Peace & Dinner Rolls

Ahhhhhh….. sweet relief.

I fucking love quarantine and unemployment doesn’t suck, either. Losing my health insurance in the midst of a global pandemic isn’t very exciting, but there are far greater problems in the world and it was the first time I’d ever had it- so c’est la vie.

The Dumpling and I have settled into an easy routine. Our days begin around 9 when she climbs into my bed to cuddle. The favorite cat; Dazzle, loves to snuggle in the mornings and you can hear her purr her way from the living room to the tiny space between us. Gone are the stress-filled mornings of me yelling “WE HAVE TO GET IN THE CAR, NOW!” and in its place is a lovely bunch of peace.

Life has calmed the hell down and I’m living for it.

It turns out, two cups of coffee is what I need to get shit done and a few bites of scrambled eggs each morning are helping me overcome the aversion to the little chicken embryos. I still prefer them as a light coating on a veggie stir-fry, but I’m trying.

img_8270My seeds have started to sprout in the greenhouse and I had a lovely chartreuse pop of baby blue curled kale peeking up at me this morning. The shallots are doing their usual crazy root explosion and my gardenia is setting three buds instead of one on each branch. Spring is still coming, in the midst of all this chaos. img_8268

I could have sworn today was Tuesday, but no! I just went to check how much longer my bread needs to rise and it’s Wednesday! Surprise! I can’t remember the last time I lost track of the days of the week, not to mention spent a few in a row in my pajamas. All my clothes are clean and every last bra is washed and hung- with no intention of putting one on. This is bliss, y’all. Pure, unadulterated BLISS.

Since I’ve realized I’m on the wrong day of my domestic plan, I have a snoozy little afternoon full of folding linens, changing sheets and watching the Tiger King live his best life.

I’ve perfected my dinner rolls and finally remembered to write down amounts and take pictures, so here you go! Wash your hands, bake some bread, enjoy your jammies and STAY THE FUCK AT HOME. ♥

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Jenni’s Bomb Dinner Rolls (or bread if you like slices)

  • 2 cups of water ( fairly hot- I like about 110*F)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of yeast
  • 1 1/2 salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cups of flour. I prefer half bread flour and half unbleached wheat flour but play around and find your favorite.

Combine the hot water, sugar and honey. Stir to combine and add the yeast. Let it sit for 10 minutes. img_8232

In the bowl of your mixer, combine 1 cup of flour, salt and olive oil. Mix thoroughly and add the liquids. Add one cup of flour at a time until it is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on medium speed in the mixer for 5 minutes or do it the hard way (by hand) for about 10 minutes, it’s up to you.

I am obsessed with my Instant Pot for how well it proofs dough. If you don’t have one, go buy one right now. You genuinely need it. img_8235

Spray the inside of your Instant Pot with non-stick spray and plop your dough in there. Set it to Yogurt setting on low, and set the time to 60 minutes.

Prepare to be amazed. Also clean up your mess- you’ll be lazily eating rolls soon and you won’t want to do it after the gluten coma hits. img_8239

After an hour, open your magical countertop time machine and fall in love with it all over again. Punch that beautiful dough down and dump it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about a minute, then shape into two loaves or two dozen rolls.

60697291656__b97711e7-0dfd-4cf4-ba39-14798444e351Let rise for about a half hour or until doubled in size. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes!

Mmmm…. They’re delicious! Enjoy! img_8242

 

 

 

 


Day 29: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

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I’m going to dream big and say I won 500 million dollars. I need that much for this.

  1. I would set my family up for success. College money for anyone who wants to go, trade school, you name it. I would buy them each a house and reliable car. Family, taken care of. My mama has worked hard her whole life and I would love to spoil her.
  2. I would move to Kauai the same day. I would buy a ridiculously expensive piece of property on the ocean and would grow all the things I’ve never been able to grow.  I can’t wait to plant my North Idaho gardenia in the soil of her people. 🙂
  3. I would buy the homes of my enemies and evict them. Yeah… I can be a bit of a cunt when inspired.
  4. I would then purchase the companies that employed those same assholes, and liquidate them.
  5. I’d hire a hundred gardeners and have the vegetable garden of my dreams. I’d grow hundreds of varieties of tomatoes in a rainbow shape of ombre colors blending into each other. A good portion of my winnings would go into the dirt.
  6. I’d travel the world with my children and finish writing all the books that sit collecting dust on my laptop.
  7. Tattoos… so many tattoos…. I’d get on a plane and fly to Florida to have my very favorite tattoo goddess do them for me, too.
  8. I’d go to law school, focus on family law and represent single mothers near and far.
  9. I’d spend a month in all my favorite countries, learning how to prepare every cuisine to perfection. A gnocchi lesson in Italy, dim sum in China, and a rainbow of curries to learn in Thailand. I love food, and I hope I always love learning to cook new things.
  10. I’d adopt that baby from a Chinese orphanage like I always wanted to. I read all the books after the birth of my son, cried for years about the ongoing bias that had women leaving their newborn daughters on the side of the road like trash or tucking them into a basket to be abandoned in a busy market. I love being a mother more than anything and absolutely think I’ll foster or adopt a few more children before I retire into being a Grandma.

What are you going to do, make or buy?


Day 26: What are your beliefs?

  1. I believe in the goodness of people. Even when I’d distanced myself from all but one of my friends, even when I stopped answering calls or returning messages… my friends refused to go away.
  2. I believe in washing my hands. I’m a little obsessive about it so the fact that this Corona Virus pandemic is teaching everyone to wash their damn hands, is pure bliss for me. I love hand soap and foam, love gardenia scented bars of triple milled goats milk soap… I love being clean and smelling good. Wash, wash, wash.
  3. I believe that Tide washes your clothes better than hippie detergent. Sorry. It’s true. My mother buys the earth safe detergent and uses dryer balls. I love Tide detergent and Snuggle fabric softener. She tried… 🙂
  4. I believe that dirt fixes everything. Sad, worried, stressed, heartbroken… none of those bad times stand a chance when you’re planting shallots. Each one of these little treasures is going to turn into 10 more! shallots
  5. I’m learning to ask for help… because I absolutely believe the strongest thing you can do is admit you need it. I’ve dealt with major depression this year and can’t believe a little antihistamine would stop all my panic attacks. God bless you, Vistaril… I am humbly grateful.
  6. I believe in love, more than anything. The kind of love that sews your favorite childhood toys, the love that holds doors and offers the last of the ice cream to the little person who’d been craving it. Unconditional love is my superpower and I believe it can change anything.
  7. I believe in the magic of plastic surgery and can’t wait to remodel a little more. I’m having a tummy tuck and breast lift this spring and I. Can’t. Wait.
  8. I believe in apologizing when I fuck up. I accept genuine apologies just as easily as I offer them.
  9. I believe that bubbles with your best friend can solve the world’s problems better than anything else on earth.
  10. I believe in the power of thread count, and wish I could give each of you a set of my favorite sheets.
  11. I believe in the magic of intention. My darling Dick Appointment crawled out of the jungle twice in the last week to call me from a satellite phone. He can email me, so I teased him a little until he told me the sound of my laughter made his day. I’m probably not going to see him again, but he sure is making a trip to Africa sound better and better lately…
  12. I believe in dish towels, not paper towels. I don’t understand the mass hysteria for paper towels.. those are a luxury item in my house and an easily eliminated expense.
  13. I believe in the magic of mass on Sunday, even if I reject 2/3 of the beliefs held in the cathedral. I love being Catholic… even if I’m the most atheist version around.
  14. I believe in karma most of all. That karma fairy leaves scars on the most deserving and if I know one thing… it’s that there’s a cold dark hole in hell for the guy who named my puppy after his new girlfriend. I pity him for that. That’s gonna sting. I rehomed the puppy.
  15. I believe in thanking people for everything… even the bad stuff.

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Basically, I believe in myself and my ability to change the things that no longer serve me. I believe that bad days only amount to a bad time, not a bad life… and the good days are so common that I know the bad ones don’t count for much.

What do you believe in?


Day 17: Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

  1. Incredicock. Oh why beat around the bush (no pun intended), let’s be bold, brave and honest, shall we? I can honestly say I’ve never felt about another human being the way I feel about him. Fiercely protective while simultaneously terrifyingly guarded, brazen, bold and wanton…oh and petty as the day is long. I’ve never really known heartache like the one he inspires and I wonder sometimes if it’s my penchant for pain that makes me love him so? The jury’s out, but masochism is in the lead. I saw things I can’t unsee regarding him this weekend and I’m decimated as a result. I’ve clearcut the common threads that tie us together and am facing some tough days ahead. What he says and what he does are vastly different and it kills me every time I find out he’s lied to me again. I need to get off this bad ride.
  2. Baked Lays Potato Chips. Dear God in heaven…. hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven… Give us these chips, these daily chips… I can’t even buy a bag because I will eat the whole damn thing with reckless abandon.
  3. Take5 Candy bars. Seriously the best candy bar ever made. Thank you Reese’s for making them a part of your delicious family.
  4. Bombay Sapphire Gin. I had 4 martinis last night as I cried about my bad taste in men and bemoaned the stupidity of my loyal heart. 4!!!. I felt like death warmed over all day today and sat inches away from the cause of it. No martini is worth that and I wish I’d stayed in bed. Thank heavens for Maybelline who painted my grey face a flesh tone and convinced the world that I wasn’t seconds from puking, all day.
  5. Tomato plants. God bless America, at least one of my weaknesses is healthy. I cannot walk away from a “rare” or “lost” heirloom tomato seed. I have grown them all. I know them all as well as my children and doubt you could surprise me with a new favorite… but I’d sure love to hear about yours….

Day 10: If you could rid the world of 10 things, what would they be?

  1. Donald Shitty Ass Trump. You’re welcome, humanity. I’d use all ten of my wishes if I could just have this one. If you’re a Trump supporter I take it as a compliment if you unsubscribe. I don’t care who’s offended anymore, the man is an upwardly mobile genital wart and no amount of spin can convince someone otherwise unless they’re a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Fox News fan.
  2. Homework. My child and I spend 40 hours a week working and in school/daycare. We are fucking exhausted. The last thing we want to see at 5:30 is some godforsaken common core math, a half dozen books neither of us want to read or listen to again, or worse… a creative project. I’m sorry to be so blatantly honest about it, but for the love of GOD, get that shit done during the school day or kick a fat rock. I work my ass off and her father and I pay a blistering amount of taxes each year. We expect to not have to teach our child in exchange for those taxes… and I’m not ashamed to say it. My Dumpling is in first grade and comes home with 2-4 pages a night. Do we do them? Sometimes. If there’s even a slight meltdown, I toss the damn homework folder back in the backpack and we move along in peace and tranquility, not having lost a second of peace over another stupid math worksheet.
  3. Property Tax. I should not be penalized for my neighbors around me choosing to sell off all of their land. I should not worry about losing my home because I owe more tax as a result of a subdivision. Those assholes are luring the deer to my garden with salt licks in their manicured backyards and I don’t feel like paying more for that.
  4. Cancer. I lost my grandma to cancer and it’s safe to say everyone knows someone affected in some way. My friends made a calendar to raise money for cancer this year and raised almost $20,000. If you don’t have one yet, you need one. Mine hangs in my office, right beside the handsome Mr. March. I have a dear friend battling stage 4 cancer right now and it is terrifying to watch insurance companies delay treatment because of profit, not potential.
  5. Shitty men. Fuckboys, Stalkers and Lunatics. They’re all bad in their own way. Either you’re hunting, hiding or crazy as a result of being driven there… none of which is worth sacrificing the peace of your single life, for.
  6. Hunger. We are the wealthiest country in the world and we have children going to bed tonight without eating. I’m ok paying a painful amount of taxes I can’t afford, but I want the priority going towards the hungry kids and not the career politician. If we can feed inmates lunch for free, we need to feed hungry school children as well. I recently saw at the bottom of my daughter’s hot lunch menu for the month:  * Children with accounts $6 or more in arrears will be given an emergency lunch consisting of a cheese stick, piece of fruit and milk. I can’t even fathom being an adult that could live with myself for handing a little kid that bullshit excuse for a lunch. I would go broke working in the cafeteria and have decided as a family that if we’re going to make any financial donations this year, it will be to the lunch lady for kids with outstanding balances.
  7. Mice. Yes, I’m aware they’re part of the food chain and something else would starve. Oh fucking well. Evolution says they’ll just find someone else to eat, and I’m ok with any of the small vermin of the world becoming a more popular snack. Oh to never see a mouse again… would be SO great!
  8. War. It’s all pointless, nobody wins anything and thousands of people lose their lives for what? Nothing. Bring them all home.
  9. Pedophiles. There’s no place in the world for men and women who make sex a painful, horrific nightmare, especially for children. Dip them all head first in boiling oil. It will deter the rest and make quick work of a foul waste of resources.
  10. Organized religion. No more church. No more tithing. No more tax shelter for creepy old white men who prey on people’s deepest fears. Nope. Enjoy your previously destroyed Sunday at home with your family, tending to the real needs in your life and not being guilted into shit you don’t want to do, can’t afford and wouldn’t do otherwise. Religious zealots cause more war, suffering and oppression than any other hate group.

That’s a damn tough job to narrow it down to 10. What are yours?