Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rise up and celebrate the Dead

I was debating writing about my weekend, taking Princess and Mac to the orchard and picking their own pumpkins, which I've called "Adventure in the Pumpkin Patch." I was also thinking of kvetching about my new job which I HATE HATE HATE. But Mac gave me some fodder so the job bellyaching, and the weekend recap will have to wait. I want to talk about bread.

Last week, Mac's Spanish teacher explained the idea of the celebration of "The Day of the Dead." The class opted to have a celebration and the Day of the Dead is today, Nov. 2. Last week all the kids signed up to bring treats for which they would earn extra credit. Mac had a B+ at the quarter but he said it's getting harder so he signed up; he figured a little extra credit wouldn't hurt anyone, especially him.

Now Mac didn't sign up for a yummy dessert or a veggie tray or to even bring the stupid cups and plates. He signed up to bring "dead bread." That's right, he agreed to make something called dead bread. He told me of this last Thursday and I asked him if he had the recipe. He said it was in his locker. I repeat, LAST Thursday night, when at home, I asked to see it and he forgot- it was still in his locker. I reminded him at school on Friday to bring it home. When I asked him to see it again on Sunday, before I went to the market, he had still forgotten it. So now, I knew we had to make something called Dead Bread on Monday night for him to bring to school on Tuesday morning. In reality, I was thinking this was going to be some sort of sweet cake thing, or something like corn meal or a box cake mix. I was thinking I probably had all the ingredients at home and it would be a quick cake mix and go.

Boy was I freakin' wrong. Mac DID give me the recipe. On the way home from school yesterday. For me to read while I was driving. And it involved YEAST! Damn YEAST! Which means it would have to RISE! At least 1 HOUR or MORE. So, I was working at school until 5pm today when I saw it. Mac had play practice at 6pm so I was going to have to go to the market to buy some stupid YEAST and then make it my damn self since Mac was going to be gone all evening.

But wait, it gets better!

Daddy-O went to Bro and SisIL's for dinner and Mac took my car to play practice and I hadn't gone to the store to buy yeast so I couldn't even start on it while he was gone. DOH! I thought I would be smart and I sent Daddy-O a message, begging him to get yeast on his way home. He forgot. So at 8pm I went to the store to get yeast.

When I came home Mac had started blending the dry ingredients and melting and boiling the others. We dumped it all in a bowl to blend and I see that I bought... rapid rise yeast. Well fuck. Also, Mac was acting like a child (or since he's almost an adult, I could call him a pompous ass) demanding HE was going to do it, but then he asked me a million questions and then half of the time he didn't listen to what I had to say, anyway. I was trying to teach him something since I love to bake bread and have done it on many occasions, but he was just like a bull in a china shop. There was flour everywhere.

So the dough was ready to come out of the mixing bowl and onto the board for kneading. I told him to flour his hands and tip the dough out and use his floured hands to get the rest of the sticky dough out of the bowl. It didn't go like that. He had dough ALL OVER THE PLACE- the counter, the board, the bowl, still on the beater... for Pete's sake, in his hair!! I kept giving him more flour and I have no idea what he did but it was one huge sticky mess. Come to find out he didn't add the last cup of flour because he didn't read the rest of the recipe. Well no damn wonder it was a sticky mess!!!!

I floured up and we finally got the dough on the board. There was flour now ALL OVER THE PLACE- hair (his and mine), counter, floor, our persons and not nearly enough on the dough. Watching him knead was hysterical. He was pushing it with his finger and then just wiggled it around. He sort of poked it and the whole time said it was gross. He pat it, too. I told him to quit complaining and that making bread could be sort of sensual.

Yes, I said that to my 17 year old son. I have no idea what I was thinking. It just popped right out. I showed him how to knead the dough and he continued telling me there was nothing sensual about it and he was going to school to tell people I thought making bread was sexy. I don't think I'm ever going to live it down. So I left him to the 8-10 minutes of kneading and I started cleaning the whole kitchen. Then I put some oil a bowl and told him to dump the dough in. He swirled the dough around the bowl and asked if that was sensual part since it was like lubing up.


Oh by the way, dead bread is a slightly sweet yeast bread, baked in the shape of a dead body and then covered with an orange glaze.

After it double its size in just 45 minutes (thank GODDESS for rapid rise yeast!) he was to shape it into something. He wanted to make it into skull and crossbones. So he shaped it. Then we had to let it rise for about hour and bake for 40 minutes. Then brush warm bread with a warm orange glaze that he boiled. He kept saying "OMG, it's HUGE! WOW, it's huge! Is this why bread is sexy, because it's huge?"- then he cackled with giggles. Finally, last night a midnight, the bread was done and glazed. It doesn't look like a skull and crossbones, more like a cemetery with tombstones, I think?

When I was just a kid, I know I came home and told my mom I needed something for school the very next day, for a treat of some kind, but I never, in all my years, had her in a bread baking project that went into the wee hours of the morning and involved shaping said treat into the shape of dead bodies!

And I'm pretty proud of ol' fearless Mac. Other than the cleaning, providing supplies and a brief lesson of kneading, he did it all himself. He got himself into the idea so he took care of it. That kid will try anything once and has nerve. I'm proud of him.

And you might be wondering how we got this monstrosity to school since I don't happen to own Tupperware this large... well, if I told you that secret, I'd have to kill ya. Let's leave something to the imagination, alrighty?

God Bless extra credit,

By the way, I didn't bother to proofread and I apologize. I wrote this at 1 am- post breadmaking...


Bragger said...


Now I'm HUNGRY! That looks delicious.

I have to hand it to you - that project would never have happened at MY house that late at night!

Jimmie Earl said...

I just got an e-mail from Mags saying that Mac's bread was a huge hit and was wonderful tasting, too. Maybe, if I am lucky, he will bring home just a bite to Grandpa! Yeah, right!
JE aka Dad

Curley said...

I know that it's "Day of the Dead" Bread. but I bet it would be good for Thanksgiving Dinner. Maybe you could convince Mac to make it again so that Daddy-O could have some. Looks really good.

sam said...

Wow. that looks great! Happy it was a hit too.


Maggie said...

Bragger- I've learned to, for the most part, go with the flow when it comes to Mac and his ideas. I used to be known as the procrastination Queen so I feel guilty if I were to kick up a fuss over something that's genetically my fault.

JE- i saw his teacher in the hallway after school and she said Mac save you some and told the kids they could've have it all since you contributed some ingredients and baking tips.

Curly- he said he would!

Sam- it was yummy. Like the Kings Hawaiian bread but better!