Wheat/Oatmeal Bread

always seem to put off making “Beka Bread” (aka Honey/Wheat/Oatmeal Bread) because we don’t have enough honey in the house.  So today I got brave and decide to adapt it to use with turbinado (raw) sugar.  This is what I came up with, and it yielded some beautiful loaves!

Wheat/Oatmeal Bread

Combine and cool to lukewarm:

  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups oatmeal (Beka uses old fashioned; I’ve been using my steel cut oats with good success as well.  That’s what we have on hand, and it gives a nice texture.)


  • 1 1/4 c warm water
  • 2 T yeast

Add to the oats:

  • 1 c turbinado sugar
  • 2 T oil
  • 3 eggs (Beka uses 4 egg whites, but I always find those good yolks going to waste)

Combine all and add 4 cups flour (half white/half wheat)

Sponge for 15 minutes (aka “let it sit”)

Add 1 cup of flour at a time – about 5-6 cups (again, half and half)

IMPORTANT – add 1 1/2 t salt with the flour after sponging.  This gives additional time at the beginning for the yeast to do its thing.  I will get a cup measure of flour, dump half in the bowl, then stir the salt into the remaining half before adding it to the bowl.

Knead about 5-8 minutes

Let rise in buttered or oiled bowl for 1 hour

Make loaves (coat those bread pans too!) and let rise again.  If you have full-sized loaf pans, this will make 3 loaves.  If you have smaller ones, you could probably do  4. 

Bake at 350′ for 25-30 minutes.

contributed by Laurel Smith

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An Explanation Of The Setting For The Last Pic

Well, the last pic, in which the new van is displayed, showed a cemetery visible. I thought it warranted a little explanation (plus I wanted to test using pictures some more).  Here’s the same place from a different angle.

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The chapel in the background is Hicks Chapel.  Laurel’s ggpa and ggma used to attend church there.  Laure’s ggma was buried here when she died, and they had purchased a double memorial stone with her ggpa’s name on it also, but without the birthdate and deathdate inscribed.

We had the opportunity to stop by and see their memorial stone, as well as other ones more distantly related.  We also visited another cemetery nearby which had her great uncle and several additional relatives and friends of the family.

Anyway, while we were there, I finally thought of getting a pic of the van!  I’m a little slow sometimes….

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Really, this time there are pictures

Here’s the old van, after the wreck…  you can see the damage to the frame and the radiator (which prevented us from driving it far).

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And here’s the new Van, which we still owe a couple thousand on, and have to get tagged (which means a basic tune-up to pass emissions).

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Quite a difference!  Praise God for His provision.  He is worthy of our trust, not only b/c He has always proven faithful, but also because He is the Almighty God.  We can trust Him.


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Pictures Of The Vans

Gonna have to do this in a different browser… brb 😉

Editor’s Note: brb = “be right back”

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Upgrading websites…

Well… it was time to upgrade our websites….  we’ve got 6 that I manage, and they were all at least one version behind (dotnetnuke is an opensource web content management system, and periodically there are significant official changes).

So… I decide to upgrade them, starting with our personal site first (this one!)  I shut it down (so visitors don’t mess it up) and start updating files.  After enabling it again, I browse to it and get “Server Application Error”.  A few small changes, finding out that some files didn’t upload correctly, and everything works.  Not Bad.

Second site…   www.smdcomputerservices.com.  Our test site.  Upgrade fails completely…. it seems a module I was testing was done incorrectly, and now the site won’t upgrade.  Bummer.  Fortunately it’s a test site, so wiping it and starting over is no big deal.  Well… it’s now redone.  All good there.

Third, smdservicesllc.com.  Business site… very little use at this point, but it’s upgrade went perfect.

Three down, three to go…

And then I need to spend some time on skins, general content updates on this site (finish the Gospel pages), and maybe eventually learn to write my own modules.

For now, though, I think it’s time to go watch some more Doctor Who, and then do some getting ready for our Thanksgiving Feast.

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So, on the topic of faith…

I’ve thought for a while that we (Christians in general) lack faith.  This shows up in a few ways…

We worry.

We don’t ask for the elders to pray for us and lay hands on us.

Our prayers always leave an ‘out’ just in case what we’re asking isn’t God’s will.

We see a tremendous lack of obvious miracles, and most of the healings and tongues and such are obvious fakes.

I’m not gonna address each of these issues now, but here’s the text for a song by the group Georgia that we got to hear while we were in North Carolina.

Do you recall that certain chapter
Where pharaohs’ men were after all of Israel and made God’s people flee
God drowned pharaohs’ men and the children crossed upon dry land
I’m tellin you God’s gonna do the same for you and me
Well I believe He is while other’s just think He was
While they suppose He did, I know He still does
And I’m holdin to the promise where two or three agree
God’s gonna do the same for you and me
Well He healed ole Jirus’ daughter
He made the wine out of water
He was there when Peter crossed on the raging sea
And He fed the little sparrow and
He put the meal in the widow’s barrel
I’m tellin you God’s gonna do the same for you and me

You can hear them sing it here: http://www.myspace.com/georgiagospel.  The song is called God’s gonna do the same.

Do you believe that God’s gonna miraculously take care of you?  Or do you simply believe that whatever happens is His will, and thus you can pray, but your prayer is not really gonna make a difference as far as what happens?  I mean, if it’s His will, He’s gonna do it, right?  Or did Abraham really convince God to check and see if five people were righteous?  Did Moses really change God’s mind?  What about the healings, the raisings, the battles, the droughts, the rains, etc, etc…  Were the prayers and the faith necessary?  Do we have that kind of faith today?

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Some new sermons are uploaded

Finally!  I uploaded sermons for Sept 16 through Nov 4….  I guess it had been a while.  😉 I found out that my attempts to FTP the sermons up to had been blocked by my firewall.  A little more determination earlier would have been fantastic!

Yesterday, along with helping Bob Henkel and Dad work over at the Henkel House, I did some insulating in our new wall (I need to get some pictures up) and will finish it soon, hopefully… it’s a bit chilly around here.

Our van failed the emissions inspection.  Misfiring on cylinder 2.  I think it needs new spark plugs…  we’ll have to get it in the shop for a tune-up.

Anyway… it’s time for me to head out to work… have a blessed day!

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Quick, before bed…

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire

We are back!  🙂

I’ll try to post more tomorrow

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We have a van!

Yes, you read it right!  We have a ‘new’ van.  🙂

It’s a 1999 Ford Club Wagon F150 12 Passenger (11 seatbelts, we need to replace one).  Thanks to some donations and a generous loan, we were able to purchase it from a seller in Franklin, NC.  It’s in great shape and everything works!  God has blessed us far beyond what we ever expected, and we are extremely grateful.  God is working on our faith, and we are learning to trust Him more and more.

Now we are on the way to visit family in Florida.  We stopped at L’s brother’s house to visit he and his family.  We also made a stop by two cemeteries where some of L’s grandparents and relatives were buried.  It is interesting and touching to read the variety of gravestones, and the epitaphs people chose.  Rather tear-jerking to see the grave of the soldier that died at 21 years old or the three week old baby, but it’s a good thing, I think.

Well, not much time tonight, maybe more tomorrow or the next day…

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I am soooooo exhausted!

But, it’s been a good day overall.

We decided to go ahead and move forward on the van that was available…  after a good day’s work with Wayne, we stopped by to pick it up, but it wasn’t quite ready for us, so hopefully we can get it tomorrow.  He hasn’t found the brackets for one of the back seats, but tomorrow may reveal them.  😉  We will still owe on the van, but I’m confident God will provide what is needed.

Work was a little frustrating.  A three or four hour job took us about six or seven hours, and we aren’t really happy with the way it turned out.  One side of the countertop seems to have been made incorrectly and the joint doesn’t line up right.  Wayne will probably go back with some countertop repair filler to get it to look better, and once the tile is on, it will be much less obvious.  But, even with the trouble it was a good day.

I’ve been learning a lot about faith recently…  one of these days I should get a post specifically about some of my musings.  It should be entertaining, it might be enlightening, and there’s a remote possibility it could be infuriating.  Anyway, I think God has really been working on my understanding of faith (note the Calvinistic ‘flavor’ of that sentence?)

I think it’s humorous when people who don’t believe God is active in daily circumstances use phraseology that gives God the credit for the daily circumstances they don’t believe He’s directly responsible for…  that’s just a little ‘aside’, a bonus for reading today’s blog, I suppose.   🙂

Hopefully we can get the van tomorrow, and once again have a set of wheels….  then Thursday we should be moving toward Florida, and Monday or Tuesday headed back.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we work through all that God has put in front of us!


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