Monday, October 27, 2008

monday update.

dear friends,
my sincere apologies in advance for the sad lack of recent pictures in this post, apart from imitating rhonda's breadmaking tutorial on saturday ... in my rush out the door, aglow with two very awesome envelopes i received in the mail, i remembered my uploading wire but NOT ... alas ... my camera. and there is such exciting news to share!! a beautiful gift, (except i got the 1901 edition!!! yeah!!) and ... my ACCEPTANCE into grad school!!!! yes!! so... those, and my lovely, lovely pictures of the sunday farmer's market and all my resulting loot ... well, you'll just have to wait a few more days. i can't spend every day in the coffeeshop ... as it is i've spent $3 here tonight on tea and a snack back of chips. well ... i tell myself once a week here is less than $10/month and at one point I was paying $80/month for cable TV (blechhh) and Internet, and was unable to separate the two and just pay for Internet. Good news is I have a new downstairs neighbor who seems very nice and is willing to discuss sharing an Internet connection ... hm ...!! sitting home and drinking my own cups of tea would be priceless.

so ... with all that said, this weekend was very relaxing; most of it spent at home. Actually, Saturday was totally car-free, not by any design, entirely by chance, but it still made me desire to actually make it a priority in future. First I have to work on getting up in the mornings consistently ... my performance just to get up and actually eat breakfast is so spotty ... at least today i made it up to make eggs and toasty bread with butter and honey from the recipe rhonda provided in her breadmaking tutorial.

i had only a couple of problems with the bread; I'll get to that in a minute. here is how my saturday broke down:

woke up


fed cats

washed dishes

cleaned cat poop

swept floor

did half hour yoga video from library (not bad but a little too fast-paced for my

made breakfast, stove-cooked oatmeal with blueberries and honey and wheat germ
started bread

made tea and cookies, went on computer a bit

tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to knit in seed/moss stitch. (much later, watched helpful tutorial online and will try again when i begin my next project). gave up when knitting got all twisted, and chose to make garter stitch scarf as gift. this is going well.

made soy milk, banana, peanut butter and protein smoothie in blender for lunch, and cut up some cheese bits also.

two hours later, bread was done! mine needed an hour to cook all the way through.

after this, ate copious amounts of fresh, hot bread with vegan butter and honey. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. i rolled my bread in oats and sesame seeds.

walked a mile to local bookstore, where I have a gift card given to me last spring, and ordered Putting Food By by Janet Greene. Should be here wednesday. yaya!!

walked home, and mainly worked on my scarf for a very long time until i was tired enough to fall asleep. also read some more from the omnivore's dilemma. VERY enlightening book about the modern american food industry.

okay ... so back to that bread ... well, rhonda's tutorial was overall very helpful ... except my yeast never looked quite as frothy as hers, and i used active dry yeast too. i added sugar and water, and ... nothing. so i just kept experimenting, eventually adding a whole 'nother yeast packet (so my bread actually tastes pretty darn yeasty), and even some flour (the directions on back of the yeast packet didn't call for sugar, but did call for flour) ... eventually it foamed the tiniest bit ... i just called it a day and tossed the whole thing in to the mix ... with the ending result that i never needed more water for my bread, but did have to add more flour to dry it out!! lol

also, FYI americans doing rhonda's tutorial: 65 mls water is 4tbsp plus 1 tsp and 250ml water is about 2 and 1/4 cups i think.

okay ... so ... well .. . i will just have to blog about sunday, etc. in a future blog. stay tuned ... and remember this is my month to be VERY frugal and really really direct my "spending" to the right places, i.e. mostly to my debt!! this is going to be SO hard. but i will persevere... and try to keep it somewhat documented! i HAVE decided to keep up with some knitting, by using cheap but good quality yarns to knit two more simple scarves (after the one i'm doing now, which is for a friend's son) for family members for christmas. i know it's very ambitious but i'd also like to knit my parents some cold-house wool socks ... and i want to keep grocery bills WAY down this month. If this means I eat chili every other week, or just smaller portions in general, well ... so be it. I'll be creative and apply that money where I really need to apply it. I won't bore you with the details. But please keep my plans in your thoughts, if you will!

here is the breadmaking process:

this didn't work ...

nor did this ...

luckily, putting it inside a rectangular (gah!! it's losing its shape!!) glass baking pan for a few minutes inside a slightly warmed oven did some of the trick, though it never did double in size, and i just know it harkens back to that failed yeast ... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

so we continue ...


another pioneer girl victory!!!

so ... if you've made it this far, i had another problem: i wrapped the loaf in foil and stuck it in the fridge to preserve it, but now it's hard as a rock. is there something i can do differently next time, to preserve freshness and moisture? this rock hard thing ... somewhat annoying as i don't want to have to turn the oven on "warm" each time to de-rockify it. keep in mind: i don't own a microwave. no way! so ... what's a girl to do?

i'll leave you tonight with some knitting ... this is the second scarf i've ever knitted .. only one messed up row ... it's all in stockinette stitch. i've decided to keep it for myself. (p.s. thinking about hacking into a pile of brush at the end of my driveway left over from our windstorm of a few weeks ago .. .more on this and all those extra pictures ... still to come!!)

peace and love,


1 comment:

  1. Karen, that is such wonderful news! so happy to share in the news of your next step! you are going to do so well in / with that program. It will further launch you to come into your own as educator. it is really a high honor to give back to society in such a way.

    Lovely sights, and lovelier you. Your hair has gotten so long!
    Your new book sounds interesting.. Pioneer spirit, you certainly have. I couldn't come up with a better word!

    A bit jealous of your success with baking! I am absolutely awful at baking! Probably because I can't ever seem to follow a recipe to the "t" and always make substitutions. I had nearly given up on my substitutions till I made one last ditch effort this weekend with Squash bread.. I figure, why not?, since people use pumpkin regularly in baking, and because some winter squashes are actually much sweeter than pumpkin.. So, to my whimsy, I threw together a half of a baked Red Kuri Squash, whole wheat flour, 1 whole banana for sweetening, 1 egg, grapeseed oil, baking soda, and baking powder to make Squash muffins.. lightly sweet and came out great!

    You're doing so great- too - with your (very wise) spending! It's nice to hear - for a change (general comment to society) - how fulfilling and (seemingly) easy it can be to enjoy cheap activities.

    Thank you for your constant inspiration!

    Love you,