Monday, April 30, 2012

April's Five Fabulous Finds

Anyone who knows me knows that fashion is not my deal.  A comfy pair of jeans and an over-sized shirt are my idea of personal style.  So why did I include this, a website where one goes to rent designer dresses, as one of my Five Fabulous Finds this month?  Sometimes it is fun to venture into foreign lands even if we feel a little ridiculous doing so.  Offspring No. 1 introduced me to RENTTHE RUNWAY.  She is a fashion maven.  And, she recognizes and respects my personal style.  I love that kid!  Anyway, because she is a fashion maven, she knows where to go for clothes.  She got her dress for our wedding from RENTTHERUNWAY and I must say that she looked awesome!  While Brooke was home, we logged onto the site and “shopped” together.  She pointed out all the dresses that perhaps I could wear if by some rare chance I found myself in a situation that required me to give the allusion of having any fashion sense at all.  The truth is that I might be willing to wear the dress; it is the appropriate (Translation: high-heeled) shoes with which I have serious issues!  But, you never know.  I do have a wedding to attend next month.


We eat a lot of yogurt.  Like most things, it is better when it is homemade.  When you make it yourself you know exactly what is in it.  Plain yogurt is exactly that - plain yogurt.  It contains nothing but milk and yogurt cultures, which came from the last batch of yogurt that you made.  Vanilla yogurt contains milk, cultures, vanilla, and tyour sweetener of choice in the amount of your choice.   When Weber and I married, we made intentional decisions about what kitchen “stuff” to keep.    The general rule was that there was no place for single use appliances and gadgets.  It is surprising the things that did not make the cut. The yogurt maker is now one of the few single use appliances in our kitchen.  It is possible to make yogurt without such an appliance.  In fact, many people use a heating pad to keep the yogurt warm while it processes.  For me, however, when it comes to mixing food and bacteria, I want to make sure that this relationship happens correctly.  The yogurt maker assures that. It maintains the exact temperature necessary.  To quote Goldilocks, “It’s just right!”  For this the yogurt maker earns every square inch that it occupies in the pantry!

Not only do we make our own yogurt, we also make our own butter.  I ran across a cookbook not too long ago entitled Bake the Bread Buy the Butter.  I haven’t read the book so I’m not sure why the author commands this.  I have to assume that it must be because the truth is that it is not really any cheaper to make your own butter.  (Just like it is not any cheaper to knit your own sweaters.)  It certainly is not because butter is difficult to make.  Butter-making has become a weekly ritual for Weber.  It is kind of a Zen experience.  Each week we buy a pint of organic heavy whipping cream.  This and a stand mixer is all that is necessary.  You put the cream in the mixer bowl with whisk attachment and turn it on.  After about ten minutes the liquid and fat begin to separate.  A little more beating and the butter turns yellow.  The key to successful butter making is to squeeze every last drop of the liquid from the solid.  Once this is done, rinse the butter under cold water and store it either in the refrigerator or in a butter bell on the counter.  It’s easy!  My advice, bake the bread and make the butter.  It’s worth it.

Based on the fact that we make our own butter and yogurt, why I like this blog written by Alana Chernila really needs no explanation.  Check out the link.
I am really not obsessed with food.  Well, maybe I am.  Well, my obsession is not with eating food but with the importance of developing a meaningful relationship with the food that we allow to enter our bodies.  I want to know the food that I am eating as intimately as know the person with whom I am living.  How we feed our bodies is as important as how we feed our minds and souls yet, as is evidenced by the statistics surrounding weight related disease in this country.  so many people these days neglect this extremely important relationship.


I admit that I am a slave to technology.  I have a computer, an iPad, and an iPhone; and, I use them all daily.  I also use an “old-fashioned” marbled composition book daily.  Here on my blog I chronicle many of the important, and a fair number of not so important, aspects of my daily life.  These posts are written on the computer.  But every morning I handwrite several pages in a marbled composition book.  These are the pages where I sort out all that is going on in my inner world.  Some of the ideas that I write in these books make it into blog posts, but not all of them.  You guys should be thankful for that!  Just trust me on this one.  I like these composition books because the covers are sturdy, not wimpy like spiral notebooks.  The pages don’t get bent back.  The binding is sewn.  I don’t have to worry about pages tearing out like with a spiral notebook.  Composition books come in many colors and in either college or wide ruled.  And, they are cheap.  They are the perfect repository for all those thoughts, ideas, questions, and complaints that we all have but are better kept to ourselves.
Farewell April.  I’m looking forward to the May flowers.