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.