Snow, a big baking day and adding more pet food.

Got a good 3-4 inches of snow overnight and into the morning. It was very easy to shovel so I got that done and added some Ice melt to the front yard sidewalks because the temp. is supposed to drop into the teens at night this week. We might get a little more snow this week but that is looking “iffy”. The cold weather is a good thing as that keeps the snow pack from melting in the mountains. Helps for irrigation and retards flooding which is a good thing. 

I have buying unbleached white flour at the local Fred Meyer as I can get the same price per pound (.50 cents) as a large 50 pound bag at the local Cash and Carry Store. I sort of figure 1, one pound loaf per week per person is a good base line for your bread needs. So you need to store at least 50 pounds of flour/whole wheat berries to have a year’s worth of bread and that is pretty easy using buckets and a little DE to keep any little bugs growing in the flour. Another thing I have wanted to do is expand my bread making skills to making other types of bread products. Today I made some bagels for the first time. English muffins a second time and some Challah bread I have made a few times.

Making a new product is a little bit scary as failure is super easy while you are learning.  You can always split a recipe if you are afraid of making a big batch your first time. My bagels turned out okay but I found out don’t use parchment paper in the oven if you want your bagels to brown up. Don’t use a Pizza stone to bake off your bagels as the bagel dough is a little sticky after boiling. A lightly oil sheet pan is the way to go. 

I tried a new recipe with the English muffins but I think the biggest difference was the heat applied on my stovetop and cast iron pans. I have an older electric stove with coils and the first english muffins browned before cooking all the way through and I finished them in the oven. This recipe I started with lower heat and increased it to give the muffins a good browning but cook the muffin all the way through without using the oven.  I’d say use the same temp. you would use for a slow simmer  between low and medium heat and use a lid to hold in the heat to cook your English muffins. 

I made some more of the Challah bread that I have made before so I was not to concerned about if I could bake the bread. I like adding sesame seeds or kosher, pretzel salt on top of the challah bread.  While these are all yeast bread products they can be made and baked off in a couple of hours or les counting the rise/proofing time. While I’m worn out I made all of these breads in less than four hours from start to finish. The price of all breads are rising and specialty breads at the local mega mart is leading the way for cost to buy. All of the ingredients for these products are the same and relatively cheap to buy. You can make almost any store bought bread product for 1/3rd of the cost in a store or bakery.  It does take time and you will have to decide how much your time is worth. 

I got a $20.00 of coupon for using to order some pet food.  If you have buying pet food lately you know that buying in bulk and getting $20.00 off is huge.  Especially if you get pet food that is not available in the store or the price has gone up so much you can’t afford it. I order some of the Purina one UTI dry cat food and a couple of 24 can cases of 9 lives wet cat food. My cats seem to be doing good on that diet. The package was a couple days late but California has had a couple of weather issues in the last couple of weeks.  The cardboard shipping box was shredded but all of the cat food ordered was in the box and in good shape. The cat’s dry cat food bin is full to the top. I added a little more of the premium dogfood to the buckets, and topped off 3 five gallon buckets.  Overall the critters have a good bit of food stored this year. 

I am seeing something that has me a bit concerned about accessing peoples checking accounts directly and bypassing even using a debit card.  One gas station will charges 10 cents less per gallon if you allow them access to your checking account.  I have seen this cropping up in other stores. You get a pretty good discount if you allow access to your checking account.  I don’t have a good feeling about this sort of thing. Perhaps if you could set up an independent account that only handle these charges it might be okay. While I do hate credit card companies,  I will say they have good fraud protection compared to debit cards.  I always default to the thing if the deal seems to good to be true. It probably isn’t true. 


3 Responses to Snow, a big baking day and adding more pet food.

  1. E M Johnson says:

    Diatomaceous Earth for flower storage? What’s the procedure you use for that? That with buckets sounds way easier than the mylar assembly line

    • Jamie says:

      EM, I used Food grade buckets in the 3-5 gallon range and for DE I add about a tablespoon per 10 pounds of flour, sugar, cornmeal and any thing that can attract weevils or little bugs. I Use DE in my dry pet food to keep it fresh and DE is a natural de-wormer so it won’t hurt animals or humans.

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