Sometimes I just feel like writing. There isn’t anything exciting going on, no drama to record, nothing at all to write about except the joy of being alive and feeling my fingers bring my thoughts and feelings into plain view. A small miracle at my fingertips.
The sun is just struggling to come out. It is just after 11:00 a.m. Predawn this morning freezing rain was falling from a dark and apparently overcast sky. Everything is slippery out there. The temperature has risen above freezing now, and the snow and ice are melting. There will be more cold weather to come, more snow, more grey and dreary skies, but I doubt we will see more of the extreme cold that the polar vortex brought deep into the continent.
I’ve been working on cleaning out the refrigerator freezer. There are some mystery items in there, and some surprises. One of the mystery items was a container of applesauce, which had no label. Judging by the plastic container it was in, it has probably been in the freezer for about ten years. It went into the compost bin. A happier discovery was a container of whole cranberries, and they are in very good condition. I am having fun researching the ways in which I can turn them into something delicious.
Tonight’s dinner has been planned, and the diced leftover turkey is thawing in the refrigerator, it will be transformed into Mongolian Turkey with Rice and Mixed Vegetables by dinner time. A lot of our meals are cooked with rice and mixed vegetables. Rice is inexpensive and easy to cook. The mixed vegetables consist of frozen diced carrots, corn, and green beans, and we eat about 1 1/2 cups each most nights for dinner. Most of the dishes I prepare are in the Instant Pot, and consist of mostly vegetables, some rice, and a small bit of meat, usually chicken, occasionally ground beef. The flavourings are what makes each meal unique, and delicious. Attila is very, very fond of the roast pork I prepare in the instant pot, so I try to serve that once a week.
This past weekend Attila craved pizza. There is no pizza available at grocery stores, or at restaurants, that does not contain preservatives, so we have to make it ourselves. No problem! My pizza crusts have not been to my liking for the last few years, because I use a lot less salt, and also mostly whole wheat flour. I tried a new recipe this time around, and it was a great success, light, and delicious. The trick, a tip from an organic farmer friend, was to add an egg as part of the liquid ingredients, and a tablespoon of gluten flour. I have always added the gluten flour, so I think the egg is what made the real difference to the dough. I use the bread machine, dough setting, because kneading dough now hurts my bad arm and shoulder, and the machine does a perfectly respectable job.
Our pizza is relatively low-sodium, low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-sugar, it hits all the buttons. The sauce is where I really score points for keeping it healthy. We use my canned spaghetti sauce, which is sodium-free. Commercial sauces are shockingly high in sodium. I do indulge in a little cheese, and some pepperoni as well, but I keep the amount reasonable, so that I stay within my dietary quotas.
Well there, I managed to fill this page with the unimportant doings at Mist Cottage. My how I love the unimportant doings of life!
Date: 11:32 AM EST Monday 4 February 2019
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Dew point: 2.1°C
Wind: N 2 km/h
Visibility: 2 km
“There are two types of people–those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am!’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.'””
Frederick L Collins
1882 – 1950
Who would you rather have walk into the room?
And I wouldn’t mind having your pizza crust recipe, if you’re willing to share. Sounds yummy.
(Written in the sunny south, where the current temperature is 69F.)
Ah, yes, the details and routines of everyday are where life is lived for the most part. As my favourite author, Jane Austen, says “…the little matters on which the daily happiness of private life depends.”
Exactly, it’s the most personal acts with which we live!
I recently read some entries in an acquaintance’s extensive world-travel blog. She provided many details of the places she went and what she saw, what she ate and what things cost, and these were well written and included photos, but I found myself dozing and skimming. It was when she’d recount an interaction with someone, even just a few words exchanged, that I’d perk up and take interest again.
Maybe that’s why the thought of travel to distant lands doesn’t captivate me right now. People can be found right here!
I too get the same urge to write when I don’t think I have anything to write about. I do wonder what that’s all about, sometimes.
Wendy, I wouldn’t mind sharing the recipe at all. Here it is:
The egg is my addition to the original recipe; and the amount of salt has been reduced; and the amount of flour has been reduced; and I use whole wheat and white flour; and I’ve added gluten flour.
The amount of flour starts low, so that flour can be added to make a soft firm dough. I spend time adding a little flour at a time, until the dough lets me poke my finger into it easily, but my finger also comes out easily and mostly clean. If the dough is too firm (this also happens!), I add a little water at a time. This process is necessary because parameters vary in my kitchen, like humidity in the air, in the flour, etc.etc. I do all of this in a bread machine, as it is mixing the dough into a ball for the first time in the process.
1 egg and water to make 1 1⁄2 cups
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 1⁄4 cups flour (I use 2 cups whole wheat bread flour and the rest is hard bread flour)
1 tablespoon gluten flour
2 teaspoons yeast
In bread maker (My model is Black and Decker) measure first [seven] ingredients in the order listed above into the baking pan.
Insert baking pan and close lid.
Select *dough* setting and push start button.
[There will be a 25 minute preheat delay before mixing begins.]
The complete signal will sound when dough is done.
Using pot holders or oven mitts remove baking pan to a lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make dough easy to handle.
Divide dough into thirds. [skip if making one large pizza].
Roll out one piece of dough and place on pan, top with desired pizza toppings OR make into one large pizza.
Bake in oven preheated at 425°F or 218°C for 15-25 minutes (15 for a fluffier pizza).
*Note Dough take two hours in the bread machine.
[Maggie’s Note: After putting on pan, I oil the surface lightly with a brush, and let sit 15 minutes then put on toppings.]
Sandra, I love the quote! A good life depends on these small matters.
Kate, your world is certainly well peopled! Sometimes I think I would like to travel, but that may or may not materialize, it certainly isn’t going to happen while Attila has to work. We will see where we are at when he retires, which isn’t any time soon anyway, so I don’t think about it much.
Who really knows where the urge to write comes from, I’ve always written, from my earliest years. I wrote letters to my Granny when I was younger, and I have a few treasured letters that she wrote to me, perhaps that is where the urge to write really took root. But who knows, perhaps it has something to do with being an avid reader, as I know you are!
It was a balmy 11C/51F here, today. Our 5 or so inches of snow has melted completely and now it’s raining out. I do hope this is our last bout with the polar vortex.
Next month I apply for retirement, not that I’ll stop the small amount of graphics work I do but it’ll be good to see that pension coming in.
Teri, it was warm here too, not quite so warm as 11C, but above freezing. How wonderful that your snow is gone! We still have deep snow cover, and four foot snow banks on either side of the driveway, but the driveway is clear, Attila shoveled the ice off this evening.
Congratulations on your retirement! It is a long time coming, retirement, and pensions are a welcome reward for a life well lived!
Maggie, thanks so much for that recipe. I’m going to do a little copy/paste to save it locally (okay, I saved it in the cloud, but you know what I mean).
I don’t have a bread machine, but this one sounds as if it won’t be hard to adapt for use with my KitchenAid mixer and my two hands.
You are welcome Wendy! The KitchenAid is such a versatile machine, I watch videos where people use them for all sorts of things.