Thursday, March 3, 2016

_The Hancock News_Column-- March 2, 2016

“I’m having a bad hair day” can mean vastly different things to a woman.

Obviously, the phrase could mean exactly what it sounds like. Maybe somebody’s pillow mashed her hair flat in all the wrong places or gave her a funky new cowlick for the day. Maybe she was running late for work and didn’t have the time to put on the finishing touches. It might be she tried a new hairdresser who made a mess of the cut or the color. Whatever the reason, this friend deserves commiseration and reassurance that it’s not as bad as she thinks because, you know, we’ve all been there-- probably too many times.

On the other hand, “I’m having a bad hair day” could mean the total opposite. Sometimes when a woman says it, she has every hair in perfect place and knows it. This girl annoys us because she’s just fishing for compliments. Go ahead and give her the pleasure of a nice word anyway because, you know, if we’re completely honest with ourselves, we’ve all been that girl before.

And then there’s me. This week I had a bad hair day. For me, that meant somehow between four different math lessons, lunch preparation amongst the dirty breakfast dishes, and approximately seven million diaper changes, I only found two minutes of spare time; I chose the toothbrush over the comb. When I sat down to rock the baby to sleep after lunch, my hair, still braided from the night before, hadn’t even been touched.

But that’s not the worst of my bad hair day. I chased a naked toddler down the hall and wrestled him into diaper and clothes. I brokered multiple peace deals between warring siblings. I may have even rescued a girly-girl from an icky stink bug while carrying the fussy baby in one arm and stirring up Plan C for supper as the now-nearly-naked-again toddler swung Tarzan-like from my messy, slept-in braid. Well, that might be an exaggeration; it all blurred together. However it was, by the time the sun set, not only was my hair still uncombed, but when I looked down, I was still in my pajamas!

It doesn’t happen all the time, but when I decide to have a bad hair day, I seem to put all my effort into it. If you happen to cross the path of a gal like me who’s having a bad hair day of this magnitude, please don’t recoil in disgust or pity. A simple kind smile of understanding is all that is necessary because, you know, at some time or other, whether or not we want to admit it, we’ve all walked in my shoes. 

Make that slippers.


When my friend learned about my family’s trial gluten-free diet, she warned me about shampoo (not on my bad hair day). Evidently, shampoo and other cosmetics often have components with gluten-containing grains or derivatives that can cause problems for people with sensitivities. So, if you suspect that you have food sensitivities, examine both your pantry and your shower. A quick search online can help you identify those multi-syllabic scientific words that might be hiding possible allergens.

All of those long words can be so confusing, but there’s nothing more simple than this recipe for homemade pitas. It is one of my go-to lunches when I have nothing planned in advance because it is quick and the kids gobble it up. Unfortunately, we won’t be enjoying it this month because it packs in the gluten along with its whole-grain goodness.

One word of warning: these pitas are not like the really thin flatbreads you may be used to from the store. They are smaller and fatter and don’t really have a hollow pocket. In fact, I’m not really sure they can be called pitas, but since that’s what my recipe calls them, that’s what I call them.

Quick Pita Pocket Bread

2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. honey
2 cups warm water
1/8 tsp. salt
3 to 4 cups whole-wheat flour (maybe more for kneading)
vegetable oil

Grease a cookie sheet with oil until well greased. Dissolve yeast and honey in water and let stand until bubbly. Add salt and enough flour to make a slightly sticky dough. Knead until smooth. Pinch off 12 equal portions of dough. Oil your hands (repeat when things get too sticky) and roll the dough pieces into balls. Flatten or pat between your palms to make flat circles. Place circles onto greased cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to broil. Place cookie sheet in oven, either on the top rack or next to top rack under heated broiler. When first side is brown, remove cookie sheet, flip breads over, and brown the other side. They brown quickly, so watch carefully. 

Serve hot or cold. Fill with your favorite sandwich filling by slitting in half. My family loves these hot from the oven with cream cheese and bean sprouts, pepperoni and cheese, or peanut butter and jelly. 


  1. Love, love, love the bad hair day piece....totally comical, but oh so true! I have certainly ben there.

    1. Part of me can't wait until I won't have days like these. . . but. . . part of me doesn't ever want it to end :)