Delicious home made heritage bread that ANYONE can make.

I have always wanted to make my own bread. Over the years I’ve tried many times to bake bread with less than stellar results. I came across a couple of recipes lately for heritage bread that you let rise for anywhere from 12 – 18 hours and I decided to give it a try. Well, I’ve baked several loaves now and they are wonderful. I haven’t screwed it up yet. :) Since I’ve caught a bad cold/flu and can’t run, baking some comfort food is filling the void.

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I have adjusted the recipes I’ve found a bit to get the size of loaf I like, but I got the original idea from Chef Michael Smith’s Heritage bread. He uses oatmeal and some multigrain flour and it worked out nicely.  We eat slice after slice of this warm out of the oven and then make sandwiches and toast with it. My next experiment is going to be with rye bread.

Recipe:

heaping 1/2 tsp of yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 C water
6 cups of Flour

Mix together with a bread dough hook in a mixer or mix by hand until formed into a ball. No kneading required. Place in a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave on the counter to rise for 18 hours. The dough should at least double in size and will look a bit bubbly.

On a lightly floured surface punch the dough down and fold it over on itself until a nice ball is formed. Lightly flour the mixing bowl and place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with the plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a lightly greased cast iron pot in the oven to preheat for 20 minutes. When the pot is ready, gently dump the dough into the cast iron pot, cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes until the bread is nicely browned to your liking.

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The cast iron pot gives the bread a nice crust, but you can use a loaf pan or baking sheet if you don’t have the cast iron pot.

Delicious – perfect for carb-loading. ;) Now go for a run!

 

Jackie

- Jackie -

 

Around the Bay 30k – race recap – Everything is better with friends.

I made it! This post is a week late in coming, but you’ll have to forgive me – I managed to make it through my 30k Around the Bay Race – and I was tired.

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Pre-race silliness                                                      On our way to the start line

 I was a bit of a nervous wreck before the race. Going from recovering from a calf injury to running a 30k in less than 2 months had me pretty worried,  but being there with a couple of great friends and our husbands made the pre-race jitters bearable and the after-party fantastic. Mandy also reminded me to relax, slow down if I needed to and to just have fun.

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How my week before the race was going…long story…

We had a beautiful sunny day, no snow or rain, not too much wind and about 5C.  I broke this race down mentally into three 10ks. I didn’t feel great for the first 10k, I felt pretty good for the next 5k,  but then it started to go downhill. I made it to 20k feeling a bit tired when the rolling hills started. Hills don’t bother me too much, but the PowerBar Blasts that I was using as fuel did. For some reason I thought that I had tested these on a training run at some point, but my sensitive stomach didn’t take well to them. Around the 21k mark I developed a wicked gut cramp. I panicked at first, but I managed to get a grip, I popped my emergency Tylenol and a bunch of water and decided to walk until the pain passed. About 1km later I was feeling somewhat better and was able to run again. I finished the rolling hills and the last big downhill and got to the last big uphill at around 26k. I was surprised how happy I was to get to that point. Even though there was a killer hill with about 40m of elevation to cover in about 400m, after that, it was just over 3k to go all on a gradual downhill. 

I have to say that despite everything, I really had a great time. I suffered during  certain parts of the race, but I enjoyed more of it. It was a beautiful day, a pretty scenic route with lots of crowd support. I made sure to look around and enjoy the views at the peaks of the hills and going over the bridges.

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Nearing the bridge across the bay                                         Waves just before the bridge

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Nearing the final killer hill – a picture of the actual hill would have been better

 

I was pretty sure I was going to want to kick the Grim Reaper when I reached the 27k point in the race, but I ended up being happy enough to want to hug him. In reality I didn’t have enough energy to even high five him like many runners do – I was only able to take a terrible picture and grimace on.

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I pushed on for last few kilometers. One of the fun things about this race is finishing the race in Copps Coliseum. I had been counting down the meters to the finish line, but once I turned the corner into Copps I was so glad to be almost done that I managed a big smile and a little burst of speed at the end. A happy race volunteer at the end put up her hands and said “whoa, you can stop now, you’re done, you’re done”. I put the brakes on and she congratulated me.

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“Whoa, you’re done, you’re done”

Race over – I felt great. Even though I didn’t get the training in, I was hoping to finish in 3 hours. I ended up finishing with a time of 3:06. Good enough. (That’s my motto) Both of my friends came in ahead of me getting 2:52 and 2:57 – both better than they expected to do!

We went to a restaurant in Hamilton where I deviated from my usual post race burger and had a Philly cheesesteak sandwich with some deep fried pickles. After we crossed the street to a bakery called Bitten. Of course, being it was a Sunday afternoon they were almost sold out of everything, but they were sweet enough to give us a Whoopie Pie on the house after they found out we had run the race that day.

It was awesome!

I ate it in the truck on the way home. The icing on the cake of a perfect day that could have been way worse!

 

 

Race week and Knee pain – eek!

ouch

Yesterday I decided to get out for a quick 5k. The week before race day always messes with my head. I don’t want to overdo it, but I feel like I should do something… I inevitably end up doing the wrong thing.

After being away all weekend, eating poorly and not running, I figured I had to do something, and by the time I got out I only had time for a 5k. Of course I throw all reason out the window and disregard the fact that I am still recovering from an injury and that I should be careful because I’ve upped my mileage from 8k to 24k in only a few weeks. So I sped through my 5k and pushed myself to the limit. I ran a 5k in only under a minute slower than my fastest time – not smart when you are recovering – I know.

I paid for it last night. I had periodic shooting stabbing pains in my knee all night. I’m going to take it easy running-wise until race day and I’m going to get a massage later today because I’m sure it’s all my overworked muscles pulling on my poor knee. I keep forgetting – I’m older than I think I am. Sigh.

I did a quick search and found a neat video on massage for knee therapy that looks informative.

 

Any advice on knee pain for someone who chronically makes poor decisions while training?

I know some of you have races this weekend – some bigger than my 30k. Have a great race weekend!

 

Jackie

- Jackie -

 

 

 

 

24k – Close enough!

With my Around the Bay 30k coming up in less than 2 weeks, I managed to get out this past Monday for my last long training run. I had hoped to get up to 25k, but once again, I found myself talking my way through the run kilometer by kilometer. I was only at about 8k when I was telling myself that I never want to run a long race again. Another km later, I decided even half marathons were too long. By 10k, I thought I didn’t even want to race 10s anymore and shortly after, I decided that walking a 5k fun run sounded good. I relayed this to my sister-in-law, Mandy, and she informed me that this hard winter has turned me into a wimp and that I’ll be fine when the weather warms up. She must be right because since then, I’ve signed up for a local Warrior Dash with my brother (her husband), her brother and my son.

24k

Anyway, I managed to make it to 24k. I couldn’t talk myself through another km. In fact, I felt just a little pouty walking the 1/2 km home. I managed to change into dry clothes, rinse the blood off my toes, have a glass of chocolate milk and collapse onto the couch – where I spent most of the evening. My husband was even nice enough to go out and get me donuts.

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So this is the longest run before the race on March 30th. I’m hoping I’ll be able to push past that 24k point during the race. The Around the Bay has about 21k of slight downhill and flat, followed by about 6k big hills totaling around 160m of elevation and then a 3k downhill to the finish.

Wave of anxiety…

My final training run had 220m of elevation throughout and I pushed my pace, so I’m hoping that will make it okay race day. If all goes well, I may just match my time from last year even though I missed all that training time with an injury.

Time to stop obsessing about it and start planning my post-run treats that I will focus on throughout my run. Perhaps I’ll reminisce about the lovely time I had having High Tea with my sisters-in-law this past Sunday. But that’s another story…

Jackie

- Jackie -

The Best Way to Drink Tea

Last weekend, my house was taken over by men, computers, and empty pizza boxes. (Yes, it takes me a long time to write a blog post.) My husband rarely plays video games, but about once a year, his brothers, some friends, and our nephews (Jackie’s boys) get together for an all out nerd fest/ video game binge.  This year it was our turn to host.  Needless to say, when you put 10 or more guys in a basement, eating pizza, and staring at a screen, the house becomes very smelly and I tried to be home as little as possible.

So when Sunday afternoon came around, I was ecstatic to have plans with my awesome sisters in law and friend to go for High Tea at the New Dundee Emporium.  It was lovely.

New Dundee is a small town about ten minutes out of our city. The downtown area is filled with old houses and buildings, the type that have big, creaky porches and those wooden screens that slap closed. When we pulled up, a neighborhood cat even came to greet us.

We dressed in our best tea drinking attire and tried to act like ladies for the afternoon.
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I wish that we would have gotten a picture of our outfits standing up, because they were cute. Check out Jackie’s shoes. Aren’t they perfect for a tea party?
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The High Tea comes with a personal pot of your tea of choice and a three tiered stand of scones, mini sandwiches, savories, and bite-sized desserts.
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I think my favourite treat was the scones with clotted cream and jam. The chocolate covered strawberries were a close second.

Overall, the afternoon was so nice… Chatting and snacking. If you’re in the area, I’d definitely recommend checking out the New Dundee Emporium. We agreed that we are going to start getting together for our own version of high tea. I hope it happens soon because I can think about all those treats without drooling a little.

-Mandyimage

21k and some Wild Turkeys

That was wild turkeys, not Wild Turkey. ;)

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I managed to talk myself, kilometer by kilometer through my 21k today. Again by the time I was done I couldn’t run another step, but I’m that much closer to 30k. Starting to feel a little less like I won’t make it. Although, when I reached 15k today I got a little mopey when I realized that was only halfway through the race distance.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here. A day that makes me think that summer actually might come after all. It was about 3C while I was running and so sunny that I got a tan. (forgot my sunscreen) Around 5k into my run, I saw a few wild turkeys in a green space by my house – that’s a little rare. Look really hard, they’re there.

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I also took a picture of how I looked when I finished today – I felt horrible. I’m not showing you the picture.  I want to do one more long run, a 25k, before the Around the Bay 30k.  I had planned to do it this coming Saturday, but Mandy has pointed out to me that I have run a lot over the last few days and I need some recovery time. So I am taking her advice and I will attempt my 25k on Tuesday. I am also going to try and fit in a little cross-training on Piratebobcat’s advice. I often forget about how important that is.

One of the things that keep me going through a long run is thinking about the delicious burger I’m going to have when I’m done. What’s your favorite post run treat?

Jackie

- Jackie-