June 3, 2008


We kissed and made up. I know that I have a lot more changing to do, as does the Man of the House. We are both people who are far from perfect. So yes, things happen. Heck, why beat around the bush? He does things that are inconsiderate and thoughtless and it hurts my feelings. And being told that he “can’t” change feels like he is really saying “I don’t love you enough to try to change.” But God, the epitome of perfection, still puts up with me every day. So in the same way that I am loved and shown mercy, I will endeavor to love and show mercy. And yup, I’m definitely going to do things that make him mad and irritate him, somewhere down the road, no matter how hard I try. That’s not defeatist, that’s reality. But we’ll stick through it together. That’s what marriage and commitment and love are all about. Right?

SO. On to more interesting things.

I’m making a sausage bean soup and No Knead Bread for dinner tonight. YUM. Maybe you’re not a sausage bean soup person, and I’m not really either. But it’s good. Really. It has cilantro in it. And the broth is really great. Perfect for sopping up with some crusty bread.

There are many who would say that talking about bean soup and bread are not more interesting than, well, anything. If you were here to eat the bread and soup, I think you would disagree.

Here’s a picture of the bread:

And it’s so easy. Here’s the recipe:

3 cups flour (all-purpose, unbleached)

1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water, room temp

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp mild-flavored beer (such as Budweiser, or I use mild-non-alcoholic lager like O’Doul’s)

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour form bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 12x18-sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

I can never keep my family out of it, so we end up cutting it and eating it warm. It’s best eaten the day it is baked, but can be wrapped in foil and stored in a cool place for up to 2 days. Just re-warm it in the oven. SO GOOD. And super easy. No mixer required!!

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