A quest to make sense of it all. Or a sense to make a quest of it all.

Friday, January 18, 2013

No glutens had to die for this bread.

I really wish I had taken a picture of this amazing loaf of bread, because yeah. It was that good.

A few months ago, my mother picked up a box of Hodgson Mills GF bread mix. It sat in the cabinet as I experimented with my own recipes, and I just figured I would get around to it...some other day. Well, some other day came. A box arrived at the house last week, containing a late Christmas present, also from my mother. A shiny new Cuisinart bread machine! I was simultaneously stoked and intimidated. I've managed to get along really well with the KitchenAid stand mixer that Aunt Linda and Uncle John gave me, but that's about it as far as me and kitchen technology. I can't even use an electric can opener. No joke. They're noisy and I can never get the lid of the can to catch just right, so I eschew them. The cream separator Brett gave me came with instructions in Russian, which is kinda hilarious, but I know I've only got a month or so until Mandie's goats start producing milk again and I'll have to dominate that contraption. Whatever it takes will be worth it when I have fresh cream again.

I digress. Anyway, there was no need to be intimidated. The bread machine was the easiest machine I've ever used. I mixed up the wet ingredients and dumped them in the pan, dumped in the dry ingredients, put the yeast on top, closed the lid and turned it on. That was it. There's a handy gluten-free setting, and that's the only other button I had to mess with. I walked away and did something else productive (watched bad tv, played some Scrabble), and a couple hours later I had a perfect loaf of white bread with a perfect golden crust. I know it's supposed to cool, but since this playa don't care, I immediately cut off a slice. It was delicious! There was no grainy texture! It was just bread! I don't know if the magic was in the mix or the machine, but this is so, so going to happen again. I'm really looking forward to trying all my own recipes in it now. This bread machine has changed my life, y'all.

That's all. On that subject, anyway.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Hello, 2013.

So far, the new year's been kinda gloomy. We're still dangling over the fiscal cliff, I've got a bit of a cold, and it's cold and rainy outside. Plus Brett just left. He came up a couple weeks ago and stayed for a few nights before continuing on to Michigan to be with his family for Christmas. He came back down on Sunday so we could do New Year's Eve together, which we did, with Megan and Keith, and now he's on his way back to Mobile. I know it's not super far, and that we'll Skype a lot, and that we'll see each other again in a few weeks, but it's getting harder to say goodbye every time.

The merger at work that I was waiting for has been pushed to late February, which means I won't be able to transfer until March at the earliest. I figure if I'm stuck here until March, I might as well make it May and get in another semester. There are some benefits to staying, and I keep reminding myself of those benefits. I'll have more money saved up,  and I'll be continuing my math with the same awesome teacher and same awesome study group. My bosses are trying to work me at the main office more so that I'll get more experience in lending, IRAs, and annuities. That'll help me when it does come time to transfer. So there's that. I'm not gonna lie, though. I'm pretty bummed about the delay. Looking at the bright side and trying to stay positive is effective most of the time, but there's just no substitute for a hug, you know?

In the good news department, 2013 is going to be the year that I get in the best shape of my life. Call it my New Year's resolution, I guess. There are a couple other things I'd like to do and work on. Improve my correspondence, for one. Be a better friend. I've finally quit smoking for good (three months now!), and have weaned myself off of caffeine,  so now I'm going to try to knock "late bedtime" off my list of vices. I want to be more involved with the women's shelter. Right now, there are issues with the plumbing and they can't house anybody until it's all fixed, and there just isn't enough money for it. Some fundraising is in order.

It's a cold, wet January night. I'm staying up until Brett gets home, and then I'm crashing. Despite the delay in moving, and this little cold, and this nasty weather, I'm a very thankful girl. I just had a wonderful Christmas with my wonderful, crazy family, and a New Year's Eve kiss from the man I'm crazy about. My book swap buddy, Arch, loaned me I Am The Cheese, and I read it, and it's really good. My mother gave me some absolutely delicious, fragrant jasmine blooms for tea, and I'm about to make a cup and go through my bookshelf to select a return book for Arch. The house is cozy, my kitty is playing and purring, the fridge is full, my new sheets are soft, and I keep looking, and smiling, at the cream separator Brett gave me for Christmas. God has seen fit to see me through to another year, and I'm heading into it, feeling very blessed and very  loved. What a fortunate girl I am.