taking the easy road and just throwing yesterday's recipe out to the gal who asked for it, I got to work. I spent a chunk of my spare time today working on baking a new, more flavorful, my-own-recipe Multigrain Molasses Bread. This bread had more molasses (1/4 cup!) and it was mixed all through the bread dough so it should have been "molasses" in every bite!
And it was very good bread, when it was all done. But it still does not have that molasses zing to it. So while I did send her the recipe I used, with the comment that it is a "good" bread, but she might consider adding even more molasses than I had if she wanted the true flavor to come out. And that was my gift yesterday - my gift to my children was that I made them fresh bread to begin with, with my hands, I mixed the flour and the dry ingredients, stirred in the yeast and water, kneaded, waited and kneaded again so my kids would get bread that tasted better and was healthier than store bought bread.
And my gift to my someday friend on Face Book was both the recipe and the time spent refining it.
And then - I gave that recipe away to the lady on Face Book, whom I've never met, but hope to before too long (she is local), so her family can be similarly blessed with yummy, healthy bread. And I was energized and rejuvenated by making the bread. I was excited by the idea of making the bread and the nuts to sell, so I stayed online to put a few extra notes out about selling my bread and the spiced nuts I make every year, I worked in the garage some and sold my desk so I have almost enough money to fix the aforementioned car window, I played with the younger kids some.
And tomorrow I think my gift might just be spending no more than 90 minutes (total) on the computer, because it did take up a lot of my time today. We'll see how the day goes. In the meantime, after a bit of sleep, I'll be in the kitchen making the final version of the molasses bread and boy is it good!
(As an aside, if you want to order any of the nuts and you're not a regular Christmas gift recipient of these fine protein-packed treats, drop me a message and I'll send you the details! - My gift recipient makes hot cocoa mixes, I'm trying to talk her into a gift basket or gift pack type idea. I'll let you know if we get to roll that one out down the line!)