Simple Sunday

Our walk this morning was quite chilly. 48 degrees!  But it’s supposed to warm up to 78 degrees so that will be nice. It sure is darker longer in the morning and now sunset is 6:36pm.  Fall is here for sure.

I’m in the kitchen zone this week. I’ve been doing a little extra all week so it shouldn’t take quite as long. I wiped down the bathroom and the laundry is started.  Sundays are sheet day so that adds a load.

The first Tartine bread didn’t work out so well it didn’t do the puff up in the Le Creuset.  I have the second loaf on the counter now doing a final rise from the refrigerator. I’m thinking that the kitchen was cooler and the fermentation should have gone longer.  But it may be the batch is off so I ‘ll see if it does better with a final rise time being a little longer.

I’m off to the gym and then to get some groceries. I am planning to go into Target as well for a few things. We need more twinkly lights as our stash from last year is used. We keep light ups all year in the carport and on the house. They are on timers and come on at dusk.  We don’t have outside lights so this works well for us.

I am terribly saddened by the political news. I really thought there was a good chance Kavanaugh wouldn’t be confirmed. Apart from the sexual assault issues, his whole temperament with the anger and partisanship really is an issue for a supreme court justice.  But somehow this got thru too. Our democracy is really threatened by this whole populist movement. There is such division in this country. How anyone with any degree of sanity can support Trump is beyond me. His mocking Dr. Ford and then people laughing is just cruel and unpresidential.  It goes on and on.

 

Tonight I’m making polenta with roasted butternut squash and brussel sprouts.  I’m not sure what else maybe some pan grilled pork chops. We don’t eat a lot of pork so maybe not.

Frugal Friday

This has been a good week without a lot of unnecessary spending. The budget is in good shape for now.

We did our big shop at Costco on Monday so we were set for the week and even into next week. I had bought lots of lunch things so both my adult children would not spend money on food out. This is usually my son but he’s been absolutely great about taking stuff to work and school. He can easily spend $20 a day since he’s gone from 7:30am- 11pm. But taking 2 sandwiches or rice and chicken helps a great deal.

Last week I paid the 6 month Allstate bill so that was pricey but at least it’s done. B got a great bonus (relative to us) so we could pay it all at once. Then I put some in savings too. The first of the month bills are ready to roll out. That’s our mortgage, 2nd, internet, PGE, and the car payment. I’m really close to putting a large payment on the car loan but not yet.  I want to finish off the cc that we put our daughters Honda repair on. She is paying this back but we put the amount on our card.  So by the end of October, I will finish that.

I haven’t been to the store except we needed some half and half.

Tonight we are having takeout pizza so that will come out of dining out money. We don’t do this often, maybe once a month so I’m okay with that. Plus there’s always leftovers for lunch the next day.

I just started the Tartine Sourdough leaven to make bread this weekend. I’ve been just making sandwich bread but I’ll go ahead with the boule this weekend. The Tartine recipe takes a few days so by Sunday it should be ready to go.

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It looks just like fall outside. The yellow colors of Northern California are starting.  We don’t get the New England colors but there are wonderful golden colors and some orange. We have a Japanese maple in the yard and that turns red so it’s very pretty.

Today I’m just tidying up things and putting more stuff away for fall. I’m moving the geraniums to the greenhouse. I have to decide if I want them in the sunroom where they were last year. It’s nice in there for them but they do take up a  lot of room. I need to get chicken food but I think I’ll let B get that tomorrow. They can make it on the other seeds they have for a day. All the chickens are molting so they aren’t really laying eggs except one or two.

I think I will put out my vintage Halloween stuff today too!

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I’d love to find more but that would just be adding to the amount I already have. We put up the orange lights outside and I just love the glow they give this time of year.

 

 

Good news and other things.

I finally got my lab results. Kappa light chains went up a point to 14.3, Lambda went up a point to 12.3, the ratio (important) went down to 1.16. So I am still in a great remission and I couldn’t be happier.  Another month to add to remission. YAAAAAY!!!

I also had my mammogram and it was all good.  I skipped last year and probably will skip next year too.  They used the new 3 -d imaging and it really was remarkable technology.

I had my flu shot and did have a fever reaction( not unusual). Thankfully it was at night and didn’t last too long. I usually do have a slight fever, but this was chills and then a stronger fever.  Perhaps the strain was different and my immune system reacted. It wasn’t the dose for those over 65 as the pharmacy hadn’t received those yet.

So the continuing saga of my name change. I decided to go down to the Legal Clinic in Roseville for advice on how to fill in the forms. So I read it’s only open 9-12. So off I go. I get there( after getting completely lost), and go thru security and the deputy asks if I have an appt. So I say no, I thought it was all walk-in.  Oh well, after looking around at the masses waiting with appts, I just let came home and booked the appointment for this coming week. So another trip to Roseville.  Then to file it’s almost $500 and it has to be published in a paper for 4 consecutive weeks. So it’s going to be a while.

The fall weather is definitely here and we even have a chance of rain next week. It’s also way cooler today.  WE’ll need to have some small wood for the wood stove ready as I think we will need ‘a twinkly fire’ as I call them.

Our neighbor’s house is for sale at $399,999. It’s a 3 bedroom 2 bath. It’s on the smaller side of 1400 sq feet although that is a lot bigger than ours. It’s a nice piece of property but not a lot of usable land it’s mostly a hill. But I think it will sell quickly as we are right in town within walking of the PO, store, cafe, park etc. I just hope it’s not obnoxious neighbors.  The man who lived there( and is now dead), was a real asshole. He tried sueing all the neighbors( not us) because the road is actually on his property but of course we all have easements. But there were many yelling matches with this man and the Sheriff was called in numerous times. As he got older and he did lose the lawsuit, he backed off but was still a complete jerk. In the end, the EMT’s were at his house 2-3 times a week before he finally went into care.  Well, it’s a new chapter and I guess we will see.

 

I’m making a minestrone with the very last of our tomatoes and zucchini and whatever else I can get in there. Plus I’m going to roast a chicken in the oven. I made another loaf of bread the other day and this time used 1/3 whole wheat and it was really nice. Having the bread knife so sharp I can slice real sandwich slices. Very exciting is this life of mine!!!-

Tell-me-what-is-it-you-plan-to-do-with-your-one-wild-and-precious-lifeMake Bread!! Walk!!! Cook!! Read!!! Drink Wine!! (not in that order, but maybe!!!

Five on Friday on Saturday!

The day sorta got away from me yesterday. IMG_1471.jpg

I made 5 small jars of salsa and 2 bigger ones. These were all our own tomatoes so that was a big plus.

I doubt we’ll get enough tomatoes for all the sauce I need for winter but I will get some. Based on last years supply I probably need about 18 freezer bags of sauce. I may try and can some but freezing is easier.

Then I decided to make up the sourdough leaven for a Tartine bread. I have the one loaf rising in the bread basket form and I’ll cook that in an hour or so.

My oncology appointment went well. I told him about the stress fracture and he did say ‘repetitive’ movement. So maybe it was just walking every day. Who knows?  My foot is still bothering off and on. Kinda weird. He suggested a DEXA scan so I will do that sometime this fall.  I did have one around 14 years ago that was normal. That was about a year before I was diagnosed with myeloma.

Then we headed to Costco and spent a small fortune. B bought a small or I guess it’s called ‘dorm ‘ refrigerator to replace the tiny funky one he had. It was a good deal at $130. Now we could get milk and OJ at Costco as there would room to keep them out in the barn.

Today, I’m making 2 zucchini loaves of bread from a Smitten Kitchen recipe. She said to use 2 loaf pans but it looked like it wasn’t very full but we’ll see how they turn out.  I plan on freezing one sliced so we can pull out a slice when we want one in the fall-winter. If the recipe is a good one, I’ll make a few more, maybe to give as gifts.

Tonight I think I’m going to make burgers/veggie burgers for dinner.

It’s very very hazy here from the Carr fire. Hopefully, it’ll clear out and the fire will get put out.

 

 

A rainy May day.

Unusual to have a rain in May like this but it’s quite nice as it’s watering the lawn and all the plants.

I’ve just stayed inside working on starting another leaven for a few loaves of Tartine bread and tidying up.

I tried making Peter Reinhart’s bread the other day, and it was a flop. It had a quite good taste but was too hard and didn’t brown up nicely. The main difference between the two is the dutch oven. With Tartine, you make the starter(leaven) and then lots of other steps, but the final dough is baked in the dutch oven not, just straight on the steel.

So I’m back to Tartines recipe which always looks beautiful.

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I’m caught up on laundry and mopped the kitchen floor.

My son finished his final for the semester and he and B are headed down to Las Vegas to see Elton John’s last performance on that piano.  This is his birthday present. The tickets were not cheap:(

But they should have a fun time of it as there are lots of museums to visit and LV has nice weather usually.

Tomorrow, I’ll hit the gym and then I have a number of errands to run like getting bird seed, a few groceries, Home Depot for some garden soil and who knows what else.

Dinner is double stuffed potatoes from the freezer and some breaded cod fillets. Maybe a salad if I’m inspired.

sourdough bread

I’ve got a terrific starter going that I made in the fall. It has been really useful and flavorful.

I’ve made pancakes and two days ago started on bread. I make the bread using the ‘Tartine’   bread book.

It’s really an easy recipe ONCE you get past the scientific stuff. But it does take making the leaven,then the autolyse, then the first rise, and then the final rise in the refrigerator.  Then you can bake the next day. I use Banneton  bread proofing basket.

It gives a nice pattern to the bread and holds it in shape too.

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The flour lines are from the proofing basket..

I’ve been making bread for over 40 years off and on. I started with the Tassajara bread book and Laurels kitchen.  Most of my loaves back then were heavy and more like bricks. But we ate them anyway(most of the time).

Breadmaking is an art form, for sure. But the real trick is to just keep trying and making lots of bread because you do start to get a feel for the bread. I make a number of different breads. This is the sourdough but I also make a sandwich bread in a loaf pan. I start that using the Kitchen Aid and then let rise in the bowl. Then bake in a Williams Sonoma professional loaf pan.

One thing I’ve learned is to get the best equipment you can afford and get the right tool for what you’re making. It really does make a world of difference.

Ending 2017

Goodbye 2017.

It has been a great year for me. I know some people have not had a good year including my sister who has had some serious health issues. I guess it’s all about how you experience the year with health, finances, family, work,  and just life.

I’m so grateful my health has been good and I think that’s the main reason this has been such a good year. I think that makes all the difference. Even money or finances take a back seat to health issues. If you’re in relatively good health, I think you can handle whatever comes your way.

We had some great camping trips and work trips too. I always love going to Santa Barbara with B when he has to see the co-ops. It’s such a treat. This year I went up to the North Coast for the first time with him too. Eureka is a bit of a depressed area but the co-ops are amazing. so that was fun. Plus we camped at new Brighton twice and that was lovely especially going to Gayles Bakery. It’s the best!! Camping at Lake Tahoe always tops my list of the best things that have happened. This coming year we may do things a little different in regards to Tahoe. And I still haven’t booked any camping trips yet.

Learning how to Lodge cook was lots of fun and I ended up with 2 Lodge camping pots. It was such fun to cook a pizza in camp and other great recipes like chili topped with corn bread and breakfast casseroles.  Such fun!!

Our finances were good and we were frugal yet got quite a bit done around the house. We even bought a wood splitter on sale for B to use. It was bought with one of his bonuses so that made it even better. We still have some big chunks of tree to deal with and I’m hoping this coming year we can take 2 more Ponderosa pines down so there will be more to split. Food and groceries in general still seem to be our biggest variable expense so I’m working on looking at working on that. I do menu plan and plan my Costco trips but food is just so expensive. I’m tracking food, non-food and pet food and this may give me a better idea of where it’s going. We ended December with just under $1000 for food, nonfood, Christmas food, alcohol, and pet stuff. Most months I run @ 600- 700 so that’s high. Although the Costco trip had gifts in it so I could reduce the amount by that and then it’s maybe $800.

I continued to declutter right up to Christmas and as a matter of fact, have a small load in the back of my VW to go into the thrift store.  I would guess this year I’ve gotten rid of 2000 things. many just small but others not so small.  For next year, I’m going to look at each room with a critical eye and see what can be improved. That should be a fun project.

Well, I’m making a whole wheat bread in the Zojirushi on the dough cycle and then I’ll bake in a pan. It’s a king Arthur WW bread recipe and so far looks good. Then I just finished baking the butternut squash for soup tonight and made a batch of mashed potatoes to freeze for when I make a shepherds pie on Monday.

So I’m off to read a bit and decide if I’m going to town.