Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A Bakin' Fiend

There's a baking fiend in the house. My new tightwad ways have motivated me to bake more from scratch instead of buying cookies, bread, cereal, muffins and crackers at the store. I never realized how expensive these items were. Crazy. I mean it. Check the per pound or kilo price next time you're shopping. I think you'll be surprised to find that you could buy some good meat for those prices. I've started experimenting with the idea of doing a lot of baking all in one day so that I have to bake less frequently. Saves me from having to broil in the heated kitchen several times a week instead of just several hours on one day (maybe two). So, today, I've baked some bread, because we had run almost out of the last loaf. Then, while I had the flour and mixer out and handy, I made a sour dough starter that I'll have to feed for a few days, some delicious corn-apricot muffins and some lavash (Lebanese flat bread). So, we'll avoid making/buying cereals for a little while with the muffins, and we'll have bread and crackers to munch on when we want. The lavash is very pretty, too. I do believe I'll have to snap a little shot of that one to show off.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the yummy oatmeal/raisin cookies I made last night. My parents recently gave me a bunch of issues of Cook's Illustrated magazine, and I've been so intrigued by so many of their recipes that I feel like I'm baking non-stop these days. Nobody's complaining that I've noticed, so the recipes must be good (I like them). Anyway, the cookies and the corn muffins came from that magazine. So tasty. The bread and lavash are from my Christmas present that gets used a lot (The Baker's Apprentice). Such a wonderful bread book if you're wanting to go a bit beyond the regular yeast quickish-rising methods you see in many books. This one has you do all sorts of fermented starters that really make a difference in the flavor of the bread. Mmmmm. The lavash is good. Just pulled the first batch out of the oven.

In other news, we've been to the flea market today. I loaded up on used/good condition toys for the little ones. All for 10 euros, I came away with two Barbies (hair intact and not too shabbily dressed), a Playmobil ambulance with little people and a couple of dinosaurs. The dinosaurs were actually a "gift" from the vendor. Then, when he saw my daughter later, he gave her a pony that I had been eyeing but passed on. He was very generous, knowing it was her birthday soon. He made her one happy almost-four-year-old. Only thing missing was one for her brother. We'll be having to get another horse for him some time soon. Apparently, the dinosaurs just didn't do it for him the way My Little Pony does. Who knew?

Oh, and some knitting has been getting done around here. Muttonchop was out last night for business. After getting the brats little angels in bed, I sat down with a movie. With some light entertainment, I was able to complete one repeat on my feather and fan shawl. Well, actually, it wasn't just during one movie. A second came and went before Muttonchop finally made it home. That was a weird one too. If you like funky independent spoof movies, check this out. It was called "Psycho Beach Party". It was a combination horror/blanket beach party of the 60s movie, but made in the last couple of years. Quirky, for sure. I actually got a kick out of it, but I can see how some would think they'd lost an hour and a half they'd never get back.