Checking in on My January Goals

January is winding down so I thought it was a good time to check in with my January goals.

I made a great meal of: I want to make a fantastic vegetarian dinner
maybe tomorrow

I baked: I’m going to try sour dough again
yeah  – 3 loaves of bread, a batch of pancakes and a pretty good starter

I preserved: not quite sure here
I made a few jars of orange marmalade

I stockpiled: I need to replenish the water supply
not yet, but I did find a great deal on facial tissue

I handmade/started to hand make: I want to crochet another wash cloth – maybe an even one this time.
not even close, maybe I’ll start one tonight

I repurposed: hmmmmm? I’ll keep checking in at the thrift store
I found a lovely crock to use for kitchen utensils

I saved money by: This month I want to try to live out of the freezer – except for fruit, veg and dairy
We barely made it a week, but we did spend less than usual

I sowed seeds/planted seedlings/cuttings of: Kind of cold for this now

I harvested: I have turnips in the garden
They’re still out there

I tried something new: I want to try to make soap
maybe next month – I finally got the sodium hydroxide (lye) 

I read and was inspired by: I want to finish Mindset by Carol Dweck
Not done yet – need to make time for reading 

I finally tackled: I want to tackle the leaky faucet in the kitchen sink
Tackled – – failed – – plumber called – – money gone – – sad face

I really enjoyed: I want to really enjoy my birthday
It was fantastic and I’m fifty 


The Breadmaker Sourdough Experiment – Day 2

The sourdough starter is starting to finally come around.  It took a number of 12 hours feedings to get it going.  It still does not look as lively as some I have seen, but my jar has a pretty wide mouth, perhaps leaving more surface area for the bubbles to disappate and resulting in less climbing up the jar.  Who knows?

Anyway, I’m going to try the Goldrush Sourdough Breadmaker recipe again, but this time I going to cut everything by 25%:

      • Bread machine size: 2 pound (maybe)
      • 1 1/8 Cup Sourdough Starter
      • 1  Cup warm water
      • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
      • 3 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
      • 3/4 tsp dry yeast

1. Add the ingredients to bread machine* container.
2. Set machine for Basic Bread / Regular crust.
3. Press Start.

* I am using  a Zojirushi bread machine – model #BBCC Q20.



The loaf was too large.  The top did not brown well.  There was an odd layer of dicoloration about halfway down that did not seem to affect the inside of the loaf.  The texture looks fine.

The Breadmaker Sourdough Experiment – Day 1

Today I tried the Goldrush Sourdough Breadmaker recipe for a 2 pound loaf:

      • Bread machine size: 2 pound
      • 1 1/2 Cup Sourdough Starter
      • 1 1/3 Cup warm water
      • 2 tsp Salt
      • 5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
      • 1 tsp dry yeast

1. Add the ingredients to bread machine* container.
2. Set machine for Basic Bread / Regular crust.
3. Press Start.

* I am using  a Zojirushi bread machine – model #BBCC Q20.  I found it at the thrift shop for $15.00 last summer.


The loaf was too large.  The top did not brown well.  There was an odd layer of dicoloration about halfway down that did not seem to affect the inside of the loaf.  The texture looks fine.


Next time I think I’ll try to reduce the recipe to 75% to see if this helps with the size issue.

Orange marmalade and the Demise of No-Spend January

Well, today we spent money – a lot of money.  After taking back the slippers that Joe bought for my Christmas present, we stopped at the Kobos outlet to look at coffee makers (Joe broke the carafe to his and is having trouble finding a replacement). They had a lovely clearance sale and while we were wandering around our eyes both hit the same item at the same time.  Joe looked inside and said, “It’s a Krumkake iron – an electric one”.  It was marked down from $60.00 to $20.00 so we decided to get it using the money we got back from the slippers.

Then we spied another possibility – could it be? – is it? – a lefse iron.  We looked and it’s actually a flat bread maker.  It has recipes for flat bread, tortillas, and wraps.  Will it also make lefse?  We decided to give it a try as we can’t get a replacement cord for Vina’s (MIL) iron.  This one will also make smaller lefse which might be nice.  So we shelled out an extra $40.00 for it – it was marked down from $80.00.

We did make up a little on our stop at the grocery store, getting $72.00 worth of groceries for only $5.99 using coupons and a giftcard.

When we got home from our shopping, I made orange marmalade from the left over Christmas satsumas and Joe took down the rest of the Christmas decorations. I was also able to finish the blueberry and black currant cordials, start a batch of berry wine, bake an orange cake, make a pan of kefir brownies and a batch of bailey’s hazelnut and chocolate pudding.  The kitchen cabinets are about half cleaned out and rearranged and I put up chalkboard contact paper in the pantry cabinet.

I also began the breadmaker sourdough experiment today……..

Orange Marmalade

(from Alton Brown’s Recipe)

  • 1 3/4 pounds oranges, 4 to 5 medium ( I used 9 satsumas)
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 pounds plus 12 ounces white sugar


  1. Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly. Cut the into 1/8-inch slices using a food processor.
  2. Place them into a stainless steel pot adding the lemon zest and juice and the water.  Set over high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 40 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar and stir the mixture continually, until it reaches 222 to 223 ºF or sets on a cool plate.
  5. Put into hot  half-pint jars and process for 20 minutes in a steam canner.

Thoughts for a New Year

Well it was the first day back to work for me after a lovely winter holiday.  I had to remember to not stop for a chai on the way to work and to not stop for a soda on the way home.  This is how we did……

No Spend January
Jan 1 – nothing spent
Jan 2 – spent $4.48 on groceries (tea, yoghurt and some clearance candy) used $5.00 bottle deposit money  and the change went into the change container.

January 2 – removed 2 cookbooks from the cupboard.

No-Spend January

I’m going to try to join Carla over at 1/2 Dozen Daily in a no spend January.  The rules (adapted from Carla’s) are:

1.  Track purchases. Write down every single penny we spend!
2.  Start a “sealed pot challenge”.  Any coins we find go into the pot and it doesn’t get opened until December 3, 2012.
3.  Menu plan & shop from a list. We will need some fresh produce and dairy, but the rest will come from the pantry and freezers.
4.  Find free & cheap activities to have fun
5.  Focus on simplicity, organizing, & donating/tossing.
6.  Medicines/medical care doesn’t count.
7.  If we must fix or replace the refrigerator it does not count against us – it just must happen 😦

Here’s what we have on hand to play with:

  • Regal Cinema giftcard – $25.00
  • Amazon giftcard – $25.00 + $11.08 previous balance
  • American Express giftcard – $50.00
  • Starbuck’s giftcard – $25.00
  • 2 certificates from Essence of China – $25.00 with minimum purchase of $35.00
  • 1 free birthday coffee from Starbuck’s
  • 1 free birthday burger from Red Robin
  • Yeah! – I found another $25.00 giftcard for red lobster/olive garden

Monthly Do-it-Yourself for 2012

One of the things I’m going to try to do in 2012 is to try one do-it-yourself project every month. I’ve picked projects that I’ve never done before — some I’ve wanted to try for a long time.

  • January: Make Goat Milk Soap – Using Rhonda’s recipe at Down to Earth
  • February: Make a Woven Bookmark
  • March: Make Hand Lotion
  • April: Make a Kitchen Apron
  • May: Make Hand Lotion
  • June: Make Smoked Salmon
  • July: Make a Lavender Wand
  • August: Make Candles
  • September: Make Laundry Soap
  • October: Make Tortillas
  • November: Make Lip Balm
  • December: Make Bacon