Skype meetings and honey oatmeal bread

I have this irrational fear that some day I'm going to be skyping into a very important meeting at work and the windows are going to be open and the feed truck is going to drive by and the heifers are going to start bawling and chasing after it and my colleagues are going to ask, "Um, Adriane? Are you sitting in the middle of a stampede in a PASTURE?!" and I'm going to have to answer, "Well, um, yes, basically."

If you've never been around a pasture full of cows when a feed truck comes to call, well, brother, you haven't lived. Similar to the video you've seen on Facebook of the guy playing his trombone to call the cows in or the one of the polka band that's surrounded by cows in .03 seconds, whoever's feeding really can holler and bring the cows running. 

Some day I'll tape Chris doing this. But until then, just know it's a call his grandpa used, and his dad uses, and his uncle and cousin use, and all the other guys at the dairy use, and while they're all just a shade different, they're a variation on, "Scaaaavs scaaaavs!" which is really a run-on version of "Calves! Calves!"

Not that cows are that picky about how it sounds. They hear someone hollering something vaguely reminiscent of that word and they see a feed truck and they are off to the races. 

Well, the feed bunk actually.

Outside my window. 

During meetings. 

Speaking of meetings, you'll notice a new addition to the pasture of heifers outside the window. Chris mentioned the other day, over supper, that I'd notice which girl she was. 

"How will I know?" I asked. 
"You'll know," he said.

I knew.

Now, on to the good stuff. 
And by good stuff, I mean, my war on yeast. (See Adriane vs. the Yeast here.)

I love bread. I love carbs. Carbs are my love language. And thankfully, because my husband is the picture of health, I can feed him copious amounts of bread and it balances out all those vegetables he insists on eating.  
Pssssh. 
Vegetables.

Before we start, I'd like to highly recommend that if you don't own a KitchenAid Mixer, you run out right now and get one. Or maybe wait until Black Friday (which, by the way, I called "Good Friday" last week . . . whoops) when they're on sale. Or maybe hold off until you have a Kohls coupon. Or put it on your Christmas list. You have options. 
Now back to business. 
Put 5 cups of flour, 1 cup quick-cooking oats, 2 teaspoons of salt, and two packages of active dry yeast in your mixer bowl, and mix it up. 
Dig up a saucepan, and melt 1/2 cup butter in it. Mix in 1/2 cup honey and 1 1/2 cups of H20. 

Add the melty honey-ish buttery goodness to the dry ingredients, and mix for about a minute.
Take a break. Instagram. Put the coffee pot on. 
Now add two eggs and mix for another minute.
Add another cup to a cup and a half of flour, a little at a time, until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the side of the bowl. 

Now it's time to let your mixer do the heavy lifting. Leave your mixer on, and let it knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes. 
You could this the old-fashioned way, and channel your grandma, who, probably like my grandma, had some pretty spectacular kneading skills, but if you want to get a jump start on cleaning the dirty dishes, let the KitchenAid handle it for you. 
It's good like that. 
Once your dough is smooth and elasticy, place it in a greased bowl and then turn it so the top is greased too. 
Now it's time to let your little lump of carby goodness do its work.  Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour. 
It will double in size. Do not let this alarm you. You are, however, free to screech, "It's ALIVE!" upon re-entering the kitchen.
I did.

Punch the dough down, divide it in half, and shape each piece into a loaf.
Or, if you're like me, divide it in half and then realize your halves are more like 1/3 and 2/3 and end up with a third random little baby-size loaf.
Grease your bread pans, pop those 2, 3, 4 loaves into the pan and let them rise again for about an hour. 
They will double in size again. Because they do that sort of thing.

Now you'll need to combine a tablespoon of water with an egg white. Brush the tops of the loaves with this concoction, and then sprinkle them with oatmeal.
Pop those bad boys in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. 

You can eat veggies and meat and fruit with this . . . IF YOU MUST. But I really recommend you pull a dairy-style dinner: Pour a glass of milk, get out the butter, and . . . whatever you must do, do quickly. 
As long as it's not in a pasture. 
On Skype. 
During a meeting. 
I think we're done here. 





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