Friday, May 15, 2015

Let them eat....bread!

About a year ago, my step-mom gave me a bread machine she'd bought at a yard-sale for $5.

I even put it IN a yard-sale this past fall with no takers.

So it has sat in my mother's garage for months.

But I started looking for little ways here & there to budget better, so I dragged it out & you know what? I'm not half bad at this! I wish I'd taken pictures, but for once, I wasn't a camera nut.

BUT, I did learn a thing or two for bread machine beginners, things that looking back, I keep saying DUH.

#1....measure EXACTLY!

     Yes, this is the biggest "Captain Obvious" statement ever. BUT, you have to remember, I cook. I don't bake. If I do, it's a box cake mix that I just make it LOOK awesome or I roll out sugar cookie dough & decorate! My everyday method is throw ingredients together & "poof" it's yummy food! So, follow the instructions in your machine's manual. (Though I've now got a load of PINS with tips)

#2....let the bread cool INSIDE the bucket, IN the microwave.

    No, seriously. It slid almost perfectly out of the bucket & it kept it nice & soft with no wrinkles or collapsing. And it sliced so pretty too!! I love my long bladed-serrated Cutco knife!

#3....Vital Wheat Gluten

     Seriously, buy some. They sell it at Wal Mart & it's not expensive. Because most people that are using a bread machine don't have time for the hand kneading that naturally produces more gluten.


    Now this tip is more for someone like me who has 5 people eating the bread so that you're constantly making bread. I mix all of my dry stuff in quart bags & label them with the amount of water, butter, & yeast to add in & which buttons to push on the machine to get it going. This is awesome because my 13 yr old can come home & start a loaf so I'm not up til all hours of the night so that I can pull my bucket out of the machine. (Even "short" cycles are almost 3 hours, so starting one after work, yeah, I'm ready to crash before it's done). 

Hopefully I can get some pictures next loaf!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Farewell my friend.....

This essay is actually the work of Lori Borgman and was first published in the Indianapolis Star on 15 March 1998. 

"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned, but overbearing, regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teenagers suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they had themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer paracetamol, sun lotion or plaster to a pupil, but could not inform the parents when a pupil became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, but the burglar could sue you for assault because you protected yourself and your own.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized that he was gone."

Friday, November 7, 2014

Quick Neighbor Gifts for Christmastime for about $1.50 per neighbor

a blogger i follow for deals, Raining Hot Coupons sent out a great one today, and it let me assemble some handy neighbor gifts for the holidays, for about $1.50 each (3.04 / 4 pack tape, .70 final price by stacking coupons for the on sale gift wrap). The deal expires tomorrow (Nov 8th) so you can still snag it too- just follow the link on her post.

Combined with a bit of curling ribbon that i had on hand, and some cards that took all of about 10 minutes to print and cut and glue to backer cardstock cut just slightly bigger, well, that was right in my happy zone of super easy, practical, and fits with my goal of interacting with the neighbors more in positive ways :)