This was my first time baking with yeast and didn’t really know the difference between the different kinds. Realizing that I had active dry yeast instead of quick active dry yeast, I followed the directions for active dry yeast. Do any of you know if that makes a difference? And does using wheat instead of white flour make a difference?
I decided to make two smaller turtles instead of one big one. Everything seemed to be going fine but after letting the turtles rise, their eyes fell off. If you decide to give this a try, you really have to stick them in there good… and before the bread rises. After sticking the eyes back in their heads deflated and deformed and had to be reshaped.
Next I tried to make the shell as instructed in the recipe. As soon as I touched it the shell started sinking a bit. I’m thinking if I had made the full sized turtle this part might have been a little easier. Instead of cutting into the dough as directed, I found it easier to take a table knife and make a ridge by gently pushing into the bread dough all the way around the turtle. I covered them back up and let it sit a little longer hoping they would rise up again, but they didn’t so in the oven they went.
I started to walk out of the kitchen. BANG! I jumped, the cats jumped… and the turtles jumped. Uh-oh. Note to self: don’t by cheap baking pans. Running back to the oven I immediately saw two very flat turtles and a contorted pan. I should have taken a picture. It was impressively contorted. It jumped one more time after this, but it didn’t seem like anything else could be done so I just left the turtles in there hoping they would at least taste good.
The turtles were a little dense, but tasted ok especially with honey. On the back of the flour bag there’s a recipe for honey wheat bread. I think I’ll try that next time.
It is now the middle of August and I’m still not anywhere close to being done with all of the pictures I took on our trip to Flagstaff AZ back in April. I took around 1700 pictures so at the rate I’m going I might not be finished for about 12 more years. But don’t worry; I’m not going to post all 1700 pictures! I’ve decided to instead tell you about each day, one day at a time, as I get the photos sorted, edited, and converted. Because it’s taking so long to get through them, I considered not writing about it at all, but it was so beautiful there and we had so much fun, I think it will be worth it. Everyone should take a trip to AZ in the springtime!
We were really blessed to find out that our hotel (that we got basically for free- Click HERE to find out how) was running a special during the month of April where you received a free breakfast with every night’s stay. YES! This was especially nice because we had planned on making sandwiches for lunch each day but was unable to since there wasn’t a mini fridge in our room.
So, our first day there we got up and had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out to West Fork. At dinner the night before we asked our waiter where the best places to go were. I definitely recommend this. Otherwise, we would have gone to all the touristy places, which would have been fine but we would have totally missed out on West Fork which happened to be one of our favorite days on the trip.
The first thing you need to know about taking a trip to AZ is that the weather man lies. I watched the weather forecast for weeks before we left and then checked again the night we got into AZ. They always said it was going to be high 60’s to low 70’s for the entire week. It ended up being in the high 80’s & 90’s in the first part of the week and in the low 30’s the 2nd part of the week. Yeah, that’s right. I said low 30’s.
Back to our West Fork Adventure. The drive there was GORGEOUS. West Fork is at the bottom of a canyon so you are surrounded by red rock mountains, trees, and all kinds of wild life. The parking lot is very small though so you need to get there early or you will be waiting (we found that out the hard way). By the time we got a spot and started walking it was after noon so we were not able to go to walk the whole length of the trail, but it was so relaxing and so beautiful that I hope to go back again one day.
You will need to cross a creek several times. The water was low enough that we were able to walk across on logs, but we had heard that at certain times of the year you just have to walk through the water. We had picked up sandwiches from Quiznos before we left and had a lovely picnic lunch and then headed back.
I have always thought that I was a beach girl, but I’m realizing more and more that the forest is where I feel the most relaxed and closest to God. The towering trees that have stood there for so many years before me make me feel so humble and small. And there’s also something so incredibly peaceful about how quiet it is even with all the animals and life. I just love it.
Next we drove into Sedona and saw this beautiful church (Chapel of the Holy Cross) in the hillside. We aren’t Catholic but we saw it was open to the public to look at so we stopped to check it out. The view was amazing and the architecture of it was so neat.
After that we drove around a bit to look at the beautiful scenery, grabbed some dinner, and then headed back to the hotel. Such a great day.
A few weeks ago, a couple wildfires started just east of LA and soon after we had some of the most incredible sunsets. Last Monday James and I were driving home and the sky was brightest blue I had ever seen, splashed with brilliant shades of orange and pink. We were sad that we didn’t have a camera with us and decided to go to the beach the next night to see if there might be a repeat. The colors weren’t quite as amazing, but it was still very pretty!
It got me thinking. Although wildfires are scary and often out of control, they do create some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. God does the very same thing during the “wildfires” of our own lives. Life has times of difficulty, that is for sure. But if you let Him, He can still create something beautiful even in the hardest of times. You might not see it right away, and it may not take away the pain, but it can bring comfort and beauty (and sometimes even purpose) where there wasn’t any before. I think that is pretty great. 🙂
You can win a free Silhouette Machine on Infarrantly Creative’s blog by going to THIS LINK and leaving a comment on their page. You can also get extra entries by following them, posting on FB/Twitter, and writing about it on your blog.
You can win a free Silhouette Machine from the Dollar Store Crafts by going to THIS LINK and leaving a comment on their page. You can also get extra entries by subscribing to their newsletter, posting on FB, and writing about it on your blog. Good luck!