Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday odds and ends

"He sure is an easy horse to be around." That's what our vet said about Hank at his pre-purchase exam in 2001. As Justina will attest, Hank is still a very easy horse to be around. Hank loves everybody, and everybody loves Hank. His riding days are over, but I will enjoy his company for all his remaining years.

My plans to get another horse were put on an abrupt hold back in March because of Hank's unstable knee. I still can't be bringing home a new horse – Hank's knee likely wouldn't survive the horseplay. But after Bernard's visit on Saturday and watching how calmly and easily Hank took to having another donkey in his midst, I realized it could be time to add another burro to our family. Maybe I'll adopt another young BLM burro, or maybe I'll find a saddle-trained burro / donkey so I can start riding again. The search is officially on.


So what's up with the 2011 George and Alan Calendar? Many of you have asked if and/or when a new calendar will be available. Aaaack! The pressure!  I hemmed and hawed over this and finally got my act together yesterday and designed one, only to be foiled by technology. If I can get the problems sorted out with Café Press in the next few days, there will be a 2011 calendar and I will post the details on how to order it soon. I hope.


Can we talk about bread now?

I made more bread over the weekend, using the best and easiest recipe the world has ever known. And the thought occurred to me, "wouldn't it be cool if we all baked bread together?" Not together together – my kitchen is too small – but virtually together. So here's my idea: I'll show you how to make the dough on Wednesday, then on Thursday, we can bake it. And somewhere in there, you can share your results in the comments, and then we can all join a Bread-Eaters Anonymous support group.

Here's what you'll need to get ready for Wednesday:
3 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
1 package of yeast
a little salt
plastic wrap

I realize that this is not a food blog and I am not remotely qualified to teach anybody how to bake bread. All I know is that this recipe is so good and easy to make, your life will never be the same once you bake your first loaf.


  1. I love the picture of Hank and Justina. Talk about a huge hug!

    I figured maybe another burro was in your future.

    I'm anxious for the virtual bread baking. I've heard nothing but good things about this bread, but haven't made it yet.

  2. I love Hank, he is so sweet and gorgeous too.

  3. COUNT ME IN ON THE BREAD BAKING GET TOGETHER! And I'm looking forward to the calendar if it works out and to the burro search too.
    I love Hank and I love how thoughtful you are of him.

  4. Firing up the oven in Wisconsin...bring on the bread bake-a-thon!

    And put me down for another burro brothers seeing them on my office wall each day!

  5. Hank looks so content in that picture....he looks like he is in his favorite place in the world, on someone's shoulder getting a good scratch.

    The Bible says "man shall not live by bread alone....." but I could sure make a go at it! I feel sorry for all those Atkins people that are going to be missing out on some yummy bread....I'll get my stuff ready!

  6. I'm in for the break baking! And very excited that a new pal may be coming to The 7MSN. You are going to need an extra few hands for scratching!

    Re: calendars - I had a similar experience with Cafe Press recently and then went to Zazzle and was very happy with how it went. You might give them a try if you haven't before.

  7. Oh, I am so looking forward to your search, discovery and welcoming of another burro! How can you choose just one, I wonder...

    I was going to try making that bread this weekend, but with two jobs, an orphan kitten and two spoiling bushels of apples on the kitchen counter, it wasn't in the cards. I work double on Thursday, so I won't be able to join your party--but I've got that recipe on my list now!!

  8. Oops, I got a little ahead of things. When you told us about this recipe last week, I just couldn't wait to try it out. There is a bowl of lovely dough in my kitchen right now, where it has been sitting for almost 20 hours now. I'm fixing to shape some loaves a little later!

  9. Oooh so the search is on. What about that cute little lady that reminded you of Lyle? Ever look into her?

  10. Hank is a hunk and I officially fell in love with him on Saturday. It was nice to have the opportunity to spend time with him since Bernard was keeping both George and Alan so occupied. :)

    I'm totally in on the bread. Forgot to get yeast yesterday, so I'll pick some up before Thursday. This is going to be fun!

  11. I'm with Clairz. When you posted the info on the Artisian Bread.....I was all in. I'm such a bread a holic....I'll be glad to go all in on this one. The Olde Bagg

  12. Yes!! Another burro - party central and some riding to boot. Enjoy every bit of the adventure and thanks for the heads up.

    I'm getting in a bread-baking mood too. Would like to find a good sour dough starter.

  13. A riding burro? How about one of those gigantic riding mules? They look so cool.

    Can't wait to follow your progress on that front.

    Do I need a loaf pan? I don't have a loaf pan.

    I love bread. It's bad for me, so I don't have much, but I do love it.

  14. Virtual bread baking - what a great idea! You may be single handedly responsible for a flour shortage after this is done :)!

  15. Hank is totally Zen. I love him to bits.

    Another burro?! Hmmm...this oughta be fun.

    I'm tempted to join in the bread bake off. It'll all depend on how much initiative I have after work on Wednesday. The odds are not in my favour...

  16. Ever thought of a small mule? They are great trail animals and very intelligent.
    Trying to lose a few before the holidays, so I might skip the bread....we'll see.

  17. Love the virtual bread-baking idea. As you know, I've already tried out the recipe, but maybe you can share some of your tips to make my experience better!

    Yippee about adding another burro buddy to your pack! Don't forget to check out Longhopes Sanctuary here in Colorado. They occasionally have donkeys already trained for riders and/or packing.

  18. When is the next adoption event in your neck of the woods? I'm glad you'll be adding to your herd. Lucky animal!

    Bread. Yum!

  19. Happy dance, happy dance - all around. For the bread making event and for adding another animal to love!

  20. love home made anything so will love playing along and making this bread :)
    Love hank and company wish i were close enough to be the human in the picture :)

  21. Sydney, the cute little lady that looked like Lyle is a mule - I'll be looking for a burro or donkey.

    Breathe, no loaf pan needed. A baking sheet or pizza stone will do.

    Carolynn, this bread recipe is so stinkin' simple, it will not require any more initiative than making a cup of tea.

    Sue, I'm hesitant on the whole mule idea. I know Hank can calmly adjust to a burro or donkey but the mule factor is unknown.

    Lilla, I'll be sure to check out Longhopes.

    CeeCee, if I go the BLM adoption route again, I'll have to make the trek to Colorado or Oklahoma or Arizona, so the weather is going do dictate the schedule.

    Great to see so many of you willing to play along with the bakeathon! Should be fun.

  22. Ah, the patter of tiny hooves at The 7MSN Ranch - how exciting! :D.

    If I ever met Hank I'm sure he'd remind me of a horse I used to ride and loved called Toby when I was a teenager. He was a 16.2 Thoroughbred x Fell Pony and I always said if I could find a man half as nice as that horse I'd marry him! I'm still waiting....LOL

  23. Aww Hank is so cute and so lovey.

    A new Donkey should be fun, we have a donkey and mule days here and there are lots of people riding or driving thier donkeys, and it looks like fun!

    Im in on the bread bakeathony thingy, should be neat, Ive looked at your bread and thought it was good, nows my chance to try it out:)

  24. Good luck on your search!

    Some of the larger donkeys can be quite nice for riding.


  25. I'm down for the bake-a-thon. Fresh home baked bread with butter...ahhh. The very reason I rarely make it -- I gain 5 lbs. by just smelling it. But, what the hell.
    If you come to AZ for the BLM auction (I know they have one in Tucson in the spring) you have to let me know!

  26. I'm in on the bread-making! I actually bought some yeast a couple days ago after seeing your recipe. Can't wait to try it out!

  27. I know the satisfaction of looking at and loving on a horse, but understand that riding is the total fulfillment. I went on a little trail ride through town and city park yesterday and still smiling:) A mule may be too much for Hank. Good luck!

    Thanks for the bread recipe from a non-bread baker. Hope it works for me!!!

  28. Hey Carson.....

    as you know...I've made your bread in the past.... and today I'm baking it again... I love this stuff and I also want a loaf to bribe my neighbour ....

    So... I'm over here checking out the instructions once again...and this time, finally, .... writing them down...

    oh..and...this time I'm remembering to take off the plastic before I put the loaves in the oven...maybe I'll just cover it with a brightly coloured tea towel so that I notice it before I put things in the oven.... yeh...that sounds like a plan.....