17 February 2012


Now I'm in the mood to make scones.

If it weren't 10pm, and if I hadn't awakened at 4:10am, and if I hadn't already cleaned up my kitchen, and if I weren't just completely tired and propping up my eyelids with toothpicks already, I'd totally try my hand at making some scones tonight.

I'ma put some squiddos to bed, and hit the hay myself.

Post PS - Kraft Milkbite Bars? Ridiculous commercial. Who decided that personifying the foods they want us to eat was a great marketing strategy? Of course, those cannibalistic Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials are even worse.


Baking is something that I love to do. Nearly all the bakery goodness that I love to bake is of the sort that I should not eat. Cakes, biscuits, breads, oh My!

Now, I am a member of Costco, den of awesome mega money-saving money-spending madness. At Costco, there can be found a variety of delicious edibles that can not be found in the run of the mill grocery store. Stuff like an amazing mixed berry whole grain artisan bread, full of virtuous grainy wholesome brown crusty goodness. It's just yummy. And we can rarely find it. That particular mixed berry loaf, I mean.

After weeks of abnormal cookiness in my kitchen, and mucho breads being baked, I decided that I wanted some of the delicious Costco artisan bread. Guess what Costco did not have.


 Google to the rescue!

I was determined to find a recipe for artisan bread. What I found was a beautiful recipe that made a very good base dough, which can be easily altered for a variety of flavors - I could do roasted garlic and herb, or jalapeƱo and cheese, or as is my current quest, a cranberry bread. I do not know which berries are in the Costco bread, so I am opting for dried cranberries to start.

I got whole wheat flour, milled flax seed, and regular flour. Then, on an unrelated trip to a Chinese market, I found a most lovely blend of whole oats and pearl barley. Beautiful and yummy! And perfect for my artisan bread. I did put the oats in the food processor to chop them a bit. There was still a very grainy appearance to the end result, as it seemed that the grains flew around the blades rather than being cut by the blades.

Oh how very nice was the dough. It was an unusual bread dough, to be sure - sticky and not easy to handle... Sticky. Still, it was brown and wholesome and had me hopping with excitement. When my first loaf came out of the oven, I thumped its bottom side, and hollow it sounded. Yay!

It was just so... I do love to bake. Love it!

The bread was tasty and toasty and nutty and home baked Yumminess.

Versatile, and requires no kneading, by the way. Yes, I will share with you where I found the recipe. It's called Fantastic Fearless Five Minute Bread...  And really, Mixing it did take only five minutes. If you wanted to get a little froggy and pre-mix your flours, you'd probably be able to shave a couple minutes off the mixing time. Of course, rising, resting, and cooking all take longer than five minutes. Believe me, it seems like forEVER when you're eagerly awaiting this Yumminess.

It's worth the wait, though.


10 February 2012

Dr. Me

It is amusing to watch my cats do yoga - "downward dog" is their fAvorite pose. That has nothing to do with vacuums or doctoring. Last night, I gave my vacuum cleaner a tracheotomy. It wasn't sucking. At all. All it was doing was spitting out hard pieces of debris from under the brush. This is not helpful if the goal is to get all the little bits of stuff removed from the carpet. Why else would I do it? I'd already gotten more than my fair share of exercise at the gym yesterday, and was tired as a result... Which begs the question of why was I vacuuming in the first place? Because I was cleaning my room. I don't know where that urge or energy came from, but I did it. And the vacuum was not cooperating. Since my vacuum tends to be a bit asthmatic (the HEPA filter makes me crazy - I don't want to clean my vacuum before I use my vacuum to clean), I took it out to the shop vac to clean the filter. Still didn't work. So I watched the hose on the vacuum cleaner and saw it drawing up tightly. The hose was clogged. No air. Couldn't breathe. This machine needed an airway, stat! I had a long piece of picture framing molding (which is a perfectly logical thing for me to have at my house), and slid it into the hose, gently, with the thought that I could maybe dislodge the clog and push it out the other side. Ha. Not a chance. So I took a box cutter and sliced through the hose, between two coils, pulled out a huge handful of dust, lint, hair, cornstarch and other detritus that made up the clog. Then I shook out as much dust as I could, closed the incision (I still need to find my duct tape), and cleaned up the mess. The vacuum had bled dust all over my bedroom floor. I swept most of it up. And when I turned on the vacuum, man, did that sucker suck! The doctor is IN! All day today, I've been ignoring the urge to vacuum the whole house.

03 February 2012

Two Minds

While daisychaining my way across the internet in the past few days, I have collected a few new blogs to read. I'm of two minds about this. One mind tells me that I don't want to collect blogs to read. I've spent quite some time (over a year now) significantly reducing my online time. I've developed a disinterest in sitting at the computer for hours... which is a completely misleading statement, given that I have a laptop and can sit or lay comfortably where ever I choose (within reason, as defined by me and my circumstances), and I spend inordinate amounts of time cruising the 'net on my iPad, too. Which seems to fly in the face of my "I've spend time reducing my online time" statement. I've been less "active", more of a passive internet consumer. Rarely checking facebook, rarely reading or commenting on blogs, going so far as to nearly dread checking my email. I just haven't had the energy or the interest in re-building an online community.

My other mind remembers how much I did enjoy being a part of an online community. Reading and commenting on other people's blogs, writing my own, and whatever else I did that I enjoyed (very descriptive, that). I'll read other people's blogs or webpages, and truly want to write again.

Slowly, I am learning to accept that my preferences are not set in stone. Maybe I actually am flaky or flighty, or some other unstable adjective that carries negative connotations. Today, I might want to write and blog and be online. Tomorrow, I may genuinely detest the thought with every fiber of my being. The day after tomorrow, a few of my fibers might decide to enjoy technology again, in moderation, while a few more fibers want to fling themselves whole-heartedly into the blogosphere (I guess those would be the cardiac fibers?). I just never know. I'm kind of like a spectator in my own skin, waiting to see what all these fibers will weave themselves into from moment to moment.

And somehow my girl-cat has turned off the track pad on my laptop. You'd think she'd have gone for the mouse instead.