Take Two

All kinds of fun and games going on in my digital world today! I have been unable to access my sites most of the day, and it turned out to be a problem on my hosts end, got that sorted and then it happened again. Not really sure what the problem is, it will probably take days to figure it out and make the system stable again. Sigh.,And my printer died. An ink jet printer, and I guess the nozzles plugged permanently, because it is seldom used. Research reveals that this is a common problem with these printers, no fix. Sigh. I am now looking at cheap laser printers, because the toner doesn’t have such problems when the printer is seldom used. My other alternative is to drive to a printer every time I want a sheet printed, which is what I will do, at least in the short term. Another Sigh. AND I wrote a whole blog entry this morning that was sent into the ether, not sure how that happened, I think it had something to do with the host’s issues. This is a case of gone and soon forgotten, no idea what I had written. Luckily I … Continue reading

Looking Back, and Forward

I have entertained myself during the last few dreary gray weeks by watching The 1940s House. I enjoyed it a great deal, and loved the practicality, and the attention to the truly important aspects of family, the glue of society, during that awful war experience. Life was shown to be very difficult for those who maintained domestic stability during that era. So many times I have heard balanced historians describing survival during “pioneering” or “unstable” social periods, to be centered around the ability of families or small social units to maintain the basic necessities of life… human connection, shelter, food, and clothing. Too often, I think, “history” focuses on the wealthy and the violent, ignoring the vital role played by the provision of basic human needs. A delightful aspects of the series were the appearances of Marguerite Patten OBE (1915 – 2015), who was one of the consultants for the series. “The Ministry Food Advice Division employed dieticians and many home economists, to help people throughout the country. Our role, for I was one of the food advisers, was to conduct cookery demonstrations and talks to show what interesting things could be made with the rationed and unrationed foods available.” … Continue reading

The Last Harvest

Saturday! Since retirement, the days of the week aren’t the focus of my life, as they were when I had to be at a specific spot at a specific time. I like retirement. I was sitting here just minding my own business, and Saturday night snuck up on me! Yesterday I milled flour, it took me quite a while, the supply was down to two cups of flour. I only mill about eight cups of flour at one time, then I let the equipment cool down before milling again. I ended up with about 44 cups of freshly milled whole-wheat flour. Today I used the flour I had just milled to bake five loaves of bread. We were completely out of bread. No, wait, there was one partial loaf left in the breadbox, Chocolate Bread. Not really suitable for savory sandwiches. This evening I made Hamburger Gravy with potatoes in the Instant Pot. I sauteed ground beef in the Pot, then added chopped onion and sauteed it all, adding a few herbs, Rosemary, Pepper, Garlic. Two cups of homemade vegetable broth were then added. A metal steam basket was set over the meat mixture, and the peeled potatoes were placed … Continue reading

Insulating the Basement

Last weekend Attila started on the insulating the basement project. Monday evening we visited the local lumber yard to order the materials needed to build the stud walls and drywall. Today the materials were delivered. I have taken a lot of deliveries in my time and, with a few exceptions, the delivery fellows, and they have always been fellows, have been courteous and helpful. The delivery man today was exceptional. He was friendly, and helpful above and beyond the bare bones of a delivery. Attila had told me that the drywall could be stacked outside, assuming the delivery people would not bring it into the garage, and I was left a plastic sheet to cover it up in case it rained before he got home. But this young man did not like that idea, and he suggested that the drywall be carried into the garage, which he did for me. Then after he stacked all of the wood on the driveway, he covered it with the plastic sheet and secured the sheet so that the wind could not blow it around. This was a delivery from Home Hardware, and I have got to say that their employees are pretty darn … Continue reading

Bright Gray Day

Well the weather is not a ray of sunshine today. I am still making the transition from months of being super busy with the garden and food preservation, to the quiet and peaceful passage of short winter days. Bread baking has been of interest lately, several loaves of bread with dried fruit were baked, and consumed entirely by me! I love bread, and particularly bread with dried fruit. It is a bit of a luxury item, but as a sweet treat, it ranks up there with the healthiest. Bread here at Mist Cottage is now made exclusively with organic whole grain flour, milled right here at home. I am busy looking at recipes for Christmas treats, Panettone, Pulla, Stollen, Paska (Easter Bread), Babka, Nissua, and many more. What fun! Making all these specialty sweet breads is fine and dandy. However, there is an issue, and that is me! If that bread is sitting in the bread box, I am eating it for every single meal! I cannot resist it. So I am on a campaign to balance my diet. First off, I will make very small loaves of sweet breads, and freeze most of them, so only one small loaf … Continue reading