Can you guess where I am?
Here's a clue.
Here's another clue.
Got it yet? How about this. It pretty much says it all.
Yup. I'm in Hawaii. Maui, to be specific. The sun, the sand, the surf. It's pretty fabulous. Especially knowing that back home people are breaking out their extra warm sweatshirts and snuggling up to warm mugs of tea. Here the tea is iced and we debate whether to turn on the AC or just let the ocean breeze blow through the screen doors.
We've gone snorkeling, boogie boarding, body surfing, swimming. And by we, I mean my husband and kids. I don't like getting my face wet. What? Don't look at me like that! You already knew I was weird. I anchor the beach towel and take pictures so that my daughter and husband can have something to post on Facebook.
I also excel in the shopping department. No vendor remains unvisited in my quest for Christmas presents and thank-you gifts. In case you're thinking there will be a hefty overweight bag fee at the airport, fear not, because I travel like a hippie.
I realize that most people, when on vacation, want to do as little in the kitchenette as possible. We're staying in a beautiful condo where everything is brand-new and the kitchen is gorgeous! (Contact information available on request). Knowing this, I menu planned in advance and brought along ingredients like a jar of honey, a baggie of salt, a baggie of yeast, a 5 lb. bag of King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, and a 6 liter dough rising bucket. Yup. Hippie. I'm on vacation and I'm making my own bread, pizza crust, and hamburger rolls.
You might think that's a bit much for a vacation. Let me tell you about my hippie daughter. She and her husband and their daughter are here, too, but in a different part of the island. She started her packing and menu planning 3 months in advance. She fermented, dehydrated, and prepped food to take along, including a dehydrated scobie so she could make her own kombucha in paradise. She also carefully packed her daughter's cloth diapers (no diaper rash on vacation!), the Sweet Pea Baby and favorite blanket, her daughter's special eating time bowls and food coats, as well as coconut oil, olive oil, and spendy food supplements. Guess what happened.
The morning we were flying out my son-in-law was loading the bags into the back of the car, which was in the driveway, back hatch open. He put in the big suitcase, went in the house for another bag, heard a sound like a car door slamming, went outside with the second bag, and the first bag was gone. Someone had stopped, grabbed the suitcase, hopped into their El Camino, and sped off down the street. Seriously. Who steals a suitcase? What were they hoping for? Whatever they hoped for, I'm sure they were tremendously disappointed.
Every single thing in that suitcase was expensive, either in terms of the time spent to make it, or the cost to replace, but not one thing had street value. My chin quivers when I think of some landfill being gifted with a whole load of lovely organic cotton double-thick diapers.
But, thankfully, my son-in-law is awesome. He shrugged and said, "They didn't take anything that can't be replaced. We'll go shopping in Hawaii." And with the wonderful attitude, the trip went on, it wasn't ruined, and we're all having a grand time.
I don't have pics of the food that I made. We were too busy enjoying it to stop and take pics. Here's the dough recipe, though, in case you travel like a hippie, too, and want to have your own healthy bread on the go. I'll bet you could even enjoy it at home.
100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes two to three 1.5 lb loaves
1 1/2 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 c lukewarm milk (I used coconut milk)
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
1/2 c honey
5 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (I used coconut oil)
6 2/3 c whole wheat flour
1. Mix the yeast salt, honey, and oil with the lukewarm water and milk in a 5-quart bowl or a lidded, not airtight food container.
2. Using a spoon, food processor with dough attachment, or a stand mixer, mix in the whole wheat flour without kneading the mixture.
3. Cover the mixture, and allow it to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flatten on top); approximately 2 to 3 hours.
4. Although the dough can be used after it has risen and collapsed, the authors state that the mixture is easier to handle when it is cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded, not airtight container and use over the next 5 days. After the five days, put the dough in the freezer for up to 1 month.
5. On baking day, lightly grease a 9x4x3-inch nonstick loaf pan. Using wet hands, scoop out a 1 1/2-pound (cantaloupe-size) handful of dough. With wet hands, quickly shape the dough into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
6. Drop the loaf into the prepared pan filling it slightly more than half-full.
7. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Flour and slash the top of the loaf using the tip of a serrated bread knife.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 5 minutes, if not using a stone; otherwise, preheat the oven 20 minutes before baking time.
9. Place the loaf on a rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake the loaf for 50 to 60 minutes or until deeply browned and firm.
10. Allow to cool completely before slicing in order to cut reasonable sandwich slices.