Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sarine's Annual Christmas Treat!

Ok, so we have failed at being attentive bloggers this year! Lots of things have happened...babies were born; trips were taken to see these babies and work happened! We'll post more about all of those but the important stuff right now involves a recipe for our near-famous raisin bread that we've been making at holiday time for 35 years.
It all began one year when the government was raising the cost of stamp from 10 to 13 cents and I refused to put a 13-cent stamp on an envelope that was being delivered to our friends in our neighborhood in NY. So I had the brilliant idea that it would be cool to deliver the Christmas cards with a freshy-baked loaf of cinammon raisin bread.

That first year we might have made 15 loaves. The next year we (I) had to make more so that Dick could take some to his co-workers. The number increased every year! A couple of years later Dick took over the task and has continued to make his his (our) infamous bread every December. When we moved to North Carolina in 1992 we packaged and mailed bread back up to our NY family & neighbors that first year. After that they were sent the recipe...which we are happy to share with you below, as we are never quite sure what the loaves look or taste like after traveling that far!

Yesterday, Dick had to meet a young couple expecting their first baby to deliver one of the confortable club chairs/baby gliders that we sell. The first batch of raisin bread had just come out of the oven and he took a loaf to the office to give them when they picked up their chair. He got this email this morning: "The bread was DELICIOUS! We just had it warm with some butter and apples! Perfect for a cold morning. My husband said- we can always buy another chair but this bread is priceless! Thank you so much."

So here it is...Happy's a great family tradition!



5 cups water
1 stick butter
¾ cups honey
3 pkgs Fleischmann dry yeast
5 lbs flour
1 large box raisins
5 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
Mixture of cinnamon & sugar – approx. 2 cups

1. Bring to a boil the water, honey, butter and salt. Pour into a very large bowl (you will be using this bowl to knead the bread) Let cool to approx. 110 degrees (could take 20-30 minutes at room temp) if the water is too hot it will kill the yeast!
2. Add yeast to the bowl and stir briskly with a whisk until dissolved. Wait for the yeast to “explode” – bubbles up – 1 to 10 minutes depending upon temp of water
3. Add three eggs and beat with a whisk again
4. Pour in a large box of raisins and mix well
5. Sift about 1/3 of the flour into the bowl and mix well with a whisk.

6. Gradually sift the rest of the flour into the “brew”, switch to using a large spoon until it is too thick and then start kneading the mixture with your hands….Dough will be liquidly at first but will gradually become firm – you may want to grease your hands with a little shortening or butter to avoid the mixture sticking to your hands.
7. Keep kneading and folding the dough until the mixture is the same consistency throughout – usually at least 15 minutes (very good exercise) I usually put the bowl on the floor on a towel…easier on the back and you can apply more pressure.
8. Pour the mixture out of the bowl, clean the bowl, and spray with non-stick spray and then return to the bowl.
9. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let stand for about 1 hour or until the mixture rises above the edge of the bowl. Again, depending upon room temp, this time can vary quite a bit.
10. While waiting, prepare 6-7 bread pans with liberal amounts of Pam or similar spray.
11. After the dough has risen, punch the dough down and knead again for about 5-10 minutes
12. Roll the dough into a log shape on a floured surface. Cut dough into 6-7 equal pieces (depends upon the number and size of the loaf pans you have)
13. Take each of the section and (one at a time) roll out like a pizza to 1/8 to ¼ inch thickness.
14. Take about 3-5 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar and spread evenly on the rolled dough (Do not spread the cinnamon/sugar mixture all the way to the edges of the dough as it will prevent the dough from sticking together in the next step).
15. Roll the dough into loaf and pinch and fold in the ends to help stop sugar from coming out during baking
16. Put each loaf into a pan, cover all pans with a damp dish towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes (it should rise at least an inch or two)
17. Put into pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top (you can tell when the bread is done by tapping on the top and it sounds a little hollow)
18. Take bread out of the pan and place on a cooling rack & brush melted butter on the top of the loaf (makes the crust soft)

19. You can freeze the bread or eat all the loaves at one sitting…it makes great toast and I’ve heard that it also makes great French toast. Happy eating!!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Three More Fabulous Moms!

And here's our next generation of Sarine/Dunlap moms.... Rebecca who's nearly due for the next baby...a brother or sister for Olivia and Gabe (no...not to be born in the birthmobile again!!!); Vicky who will have a little brother for Kira in September; and newly preggo Danielle who will become a first time mom in November. Three awesome women that will be and are awesome Moms! Three new grandkids in one banner year! How proud can we be?

Happy Mother's Day to our daughters! Whether by birth or by marriage we think you are the best Moms ever!

Holy Smokes.... It's already Mother's Day???

We simply don't know where time has gone since January...almost like someone ripped the months from the calendar and suddenly it's May and the eve of Mother's Day ....a time to remember and commemorate the great mothers who gave us life and nurtured us through childhood.

So here they are.... In pink is my mother-in-law, Helene Marie Trappen Sarine, Dick's lovely mom, and then mine...Frances Louise Staats Fenton (at the top in blue), ....both pictured at our wedding back in February of 1970.
My mother was raised in upstate New York. In addition to attending to the needs of us kids she loved studying and learning about life. She believed and instilled in us the power of positive thinking, a philosophy of life that was nearly unheard of in the 1950's. Marion, as she was called, was often found tending to her beautiful flower gardens or helping friends in the community.
Dick's mom was born in Michigan and at some point moved, married and lived in suburban Madison, New Jersey. I hardly ever remember seeing her dressed in anything other than a dress complete with an apron. She was a kind, generous; devoted to her family. I always say that if you want to know what Helene was like you have to look no further than at one of her children for she raised each and every one of them is a mirror image of her personalty.... patient, pleasant, personable and giving.
These two fine ladies lived lives that were worlds apart and yet they shared the fabulous badges of honor of being fine, fine mothers. They have been phsically gone from us for many years but we feel them with us still. Happy Mother's Day to our Moms!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Boxes & Boxes of Slides!

Dick and I finally purchased a slide scanner around Christmas time and our spare time since has been spent going through several hundred slides and converting them to digitals that could be downloaded for everyone to enjoy! Below you will see many pictures of what my parents called their "middle three" two brothers...Al & Bud and me...who was sandwiched age-wise between those two guys. My only sister Joan and my older brother Roger were already married when these were taken; and our youngest brother..Jim was not yet thought of!

And because I am still blog-illiterate and can never figure out how to space picture descriptions to coincide with the picture you will see some of the following people below: Al & Bud getting ready to cross-country ski across a frozen Lake Eaton to our camp; my favorite great-aunt "Aunt Sally" with my mother and me overlooking some Adirondack beach; Al at the guys hunting camp (I was always ticked as a kid that females were not allowed during the November Hunting Camp!); Me in a two-piece bathing suit where I am apparently losing my top!; Christmases where I got a doll carriage and another dish set. I think my first precious niece, Cindy is the baby in that picture; Some wonderful pictures of our horses...Blackie and then our mare Ginger with her brand-new foal, Star. There's only one of my brother Jim in this group...where he's riding his go-cart bike! More to come Jim!

As you can see we/I were blessed to lead an idealic that has only been fully appreciated as an adult. Thanks Mom & Dad! Miss and love you more than you know!