Monday, October 20, 2008

Go figure

So color me surprised, but it's five days later now and I'm still smitten with the idea of living a crunchier life.  I love stumbling across new resources that offer no-nonsense, easy, relatively painless ways to save.  Save what?  Time, money, stress, materials, myself -- whatever.

Also to my surprise I am not really missing being a chronic consumer.  Right now, the three of us are sharing a room of about 144 square feet.  Chewing up most of that space is one twin bed and one king size bed; our clothes, shoes, and bare essentials fill in the rest.  Yes, we have other things scattered here & there in my sister's house but we haven't even approached taking it over.  So what this means is that I can't really buy a lot of things - where on Earth would I put them?

This is amazingly freeing.

And, it's buying me time (hee hee) to make some considered decisions about what we will need to purchase when we move back home versus what we can just do without.  Or do differently.  On my list?
Putting up a clothes line.  
Garden planning.
Boning up on freezing & canning.
Learning to use my sewing machine.
  Repurposing a small dresser for Sara's night stand.
Planting another tree in the front yard for afternoon shade.
Mastering the art of bread-making.  

OK that last one has very little to do with being crunchy;  I'm just tired of making a lousy loaf of bread.

The point is that none of this is original and none of it is rocket science.  But it does take a little more effort on my part while requiring a little less convenience.  And that's OK.  I'm enjoying these little epiphanies and find that it's making ever-so-slight changes in my thinking.  Like instead of begrudging what I can't do because it's too expensive, I find myself thinking about what I can do instead that will be just as enjoyable and, probably, a lot more creative.

A year ago?  No, no.  Not so much.  The wallowing would have commenced immediately, followed closely by a fairly obnoxious period of martyr sydrome.  It ain't pretty, I know.

Anyway, there's no real point to my rambling here.  Just happy to report that, so far, this seems to be more than just a passing fancy.  I am pleasantly, hopefully surprised.

Go me!

1 comment:

Richard Harrison said...

This is the bread recipe currently in vogue at the Harrison household: it's simple, easy, and fool-proof.

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups water

1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Oil as needed.

1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and mix with spatula until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more. (You can even leave the dough in the bowl and use the spatula to pull dough from edges into the center - this works just as well.)

3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. (If you choose not to fold dough in Step 2, be sure to place about 1 Tbps of oil in the hot pot, mentioined in this step, before placing dough into pot.)

4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 25 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 big loaf.