Saturday, October 23, 2010
What do you want your home life to convey to others? Do you want a warm and inviting, cozy and comfortable, or clean and sterile home? The way you care for your home can say a lot about you and who you are. Why do you keep home? Why do you stay at home? What is your motivation?
My home is not the cleanest there is. Nor is the most organized that it can be. It is definitely lived in. I have a loving family that lives here. Fully lives here. I'm not the kind of mom that has the kids in a million activities that are outside the home. I am not spending a lot of my time in the vehicle driving from one place to another. We truly spend our time here at home. The kids might be outside playing with the neighborhood kids or they are playing inside with each other. Or they are relaxing watching a movie or a favorite cartoon. The point is, we love being home.
I love to get ready for the different seasons in our home. There are pumpkins here and there. Little fall leaves grace shelves. Fall scents fill our home with our Scentsy wax warmer. Since I've gotten our warmer, I have been in total love with it!
I have been rereading some of my favorite homemaking books also. Right now I am reading Home Comforts The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. I would like to leave you with some of the wisdom that pours from this book.
Making a home attractive helps you feel at home, but not nearly so much as most of us seem to think, if you gauge by the amounts of money we spend on home furnishings. And going in for the nostalgic pastimes- canning, potting, sewing, making Christmas wreaths, painting china, decorating cookies- will not work either. I count myself among those who find these things fun to do, but I know from experience that you cannot make a home by imitating the household chores and crafts of a past era. Ironically, people are led into the error of playing house instead of keeping house by genuine desire for a home and its comforts. Nostalgia means, literally, "home-sickness".
What really does work to increase the feeling of having a home and its comforts is housekeeping. Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your home. Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can be anywhere else.
You can enjoy keeping house. No one is too superior or intelligent to care for hearth and home.
Each of its regular routines brings satisfaction when it is completed. You get satisfaction not only from the sense of order, cleanliness, freshness, peace and plenty restored, but from the knowledge that you yourself and those you care about are going to enjoy these benefits.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Here are the pictures as promised. Above is my breadmaker. It is showing the dough rising. Actually this is when it was finished rising. Below are the rolls rising again for another 30 minutes with a towel draped over them to keep the draft off of them.
Here is said towel. It is a flour sack cloth from Wal-mart. Very handy towels to have around. I've used them for drying dishes, straining tea when making hot tea from loose herbs, and for wiping dirty faces and hands while eating. I do have 4 kids around here.
And here they are finally done. Baby girl and I enjoyed ours after they cooled a bit with some organic strawberry jelly we saw at Costco. They were devine! And also the perfect size for Hubby's sandwiches at work.
I love how they connect and then tear apart. I know. The small things are what amuses me. I will share the recipe here. I saw it on the blog I shared the other day with you. Down-to-earth.
BREAD ROLLS RECIPE:
I'm making these again today to make sure of my amounts. I'm pretty sure this is what I used yesterday. I rarely use written recipes so this is just from my head. If there needs to be a change, I'll let you know later this morning.
Recipe for bread rolls in the bread machine
• 3½ cups bread flour - can be white, wholemeal, rye, grain - whatever. If you use a heavier flour you'll need to increase the amount of water used.
• 1 teaspoon salt. Please use good salt, not table salt. Even cooking salt is better than table salt.
• 1 tablespoon butter
Put all the above in your bread machine bucket.
In a teacup add and mix up:
• ¾ cup lukewarm water
• ½ tablespoon sugar
• 2 teaspoons yeast
• plus another cup of warm water - I can't tell you the exact amount of water you'll use. That will depend on your flour and the weather. Start with the 1¾ cups and you might have to add more.
Mix the ingredients in the cup and allow to stand for 5 minutes. You want your yeast to prove - it will look like this:
If the yeast doesn't froth up, it's dead and you'll have to buy new yeast. Always store your yeast in the fridge, it will keep longer. When the yeast is frothy and bubbling, add it to the dry mix, making sure all the sugar is either dissolved or added to the flour mix. Turn your machine on to the "dough" setting and let it mix the dough.
When it's finished, remove the dough and roll it into a long cigar shape - about 12 inches long. Cut into about 8 pieces for large rolls or 12 pieces for small rolls. Take each piece of dough and work it with your hands into a nice round ball. Place all the balls on a baking tray, add seeds, polenta or a criss-cross and allow to rise for about 30 minutes - depending on the temperature in your house. If you can put them in the sun they'll only take about 10 minutes to rise.
Turn on your oven so it's hot when you put the rolls in. Bread has two types of rising - one is from the yeast you use, the other is called "oven lift" - you get this when you put properly proved bread dough into a HOT oven. The heat immediately starts to lift the bread. That, my friends is what you want. Adding dough to a warm oven won't give you the same result.
Good luck with your rolls, everyone.
OOPS - ruralinspirations has just reminded me I didn't tell you about the temp for baking these rolls. As I said, put the rolls into a HOT oven (that is one that has been sitting on at least 200C for about 10 minutes). Then cook on 200C (395F) until they're golden brown and you can smell baked bread.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE...
I tested the above recipe and everything is fine. Just monitor the water yourselves as it's always a bit different. Pictured below are today's bread rolls, just out of the oven.
Happy baking everyone!
A wonderful blog. I'm still reading through the past posts. I have yet to reach the beginning.
Our pantry is in our laundry room. And I've recently found an old bag of potatoes rotting. We've had an awful lot of fruit flies flying around and just could not figure out where they were coming from. Found them! So sometime this afternoon, I have to drag everything out and completely wipe out all the shelves and get rid of anything else that might be old or expired. I have a lot to get done today and I'm still really tired. A nap might be in the plans later on. I'm still working on a knitted pattern for my Swiffer. I modified one I found online and the pattern I was working with was sideways to the way I wanted it to run. So I frogged it and will start over.
Well, I hope y'all are having a wonderful day today.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
This morning the place is a mess. I was too tired last night to clean up the kitchen after we ate. I am still really tired this morning too. Not sure what all I'll get done today either. I got the food put away but that was about it. The living room isn't picked up so that needs to be done also. Cloth diapers are sitting on the couch from yesterday when they came out of the dryer. There are still clothes in the dryer that need to be brought out, folded, and put away. The clothes in the washer need to be put in the dryer. So much to do today. I also plan on going to Walmart to buy a different color of cotton yarn for my knitting. I want to knit a pad for my Swiffer. Instead of buying the wet Swiffer pads and throwing them away, I am going to make some pads that I can reuse. I also want to price the stuff that I need to make laundry soap and cold-pressed soap. But before I go anywhere, I need to get dressed out of my pajamas, kids dressed out of their night-night clothes, and get this house put back together! I took some pictures yesterday of the rolls I made yesterday and of my dishcloth I'm knitting so I can show you what I've been up to. So sometime this evening I'll get them on my computer so I can post them tomorrow.
Yesterday, I had a sign that the birthing of this baby is fast approaching us. I've been waiting for my "signs" to let me know that the process has started. So I was excited when I got one of my signs!! Since explaining my "signs" might be a little too intimate, I'll save you the descriptions! I'll just keep calling them my signs, since that is what it is to me. Even though my guess date is 2 weeks away, my signs also tell me that baby could be within the next 2 weeks. So I doubt I will make it past 2 weeks from now! So that is positive news for me!! Yay!! I could jump up and down with joy. I'm so ready to hold my new bundle of joy.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful day today. I am going to get myself going so I can start my day. I like blogging here first thing. It gets my thoughts in order so that I know what I need to do for the day.
When is your favorite time to blog?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Good morning. My morning is already going. The kids are awake and trying to get moving. They are just chilling on the floor and the couch right now waking up. The baby is climbing all over this floor bear that I bought for my son when he was her age about 7 years ago. I still have on daughter sleeping in. She's only 2 1/2 and doesn't have to wake up yet. She fell asleep on the couch before bedtime last night. She might be growing.
There are a lot of catching up to do around the home today. The dishes need to be washed. I didn't do them yesterday. The floors need to be swept and mopped. All the trash needs to be gathered and taken outside to the trash cans for trash day tomorrow. And laundry needs to be started. Busy busy day ahead. I also have bread to make, more knitting on my dishcloth, dinner to prep, and compost bin to water and roll around. I don't need to vacuum because my sweet husband of mine shampoo'd them yesterday. I am not sure how much of this I will be able to do today. Being hugely pregnant has zapped a lot of my energy lately even though I want to get it all done. Sometimes I just get tired before I can get to everything.
Now as promised... a blog I have found. It's a gold mine of information about homemaking. I've been reading through her past posts and I still haven't gotten to the beginning. She is based in Australia. The name is Down to Earth. You will learn so much on her blog. She's working on a book too.
Well, I'm off to start my breakfast and to get going with my day. I hope everyone has an enjoyable day today and is learning something new.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
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