A bread shaping tutorial–bread bears- for Celia and all my bread friends!

Honey whole wheat dough in bowl
Honey whole wheat dough in bowl
This is a batch of bread- it makes 4 large /bread bears, 15 small bears, or 2 very large loaves! YUM!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread ( for bears and otherwise)
5 cups whole wheat flour
2-2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup milk (scalded)
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup honey
1/2 -3/4 cup hot water (105-115 degrees F)
2 TBSP yeast
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP salt
Mix yeast and hot water with about 1 tsp of the sugar and proof.(proofing is the MOST important step in making bread.  It activates the yeast and makes sure that your bread will raise.  After mixing , you give them time to work- wait about 5 minutes and watch for the yeast to grow.  It will form a foam on top and grow in volume.)
Stir flours, salt, and remaining sugar together in large bowl.
Melt margarine into scalded milk (scald in microwave- 90 seconds on HIGH), then stir in honey until everything is melted and melded.
Make a well in flour mixture and add milky mixture- stir lightly into flour so that the hot mixture is lumpy in flour and then add yeast mixture.  At this point you might need to add a little more water. I rinse the measuring cups out with hot water and pour the rinse water into the dough.  You want the dough to be soft and flexible- not hard and doughy.  Stir well- dough should be sticky- and dump contents of bowl onto floured surface.  Add flour to your hands, and knead dough adding flour as needed.  Knead dough for about 12 minutes- you can feel when the gluten starts to form- it will feel smooth and be cohesive.  (Kneading  is done with the palms of the hands – you push the dough towards the center of your ball,  fold dough over and push, making a quarter turn with each push.  You are forming a ball with the kneading movements.)
When your dough is smooth and feel satiny, place in a greased bowl – turn dough over so that the top of ball is buttered and cover and allow the dough to raise in a warm spot  away from drafts.  Allow to raise for about an hour- dough will be ready when it leaves an indent when you poke it with your forefinger.
I measure the dough out for bears:  8 oz. for the tummy…4 oz. for the head….about 1 oz. for each appendage, and about 2 oz to use for ears and snout. (see following pictures.)  I shape each piece into a tight ball by gently stretching the dough into a ball and pinching the back tightly.  Then I do it again, pulling it as tightly as I can without breaking the cloak or skin of the dough. Then place each piece next to the other in the shape of a teddy bear and grab a bamboo skewer and using the sharp pointy end press the balls together at the seams.  Form small balls for ears, place behind head and seam it with the skewer,  Then make a small oblong ball and put it in the lower center of face and seam it into place with skewer.  Make small indentations with skewer for eyes and nose and push currants or raisins in with the dull end of the skewer.  I always give my bears a belly button with the skewer. Just poke them in the tummy and twist/pull the skewer out.  Then let them raise for at least 45 minutes- up to an hour and 15 minutes – Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes- until teddy bear brown.
Cool on wire racks.  Tummies should give a slightly hollow sound when you thump it  to see if they are done.  Thump gently!

Creating a gluten cloak
Creating a gluten cloak
Scientific term for shaping the dough into cohesive balls that will form the base of each bear. Without the gluten cloak the dough sags and raises into a formless mass- not a bear!

Still forming the cloak
Still forming the cloak
It takes a while to get the cloak to form – you have to pull tight and pinch at least 3 times.

Final stretch
Final stretch
This is the last step to the cloak- pushing the entire ball through the index finger and thumb, you create the tension that holds the dough in place. Now just pinch the back together tightly and you have created a bear belly. Do the same for the head and arms and legs- add tiny balls for ears and snout and. use the skewer to attach them by pressing them together with the edge and sliding across the attachment spot.

Voila- bread bears ready to bake
Voila- bread bears ready to bake
These have been shaped and are ready to raise.

Ready for the oven!
Ready for the oven!
They need to raise about 45 minutes- to an hour- then they puff up and are ready to bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Scenes on the Porch-close-up
Scenes on the Porch-close-up
bears and more bears

Aloha Bear bread

The picture currently up on the header is of a bread bear I made in

Oahu for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago.


After I took this picture, I gutted him and filled the cavities with a spinach dip-


and we ate him up as an appetizer before our Thanksgiving meal.

We had so many leis around the beach cottage ( with all the arrivals for the holidays) that

I thought we should make one up for the bread, as well.


This picture on the header was one of several I tried to choose from to represent my blog.

blue birds and giveaways 007

I was thinking of putting up some pictures of decorated cut out cookies-

Gingerbread ponies,apples, and gulls 001DSC01468

But the bread bears won out- because I love to make these bears!

Halloween bread bears 011Halloween bread bears 012

And I love to make and eat bread!


And because wherever I am- there will be home made bread!

Although I may figure out how to actually change the header picture myself-

and then I will put up different – seasonal pictures.

I am better at baking bread than doing technical stuff, though- so don’t hold your breath!

Oh how the mighty have fallen- II Samuel 1:17-27

2 Samuel 1:17-27

The Message (MSG)

17-18 Then David sang this lament over Saul and his son Jonathan, and gave orders that everyone in Judah learn it by heart. Yes, it’s even inscribed in The Book of Jashar.
19-21 Oh, oh, Gazelles of Israel, struck down on your hills,
the mighty warriors—fallen, fallen!
Don’t announce it in the city of Gath,
don’t post the news in the streets of Ashkelon.
Don’t give those coarse Philistine girls
one more excuse for a drunken party!
No more dew or rain for you, hills of Gilboa,
and not a drop from springs and wells,
For there the warriors’ shields were dragged through the mud,
Saul’s shield left there to rot.
22 Jonathan’s bow was bold—
the bigger they were the harder they fell.
Saul’s sword was fearless—
once out of the scabbard, nothing could stop it.
23 Saul and Jonathan—beloved, beautiful!
Together in life, together in death.
Swifter than plummeting eagles,
stronger than proud lions.
24-25 Women of Israel, weep for Saul.
He dressed you in finest cottons and silks,
spared no expense in making you elegant.
The mighty warriors—fallen, fallen
in the middle of the fight!
Jonathan—struck down on your hills!
26 O my dear brother Jonathan,
I’m crushed by your death.
Your friendship was a miracle-wonder,
love far exceeding anything I’ve known—
or ever hope to know.
27 The mighty warriors—fallen, fallen.
And the arms of war broken to bits.

Here we are back with David- and reading his psalm-

dedicated to King Saul and Jonathan – after their deaths

in battle.  This psalm or lament is not a part of the book of Psalms,

but it was well known in Israel by the king’s command.

By King David’s command.

Here again is the same psalm- this time from the NIV.

17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):

19 “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
How the mighty have fallen!

20 “Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

21 “Mountains of Gilboa,
may you have neither dew nor rain,
may no showers fall on your terraced fields.

For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.

22 “From the blood of the slain,
from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 Saul and Jonathan—
in life they were loved and admired,
and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.

24 “Daughters of Israel,
weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle!
Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
more wonderful than that of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen!
The weapons of war have perished.

David, if you remember, was a man after God’s own heart.

And in looking at his life- through his poetry we can discern,

perhaps, those characteristics that made him such a man.

David speaks from his heart- out of genuine distress and sorrow,

and he laments the death of his enemy.  For wasn’t Saul intent upon

killing David?   He cries out for the death of his friend- for doesn’t he call

Jonathan his brother?  He sings a song of sadness and eulogy over

the loss of mighty warriors.

David is a man whose heart is loyal to friendship and honor.

He regrets the disrespect shown to the valor and kingship of Saul-

his voice is loud in defense- and  praise for the dead is his song.

In order to look at God from David’s perspective, first we must discover

that perspective.  David was trustworthy as a friend and loyal as a subject.

War is not glorified- death is not minimized- courage and strength are not overlooked.

David looks at the battlefield and cries out-

“How the mighty have fallen!”

Selah- pause a moment and think upon that.

Psalm 3 “ GOD! LOOK!”

Psalm 3

1-2 God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms,
   Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery:
   "Hah! No help for him from God!"
3-4 But you, God, shield me on all sides;
   You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
   With all my might I shout up to God,
   His answers thunder from the holy mountain.
5-6 I stretch myself out. I sleep.
   Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady,
   Fearless before the enemy mobs
   Coming at me from all sides.
7 Up, God! My God, help me!
   Slap their faces,
   First this cheek, then the other,
   Your fist hard in their teeth!
8 Real help comes from God.
   Your blessing clothes your people!

Of all the psalms and psalmists- I must admit I like David the best.

I like his perspective- I like the names he gives for God.

I like the way he partners with God.

I like his praise.

I like his advice.

I LIKE David.

And I believe God does, too.

God “said” in both I Samuel 13:13 and Acts 13:22- that David was

a man after God’s own heart.

I’m not totally sure what that means.

I’ve heard plenty of sermons by people who have told me what

They believed it means.  And some of what they say is legitimate-

But it is an open-ended statement.

I think it may mean that God and David agreed on some very

important issues. 

I think it may mean that David was a man that accepted his need

for forgiveness and guidance.

God also said “ Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.”- Romans 9:13.


Psalm 115:3 MSG

“Our God is in heaven doing whatever he wants to do.”

I’m not going to be real quick to ascribe the reasons for God’s approbation

and love for the guy.

I just know, that I LIKE DAVID– a lot.

I resonate well with his psalms- I understand a lot of his decisions-

and even his sins make a lot of sense to me.

So- I’m going to be looking at the psalms of David – and the life of David-

to take a closer look at David’s view of God.

Interested in coming along on the journey?

Psalm 43- the altar of God, to God my joy and my delight.


Psalm 43

Give judgement for me, O God,
take up my cause against an ungodly people :
deliver me from deceitful and wicked men.
For you are God my refuge
why have you turned me away? :
why must I go like a mourner because the enemy oppresses me?
O send out your light and your truth, and let them lead me :
let them guide me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
Then I shall go to the altar of God,
to God my joy and my delight :
and to the harp I shall sing your praises,
O God, my God.
Why are you so full of heaviness, my soul :
and why so unquiet within me?
O put your trust in God :
for I will praise him yet, who is my deliverer and my God.


This is the psalm we read at my son, Luke’s, ordination last Saturday.

It was a very special day- the beginning of his lifetime desire to serve

the Lord and God’s people.  His journey took him into the Episcopal Church

where he is now a priest. 

We traveled by plane, because the roads in Eastern Pennsylvania were

washed out.  There were extra inspections because it was Sept. 11,2011-

And the planes weren’t very full- because not a lot of people were traveling

by plane on that particular weekend.


And we were privileged to play a part in the ordination- Frank and I were presenters-

(along with several mentoring priests),  standing before the bishop, we said,

Lawrence, Bishop in the Church of God, on behalf of the clergy and people of the Diocese of

Long Island, we present to you Lucas Franklin Fodor to be ordained a priest in Christ’s holy

catholic Church .

Then, after the bishop questioned us further-

We certify to you that he has satisfied the requirements of the canons, and we believe him

qualified for this order.”


And then after much prayer and song, and the laying on of hands, and the reading of

this psalm and other scripture,




Luke got this great big hug of welcome from the bishop.


There was a whole lot of liturgy going on- and at the end- we had Communion.

It was a beautiful ceremony and I loved it- seeing my son become a priest.

But the very best part happened the next morning.  When we went to the morning service,

Luke served the communion- I don’t have the correct terms- but you know what I mean.

And at the end of the service, the rector, David Ware, and Luke came down the aisle together,

as we waited in our pews for the last song.  And they were smiling and bumping shoulders

as they walked together- FILLED with the the joy of the Lord!  The looks on their faces were so happy-

like something you would see on a soccer field when one of them has just scored the winning


Seeing them like that, brought back the words of this psalm, Psalm 43,

”O send out your light and your truth, and let them lead me :
let them guide me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
Then I shall go to the altar of God,
to God my joy and my delight : “

I wish I had taken my camera on Sunday morning- because that is the picture

I most want to post.  You will have to see it in your mind’s eye.

Two men, coming from the altar of God,

…God, their joy and delight!

A psalm from Habakkuk-The fig tree song

What is a psalm?

Worship, praise, history, prayer, song?

Listen to this song from Habakkuk 3:17-19


Habakkuk 3:17-19

King James Version (KJV)

17Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

18Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

19The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.


Habakkuk 3:17-19

New International Version (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
   and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
   he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   he enables me to tread on the heights.

   For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

A song, worship, prayer,musical instruments- a psalm.

And a song that sings in my own heart today.

Not everything is going well- the future looks pretty bleak-

there is not much more than a glimmer of hope-

BUT- everything is not as it seems, either.

There are hidden resources- the Sovereign Lord is my strength!

Often when things are at their worst- God chooses that

moment to shine through.  It doesn’t take away the pain,

always or even repair the broken lives and homes around us,usually

however, it/He gives us a different perspective and opens up

reservoirs of  strength and fortitude. 

“…yet will I rejoice in the Lord,”

When you look around and only see a barren rubble. it is time to

worship and rejoice.

Our Lord is a God of miracles

Watch and see what the Lord is going to do with your circumstances.

And get ready to join in with praise!

Psalm 46- a song of safety from the storms

Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.A song.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I don’t know about you- but between the earthquake

and the storm- I’m glad I have a safe place.

There really is NO safe place on earth- everywhere is

subject to storms and earthquakes, volcanoes and tornadoes.

Floods and flash floods, unstable neighbours, angry youth and

wars- let us not forget wars.  Life at best is a gamble.

So, I’m thankful I have a God who is Almighty.

Above all the limitations of this world and capable of

making wars cease-

He says , “Be still, and know that I am God;”

And that is exactly what I am doing this weekend.

Praying and being still before the Lord.

Spending time in the only safe place I know.

Psalm 36– Because of the recent evil in our streets.

Psalm 36
A David Psalm

1-4 The God-rebel tunes in to sedition— all ears, eager to sin.
He has no regard for God,
he stands insolent before him.
He has smooth-talked himself
into believing
That his evil
will never be noticed.
Words gutter from his mouth,
dishwater dirty.
Can’t remember when he
did anything decent.
Every time he goes to bed,
he fathers another evil plot.
When he’s loose on the streets,
nobody’s safe.
He plays with fire
and doesn’t care who gets burned.
5-6 God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.
7-9 How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings,
To eat our fill at the banquet you spread
as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
You’re a fountain of cascading light,
and you open our eyes to light.
10-12 Keep on loving your friends;
do your work in welcoming hearts.
Don’t let the bullies kick me around,
the moral midgets slap me down.
Send the upstarts sprawling
flat on their faces in the mud.

There has been so much violence in our world.

OK- I know- there has ALWAYS been violence- but

what with the wars and the riots and the senseless

murders and mayhem that have been in our own

neighborhoods… in our face… it seems to have

escalated of late.

David wrote this of his times.

When he’s loose on the streets,
nobody’s safe.
He plays with fire
and doesn’t care who gets burned.

And if it was true then- well it is, if anything,

truer NOW!

Then we look at verses 6-10 and what comfort

there is in turning our vision from the rebels- the

God haters- and looking towards God, Himself.

I love the descriptions he offers of God’s love, loyalty,

purpose and verdicts: meteoric- astronomic-titanic and

oceanic.  Ginormous! 

And yet, so lovingly concerned with us, that not a man, not

even a mouse slips through the cracks of His attention.

And then after praising the Lord for His wonderful love,

David returns to his own problems; THE BULLIES!

And isn’t that the way we all are?

I am.  I want my problems to be remembered and taken

care of- and I’m so glad that I’m not alone in my

selfish concern.  I don’t know that God will cause my

enemies to go sprawling in the mud.

After all-

I’m supposed to pray for them .

But it is nice to know that I’m not the only one who

sometimes wishes they would get their own back.

Do you know what I mean?

Today’s Psalm- a memorial- 137

Psalm 137

1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

7 Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
“tear it down to its foundations!”
8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

Imprecatory psalms are sometimes hard to read-

and harder to digest.  “Happy is the one who seizes your

infants and dashes them against the rocks”? 

There is a whole history lesson that goes with today’s psalm-

but I’m not going there.  This is a psalm of sorrow- of memorial-

of pain- and yes, of anger.

This past week I had a conversation with a lady about her

nephew who is back in jail because of his addiction to drugs.

He is due to be released, but no one in the family is willing to take

him on.  Or should I say, no one is willing to take on him and his


I don’t really understand addiction fully, but what I get- what I KNOW

about it is that it is as tenacious and destructive as a stage 4 cancer- and

more often than not- it ends in death.

Those who live with drug addictions are whirlwinds of trouble-

redemption and relapse,

futile futures and they are dangerous to love.

I’m not saying that they can’t come out of the depths of degradation-

I’m saying that often, they don’t – and if they do- there is no

guarantee they won’t end up back in the same despair.

My friend, Michele, wrote a psalm that I’d like to share with you.


Praise the Lord for being our Creator

Praise Him for making us new

Praise Him  for being our mentor

Ask and it shall be given to you.


Praise the King, the First and the Last,

Praise Him for your future and past.

Praise the One in Heaven above,

Praise Him, Praise Him with all of your love.

Michele was an addict who came to know and love the Lord.

Her voice was loud in His praises, her chuckle filled with the joy

she had in being a part of the family of God.

Her eyes would sparkle as she spoke of His grace and mercy-

and her stories were full of the mystery of His love.

Her life was troubled-

there was so much she had to make amends for- so much she

had to learn-her addiction was costly- it stripped her of her

family, her teeth, her health, her friends.

And she wanted to have a life like those of the believers she knew.

But her life was precarious – even at its best.

And the addiction did not go away- it laid in wait for a moment of

weakness and despair.

And I believe- in the end- it was too strong for her to keep fighting.

But – thinking of Michele and the many others of our loved ones

who are caught in the web of this enemy-

I understand Psalm 137 better.

”Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.”


Here is a little background to this entry-




This is my son, Luke.

He’s an Episcopalian priest, working in Cold Springs Harbor, NY.

He recently shared this picture with me and it made me smile.

This is what the people called, “The blessing of the Hogs”- I love it.

I love that there is an appropriate blessing for motorcycles.

I love that these people are moved to seek such a blessing.

And I especially love that this is part of my son’s job.

Life is good when your work is doing what you love-

connecting with people and connecting people with God!

And I am so very blessed- that this man is my son.