Call the Grammar Police…

“Dear Peabody,

Your last post about Junior High students was nice. Refreshing to see a teacher who enjoys teaching that age group. However, I must encourage you to keep teaching math or science only, as I can not imagine you teaching the youth of America proper grammar that one needs to succeed in today’s society. Based on the excellent effort you put forth in your blog, I bet you are an excellent teacher as well. I just don’t think you should teach English.



Okay, okay point taken. That one made me laugh. :) While I write on my blog how I talk, I certainly know proper grammar; I choose not to use it. It’s boring and stiff, and well, not me.  I have to pass tests in order to get my teaching certificate that says I know the basics. Knowing where to place a semi colon to be honest in my opinion isn’t really a life skill. And you certainly don’t need it to become a successful member of society (I really hope that part of the email was a joke). Spell check and grammar check are your friend. And even better, when you write for a living or a publication, they have these people called editors that come and slash your work up and down to make sure it fits into proper grammar form. Blah. Boring.
Besides, how does that saying go, those who can’t teach. :P English teachers don’t send me hate mail on that one. *I must clarify that this portion is a joke. As apparently with the comment that I am a horrible person for writing that, doesn’t seem to catch on to the fact that the smiley face with the tongue sticking out means it was a joke.
For the record I don’t think a lot of the math we teach is needed either. If you are worried about kids not knowing proper grammar, I worry more about the kids who can’t seem to give me back correct change without a machine telling them how much to give me back. Yikes! I really think they should have seniors in high school take a math class based solely on math that they will need in the real world. Balance a check book. What 18% interest really means. Be able to calculate what 25% off that sweater at Old Navy would be. Or how about just knowing how much 20% is to tip (I have many an adult friend who cannot do this).
Luckily math is everywhere, even in baking and cooking. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.  :) Bread is certainly one baking item where it is extremely important to measure exactly. I usually weigh things out in fact (hey, more math!). This is a loaf that gets made at my house pretty much every week. It’s my go to sandwich bread. And can even be made in an apartment oven…as you can see. Makes for great French toast on the weekends as well. If you are a long time reader, yes, this has been on here before, but that is way back, so why not introduce it to those who are newer to the blog.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread

1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup water
2 tsp dried yeast
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ cup canola oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 spray bottle of water

Set aside ¼ cup rolled oats. Place the remaining oats into a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water. Mix with spoon to moisten all oats. Let bowl sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Place ¼ cup of warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Mix with a whisk to dissolve yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add soaked oats, buttermilk, canola oil, brown sugar, both flours, and salt. Using the hook attachment, mix on low speed for 1 or 2 minutes to combine ingredients. Increase speed to medium and mix for about 10 minutes. Dough will be wet at first, but will eventually from a ball. Ball will have a satiny finish and will bounce back quickly when poked with finger.
Place dough in an oiled, medium bowl and over with plastic wrap. Proof in a warm room, 70-75F, for about an hour. Dough will almost double in size.
Pull dough from bowl onto a floured surface and flatten it with your hands, releasing excess air bubbles. Form dough into a 12 x 6-inch rectangle and position it so that a long side is facing you. Fold the 2 short ends onto the top so they meet in the middle. Starting with the closest end, roll dough away from you into a log. Let loaf rest on its seam for a few minutes.
Transfer dough to an oiled 9 x 5 x 4-inch loaf pan, seam side down. Using your hands, push down on the dough to make sure it extends to all corners of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm room for 35-45 minutes. Loaf will rise to slightly above the top of the pan.
While loaf is proofing, preheat oven to 385F.
Remove plastic wrap and mist top of loaf with spray bottle of water. Sprinkle with remaining oats. Place pan on center rack of oven an bake for approximately 1 hour. Top and sides of finished loaf will be deep golden brown. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the sides of the loaf to release from the pan. Invert to remove loaf.

Source: Adapted from Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook by Leslie Mackie with Andrew Cleary, 2003


  1. I’m with you Pea! I passed my college English classes, and I have forgotten all of it. I can take a class again and learn it, but what’s the point? People get the gist of what I say.

  2. Ugh. “Those who can’t do, teach” is something I’d never expect a teacher to write. Normally, I enjoy the snarky undertones of this blog, but I must admit, coming from a family of teachers and aspiring to do the same, I found this irritating to say the least. There are countless teachers who are in their career for the love of teaching, not because they’ve failed in their original objectives. Teaching, as I assume you know, is not an easy job(particularly if you’re successful), and the aforementioned saying implies that teachers are incompetent people who couldn’t succeed in the world.
    Every teacher I’ve known as been an exemplary, intelligent, and caring person (including those in my family, of course)and I find it unfortunate that you’ve seen otherwise. Even more disheartening is that you have so little of an opinion of other teachers(or perhaps, even yourself), when you seem to have been in the field for some time now. I hope that you are only oblivious or ignorant, and not truly of the opinion that “Those who can’t do, teach,” while you are one.

  3. A beautiful loaf of bread! So smooth and flavorful looking.



  4. Wow, calm yourself there Jovian. That was a joke. Hence the smile with the tongue out afterwards. If I believed that I would be saying that I can’t teach math or science to save my life, so I would be insulting myself. If you enjoy the snarky undertones of this blog then you would realize that this is just another one of those times.

  5. True true.. so many kids nowadays don’t know how much is 20% off the said price, nor know how much to give as change after a monetary transaction.
    Pretty sad.

    I love the look of your loaf.
    I can’t get buttermilk here, and I’ll use yogurt if I ever try this recipe.

  6. B is a…. “B” for writing that to you!!! Love ya, Peabody.

  7. I agree with you about kids learning how to do “real-life” math. I mean how often do you have to draw a perpendicular line using only a protractor or whatever they teach you with those things. Being able to calculate (in your head!) what the sale price is or what your tip should be is so much more useful. I had a great math teacher who only let us use our brains as a calculator so I’m pretty good at that stuff, but I have friends who whip out their cell phone to use the calculator all the time!

  8. Every response I want to write to this is ridiculous and has me cracked up. At least they love you enough to bother with that type of feedback. :D
    Your bread looks beautiful.

  9. You is my snark hero, Pea.
    ( And the bread is looking good second time around.)

  10. HA! What a bizarre comment. Looks like you might be getting a few more weird ones today, though…

    I have a favorite oatmeal bread recipe that I make at least every two weeks — but I would LOVE to try a buttermilk variation (if only to get myself out of this bread rut!).

  11. Amen! I still stand by the fact I don’t use pretty much anything I learned in school – it just taught me the skills to approach a problem and how to solve it.

    This bread looks so light and airy, something I have yet to achieve with anything other than white bread. Lightly toasted, with some jam or butter, I see a winner here!

  12. Whoa, Jovian, someone took that comment the wrong way. Is that why you added the extra bit in there Peabody?

    My mom is a teacher and she makes that joke all the time. she majored in speech therapy and now teaches instead. (She’d really get on ya about proper grammar! I grew up with that, so I know it; I just choose not to use it much now!!)

    I think that B needs to relax. Even if it was a joke, that letter is kinda stuck up, in my opinion. Oh well, to each their own, right? I’m sure you’re a greater teacher Peabody!

    Thanks for the bread recipe, it looks delic!

  13. Thanks for posting this recipe – this is right along the lines of the bread I’ve been in the mood to bake but didn’t yet have a recipe for. Plus, I have a giant container of buttermilk that I can now put to good use.

    Silly question though: where on earth did you find a spray bottle? I’ve been looking for empty trigger spray bottles, and it appears the only way to buy them is to order them from an office supply store…

  14. My spray bottle came from the grocery store many years back. I have seen a few from time to time at Walmart for some odd reason.

  15. krimpetgirl says:

    Peabody, bread looks great!
    I was an English major and have always wished I was better at math.
    Keep on cookin and teachin that math & science.

    Sara, have you tried your local dollar store for the spray bottle?

  16. Wow, I do hope that comment was somewhat in jest. Blog writing is informal!

    I agree that practical math is something everyone should know. We have a math in everyday life class at the college where I teach that I think gets at the right things.

    Of course there’s the math and science for baking and cooking class that I have always thought sounded interesting…

  17. That email is hysterical! I’m an English teacher and my blog is full of grammar/spelling/punctuation errors. That’s fine with me. I write my blog like you do, just the way I speak. I know my former students would have a ball red penning my posts.

  18. haha, I think most got the joke. People only get offended when you tease their insecurities. Keep up the snarkyness Peabody…or is it snarkiness?

    I’ve had TONS of terrible teachers. And know many teachers who are only teachers because they couldn’t think of anything else – THEY told me that. I’ve also had a handful of wonderful teachers, teachers whose lessons have stuck with me all these years, who have got me interested in subjects I thought I was too stupid for. I had the opportunity to tell an old high-school teacher of mine (I graduated 12 years ago) in summer just how wonderful he was, and it almost made ME cry, because I realized how hard his job is, and how thankless teenagers are. He truly loved his work, and you could tell. Most, sadly, you cannot.

    And I agree, more world-friendly lessons are needed. Though, I have to say peoples’ misunderstanding of english is scary, considering for many, it’s our first language (don’t pick my comment apart, i’m sure I make mistakes, even though I love grammar). I’m a Canadian living in Australia and no one, not even news presenters, know the difference between “brought” and “bought”. It gets worse than that too…

    Bread looks AMAZING. Hate apartment ovens too…I’ve had 4 years of burnt on top, un-cooked in the middle, and now I only bake small things.

  19. I hope “B” was joking, because his/her/its letter could use a little going over by the grammar police as well.

    Unless someone holds themselves out as the high priest(ess) of grammar, blogs are more casual with language. Especially mine. At times, I deliberately break the rules in order to get a point across.

    Keep up the good work, Peabody! I enjoy reading your blog.

  20. this looks wonderful! and i’ve been searching for a good sandwich bread as well. Thanks!

  21. Love your blog, Pea!
    And I think you would be a fabulous 5th grade teacher!

    Can’t wait to try this bread.

  22. You make me laugh. I, also, love the sarcastic undertones of your blog!

    I love baking bread and I can’t wait to make this bread. It sounds like it will be fabulous for French toast…oh, now I’m hungry!

  23. Well, don’t I feel silly :-s I rescind my comment! I suppose it’s been that lately everyone seems to be putting teachers down, and I think I already had my hackles up.
    Thank you for not being impatient, and making sure that we both didn’t go “Flavor of Love” on this blog! That’s one flavor we could definitely do without on a food blog :-p

  24. This bread looks hearty & delicious.

    PS. I hated English. But then again, all my English teachers were WACKO!

  25. As a side note, I would LOVE(and truly, mean love) for there to be a “practical math” course. I always joke that my right side of my brain is like a raisin, but my left is like a peanut shell. Math is not only my Achilles Heel, but a subject I won’t be using in my teaching career. Seriously, there needs to be a class where one can learn the more utilitarian, everyday math and not have to pay and/or go through needless courses.
    PS- Kat, it’s not insecurity, just passion. Everyone is passionate about certain things, no? ;-)

  26. No worries, and no Flavor of Love. :) I was just sad that you took it that way. And yes, there has been a ton of teacher bashing as of late. We can thank Oprah for that I believe…especially if you dare to teach public school.

  27. Oh, Peabody…how do I love thee? As an English teacher, I will repeat what I tell my high schoolers every single day – I do not care if you speak Pig Latin to your friends on your own time as long as you know how to write and speak English when you need to. This “need” is in the real world – not in text, not in notes (yes, some do still actually pick up a pen and write with it), not even in the hallways, and certainly not on a personal blog meant to be a place to let loose – so rest assured Peabody, we’re with ya. Bad grammar, punctuation and typos included ;) Oh, and btw, I suck at grammar, but that’s why they invented online tutorials.

  28. The bread looks wonderful and probably make a killer french toast!

  29. LOL! I teach too and we joke around here about those who can’t teach. Since you have to know sooooo much more than what you are actually teaching.

    I love Macrina! I’ll have to try this bread.

  30. I think you must have some kind of insight into my fridge because I totally have a carton of buttermilk sitting there. Awaiting this recipe.

    And if you ever put together that practical math class, let me know. I went to MIT and I’m still not sure what 18% interest REALLY is.

  31. Oprah is among the worst offenders, that is for sure. Public school has become a place where teachers have to walk on eggshells, and are treated with much disrespect. They take a lot of flak for just doing their job!
    Just so you know, I was never actually mad at you. I love ya and love your food (it has made me quite popular at social events)! Your patience is commendable, too. If I’d gotten my comment, I don’t know if the response would’ve been the same :-/

  32. You done did good, Pea!

  33. Someday, you must, must do a post of the top 20 strangest emails you have ever received. Or should I say: “the top 20 strangst e mails you have ever been recieving”

  34. Ur blog is amazingness and I doesn’t care if you right it goodly or not (take that grammar police). I never judge a person by where they put their semi colon. Ignore those ignorant enought to send such an email. I am Australian and I find that sometimes people misinterpret what I say or mean too. Or it could just be that I have a somewhat sarcastic humour.

    Your bread looks delicious and I feel like you read my mind. I really want to conquer the world of bread this year. Somehow. This recipe looks like a great starting point for me.

  35. if i don’t have a stand mixer, can i just knead the dough? do you have an idea of how long it would take? i’m a bread making virgin, but this recipe sounds/looks amazing!

  36. Who writes that? That is so…I can’t even think of the word.

    I have made this bread and it is very good!

  37. Awesome post, Peabody! As a fourth grade teacher, I am definitely on the “kids must learn grammar” bandwagon. However, there is useful grammar and grammar that is a complete waste of time. I’ll be honest–I don’t really care if my students can diagram a sentence. What I do care about is if they can speak and write a proper sentence.

    This bread, meanwhile, looks delicious. Fantastic work!

  38. I have no idea how long it would take actually. Sorry, I’ve been using a mixer for far too long to remember.

  39. I definitely agree with the sentiment that you can communicate any way you want in your personal space. That said, I find it pretty annoying when I keep getting yanked out of my reading pleasure by constant errors that could easily be caught by a spelling or grammar checker. I’m a technical writer by trade (and a poet at heart), so maybe I am a language snob. I’m kind of okay with that. ;)

    The note seemed like a teasing way to point out that you might want to pay attention to the good writing aspect of a blog; you seem to have a great personality that shines through, but again, poor grammar and mushed up writing can alienate some readers. Just sayin’.

    (PS I’m a newish reader, so maybe I just don’t know your blog well enough yet to overlook the…for lack of a nicer word…somewhat sloppy writing style.)

  40. This made me laugh so hard. Although my blog isn’t nearly as followed as yours, I still get the grammar police visits. While most of them are legit, I may curse too much or incorrectly use punctuation occasionally, they are usually taken way out of proportion and to be honest, simply ridiculous. I seriously think some people go from blog to blog just to correct things.

    I say, keep on keeping on! We like what you do here!

    Chow On,

  41. This looks delicious and I love oatmeal in things. Oatmeal = love <3 And as a student taking an AP Lang class, I like it. I'm getting into the habbit of having mostly correct grammar on the internet. Hoorah for me! :D

  42. Yeah, language snobs aren’t usually they type to read my blog. My blog is usually a little more for the laid back type that a typo wouldn’t bug.

  43. The Oatmeal Buttermilk bread is outstanding and produces a very large, heavy loaf. It took my “rental” oven 50 minutes to bake. I am quite pleased and will try it again. Peabody, who eats all of your culinary concoctions?

  44. Well a variety of people eat my culinary concoctions. Other than me, mostly my best friend and his co-workers. Also, the guys on my hockey team and the refs that I work with at hockey.

  45. Who needs stuffy English anyway??

  46. I can’t believe she had the nerve to say something like that. After all, it’s not a literary site.

    You’re posting recipes with some nice literary introductions. ;-)

  47. Even with all the dessert amazingness that you publish here, this is still probably my favorite recipe that I discovered on your site :)

  48. Just stumbled on to your site and was immediately drawn to your post. First: AMEN to writing in your very own individual voice! Second: Bless you for teaching Jr. High. I did that for 8 years in Special Education. I’m glad you enjoy it; I’m sure the students enjoy YOU! Last: This is a fabulous looking piece of bread ~ thanks for the recipe! You have just won yourself a new follower!

  49. I made this this week, and it was utterly delicious. By itself, with butter, for my tuna fish sandwich. I doubled the recipe, and that was too much for my poor Kitchen-Aid to handle, but it still came out. Thanks for posting it again!

  50. I totally agree with you about the real life math course. A required finance class in high school would be awesome.


  1. […] off let me just say thanks for the support in my right to not choose proper grammar on this blog. And now on to today’s topic: Several of my friends commented lately about being in […]

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