It is the last day of August today. The summer days, hot and humid as they have been, have flown by. Today, for the first time in a very, very long time, the daytime temperature will remain below 30C, and the nighttime temperatures will fall below 20C. The humidity is decreasing slightly as well. Sweet relief!
I like to have a book on the go all the time. Right now I’ve picked up my well loved 1958 hardcover copy of T.H. White’s “The Once & Future King”. I last read this book in the late 80s. How do I know this? I found a poem I’d written on an old and yellowing piece of paper, the ink fading. It was written to release feelings into the universe, about a male who was tormenting myself and my children. There were no familial, social, or legal sanctions to curb his behaviour. Not being a person who chooses violence as a means of dealing with the miseries of being tormented, and watching my children suffer, I resorted to another form of expression, the poem. This poem would have been performed at a poetry reading at the time it was written.
I painted your face
on the head of a
I beat you fiercely
Keeping rhythm with the troupe
But is was not enough.
Our stories unfold slowly over time. Looking back to the woman I was when I wrote that poem, I feel deep compassion. I also feel sadness for my children, that such a person as that male was given the opportunity to write paragraphs on their pages during their innocent youth. I no longer feel the passion of these disappointments, the edges have long since worn away. But the core of the experiences remains, written into my history, my story.
Back to my now, a good one, with decent, kind, compassionate males as part of the present; because I have a choice.
Yesterday was a busy day.
Two loaves of bread were baked, one for immediate use, and one for the freezer. Attila uses half of a loaf every day for his lunch at work, so at least three loaves are needed every week. The last bag of wheat berries that I milled produced a flour quite high in bran, which makes for denser loaves. The last of that batch of wheat berries has been milled now, and only a gallon jar of that flour remains. Hopefully the next bag of wheat berries will not have such a high bran content. The food slicer works wonderfully to slice the bread. This was a good purchase for us, a birthday gift for Attila that makes sandwich making a lot simpler. I slice the bread as soon as it has cooled.
Cleaning food preservation equipment is a time consuming task. Since it handles food, it must be immaculately clean, needing to be washed thoroughly. It needs to be completely dry before going back into the box, and into the storage cupboard. After equipment is cleaned I like to leave it 24 hours to dry before packing it away. The steam juicer, the 16 quart stock pot, the bread machine, and the bread slicer were all used and needed careful cleaning.
Having a short break yesterday from preserving garden produce, I decided to experiment with Baked Beans in the Instant Pot. The navy beans I used were washed but not soaked, then added to the Instant Pot. I used this recipe: Instant Pot Baked Beans. The recipe called for cooking the ingredients for one hour. My beans are vintage. In fact I can’t even remember when they were purchased. They did not cook adequately in one hour, and were barely cooked in two hours. Oh dear.
I am still learning about the ways of the Instant Pot. I don’t mind making mistakes, I never feel stupid, and seldom feel frustrated, or intimidated by mistakes. My mistakes are my learning opportunities, and I love to learn.
My Baked Beans were not cooked after one hour, so I put the lid back on, and cooked them for another 30 minutes. They were still not done. The lid went back on for another 30 minutes of cooking. Still less cooked than desirable. By this time the dish was thickening. Then I made my mistake. I put the lid on and attempted to cook the dish for another 20 minutes. It burned. It was too thick to cook properly in the Instant Pot. Only a layer on the bottom burned, so the rest of the dish was delicious. Now I know that I need to give the Baked Beans a very long cooking time in the first place, to avoid the intense bottom-of-the-pan heat that is needed to develop the steam for cooking.
Last night I put one pound of navy beans to soak overnight in filtered water. This morning I drained them, added fresh water, and put them to soak for the morning. The same recipe, which we both liked, will be used to give Baked Beans another go, using soaked beans cooked for one hour.
When this recipe is perfected for our ingredients and tastes, I will pressure can jars of Baked Beans for situations such a power failures, quick meals, and camping meals.
With so much produce coming into the kitchen, it is easy for some of it to get lost in the dark regions of the refrigerator. Yesterday was an opportunity to rummage through the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator. There were two partial bags of commercially grown carrots, one grown organically, and one not. The organically grown carrots were still in great condition, the other carrots were not. The poorly carrots were carefully cleaned, peeled and trimmed, to retain the good bits. These were used to bake a Cinnamon Carrot Bread, a quick bread risen with baking powder. I added walnuts, flax seed, and raisins. The recipe was the strangest I’ve ever made; the way in the ingredients were combined, it was not the traditional quick bread method. I had my doubts about it, really I did. But the loaf was delicious, with a lovely texture. Attila ate a third of it as a snack yesterday evening.
Updated on Tue, Aug 31, 7:05 AM
FEELS LIKE 17Clear
Wind 8 W km/h
Humidity 93 %
Visibility 19 km
Sunrise 6:29 AM
Wind gust 11 km/h
Pressure 100.8 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 7:46 PM
“I dwell in possibility…”
1830 – 1886