|Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica|
- I found myself looking at lunch boxes this morning. Summer holidays will be over before we know it. We are having so much fun--it makes me sad to think of it ending and of having to buy new lunch boxes.
- I practiced driving this week. I felt pretty good (my impression is I haven't forgotten--I'm just rusty) but also nervous. I never liked driving but now I really need to. It's kind of funny that I'm going to start driving again here in Panama, because the traffic is CRAZY.
- I'm doing some volunteer teaching for a foundation. I really love it. I'm working with some amazing women and it takes me into Casco Viejo twice a week... it's perfect.
- My older daughter is swimming again. She was on a swim team a couple of years ago and kind of burned out. I had a hard time letting her quit at the time, but in the end I couldn't ignore her misery. She's ready to give it another try and I'm glad.
- Etta James died today. My oldest was born at home with a midwife. I had a bunch of music that I'd chosen for the labour and birth and it included some Etta James. In fact the only music I remember from that labour and birth is Etta James. Rest in peace and thank you for helping me bring my daughter into the world:
This is my mom's recipe. I've actually cut her recipe in half because the original recipe was insane.
3 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
3 eggs beaten
1 tbsp yeast
10 cups all-purpose flour
for the cinnamon filling:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2-3 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
Stir the yeast, water, and half the flour together. If you have a mixer with a dough-hook mix it for five minutes. I use a stand mixer and just go do something else for a few minutes. If you don't have a dough hook you can do this with a wooden spoon. I would say 150 strokes (circular and folding if you know what I mean). The idea is to develop the gluten and add some air. Let this mixture rise for 20 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and knead together. Keep the dough as sticky as you can stand. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. Let the dough rise. I usually punch it down and let it rise twice, but one big rise would be fine.
Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.
Divide the dough in two. Roll one half into a rectangle and spread the sugar mixture as evenly as you can on the rectangle. Roll up the dough and cut into buns (around an inch thick). Put the buns on parchment-lined pan. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Let the buns rise for half an hour and bake in a preheated (400°C) oven for 20-25 minutes.
Let them cool upside down so the syrup doesn't all get stuck on the bottom.