It is still early, but I’ve already tackled multiple mini-setbacks in my morning projects. We have been up for hours, it is 8:20 a.m. Attila is out in the driveway shoveling us out. Yesterday evening and last night we received a lot of snow, not a lot compared to upper state New York, Buffalo, Watertown, those areas are received incredible amounts of snow. But for us, the six or seven inches we received seems like a lot. The winter I lived here alone I shoveled a lot of snow, it was a snowy winter. But shoveling snow is behind me now, with my aneurysm I will not be doing anything like that again, unless of course the medical world miraculously cures me. I am not holding my breath on a miracle cure though, that would be unhealthy for me on so many levels.
The bread baking was started early. The first small barrier to completion was running out of ground flax seed. It did not take long to grind more for the bread, but another issue arose in I used all the whole flax seed. That necessitated digging through the freezer in the basement in search of another bag of flax seed, which was located, and now sits thawing in the living room. I always wait until packages of dry goods are completely thawed before opening them, to avoid condensation adding unwanted moisture to the product. Which leads to the second small barrier to completion.
There was not enough gluten flour to bake a loaf of bread. Down to the freezer once more to find the bag of gluten flour we purchased on our supply run in August, or was it September, it all blends together when dates aren’t important. Now the bag of gluten flour sits thawing, beside the bag of whole flax seed.
And the bread baking has ground to a temporary halt.
The next challenge came as a result of measuring out all but the last 1/4 cup of white bread flour for the loaf of bread in progress. The contents of the almost empty bucket needed to be dumped into the almost full bucket. While doing this, with Attila’s assistance, flour was spilled on my black down vest, and on the floor. This created another wee challenge to clean the vest. The empty bucket now sits on the kitchen floor waiting to be cleaned, and dried, as it will be used to store popcorn, which has been removed from the freezer in the basement as well, and is thawing down there on a piece of cardboard on the floor.
So presently I am not baking my bread!
I do not eat candy, but Attila does. On our trip out for supplies at the grocery store there were bags of caramels on sale, leftover from Halloween, at a very reasonable price. We bought a lot of them. Attila will eat some, he likes a few pieces of candy for his drive home from work, the long drive after the long day, just to keep his energy levels up and to keep alert while driving. Some will be used in baking. I plan on making Apple Muffins today, and placing one caramel in each muffin before popping them into the oven. We will see how that goes. I will eat one of these muffins to assess the recipe, and the rest will be packaged and frozen for Attila’s workday lunches.
The gluten flour eventually thawed, and the bread baking project continued. It was a 2 kg bag of gluten flour. A 1 1/2 quart canning jar was filled for immediate use, but the rest need to go back into the freezer. I decided to vacuum seal it, which enhances shelf life.
While I had the vacuum sealer out to deal with the gluten flour, we decided to finish processing our sausage patties, which were made and frozen yesterday. We made 57 sausage patties, three dozen were vacuum sealed, and went into the freezer in the basement. The remaining patties were packaged two to a bag, some went into the freezer in the basement, and some went into the refrigerator freezer in the kitchen.
While I have been busy in the kitchen, Attila is busy removing a copper fuel line from a previous oil tank (long ago, before the oil tank we had was installed). This copper line is partially embedded in the concrete floor, and has to be chipped out. After than is done, the floor will have to be mended.
We buy a few things we need at local auctions. Usually what we want is in a “lot” of many items, so our purchases leave us with items we do not want. Some of these we take to Value Village, and to receive a small discount on a purchase made there. Other items are sitting in a box waiting for our next visit to Value Village. Sometimes there are items we didn’t exactly want but could possibly use, and this was true of the last purchase, which included some older Corelle dishes. Older Corelle dishes can have dangerous levels of lead and other metals. After checking online about the specific pattern of the dishes we got, it was a pleasant surprise that it was considered safe after having been tested. So we are incorporating these Corelle dishes into our collection for daily use.
My favourite Corelle dishes are the large serving bowls. We had one from my original 1980s set, and it was so handy we bought four more. My favourite of these bowls though are the two my sister-the-middle-girl gave us for Christmas one year, plain white with a line of colour along the edge. Attila makes sure I get these bowls when we use them, as he knows how much I love them. We use them for serving soup, casseroles, just about everything, preferring them to plates, as we seldom eat meals that require a knife and fork, needing a plate.
We went for a short walk, the wind was brisk and brittle and cold, it took our breath away. We persevered and were grateful to return home and step in the door to the warmth of Mist Cottage. The muffins just went into the oven. The bread is cooling on the rack, soon to be sliced, placed in a bag, and stored in the bread box. Attila is peeling celeriac, which he is using to create our dinner, using a new recipe that he is already tweaking. Ginger is sleeping on the stool by my side. The sun is seeping through the living room window, softening at the end of the day, it will soon be dark. Another day is winding down.
Updated on Sun, Nov 20, 2:15 PM
FEELS LIKE -12
Wind 21 W km/h
Humidity 62 %
Visibility 17 km
Sunrise 7:09 AM
Wind gust 31 km/h
Pressure 101.8 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 4:36 PM
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
‘A Christmas Carol’
1812 – 1870
Maggie, it really sounds as if you’ve been having one of those days. I hope it settles down for the evening.
Wendy, it really was one step forward, two steps back kind of day! All done and dusted now, and everything turned out, the gluten flour and flaxseed thawed, the bread rose, and all the projects that we started were completed. I guess we all have these kinds of days. Hope yours are good ones!
I hope the rest of your week is better!
Joan, thank you! By the end of the day I had a feeling of satisfaction, that I had navigated the setbacks and managed to complete all the projects I had attempted. The upside of the downside!
I didn’t know there was a possibility of lead in Corelle dishes! I will have to try to find out if my two old casserole pots need to go … somewhere besides my kitchen.
I, too, wait for everything to be room temperature when baking bread. Good to hear it’s not just me! Sometimes I wonder if it is.
Kate, it was news to me, I’ve been using Corelle dishes since the 1970s! Neither myself or the girls have ever had health issues related to the dishes, there has not been any wear on the designs, it is the designs that are the issue, not the plain part of the dishes. Anything made after 2005 met stricter standards and are deemed safe, but pre 2005 it is his and miss. Apparently though cadnium is still being found in the dishes, so plain white is best.
This woman did the original testing after her children were diagnosed with lead poisoning, which I think is pretty rare, but serious nonetheless. She bought testing equipment and began testing, Corelle later admitted to the dangerous metals used in the designs.
I still use the corning casserole dishes because the food is only touching the white interior of the dish, same with mixing bowls.
It isn’t just you waiting for everything to be room temperature to bake bread! The scientists recommend it, and when you use a bread machine they have a warming period before beginning the breadmaking program, just to make sure everything is at room temperature before starting. Your in with good company waiting for those ingredients to warm to room temperature!
I never forgot the first time you wrote about the Corelle dishes, so when we bought the cottage we got some new ones for it from an outlet. And then when we sold the house we threw out all the old Corelle that was there and bought a small new set for the new house. Now we are eating off of only new Corelle plates and bowls.
I do still have the mixing bowls I had from years ago but DH is the only one who uses them, because they’re so heavy. I can’t pick them up well and if I have to pour the contents of one large bowl into another, DH would have to do it for me.
I’m curious to hear how your muffins turn out. Caramels in muffins sounds absolutely delicious!
Teri, so glad you have the newer, safer Corelle dishes! I still use the casserole dishes because the food does not touch the outer surfaces of the dish where the patterns are printed. The mixing bowls are very heavy, I gave mine to my daughter because she is young and strong and the weight isn’t a challenge for her. At that time though, I didn’t know there were any issues with the designs and coloured surfaces. Luckily the mixing bowls are only coloured on the outside, so the working surfaces are safe.
The muffins were amazing! We loved them. The muffin recipe I use has only 1/4 cup of sugar in the whole batch, so about 1 tsp of sugar per muffin, so the caramel adds just over 1 tsp of sugar, to total just over 2 tsp of sugar per muffin. We really enjoyed them, and I am really glad we bought all those caramels because the muffins are a sweet treat that do not add too much sugar to the daily menu.