Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snowbird Blog

At last I’ve started my snowbird blog. Its name is Tucson, Off and On. the URL is

Hope to see you there! 

Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Sorry to say, I just learned that Tucson Times is already in use by someone named Andy in Alaska! Stay tuned for a new Tucson blog name.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sojourn In Tucson

Here I am in Tucson, experiencing season shock. Two days ago I was in wintery Kansas. The temperature was 24º when I boarded a plane at MCI. Here it’s an ideal 72º with a clear blue sky above.

The sun warms my back. Birds are singing. Shrubs and aloes are blooming. Although I don’t know their names, their color gives me joy.

This is the beginning of an experiment in intergenerational living, involving grandparents, grandson and his bride-to-be. Dennis and I plan to spend our winters here, living in the two casitas behind our grandson’s house. This year my Arizona sojourn, which Dennis was unable to join, will last about five weeks. We enter this new phase of life with loving hearts, high hopes, and a sense of adventure.

I’ll be documenting this experience in a new blog, Tucson Times. Chicken Creek Journal will be in abeyance for the duration of my stay. I’ll be back in time for spring garden planting in Kansas.

Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Can We All Get Along?

That’s the question Rodney King asked after he was brutally beaten by four Los Angeles police officers in 1991. We don't seem to have made much progress in that regard since Mr. King posed the question.

What does “get along” mean anyway? It certainly doesn’t mean fighting with guns, bombs, beatings, beheadings, and other forms of physical violence. Nor does it mean getting lovey-dovey with everyone. Remember the “love in” of the late Twentieth Century hippie culture that mostly consisted of sexual freedom?

Really, getting along comes down to having mutual respect and playing by a commonly agreed on set of rules, but I’m not seeing much of that in the news or on the street.

In the United States political arena, mutual respect is clearly lacking. The Republican Congress shows great disrespect to our president through its condemnation of his every act and thought. No one seems willing to seek common ground or work for our common good.

One commonly agreed on rule is “Do not kill another person,” yet people are doing horrible violence to one another in many parts of the world, often in the name of their religion. There’s no declared war in the U.S., but citizens are arming themselves as if civil war were imminent. Many of these people also consider themselves to be Christians, whose Bible strictly forbids murder.

The phenomenon known as “road rage” is a prime example of a lack of respect usually coupled with shooting to kill. Countless other examples could be cited but I do not want to focus my mind on this heartbreaking subject any longer.

Golly, I wish we could all get along.

Copyright Shirley Domer 2015

When Hands Go Bad

When arthritis cripples and weakens hands or when age diminishes hand strength, one has to rethink how to conduct the business of daily life. Getting into the packaging of products is a major challenge.

A good example is those little plastic grippers that show up on bread products. They're intended to be twisted off and clipped back on. I used to routinely do that, but no more.

The Problem:

The Solution:

Put the remaining bread into a clean plastic bag (I use them over and over, washing them between uses) :

Recycle the original bag and the problem is solved.

Dealing with disability is all about thinking outside the box.

Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Accidental Bread Recipe

Creation of a new recipe requires experimentation. This bread, first created by accident out of necessity, has been through several permutations involving different combinations of flour, unbleached, whole wheat, and whole spelt. I’ve also used canola oil or flax oil in varying amounts. The flax oil worked fine and had the advantage of its high omega-3 content. When canola served as the oil, I’ve added some ground flax seed for its fiber and omega-3. Mainly I’ve focused on using a significant amount of whole spelt flour for its superior protein and vitamin content.

Not one of these experiments has been a failure. Each one has raised well, tasted good, and made great toast.

As promised, here is the recipe for accidental bread. Don’t hesitate to vary the flour combinations according to your personal taste.

Accidental Bread

For the sponge:
2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons granular yeast
1 cup unbleached flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 teaspoons salt

To finish the dough:
1 cup lukewarm water
¼ cup oil, scant
2 tablespoons honey
4 to 5 cups whole spelt flour

Making the sponge:
Pour the lukewarm water into a mixer bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Don’t stir. Let this sit until the yeast expands and rises to the top in what I think of as the bloom. This will take several minutes, time enough to wash the breakfast dishes.

Now add the salt and beat in the flour one cup at a time. Continue beating until the mixture forms ribbons as it is stirred. Cover the bowl with plastic and/or a towel. Go away and do something else for about an hour. Check the sponge for activity; it should be bubbling and doubled in size.

Making the dough:
Stir down the sponge and mix in the water, oil, and honey. Now add the spelt flour a cup at a time, reserving one cup for kneading.

When the flour is incorporated, turn the dough out onto a kneading cloth sprinkled with flour. Knead, adding more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Bread made with spelt flour requires less kneading than whole wheat. The dough will be soft, but knead only until it is no longer sticky on the outside.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn it over so there is a coat of oil on the top. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Divide the dough in two parts. Shape into a loaves and place them in buttered 9” bread pans. Cover with a cloth and let rise until the dough mounds up above the pans. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes.

Turn the loaves out of the pans and let them cool on a rack.

If you want to use ground flax seed, add three tablespoons in place of three tablespoons of flour in the dough.

Happy baking.

Copyright 2015 by Shirley Domer