I’m getting close to the end of my cookbooks.
Tartine Bread is one of the best sourdough bread books out there, BUT, it is not easy to read the instructions. He’s all about the science of bread making with the hydration, dry ratio, etc. What I finally did was just went straight to the initial bread instructions and just highlighted that. If you follow his instructions to the letter and weigh everything you will have a glorious loaf of sourdough, 2 actually. I usually cut the recipe in half as 2 big loaves is a lot to handle.
The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s test kitchen is a great cookbook and I’ve made lots of recipes. I think anything by ATC is outstanding.
Anyone who has cooked vegetarian for a while will know Mollie Katzen. She was doing on the East Coast in the 1970’s what Alice Waters was doing in Berkeley. Although Moosewood was much more casual than Chez Panisse. But Moosewood was also all vegetarian. Always excellent recipes.
I would definitely buy this is you saw it in the thrift store. I got my copy at the pet bookstore for $1.00
Back in the 70’s there was also the big macrobiotic movement. We did that for a while and in fact sometime @ 1978 we ate miso soup EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for a year, either for breakfast or dinner. Funny though, we never got bored of it. I guess because I made it different everyday, sometimes with tofu and veggies, sometimes just plain. I still make miso soup occasionally but usually I just go for a bowl of ramen for breakfast which I’m eating as I write this!!! 🙂
We were supposed to have a PGE blackout tomorrow but it seems that the last message I got said it may not happen. We are supposed to have 70 degree weather and some wind. JFC, this is December 6, where is the rain?? I guess we would be ready. We do have what we need and our heat is mostly wood and propane so it would be ok. I just hope we get some kind of rain soon.
This week is the kitchen zone for Flylady followers. It is my biggest zone and takes the longest. Still, clearing your counters and keeping your sink clean will go a long way.
I have a Tartine bread dough started and will do that tomorrow. I used up most of the pieces I had frozen so I’m ready to do a fresh batch.
We been having fun opening the Bon Maman advent jams. They are the cutest little jars which of course I am saving for?? Well, I’ll think of something. Seeds? spices?
I’m planning on making a curry for dinner in my new Staub. I ‘ll make some rice to go with it and also a tofu curry.
Tomorrow I have my labs and I am bracing for the worst. I think if it is under 600mg/L I’ll be happy. Well, not happy but ok. If the same pattern emerges though it will probably over 600. Guessing almost 400mg/L now, so adding 50% ( that’s what it’s done,) will take it to 600 or so. maybe I’ll be lucky though but who knows.???
Well, off to do the first fold on the Tartine bread.
A lovely Sunday walk this morning without the jerk, who showed up yesterday after a 2 week hiatus. That’s ok we just ignored him even though he was walking in the middle of the path and we had to walk single file when he went by. It’s not worth the psychic energy anymore to even deal with it. We just went on our merry way. But it was a very pretty morning at the park this morning. We’re pretty lucky to have at least this one trail that is paved. There isn’t anything else like it at all around here. The closest would be Auburn which has one park with a paved trail otherwise it’s Folsom or up the hill to Truckee that has amazing trails all paved.
From there I started working on the nut/cheese loaf for Thanksgiving. I ended up with enough for 2 loaves and one half size one. I put them in the freezer till Thursday morning. I use the recipe from Greens. I’ll try and post it tomorrow.
Then I cut up the loaf of Tartine and put that in the freezer and started a new batch which I’ll do a slow overnight rise. That way I can cook it tomorrow morning.
I put the Costco chicken carcass in the Instant Pot to make broth. That’s still cooking. I also started a Crock Pot of pinto beans for dinner. Costco had the green chile cheese tamales which are my favorite so we’ll have those with pintos.
Tomorrow B has his IGIV. It’s in Roseville so I’ll take him and Z will go pick him up since my daughter works on Mondays. Z works too but he can take it as his lunch break. Hopefully, that will help his energy which is still pretty low and lagging.
I finished everything for Christmas. Really, don’t get too excited, as we only have us to buy for and I keep it small. I will send off something to my sister and give my brother some money. For us, I have books, a couple pairs of jammies, an Elton John album my son wanted and some other misc. Generally, I get stuff we need in the clothes dept, books, something fun and something that is a want.
Hanukkah is early this year, Dec 10th, but I’ve decided not to do any gift things and we’ll just light the candles. I like the idea of the light illuminating the dark and we need that right now.
Flylady zone this week is the bedroom. I finished it today. It doesn’t take very long since it’s pretty uncluttered in there. I did wash the comforter though and my daughter put up the new shoji screen for the one window. It keeps the cold out amazing.
It seems the craziness continues with the trump supporters and him still not conceding even though there is no way for him to get the electoral votes. His malfeasance just continues in some downward spiral of an alternate reality. I still think his mental illness will catch up to him at some point.
This morning I made some banana pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast. We’re still getting lots of eggs. I tried selling them but got no takers so now I’m just giving them away for free. It’s ok. It’s a small way to give to someone who needs them. I used one pack of the frozen ones(scrambled) and they were great. Actually, I don’t know if I could tell the difference. So I did a few more bags and popped them in the freezer. The girls will slow down once there are fewer daylight hours and it’s colder.
Our walks have been lovely and no sign of the ‘jerk’ dog walker. Either he’s getting there really early or something’s up with him because I figured we would have at least crossed his path in the last two weeks but we haven’t. But it’s really really nice to not have his frenetic energy there. Also, since it’s so pleasant we’ve increased our walk time to 45 minutes so that’s a plus.
All the tree leaves are turning shades of gold, yellow, red, and orange. This is one of the more colorful falls we’ve had in recent memory. I remember one year when we had a serious frost early and all the trees just turned brown and that was it. I’m guessing that because the temperatures have been warm the sap flowing helped with the color change. Any scientists out there that can give a scientific answer???
I’ve got some Tartine sourdough in the oven and then I’m going to finish cleaning up the kitchen. I’ve been freezing leftover slices of bread since we don’t go thru that much bread and when we want a slice for toast I just take it out of the freezer. I also just made some parmesan croutons with some end pieces.
This week is the bathroom zone if you’re following Flylady.
I still have a few weeks before my next labs( first week of December) so that’s kinda nice to jsut put it out of my mind for now. Barclay will need another IGIV soon but he’ll do that in Roseville as it’s half the distance. He’s going off a few more drugs (yay)and will finally be getting his pneumonia vaccine. He’s going to have talk to his doctor about his chronic fatigue and see what options there are. I know of a few myeloma patients that use Ritalin for increased energy but I’m not sure what his doctor will think. Also a serotonin reuptake(like zoloft) may help his low energy and meloncholy. I’m not sure what his options are but he can talk to his doctor or the NP next time and check it out.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I went and had my annual flu shot and updated pneumonia shot this week. I thought the insurance company was paying but since I went to Walgreens, I had to pay OOP. I figured okay, I’m here, let’s get this done. $289 later ouch!! The pneumonia shot was $229. I should have just backed off and scheduled an appt with my PCP but I guess I just wanted it done. That’ll take a bit of recouping this next paycheck.
We also went to Costco this week and it was very expensive. $100 was Christmas and the rest stocking up on things like laundry soap, TP, etc. What I figure I’ll do is minimize shopping the rest of the month and try and keep the grocery/non- food/ cat food/ wine budget around $700. That should even things out.
We had a nice Mexican lunch out too so that’s almost our dining out budget. I figure maybe a taco night or takeout pizza. We’ve really cut out eating out for the most part so that shouldn’t be too difficult. Since I love cooking and creating wonderful food it gets easier not to eat out. Today I’m making another batch of Tartine bread. I’ll freeze one and we can enjoy the other over the next couple of days.
Last night we had Friday night pizza and I made a ricotta arugula pine nut pizza. Wow, it was good.
I started another round of decluttering with just little things like extra pens etc. Plus some misc Fiesta ware that I don’t want anymore. So far about 150 things ready to go to the thrift store or thrown out.
Well, tonight I’m cooking some organic grass fed burgers( I think). I might wait till closer to dinner and see how I feel about that for dinner.
I’m back in the swing of things with bread making. So, the last loaf of a sourdough but it wasn’t the dough that rests and goes thru the full autolyse and bulk fermentation. I decided to get out my Tartine Bread book which by the way reads like a chemistry class. It is quite challenging to read and follow, but I persevered thru and made the loaves. It’s anywhere from a 2-day process to 5 days depending on if you already have a starter. It is an amazing bread and well worth the effort.
It tasted terrific. The recipe makes 2 loaves so I waited to bake the 2nd one today and then my oven wasn’t cooperating. This has been going on for a while where it won’t calibrate the temperature. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it’s frustrating. So I turned the oven on and off for 3 hours and then finally it was coming up to speed. For the Tartine bread, it needs to be at 500 degrees for 30 minutes with the Le Cruset in the oven. Finally got it to work and the second loaf is done. Now I’m in the process of baking 12 huge potatoes for double stuffed potatoes that I’ll freeze. When you’re cooking that many potatoes it takes twice as long.
So I guess we’re going to go buy an oven this weekend. Not frugal, but I cook so much it’s hard to be without a reliable oven. This one was a lovely GE profile that ( if I remember was @ 1200). I found a nice Whirlpool one on sale at Lowes for 650. It’s normally 1000 so a good deal. As long as it’s self-cleaning and has sealed burners, I’m good.
I’m really trying to keep things as frugal as possible so, we’ll see.