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Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal

February 05, 2011

Having a winter blizzard has enabled me to catch up on my desk work! I'm snatching a few free moments to make a journal post.

We won't soon forget the Blizzard of 2011!

I think I have finally learned how to make 100% whole wheat bread! I'm so excited! Actually, to be perfectly honest, I found a great recipe and my dear Rachel has perfected the recipe, to, well, perfection! I'm so proud of her. The bread is unbelievably moist, soft and healthy too!

You simply must try it. Of course, you will need a mill to grind your grain. I buy my whole grain in 50 pound bags from a co-operative and keep it in big trash cans in my pantry. My mill is in my pantry too. I have a good, old, solid Retzel mill which runs on a washing machine motor. It does a nice slow grind, keeping the wheat cool which helps maintain more vitamins.

Read the recipe over first. To get great results you MUST follow the directions to the letter. Don't skip soaking the wheat part. This is what softens the wheat so nicely to make a moist bread. Also, do not substitute any of the ingredients. For example, you must use honey and not sugar and you must use gluten! I get my gluten in 25 pound bags from the co-operative I'm in. It isn't cheap but it makes all the difference in the final product!

Here are the links to the recipe, great photos and all the details you need to make this terrific bread. Enjoy!

Oh, if you are needing bulk quantities of yeast you can purchase some from Mulberry Lane Farm by clicking the links on the left hand side. You can choose either 5, 10 or 13 pounds. (We are now accepting payments via PayPal---even if you don't have a PayPal account, you can use your credit card right in the PayPal checkout! Easy, safe and secure!)

Whole Wheat Bread Part One

Whole Wheat Bread Part Two

I am 100% converted to 100% whole wheat bread!

My oldest daughter, Jennifer, sent me this mini-article called "Invisible Mother." All you moms out there will relate! We don't know who wrote it but we do know it was a mother.

Invisible Mother

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

And who do you suppose hangs up all the wet coats, hats, scarfs, socks...

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devoured - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof. No one will ever see it And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

Our invisible God shows Himself to us through the world's beauty.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

To all you mothers out there that haven't received Woman of the Year deserve it!

This snow drift will melt, but our work as mothers is eternal.

Stay snug and warm!




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