Cooking, Essays, House and Home, Memoir, Travel

Bread is my DOC (Drug of choice)

Pain au levain, a French bread
You just can’t find a decent loaf of bread in most American bakeries. | Pain au levain, a French bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like bread. I always have. If you mention my bread lust around my mother, she’ll nod her head and say, “Yes, she always did like her bread.”

When I was a kid, my parents did most of our grocery shopping at Aldi, where the bread was mass-produced and over processed. We usually ate white bread because it was the cheapest, but once in a while, my dad would bring home several loves of oat bran bread when it was on sale and stash it in the deep freezer.

The oat bran bread was my favorite. It never lasted long, because I would sneak into the kitchen several times a day and snag a handful of slices that I would take outside with me and chew on while I wandered around the woods on our property. For some reason, I liked to pull the oat bran bread apart and roll it into little balls before I ate it.

Yeah, I know. I’m kind of a weirdo. Continue reading “Bread is my DOC (Drug of choice)”

Cooking, Finance, House and Home

Money saving tips for the starving writer

homemade pickles
This is my first attempt to make homemade pickles reusing the juice from my favorite store-bought brand.

I am thinking about running a series of blog posts on money saving tips for the starving writer. The free sample lady at my local Wal-Mart grocery is always full of tips. I love this lady. She doesn’t stand around with a blank look on her face or scowl at the people who are eating her samples even when they obviously have no intention of purchasing the product. No, this woman will chat with you whether you’re going to buy her products or not. She also likes to look in your shopping cart to see if she has any coupons for what you are buying. She has saved me money on a few occasions. Continue reading “Money saving tips for the starving writer”

Autumnal Equinox, Cooking, House and Home, Uncategorized

Welcome Autumn: How to make blackberry dumplings

blackerry dumplingsTo welcome autumn today, my sons and I are planning our own little at-home harvest festival, complete with a variety of cool-weather foods. We started the day off with a pan of my favorite blackberry dumplings.

My parents can’t seem to agree on where this recipe came from. My mom swears she got it from my dad’s grandma, Wilma Webster. My dad insists he never ate blackberry dumplings as a kid, so the recipe had to have come from my mom’s family. Either way, this has been a favorite recipe in my family throughout my entire life.

When I was a kid, my parents would bundle us up in long sleeves and long pants on some of the hottest days of summer. They dragged us out into the woods and shoved us into endless blackberry brambles where we would pick (and eat) until our plastic ice cream buckets were full and our hands were soaked with blackberry juice. Continue reading “Welcome Autumn: How to make blackberry dumplings”

Biking, Cooking, Health and Fitness

Take care of yourself

Yoga Class at a Gym
Unlike this picture, my yoga class takes place in a daycare room at the rec center. They have to shove all of the kids’ toys up against the wall to make room for us! | Yoga Class at a Gym (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I started a new yoga class this week. It’s been a while. I don’t know why I quit. Two classes in, I can feel the crickle-crackle working its way out of tense muscles. I came home after class and scribbled down some poetry. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow last night rather than tossing and turning all night in an attempt to sleep on the side that aches the least.

This morning, I could hardly wake up. I am usually awake by the time my older son leaves for school, but today he had to wake me to tell me goodbye. Then I fell right back to sleep. My alarm went off twenty minutes later, signaling me to get up and get my younger son off to school. I hit the snooze button. Continue reading “Take care of yourself”

As Found on Pinterest, Cooking

How to make homemade taco seasoning

My latest Pinterest find that I’ve actually tried is a homemade taco seasoning shared by $5 Dinners. Like most of the Pinterest recipes I’ve actually tried (as opposed to the seemingly millions I’ve re-pinned and never looked at again,) I only did it because I happened to be out of that particular item in my kitchen and figured I may as well buy the supplies as buy the pre-made version. To simplify, I purchased one full bottle of each ingredient and emptied them out into a big bowl. Who has time for measuring, right?

Spices for homemade taco seasoning
To simplify the process, I just used a full container of each spice to save time with measuring, etc.

Continue reading “How to make homemade taco seasoning”