Sunday, August 14, 2011

SO domestic!

I don't have any pictures to prove this to anyone, but I've been a busy little home-making bee lately. I'm not what you'd call "crafty" or "green" or "creative" or "super self-reliant" or "healthy" or even all that "productive" on a day-to-day basis, but I'm sort of tapping into that trend lately in a big way. Not for any idealistic reasons, but it's kind of my hobby and it makes me feel like I'm saving money. So, recently I've learned how to do the following hippy-dippy things:
  • Bake whole wheat basically anything. Nels and I challenged ourselves to go whole wheat/whole grain all the way. They say it's healthier 'n' stuff. This skill alone keeps me busy what with all the bread baking, pizza dough making, waffle waffling, pancake flipping, crepe cooking, tortilla rolling outing, pie crust fiddling (with, because it is much more finicky than the normal kind. Oh, and we have a rule about that by the way: no whole wheat crust at Thanksgiving or Christmas. That is where I draw the whole wheat line. I just do whole wheat for our turkey pot pies.) dinner creating, etc. I have yet to make 100% bagels, pita, or corn bread (yes, there is such a thing!), but I have recipes all lined up ready to try, and I'm excited.
  • Crochet dish towels. I could already crochet so it was merely a matter of figuring out how to triple single double crochet stitch and quadruple double triple double single triple quadruple stitch (I made those names up, by the way). They've turned out pretty cool.
  • Made marvelous tomatillo salsa. I got the recipe from a neighbor who understands salsa on a deeper level. Basically, though, I got a list of ingredients and kind of added them as I went along and until I was satisfied with the taste. It was extremely chunky, tangy, cilantro-y, and fresh tasting.
  • I made healthy popsicles. I got a really fun recipe book called Ice Pop Joy for my birthday, and I pretty much love it. I'm not sure if jumping on this bandwagon really counts as hippy-dippy except for the fact that the author's children's names are something like Lotus Sunshine, Bodhi Ocean, and River Love, but I've got to say I'm currently addicted. Not only is it a very pretty book, but the recipes are designed to get nutrition into picky kids. I have a picky-eating kid and this book makes me feel like a good parent. That's all it took.
  • I made a flannel board with animals from "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?"
  • And finally, I've created a month-long rotating dinner menu in hopes that Calvin would start to see a pattern and eat real food on a regular basis. I made a google calendar that has all my dinners mapped out so I never have to wonder what's for dinner again. Plus, my grocery budget has become more predictable. And Sunday is (homemade) pizza night. I get lazy on Sundays and don't like cooking a big meal. I'm contrary that way for now.
Here's the projects I have lined up for the near future:
  • Make fruit leather. I have a surplus of apricots. (Thanks grandma and grandpa!) Did you know you can do the setting up/dehydrating part of this in your car? Pretty nifty.
  • Make dishwashing soap and laundry soap. Apparently this is easy and cheap as all get out. Plus instead of using a rinsing agent or fabric softener, just use vinegar. I tried the vinegar as a rinsing agent in the dishwasher and it worked great. You all probably knew all this, but I am still impressed with myself.
I'm also having a baby in about a month so I'll be freezing duplicates of my dinners so that I can avoid cooking for a while. All this I plan to do before my nesting impulse fades, an upside of my pregnancies. That and voluminous hair.