There is an excursion which comes around once a week that “the babies” go absolutely bananas for. In fact, they get so excited about this weekly trip, I had to make a picture calendar so they could wake up each morning and know exactly when this coveted event is. Every morning they move an adhesive Spiderman to the next spot, inching that much closer to the holy grail of their week. What could be so fun that they literally pop out of bed every morning and ask if today’s the day?
Grocery shopping, of course. Doesn’t everyone go bonkers to buy food at a store?
“The babies” call the grocery store “shopping-with-Mama,” and they basically just sludge through six mediocre days to get to this glorious one. Every morning when I go into their room I say “Good morning!” and they reply with, “Is it shopping-with-Mama day?!” I thought the visual aid of a weekly calendar would curtail their incessant asking, but no such luck. I just have to verbally squash their dreams every morning, but at least we can use the calendar as a counting tool to know when they can finally get their grocery on.
I’m not exactly sure why grocery shopping causes such an excited fervor, but I’m going to guess that it has something to do with store employees dolling out a steady supply of food samples, playing with the random toys that got the nod for the trip, and the back up snack bags I dish out when the natives are getting restless. It must be the snack, play, snack trifecta that sends their fun-0-meter into overload.
Here’s a little sampling of some shopping-with-Mama fun. I never know what they are going to grab right before we leave the house, but it usually plays out with Finn making the call and Elliot following suit. Shopping-with-Mama toys always fall into the same genre because it’s just brother code that has never been broken. It would be anarchy if Elliot went with a Hot Wheels car, and Finn decided to bring a Rescue Bot. If we want to delve a little deeper into why Finn and Elliot go absolute freak-a-zoids over grocery shopping, I think it’s because I am relatively more relaxed and fun that day due to not trying to accomplish a zillion things. Shopping-with-Mama always happens on Friday morning, and it is usually the only thing we have on our plate for the day. The kids come home with full bellies and happy to watch some cartoons while I put everything away. We don’t have anywhere else to be, which also means it’s a great day to make some bread!Being that I am gluten free, it might seem a little strange how much I make homemade bread, but I just love working with predictable, soft, pliable dough. It’s familiar and I don’t have to have a chemistry minor to figure out how to make it, like gluten free bread can require. My kids love this bread so much that they will ask for seconds of it instead of dessert. It’s airy, a touch sweet from the honey, and has a great spongy crumb. Plus it’s so fast and easy to throw together in a KitchenAid mixer or Bosch Mixer. If you are a serious bread maker, your life will be forever changed with a Bosch Mixer. KitchenAid mixers will definitely get the job done, especially if you have a larger sized one. However, if you make a lot of bread in it, you will eventually burn out the motor. A Bosch Mixer is like the indestructible army tank of kitchen appliances. It is worth every penny and you will forever be indebted to the German geniuses who made them. Happy bread making!
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- ⅓ cup butter
- ½ cup honey
- 2 cup boiling water
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. yeast
- 3 eggs, divided
- 6¼ - 7¼ cup flour
- Combine oats, butter, boiling water, and salt. Cool to lukewarm (takes about 30-45 minutes).
Stir in yeast. Add 2 eggs, honey, and 3 cups flour. Beat at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. I just use my dough hook for this.
With dough hook still on, add remaining flour until dough is smooth and clears the side of the bowl while mixing. The dough should be easy too handle and not too sticky to the touch. Knead about 8-10 minutes with dough hook.
Place in greased bowl, and turn dough over so it is greased on all sides. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.
Divide into two even balls and shape into two 5½ X 9 inch greased bread pans. Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 60 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk an additional egg with 1 tbsp. water. Brush over loaves and sprinkle with whole oats. Bake at 350ºF for 25-35 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans immediately and cool.