So...okay. What do you do on a rainy chilly day, when you're having a small party at the end of the week?
For starters, you do all the mundane things you do every day...tend to the critters, straighten up the house a bit...look around and see what can't wait. (Like when you're completely out of bread AND granola.) Oops. So, first thing, I started a batch of granola, mixing up all the dry ingredients and then cooking up the granola goo that coats everything. It's oil and honey and vanilla and cinnamon and dark brown sugar (or, in this case, barley malt syrup, because I have some). Turn on the oven to toast the granola. It's a nice low heat, and will warm up the kitchen nicely for the bread dough to get started. I'm making the big batch of the artisan bread, and will keep the extra dough in the fridge to make more loaves when I need them. This will make approximately 6 one pound loaves. That's a good amount for us to have ready to bake, and will easily keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or more. I have to make a confession. I haven't baked any bread for 2 or 3 weeks or more. I got tired of doing it and went to the store. The sticker shock of paying FOUR dollars for a loaf of decent whole grain bread nearly sent me into apoplexy. So...I'm baking bread again. lol Funny thing, we don't eat nearly as much bread, it seems like, when it's store bought. Imagine that... : )
I have a list made of things to do today. I have a master list of all the things that need doing by Friday. I live by the list, lol. So, this morning I'm baking, toasting, and going to make some biscotti. I am cleaning the office and putting a new cloth on the altar in front of the window which is full of plants now. I'm watering plants and dusting all the bookshelves (4 in this room) and spiffing the place up a little with some decorations (not much) and some candles. This is my hideaway back here. My computer, my books, my Bose system, my altars, my rocking chair. I really should do a better job of taking care of it. I've been soaking the plants in the bath tub and they're ready to come out and go back where they belong. They needed a good long drink of water.
This morning I took 3 of the 8 cats away and gave them a new home on a farm. I got an email last night asking if I knew of someone who had some to get rid of and I jumped up in the air hollering and shouting--PICK ME!! PICK ME !! They would have taken 4, but I didn't have another cat carrier. I may be making another trip out there. They're very nice people, and it's a nice insulated barn that's overrun with mice. I've been having an awful time with these male cats ...peeing everywhere and marking territories at each other. Hissing and fighting. I've been ready to tear my hair out, because I just can't stand it one more minute. This email was a gift. SO..the 2 worst ones are gone and one female. They are all neutered, and still they sprayed and peed everywhere. So done with it. And I felt only a twinge of regret...guilty as charged.
Okay. Granola's out of the oven and I mixed in raisins and dried cherries. Was going to put some of our dried apples in too, but....this is enough. It smells good and tastes good and once it's cool, we'll see if it's crunchy enough. If not...well...I hate to put it back in the oven with the dried fruit in it. But I think it's okay...
Feels like a soup day. Thinking I could make a batch of turkey totellini, since I have a half a bag of it sitting on the counter. Not a big batch--just enough for supper and the Irishman's lunch tomorrow. Soup and some homemade bread. Mmmmm....
I'm a little hindered in the cleaning department because it's just yucky enough that the dogs don't want to go out. lol And they are all scared of the vacuum. I'm sure I can find plenty of things to do though....I have some relaxing music playing and it's cozy warm, and the smell of toasted granola is competing with the smell of yeasty goodness as the bread dough rises. It needs to rise at least 5 hours, until it falls on it's own. Then it's nearly ready to bake. This relaxing music may not be the best motivational thing I've got going...but it feels good to go slow today, to savor the peacefulness, to be grateful for holidays and friends and family. I'm picking someone up tonight to go to a meeting. I don't go out at night a lot...but I will tonight.
Tomorrow is promising to be sunny and about 60 degrees. I'll get a lot of outside stuff done and maybe even some more baking. I'm going to bake a coupe of batches of biscotti today...cranberry almond and regular. I LOVE that stuff, and it will be good party fare too (if it makes it that long). I'm fixing some Chex Mix on Wednesday and another batch of some kind of cookie. I haven't decided if I'm going to just bake bread for the party or order some of that grand stuff from Panera...that was my original plan. The big micha loaf will cost me in the neighborhood of 10 bucks apiece...we'll see. It's awfully good bread...lol
Okay--I've stalled long enough. Take good care of yourselves this holiday season. Peace on Earth...it's what we're all wishing for....