Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's the Little Things - A Blog Post in Pictures

This is a used scrubbie.

This is new scrubbie, but it's too big.

So I cut the scrubbie in half.

Now I have two new scubbies. 
And the scrubbie fits my hand.

On top of my dryer.  When I use a sheet, I cut it in half. The box lasts twice as long.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nevertheless, Wheat for Man

Guess what I did today!
That's right, I ground some whole wheat flour. Thought I'll show you a little about that.
I set everything up--you can see my grain mill, five gallon storage bucket, can opener and a #10 can.

This is wheat I canned in Washington state twenty years ago, but actually the wheat was purchased sixteen years earlier than that. I was eighteen and the ward (church congregation) placed an order for some Montana hard red wheat and I bought 150 pounds. My parents kept it in their storage until I retrieved it in 1992 and took it home to Mount Vernon, Washington, where I then took it to the church cannery and put it in steel cans. This is the best wheat I've ever had.

This is my grain grinder that I bought while living in Dale City, Virginia in 1999 for $181.00. Today the company is called Blendtec and the same grain mill sells for $179.95.

Here's a peek at the whole wheat berries. They are yummy just chewed up straight from the can.

Here's what the flour looks like: above is in the mill bucket, and below is in the five gallon bucket.

PW wanted to make some bread so I showed him my recipe for Fast and Easy French Bread and let him go to it. Here's his bread ready to rise.

And here's the finished product.

While the bread was baking I made up some Black Beans and Tomatoes to go over leftover brown rice. It is one of my favorite lunches.

For dessert Paul served me half of one of his round loaves spread with Dulce de Leche he brought home from Argentina. It was the perfect ending.

What would a blog be without a couple of recipes:

Fast and Easy French Bread

In a large bowl place: 3 cups warm (hot tap) water
                                   2 tablespoons sugar
                                   2 tablespoons yeast
                                   1 tablespoon salt
                                   2 tablespoons olive (or other) oil
When the yeast blooms, ADD 6 - 8 cups flour to make a stiff dough (I use half whole wheat and half unbleached)
Let rise 20 minutes.
Shape into loaves (whatever shape you like) and place on a greased baking sheet (or in greased loaf pans)
Let rise 20 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
For shiny bread, brush on egg wash made of a whole egg and a tablespoon of water.

Black Beans and Tomatoes
1 small onion (or part of large one) chopped, saute in 1 tablespoon oil
Add 15 oz. can of stewed tomatoes, and 15 oz can of black beans, drained, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Simmer until heated through. Serve over brown rice.

Today PW requested the addition of a little chili powder and it was a good choice.

We have been counseled for many decades to store wheat. I was raised by a mother who not only stored it but used it for bread. Her mother had made whole wheat bread too and it is her recipe that I use today.(Not the French Bread, I got that at a Relief Society Activity)  I not only bake bread, but I use whole wheat flour for pancakes (my husband won't eat any other kind), rolls, biscuits, muffins, sweet or nut breads, cookies, cakes, pie crust, and pizza. I like the texture and flavor of the whole wheat flour. At times when I've had the money and/or it was readily available I've used whole wheat pasta also.

It's all a matter of what you get used to. I'll share an example. I grew up eating General Mills brand Cheerios; I didn't know there were any other kind. Until I had children of my own and decided that I couldn't afford Cheerios and bought some Malto Meal Tasteos (or whatever they're called). They tasted different, but after a couple weeks I got used to them and that's all my children ever had. When we visited Grandma and she served Cheerios my children DIDN'T LIKE THEM!!! They tasted different from the ones they were used to.

Moral of the story: Give your taste buds a couple of weeks to adjust to new tastes and textures. When beginning to use whole wheat flour start with adding 1/4 of the total amount of flour, after a couple of times, up it to 1/3, then 1/2. Experiment. I found that in dark things like gingerbread or pumpkin cake I can use 100% whole wheat flour and nobody complains. In fact, the first time I made pumpkin cake using all whole wheat flour Topdad said it was the best cake he'd ever eaten!

I believe the Lord when he says "All grain is good for the food of man; . . . Nevertheless, wheat for man," (Doctrine and Covenants 89:16-17)

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Today was the monthly potluck on Fast Sunday; a true "potluck" there were six or seven pasta casseroles, a roaster of hot dogs, one quiche and one fruit pie for dessert. I think we all had the same idea--something quick, easy and filling. My poor husband didn't eat very much as he dislikes pasta. Poor him. I loved it. But I think I'm going to stick to something that is rarely there on potluck Sunday and is sorely needed. Can you guess? I'm talking about GREEN and FRESH, salad and vegetables. I think in all the year and a half I've been here in Iowa I've been the only one to bring fresh vegetables and/or salad to the potlucks. When I don't there isn't any. So in the interest of promoting health and good nutrition I'll be bringing fresh salads from now on.

By the way, my salads are either dark greens such as Romaine lettuce or spinach and whatever vegetables I have on hand, or just straight veggies, no lettuce. Topdad actually likes the veggie salads best.

I love to add garbanzo (or other) beans to a salad.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

He's Home

Elder PW - home from Argentina
We met him at the airport on Wednesday, April 4 at 10:45 AM, true to his teasing nature, he was the last one off the plane. I started running toward him and the gate guard cautioned "Ma'am, you can't go down there." I ignored him and ran to give my son a hug.

He is the same person, just a little taller, a little slimmer, and a lot more emotional and spiritual depth. He is settling in and making decisions about the future, taking care of business such as dentist and doctor visits, making contact with Westminster College and hundreds of friends.

PW's first request was to eat Pizza for lunch. Here he is with Topdad, and then his first taste of American pizza.

Then a short drive in JET's car
Oh yeah, this is sweet!
Here we are on Easter Sunday:

JET, Rozylass, Elder PW

The Man!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Dress 2012

This year's Easter Dress was an ADVENTURE!  First, I ask Noble what she wants.

This is what she sends me with the note that she loves the color and style but wants it modest. Right.

A search of patterns in my collection yields nothing so I search the web and find this one which has enough of the design lines to be similar:

I have no pink fabric, but I do have some lovely lavender crinkle cotton and decide that will have to do, it is her favorite color after all.

Then the real adventure begins. The fabric is only 36 inches wide and has some bad streaks and fade lines. But I manage to get the bodice cut out and then decide that the skirt will have to be gathered widths of the fabric. I found another pattern with sleeves that looked nice, but the sleeve cap didn't match the armhole so I had to draft a smaller version and pray that it would turn out.

Here's the finished dress with some detail shots:

Dress (color is off, see below)

Bottom ruffle

Back zipper
I put it in the mail Tuesday afternoon--Priority--and prayed that it would get to her by Friday. She got it Wednesday and texted me that it was pretty, perfect and she loved it!

Another lesson here is when looking for clothing, something that looks bad on a hanger just might need a body in it to look nice. Try things on before dismissing them. This dress looks "poor" on the hanger but looks great on Noble.  (If she'd been here I would have adjusted the sleeves to be straight across, but without the model it's hard to know how things will fit.) Not to worry, she LOVES it! And that's all that matters. Happy Easter, sweetheart.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I'm slowing down in my blogging; and that's probably not good in the long run. My blog is all over the place and I'm thinking I want to focus--but on what! Ah, now that is the question. What do I do the most? The honest answer to that is cooking. I make two meals each day, breakfast and dinner/supper. I eat lunch by myself and usually indulge in things no one else likes. (Like tomatoes! and rice and bean dishes!) Then I do some baking each week, bread, cookies, cakes, etc. So I could blog about my work in the kitchen. However, I really do love to sew and quilt and knit and such, and I could blog about that. But I'm not as prolific as some other much more interesting bloggers. Then there's my "expertise" as a mother; exhibits A, B and C are Noble, Elder PW and JET, my adult children; still in training are Dr. Hair and Dandylion. But maybe I just got really good spirits and it's not what I did to them or with them. Who knows? Then there's my journey of de-cluttering, which is weighing on my mind and needs to be continued. Speaking of weight, oh let's not go there after all, it's too depressing. I could review books I read, movies I watch, music I listen to. My spiritual insights are written about on my other blog, but I could write here about how I live my religion in the day to day, nitty-gritty sense.

Do you feel stretched in many directions? Maybe I'll just keep being random for a while longer. Thanks for reading. And as your reward here are some pictures of spring flowers from my garden.

I have loved these fragrant little violets since I was a young child.