Since yesterday was an airplane day, today was a kitchen day. I made a point of trying several things I've been putting off or just not getting around to. Overall, the results were pretty good.
First up, Angel Food Cake. Yes, it's very flat. Regardless of what they tell you, absolutely nothing can be used cup-for-cup as a sugar replacement in any kind of baking that is supposed to end up light and fluffy. I tried stevia here as an experiment and you can see how it turned out. So it tasted good, but in the future there will be no substitutions.
Next up, homemade salsa. I saw this recipe years ago on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook site and have wanted to try it ever since. Finally, miraculously having everything in the house at once I had to have a go at it. Result? Not bad. But not worth replacing canned salsa with unless I both tweak it (more onions, more garlic, more vinegar) and find a way to can it.
Most excitingly, I made bagels! Cinnamon raisin, to be precise. They were not nearly as hard as I anticipated and I look forward to making them often! Whole grain and sweetened only with honey, I can make all kinds of varieties off my base recipe. Yeah!
From the reading list- feel free to skip both of the books I've most recently picked up: Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans and Vagabonds (about Mexican immigration) and Plague Year. MBOV was true to it's purpose, but made me nauseous. Remember in Braveheart when Longshanks said the problem with Scotland was that it was full of Scots? And that the best way to fix the problem was to forcibly breed them out? According to MBOV, that is essentially the same philosophy that the Mexican people have used since the Spaniards' initial landing in the New World. Breed themselves into the ranks of everyone they encounter to confuse the social order and integrate their way of life into that of every place they go. While I'm all for a melting pot, forcing your children to breed prolifically with everyone they can in a new society you wish to control without concern for any moral code is revolting. My personal opinion. Plague year I also failed to finish, mostly due to the constant emphasis on cannibalism and complete lack of any noble morals. I think my apocolypic reading will have to stick to zombie literature. At least there people do not eat people (usually), and usually mankind is involved in a unifying struggle for survial, not fractionally tearing itself apart over petty things.
Other than that, not much to report. We inherited some pretty flower pots and garden style candle holders for a balcony from a neighbor who no longer needed them. More than anywhere else we've lived, the balconies in this complex are laden with flowers, lawn chairs, grills and other decor. They are very personalized, and our poor balcony has been looking a little lonely with just our camp chairs. I look forward to filling it out a little and making good use of it before the winter closes in!
Speaking of winter, consider this a cheerful reminder that today officially marks the beginning of August. The last month of summer is upon us. By this time of year, Victorian women had already started planning for Christmas! So before you head out to buy school supplies, sit down at your desk and make a list of all the things you wanted to do this summer that you haven't done yet. Pick at least three and write them on your calendar for this month. There's still sunshine and warm days - make the most of them!