Thursday, January 24, 2013



Gather-hd-texture-SycamoreLane Photography


That’s what we have been doing this week.  My chicks and I are gathered right here in our house.  And when I wake up in the morning and see the temperature is –1 before the wind chill is factored in, I am ever so thankful that I do not have to bundle up my children and send them off for the day.  We do have to venture out to do chores, but before my boys even set foot out the door I made sure they were winterized from head to toe. It is the kind of cold that makes your nose stick together and so the face masks were brought out and pulled on as a line of defense. 

Two of my crew are down with a cold. I know it could be so much worse so I am thankful it is only sore throats, low grade fevers, and the snuffles.  We are taking our days slow, reducing the amount of school work for those feeling crummy.  There has been a lot of reading snuggled up under fleece blankets on the floor, couch, or any where that lends itself to a cozy little nest.  We’ve even had some extra creativity and coloring going on. We broke out the oil pastels, a fun treat,  for super duper amped up color.











Bitter cold days produce in me this need to bake bountiful quantities of bread and hot meals.  What a blessing to be able to do this.  I am so grateful to God for providing food for my family and for those in my neighborhood who are in need. 

One of my guys recent favorites are these hard rolls.  I didn’t have a single one left the night I served them.


hard rolls-web

Hard Rolls

(recipe from: The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking)

4 1/2- 5 1/2 c   all purpose flour

2 T  sugar

1 t  salt

1 T  active dry yeast

4 T  butter, softened

1 1/2 c  warm water

1 egg white


For the Glaze:

1/2 c  water

1 t  cornstarch

Poppy seeds


Combine 1 1/2 c of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Cut in butter.  Gradually add water to the flour mixture and beat for 5 minutes. Add the egg white.  Beat for another 5 minutes, adding flour until dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. (I did this portion by hand since I do not have a mixer that does well with bread dough.)  Turn out on a lightly floured surface.  Knead 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.

Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place dough in the bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Punch down dough. Turn out again, cover with a towel, let rest 10 minutes. Divide in half and shape into two 9 inch rolls.  Cut each roll into nine 1-inch pieces and form each into a small ball.  Place on the baking sheet and 3 inches apart. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled- another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450.

To make glaze, mix water and cornstarch in a pan. Bring to a boil.  Cool slightly before brushing on rolls. Slit tops in a crisscross fashion.  (I cut the tops before I let the rolls rise. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to cut the rolls once they had risen.) Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

yield 18 rolls



So as you can tell from this post our days have been pretty quiet.  I have enjoyed them.  I needed some quiet!  It has been good to just be home, I love the coziness of it all.  To be able to focus on school and the needs of my family is just what I have been needing.  And for a girl who loves the snow, but can’t do the bitter cold it’s been a wonderful week of watching the snowflakes from the warm side of my window!


  1. Mmmm! The rolls look so good! Hope you are all feeling better soon.

  2. i'm not surprised you didn't have a single
    roll left! they look delicious.

    sorry you have some sick chicks. :(

  3. These rolls look amazing! I admire you Jenn, you have such a beautiful heart for Jesus and your family!

  4. i thrive on quiet days in the winter...good for our souls!

    hope everyone starts feeling better soon!!! :)

  5. I love hunkering down when it gets cold like this. We had 3 weeks of bitter cold, but it finally warmed up yesterday and is in the 40s.

    Those rolls look yummy!

    Hope you all get to feeling better real soon.

  6. Yes, sweet Jenn...home and the comforts of it, and the blessings of routine are wonderful!! Sorry you had a little bug in the it won't develop into anything substantial and that the rest of you will come through unscathed. :)

    Love to you!


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