Autumn has arrived, and with it the anticipation of new beginnings as well as the bittersweet endings that it symbolizes. No more swimming in the lake, or fresh lettuce from the garden for us. Our rush of summer visitors will slow down to a trickle. This September my husband and I have become empty nesters, as both of our daughters leave for university. Our oldest is a 5 1/2 hour drive away, but the youngest is four provinces away. It is a time to be proud of them as they move on to new life experiences and challenges but also a time to adjust to a house devoid of their laughter, their music-making, and even their arguing.
Being a climate activist doesn’t mean that I don’t take time to enjoy life. It’s the fact that life is so rich and beautiful that spurs me on to work for a world to pass on to my children, and all children, a world that isn’t so tainted by our reckless burning of fossil fuels. I want their world to be as beautiful and amazing as my world has been for me. Part of becoming aware of how humans are impacting the climate for our family has been becoming more aware of how far our food has traveled to get to our plate. We are eating more locally grown and less processed food along with little or no meat.
Part of enjoying summer in our house is gathering, eating, and preserving berries. This summer I got my hands on organic, semi-local strawberries in July, and I picked wild blueberries in August. One day, I made strawberry rhubarb jam and my daughter Kate baked her first loaf of bread. Here are some pictures that preserve our activities that day, as well as a sample of the great northern Ontario blueberries we love. I’ve included the bread recipe that was passed on to Kate by her father. Enjoy!
Mark’s Honey Wheat Bread Recipe:
12 – 13 oz. warm water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T vegetable oil
2 T honey
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
5 tsp quick-rise yeast
1 tsp lemon juice (don’t forget – this helps it rise)
Dissolve the honey in the warm water. Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and mix together using Kitchen Aid mixer (or equivalent). Mix until dough forms a cohesive ball.
Then, sprinkle flour on the counter. Knead the bread for approximately 5 minutes.
Clean and grease the mixing bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Let rise in a warm place for 45 min – 1 hr.
Once risen, knead down again in a bowl briefly, then shape into a loaf and place in bread pan. Let rise in warm place for 30 minutes. Cook in 350 degree oven for ~30 minutes. Remove and let cool before slicing.
Optional: Mark often adds 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds and another 1/4 cup of poppy seeds to the bread.