It’s been a tough month for us and finances are tighter then they’ve ever been at our house. So, when the wife told me she was bored last night, we decided to do something we’ve been talking about doing for a good while now.
Being the wild and crazy people that we are, we decided……..
…………..to make some bread.
Yes, seriously….and, no, that’s not a euphemism for anything else. We decided to bake some bread and see how it would turn out.
I bought my wife a bread machine for our first Christmas (back when she had to be gluten-free due to allergies), but one of the pieces got lost….in a botched loaf, we’re assuming….so it doesn’t work anymore. Of course, you don’t need a machine to make bread.
So, after we decided we were going to try to eat healthier, we decided to cut back on the breads and pasta and, since we weren’t eating that much bread anymore, we figured that making our own and freezing it could not only be a cost saver, but could also ensure we knew just what was going into our bread in the first place. Have you ever read the label on a loaf of store bought bread??
The first thing we had to do was find a simple bread recipe. So, I went to my old pal Google and did a search for “simple bread recipe”. The third one down was a very simple recipe from a great site called “The Simple Homemaker“. Sounded legit to me.
It looked very simple and, best of all, used very few ingredients. It called for:
- 2 cups warm water, not hot or you will kill your yeasty friends
- 2 teaspoons yeast—a packet contains 2.25 teaspoons–close enough.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5-ish cups flour, all-purpose is fine unless you wish to alter it for health reasons
The instructions were clear and, best of all, laced with humor that gave us a chuckle as we read them.
After the wife checked to see if we had the ingredients (I was convinced we didn’t have yeast…but we did…though short, a bit, on flour), we went to work.
Neither one of us have much experience in bread making so it was…..interesting…to say the least. I made the mistake of not flouring my hands before starting to knead the dough, with sticky results. When we realized we were short on flour, we substituted a bit of corn starch into the mix, which I was convinced was going to be the death knell of the whole thing.
Now, the recipe calls for cutting the dough up and letting it rise separately….which we didn’t do. We left it in one lump and then cut it in half when we realized it was getting pretty big. Then, we remembered we didn’t have any bread pans, so we used a glass casserole dish sort of thing and a cookie sheet.
The whole time this thing was cooking, I was convinced (between the corn starch substitution and the haphazard rising of the dough), that it was going to be a bust
I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong.
We took it out and it not only smelled great, but tasted even better. We cut it up and I think I ate three slices then and there.
We bagged it up and put some in the freezer and the rest in the fridge. Now, I’ll admit, it might not look all that great (I’m blaming the corn starch!) but don’t let that fool you….it made up for it’s questionable looks with taste.
Something simple that tastes good….can’t beat that!
You know you’re old when someone asks how you spent your Saturday night, you tell them ‘by baking bread’, and you mean just that!
Until next time….
For many of us…at least I know it’s true in my case…it’s tough to gear our minds toward eating “healthy”. I used to be of the mindset that eating healthy meant paying more at the store and, actually, that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
Now, if you’re buying things like “Smart Start” or “Healthy Choice” meals then, yes, it does start running into some money…because you’re paying for convenience. Usually, convenience always costs money. While those sort of meals are great for portion control and helping count calories the process of freezing them also cuts down on the nutrients you could be getting if the meals were freshly made.
We’ve been finding that a weekly trip down to your local produce place not only saves us a lot of money at the grocery store, it also is giving us more health benefits via juicing and adding fresh vegetables to our meals. Fresh is always better than frozen…just ask any Eskimo.
Something else we’ve been pretty diligent at doing…..drinking water. I’m not a huge fan of tap water and I think it’s silly buying bottled water (for many reasons), so we invested in a Brita filtration pitcher. I’d much rather spend the money on replacement filters than bottled tap water.
The best part about this whole process, so far, is that I haven’t touched a coke or soft drink product in over a month. For me, that’s HUGE! I used to be, at least, a three Coke a day guy but, since we’ve been juicing it’s been nothing but water. O.k, I’ll admit…I did have a sweet tea when we went out to eat the other night, but things like that have been few and far between. I’m also attributing the lack of soft drinks to my losing and keeping off five pounds this past month.
That’s quite the motivator, I have to say.
If you’re looking for some motivation to quit drinking soda, here are a few “other” uses for Coke:
- Washing your hair with Coke can help fade a dye that’s too dark.
- Bug spray. It not only attracts bugs, but spraying them with the stuff kills them dead….like Raid.
- A temporary fix for upset stomach and heartburn.
- Added to a compost heap, it helps boost microorganisms.
- Stain remover from clothes.
- A cleaner for pots, pans, and toilets.
- Coke can remove gum from hair…just pour it on and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Temporary relief for bee stings, mosquito bites, and jellyfish stings.
- Window cleaner
- Bolt loosener
- Rust eater
So, in case you’re not seeing the big picture here……Coke (and soft drinks in general) are highly acidic. Not something I want to be ingesting. I mean, I wouldn’t drink battery acid….would you?
Eating healthy, or at least paying more attention to what we’re putting into our bodies, drinking more water, juicing for micronutrients…things like these are small steps into a bigger world of getting healthy and into better shape.
The older I get, I guess the more cognizant I become of taking better care of myself. The next big hurdle to tackle, so to speak, is…
More on that as it develops, so…
Until next time…
Not too much going on this week…still chugging though the A to Z Blogging Challenge and I don’t mind saying, it’s been a bit challenging, at least from a ‘trying to keep up’ standpoint. Still trying to eat healthy and juice, at least, one fruit and one veggie a day….still plugging along in a lot of areas.
Earlier today my wife and I, along with her sister, took a trip ‘downtown’….which, in a town as small as Vero Beach, isn’t all that far to go….to the local ‘juice bar’. Sad to say, I wasn’t impressed. I got a strawberry and banana smoothie that seemed like it was more ice block then anything else. My wife got some sort of veggie smoothie that tasted like it had sugar in it….not, at all, what I was expecting from something that had kale in it. My sister-in-law had the best tasting thing of the three of us. It was a chocolate thing, which I’m still not sure exactly what was in it. Regardless, though, it was good.
Overall, not a place I’d frequent…especially when we’re making a way better juice and smoothie product at home…for a lot less.
Quick update on my A to Z Blogging Challenge:
Until next time…..
Last week, I was talking about our “juice fast’ and how I thought we were doing it wrong by not eating. Doing a bit more research, I’ve found that we were, indeed, doing it correctly (as a commenter also mentioned) and that there are a few ‘reboots‘ that tell you to eat…but not the one we were trying.
Plenty of juicing and water as we try to give our systems another jump start on the road to getting healthy.
A to Z Blogging Challenge update:
Until next time…