Mother's Day


Jeff came home last night after almost a week away for work. It's really nice to have him home again! This weekend I wore myself out with yard work, and it was the best Mother's Day present ever. Yesterday at the farmer's market I bought a few six-packs of lettuce plants and made some nice containers for the deck.


'A' took this one of me.


At our UU church service today we were reminded that the original Mother's Day was an idea conceived by Julia Ward Howe in 1870. Julia Ward Howe not only wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic, co-authored an abolishionist newspaper with her husband, and fought for peace and women's rights, she also proposed that mothers take a day of leave from their children and the home to come together and talk about how to stop making war and spread peace.

You can read more about her declaration here: http://www.chiff.com/a/mothers-day-origins.htm


One of the ideas that keeps popping up again and again, with which I wholeheartedly agree, is that the change that [I think] needs to be made in the world - forging peace, protecting the environment, raising free-thinking children - must come from women, specifically mothers. I'm not taking men out of the equation, or saying that women are the "kindler, gentler sex," but I do believe that mothers have more of a stake in the future of our children and our planet.


When I was a Women's Studies student in college in the early 90's, I probably would have been laughed out of the classroom if I ever said something like that. Things were different then. The women of my mother's generation worked hard to fight for their right to be treated as equals of men. They protected those goals, those ideals, with vigor. My professors were largely from that generation, and the few who were younger and dared to think outside of that box still had a lot to protect - they worked hard for their degrees in a largely male field and they were proud that they had secured the teaching jobs they did. The theme was more about equality then, and the message of empowerment was just beginning to emerge.


I do believe that women are the answer. As a mother, I make the bulk of decisions that impact my household and my family. The food that I put on the table every day, the activities I choose for my children, our weekend family activities, the consumer goods that we use at home, the charitable contributions we make... most are decided by me. Jeff does make some of the decisions and he certainly weighs in on most of them, but for the most part, it's my call. I have a tremendous amount of influence over both my family's current habits and my children's future ones. And for that reason, I believe that change can only truly begin with mothers.


We did a lot of outdoor clean-up and we got the deck ready for summer living today. I'm so excited to expand our living space outdoors for the next few months!


Enjoy your night. I'll leave you with this bread recipe, which we are now addicted to. It makes a bulgur oatmeal loaf. Delicious. You won't regret making it.


~ Oatmeal-Bulgur Bread ~
Recipe taken from "The Bread Bible" by Beth Hensperger.

Ingredients for the "Sponge":
1 Tbs (or 1 package/7g) Active dry yeast
2 Tbs Light brown sugar
2/3 Cup Bulgur, fine or medium grind
2 1/4 Cups Tepid water (105-115°F)
2 Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour

Ingredients for the "Dough":
1 1/4 Cups Regular rolled oats
1/4 Cup Wheat bran
1/4 Cup Light brown sugar
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbs salt
3 to 3 1/2 Cups Unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour

Method for the "Sponge":
1. In a large bowl pour in the water.
2. Sprinkle the yeast, 2 Tbs of brown sugar, and bulgur wheat over the surface and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups of flour and beat hard until well moistened and creamy, about 2 minutes.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour.

Method for the "Dough" and the "Baking":
5. To the bowl with the sponge, add the oats, bran, brown sugar, oil and salt.
6. Beat hard for about 1 minute.
7. Add flour 1/2 a cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and switch to a wooden spoon when needed.
8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
9. Place the dough in a greased deep container or large bowl and turn once to coat, then cover with plastic wrap.
10. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
11. Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Grease or parchment-line a baking sheet or grease three 8x4-inch loaf pans.
12. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions or into 20-24 little portions and shape into loaves or rolls.
13. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 min.
14. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375° F, then, with the help of a serrated knife, slash the 3 big loaves no more than 1/4 inch deep.
15. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.



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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!