Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bread Sticks

It was spaghetti day, just like the menu said.  At the end of last week, I sat down all the boys, or as many as I could get to sit still for a while, anyway.  "What do you want to be eating for the next week?" was my demand of them.  They grunted.  Two of them had eyes glued to their personal distraction devices, and two more were watching over their shoulders.  Great.  No one wants food.  I'm ok with not cooking!  Slowly, I got a few answers.  Pizza.  Tacos on Sunday, of course.  Ramen.  Pizza.  No rice.  Pizza.

I continued to talk with them and encourage, until we had a one-weeks menu consisting of breakfasts, packable lunches, snacks, and dinners.  It was good to get their input, because it's hard for me to come up with lots of ideas.  Also, it means that they can't complain about what we are eating because they helped plan it.  

I got some good suggestions, too.  Like varying the ham-and-cheese-sandwiches-lunch that we make most mornings.  And having bigger snacks.  And making bread sticks with spaghetti.

So come spaghetti day (it was Monday, because we always have pasta on Mondays.  Somehow Mondays need an easy meal like pasta.), I scoured Pinterest for easy bread stick recipes.  I found lots - of other things.  <sigh>  I looked other places that weren't so addictive, and came up with an attractive option here.

They looked yummy, simple, and didn't have an ingredient list longer than my arm.  I get nervous about eating foods which contain words I can't pronounce.  Somehow if the word can't make its way out of my mouth nicely, I don't think it can go in very nicely, either.

So I put on the apron that Fred and George made for me on Mother's Day and started mixing.  I used my very best cheap metal measuring spoons.  I sifted and scooped flour.  I drizzled on the butter and sprinkled in the salt with a practiced flick of my wrist.  Me and the Pioneer Woman were twins in Heaven, I'm sure.  And our little brother was Alton Brown.  Yup, I was channeling my inner Food Channel to make the most delectable bread sticks my boys have ever inhaled.

The dough mixed up nice and smooth, despite the fact that I used nutritious freshly ground whole wheat instead of that inferior store-bought white powder. I popped the dough ball into the oven and warmed it up just a scosh so it would rise.  Turning my attention to other things, like the marinara sauce and the tossed green salad, I thought I was doing so well.  Look at me balance cooking a three-course dinner AND encouraging homework AND supervising the boys and their household chores AND settling arguments!  Never mind the fact that I just spelled half of those ANDs as ADN.  Never you mind that.  I might as well put on my pearls and heels and slide on a smear of lipstick!

And then I smelled... baking bread.  Wha...?

I forgot to turn off the oven after I turned it on to warm the dough.  Instead of letting the dough rise, I was baking... a very lovely, round dough ball.

Drat.  So much for my homemaker of the year award.  Oh well.  The bread ball was still tasty, as we cut it into slices and dipped it into a highbrow mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Everyone walked away from the meal satisfied - just like they would have been if the bread had been stick-shaped instead of ball-shaped.

And I have a new challenge for next Monday night.  Bread sticks.  Because my hungry boys need a new shape to inhale.

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