This is a print preview of "Excuse me?" recipe.

Excuse me? Recipe
by Sheri Heap

I recently took my Buick Rainier in for an oil change. I was sitting there minding my own business, playing some stupid game on my phone, when a service tech came in and pulled me off to the side. The water pump was leaking – $100 deductible to fix thanks to my ridiculously expensive extended warranty. However, shit that actually affects the safety of the vehicle – namely the passenger side air bag malfunction they were also checking out – that wouldn't be covered by said ridiculously expensive extended warranty. Nor does the warranty cover the faulty sensor that causes the heat to work intermittently. Total cost to replace two little pieces of plastic? $2,000.00. I passed on the $2,000.00 in repairs temporarily until I can call the warranty people and nag them into covering the issues.

I walked through the doors of the local mall and slowly wandered through store that sold women's clothing and shoes. SHOES. Oh, I love shoes. Especially crazy high heel shoes. For some reason, I feel the need to…um…augment…my vertically-challenged body by torturing my feet with hooker shoes and boots. What do I consider to be hooker footwear? Anything that has a heel 4 1/2" or higher and a skinny heel.

I decided that I was now on a mission to find sassy clothes to go dancing in…specifically a new pair of shoes (so I can practice tripping and falling) and a pencil skirt.

Since I moved to Illinois 13 years ago, the only time I've been able to dance the way I like to dance is at weddings (unless you count when I'm cooking, because I'm usually dancing too). If you ever run into me on the dance floor, you'll want to stay clear – not because I'm going to fall on you (although the possibility does exist if I'm wearing hooker shoes) – but because my hips seem to disconnect from the rest of my body and do their own thing. At a friend's wedding last year, a guy walked up to me on the floor and said if I ever wanted to quit my job, I could make a mint as a stripper because I've got "the moves." I guess there was one advantage to my first apartment in college being above a stripper's apartment, because I had an unusual opportunity to…uh…learn. Then if you consider the years I bartended at a dance club…

After trying on what felt like eleven thousand pairs of shoes and forty billion skirts, I found what I felt would work. Maybe. But, oh my God. I know pencil skirts are supposed to be tight so your stride is shortened and you kind of mince around. But I don't like going out in public wearing yoga pants without a shirt hanging down over my butt, and I'm thinking about wearing this skirt? Made out of stretchy stuff? I finally asked a friend to tell me what she thought (her opinion was not too tight, and she'd know). I'm still going back and forth about wearing this thing without a burka. These really cool hooker shoes would still be visible, right?

But I digress.

After arriving home, I took a look at the receipt from the car dealership. The service tech made sure to note how much the two little "big" repairs were going to cost.

And then he gave me a senior citizen discount. A. SENIOR. CITIZEN. DISCOUNT. Umm….According to my birth certificate, I'm 39. No gray hair (that's visible anyway, and it's going to stay that way until I die), no wrinkles (that I claim). So WTF?

Hmmmph.

Anyway.

I actually got lucky the first time out on this latest recipe, which almost never happens to me when it comes to bread. Usually I have to dump at least gelatinous lump in the trash before I get edible results. So yay me.

I have never liked that nasty spongy white bread in the grocery stores; Mom always got our bread from a local bakery so I always knew what good bread was. As I got older, I got totally away from white bread altogether after discovering the taste and texture of multigrain and other specialty breads. One bread I've been missing is oatmeal bread. I've had some chickenscratched notes for a while now but hadn't felt like creating yet another bread failure. Not this time!

Crusty crust, soft and slightly sweet interior. Yum. Make yourself a sandwich – I sure did.

Heat the milk until hot, but not boiling, either in a microwave or a saucepan on the stove. Remove from the heat source and stir in the oats. Set aside to cool.

In a stand mixer bowl, add the yeast, 1 tsp of the honey, and the warm water. Allow the yeast to bloom, then add the rest of the honey, the grapeseed oil, and the oatmeal mixture and combine.

In another bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, millet flour, amaranth flour, xanthan gum and salt.

With the mixer set on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Use a rubber scraper to scrape all the flour off the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat until all the flour is incorporated. While the mixer is running, prepare a loaf pan (I use a 4×8 pan but use what you have) with cooking spray or more of the grapeseed oil. Pour the bread dough into the pan and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Place the pan in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes.

When the dough has risen, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes; bring the bread out of the oven, brush it with egg wash, sprinkle with oatmeal, and return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing the bread from the pan and placing it on a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

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