One Week to Christmas

One week with nothing going on at all. Very few presents gotten. No Christmas tree either. Not on purpose.

I’ve been doing KETO since mid November food prep is consuming me for the most part. I’m racking my brain to figure out what to do for everyone and I’m drawing no answers. Silence. Ugh.

Categorized as General

Weather up and down coolness

We had record, for us, coolness early in the month, we used the fireplace on Nov. 5th. We’ve had it in use since then, on and off.

November 5, 2021

Today it’s quite warm, in the low to mid 70’s for a high, very warm. It’ll be like this tomorrow and then a bit cooler again.

I love the cold days. Outside nice fresh air. Inside by the fire get warmed up, then go elsewhere in the house, put on a hoodie jacket, back by fire if too chilled … keep active!

Autumn and Birds

It’s Autumn now so I need to get the bird feeders setup for the colder months soon.

I have both mixed seeds and black oil sunflower seeds, so I need to see if I have enough useful feeders to keep them both going on the porch this autumn season and winter too.

Over last winter there were Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, Savannah Sparrows, Carolina Wrens … I love all those birds!

Summer mid-point

It’s the middle of Summer. Hot most of the time, raining, overcast, partly cloudy, sunny. Any of those on any day.

Overall it’s been LESS hot this Summer, I think. The way it feels to me, that is true. A few days of very hot and humid, then several in a row of lower hot mostly cloudy with rain here and there most days, but never getting hotter than 87, cooler temps most of the day therefore, decent.

My garden is a mess. I will work on it more this autumn to prepare for next year better. I have a lot of perennials I have just let go to seed. I don’t want to do that, want to harvest a lot of them to dry and quit buying bottles of what I have growing!

I hate weeds and bugs that I don’t want in my garden area. Lets get down to the whole point of this: I need weed fabric between my garden areas so and no lumps of ground, all needs flattened, and then pea stone overtop of the walkways.

It will make me have less weeds to deal with, and overtime less problems.

I despise how useless at gardening I tend to become at one point or another in each growing season. Blame Humidty, Mosquitoes … yeah, those are the worst two offenders.

Gangly plants … nothing much nice there. My dill died. ūüôĀ

I guess my Basil and Rosemary are the only great things out there now. Maybe some of my chives and mint … but my entire garden had more that I am just hopeless at harvesting well. I have to get better as I’m the only one who cares about it at all.

Categorized as General

Bird Feeder Time

I found a bird feeder that was in the shed, cleaned it up a bit and put it hanging on the front porch, filled with Black Sunflowerseeds. I had another hanging there that was in bad shape, so it’s now on the porch floor. It’s hard to get seeds to come out, the bottom is really swelled up. I need to throw it away really.

All in all I have three places to hang feeders in the front, and only one decent feeder for now. At any rate, within a few hours the Northern Cardinal pair that are around usually were coming to the lower feeder. By the next day it was a flurry of activity at the hanging feeder, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch and the usual Eastern Phoebe going back and forth from the tree right there, a natural growing Crape Myrtle, which I mean, it’s not chopped every year.

Morning and Evening it’s such fun to watch them out the window by the door. particularly the Tufted Titmouse, which one will invariably come in for a landing from the tree to the porch rail, sit there, hop to somewhere else, and then fly away again, but pausing there for a good look around which allows humans and cats to get a good eyeful of them. All safely a glass panel between us and the birdies.

Gardening 2020 Rambles

My gardening is going OK, but it’s also being used by birds and a rabbit.

I have Kale growing, but it’s rather skimpily planted, next to that Swiss Chard, one of the few that came up was totally eradicated by one of the above, not eaten just taken apart.

The Kale was meant to add to salads from the store, or on a burger and I keep forgetting it now that it’s bigger and nice looking, but I haven’t ever grown it so … I don’t know.

Basil from seed takes a long time, but it’s finally getting bigger and useful. I have a lot of it. I want to keep some overwinter in the house, so I have to make sure I recall that information later on this year.

I planted some garlic, 9 cloves and that will be interesting to see what I get. I haven’t been successful in getting any ontions to even sprout. (Seeds)

I do have mint plants. I want them to be perennial, spread into the area I have them in. Why? We love mint ice cream! Mint Basil Ice Cream, Mint Ice Cream, Lemon Balm Mint Ice Cream, etc. I also have Lemon Balm growing.

My gardens are new this year, for the most part, 4 new cedar 4×4 raised beds, two of them attached with one being higher sided than the other 2-sets of that next to each other with a path between.

I have a more submerged 4×4 square that houses some of the above, Garlic, Parsley, Sage, and some of the Basil.

I also have cucumbers growing from seed, those have been SLOW, still not big overall, and not doing anything but that slow growing.

Sweet Potatoes were planted from a pack of plants purchased. They are growing vines like crazy.

Carrots are difficult I had planted seed in the old garden spot, mostly for naught then the one that was growing was beheaded.

I have two rows of carrots in a new garden, sprouting and growing nicely, culling out some of them is so heart rending difficult.

Oh, nearly forgot. Thyme. I grew Thyme from seed, but it wouldn’t do much, I had it in a raised herb garden frame, and something isn’t very good about it now, just crazyness, it used to be a good place, but the new garden soil I put in it just isn’t working.

I replanted a few of the Thyme sprouts and they are taking to another spot a bit better now. I put another group with them yesterday, so hopefully I’ll get some Thyme out of it.

Categorized as General

There’s a warming trend

It’ll be much warmer this week. Then colder again … so for now, it’ll be nice to get outside with my Canon 7D, and hopefully have enough wood for the fireplace as the piecemeal cold days come in the future.

Another batch of cold

Seems all I write about here now is COLD. Ah, well. Today and Tomorrow will not be so cold, but getting colder at night, into the low 60’s for Highs.

Sunday and Monday are going to be below freezing at night, and into the mid-40’s for high temperature. The next two days are supposed to be not as cold, lows and highs jumping and creeping up respectively.

Sunday night it will be cold outside. Sunday night is the Lunar Eclipse. It is supposed to be clear that night, so with my winter coat on to stand outside, that should work out alright.

Categorized as General

Cold is in again

Today I have been fighting with this non-seasoned wood to get something burning for tonight. It’s getting chillier in the house, and it’s nice to be warmer in the evening, the fireplace’s job.

Top down works well, but not when the wood is so, well, I have to use a lot of junk to get it going and fight, fight, fight chants to the embery pieces. But usually they just sizzle and eventually die, no wood will take their cheeky heat and start really burning. I have a few precious sort of seasoned things I can put on a sort of actually burning fire to get more embers to make the unseasoned partially burning guys to actually, burn up sooner than later.

Poking and prodding and washing my hands and recycled around and around is how it feels.

Categorized as General


It’s been quite cold (for where we live) and that means the fireplace is happy! But it’s not, because we don’t have well seasoned wood. Ha ha ha, joke’s on me. It makes me not happy because it’s more than a chore to get a fire hot for the morning, or all day, as needed.

Season’s first fire, wood we had left over, so it was pleasant to use.
November 14, 2018

Warmer weather is on the way, so I can do nothing about seasoning the wood, it needs way longer time and it’s going to be raining so …¬†

Categorized as Seasons Tagged

Thanksgiving Week

It’s that time of year, the week of Thanksgiving Dinner.

Preparations are under way via plans and gathering.

Tomorrow we’ll pick up the turkeys from Whole Foods Market, and the little things I have left to get at Costco and Publix.

Monday night will be the last dinner we actually “make” before Thanksgiving Dinner.

So today and tomorrow will be time for making bread for stuffing and going out for things and making one last dinner. Then Tuesday the big cooking, the turkey and stuffing, gravy. Out of the way, sliced, packaged, packaged, packaged. Done.

Wednesday prepping for Thursday, pies, and other things.

So Tuesday and Wednesday the oven will be in use, leftovers and frozen stuff will be meals, fit in when can, eventually.

Thursday getting ready for dinner will mostly be putting together sides, lots of oven use, and then getting the gravy nice and hot, turkey warmed up, stuffing too.

It’ll be a busy week, tiresome, and fun. Thanksgiving is the beginning of the feeling of SEASON’S GREETINGS!

EW30EF65GSA Oven Door Glass Replaced

I had ordered 1 inner glass, thankfully I only needed 1. There aren’t only 2, there are 3 bleeping pieces of glass in that oven door. Not counting the front glass even.

The new piece of glass is where the old one broke. The one that faces the oven directly. It looked cracked, but taking the door apart the middle piece of glass between the cracks was floating free.

It was torture, but mostly because we couldn’t get the door off, then worked on it while on, but then couldn’t close it and couldn’t remember how the hinges worked, took it out to figure out but didn’t until I found and finally watched some video about putting a pipe on the hinge to move it, oh goodness priceless. I felt so powerful at that point, floop, floop, each side down and push lock up, slide door in, push down lock thingie on both sides. Door closes right. Wow. So much trouble could have been avoided but “now we know” exactly how the dumb hinge works on the oven door.

Also, no more self-clean cycles. No thanks.

EW30EF65GSA Troubled Again

I did a small cleaning cycle in my Electrolux (EW30EF65GSA) main oven last week, and the inner glass cracked. Ouch. I could have used it still, but I have enough problems with racks in it, I wasn’t going to deal with it until I could replace the glass.

My glass replacement is out for delivery, I’ll be fixing the door today, fingers crossed that it goes well.

Both my glide racks are messed up. They don’t slide/glide at all, I can barely get them into the oven or out of it sometimes. I worked on one the other day, and made it work to put into and take out of the oven smoothly. I have to keep looking at the side piece with the spring on the right side the oven has felt too hot, and that is the side of my one rack that is overly browned and stuck, the other side is still silver and smoothly working. The glide doesn’t work because of, yes, that same right side.

The cost to replace these glide racks is too high. Just getting them insert/removable is all I can do with my old ones, so that’s that.

This stove has been driving me crazy. It’s too modern, glide/electric everything, motherboards, and all I have ever really wanted is a good enough gas standalone stove/oven.

Preparing Bread for Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing

Onion Bread in the oven

I’m prepping for roasting my turkey tomorrow, ahead of Thursday. This allows me to make the gravy and slice the turkey, get all the turkey packaged and into the refrigerator, only having to re-heat turkey in gravy for Thursday’s dinner. That means having all the other time on Thursday to make the rest of the meal.

Wednesday is Pie day. Tradition.

Today I am making onion bread, egg bread, and whole grain spelt bread. Currently onion bread is in the oven, egg bread is on it’s last bowl rise, and spelt whole grain is soaking in buttermilk.

Onion Bread in the oven
Onion Bread in the oven

Egg Bread Rising in Bowl
Egg Bread Rising in Bowl

Whole Grain Spelt & Whole Grain Spelt Flour in Buttermilk
Whole Grain Spelt & Whole Grain Spelt Flour in Buttermilk

What is all this bread for? Stuffing the turkey, of course! I love stuffing. In The Bird Stuffing is heaven.

I usually put raisins in it, sometimes walnuts too. Start with onion and celery in butter, then add rubbed sage, oh the scents are incredible! Chicken stock, some sea salt, a couple of eggs (wisked in), any other things I want added, then the bread sliced into cubes and added, mixed around, stuffed into the bird, rest into a casserole.

Pans; Cookware

My older cookware is what I mostly use now. It had been in storage, but has a few pieces that work well for our current stove, thick disc flat bottoms.

I’d gotten that cookware, Sitram, in the 2000’s, but got NEW cookware when we got this Electrolux¬†glass top stove. The new stuff was OK, good, at first, but the most used pieces end up getting rounded on the bottom when hot and some have held that shape, some are more round, and a few just uneven and ugh it’s a pain. [Plus I don’t think it’s good to cook with that variety of cookware condition.]

What that means is my pot rack is fuller than full and I still don’t have as many pans as I want to work with. That newer bad stuff is in the back and I avoid it mostly, others in my family use it sometimes to cook something, though I do most of the actual “cooking” as well as controlling the pans one uses to cook something for the family.

My biggest fry/sauce pan is actually a Costco pan, and it’s just about the same as my Sitram pans, just a tad beefier, lovely thick flat bottom disc and metal lid.

My newer pans have glass lids with metal rims: all of this stuff, my newer and older lids, work pretty good with all the different pans. That’s the one saving grace.

Categorized as My Kitchen

French Bread Baguettes using Dough Function of Bread Machine

1 cup water

4 cups flour

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. active dry yeast.

Add to bread machine and choose Dough Only function. When cycle completes remove from machine and put in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise an 1 1/2 hrs. Punch down.

Rest dough for 10 minutes. Divide dough into portions for baguettes. Determine how long you want them and then the width to calculate how many baguettes you can make.

Width will double while rising after shaping, so take that into consideration for final sizing.

Place shaped baguettes on parchment paper lined cookie sheets, allow to double in size, then bake as directed below.

Place an oven-safe dish with at least 2 cups of hot water into the bottom of the oven. Turn the heat to 350 degrees F. When oven is ready, quickly (to avoid losing more moisture than you want to) move the cookie sheets into the oven’s middle racks and allow to bake for about 20 minutes, more or less as needed, until baguettes are golden and have a hollow sound when bottom is tapped.


White Spelt Large Loaf in Bread Machine

1 1/4 Cups Water (additional liquid, as needed at around 5 beeps)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Tablespoons Butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon Sugar or Honey
4 Cups Spelt Flour (addition flour, as needed at around 5 beeps)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Active Yeast

Put ingredients into bread machine pan in order of recipe. Choose White Bread as the cycle, Large for loaf size, Light for crust color.

White Spelt flour (as well as whole spelt flour) requires less liquid in bread recipes, compared to other wheat flours.

I prefer to use less liquid rather than less flour in recipes.


French Bread

1 tsp. Sea Salt

1 tsp. active dry yeast

3 cups White Spelt Flour

3/4 cup water (+more, as needed)

Add sea salt and active dry yeast to the flour. Mix well. Add water slowly and when dough forms into a ball easily, cleaning sides of bowl, knead for awhile longer until it’s very pliable and conditioned, not tacky or too dry. Add water or flour by Tablespoon as needed.

Slowly add water while mixing with spoon or in bread machine or stand mixer, once all water is added, depending on dough consistency, add more water or flour a Tablespoon at a time until dough is pulling away from bowl edge and not sticky, but pliable and can form a ball.

Let rise an hour, then punch down. Allow to rise again until doubled.

Punch down, allow to rest for 10 minutes, then form into two pieces, roll into long ropes and put onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet, allow to double in size, then slash across several times down each baguette with a sharp knife.

Bake in 350F oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.

For crispy crust, while pre-heating oven put an oven-able container of hot water on the bottom of the oven. In a fast motion get the cookie sheet into the oven when it’s to 350F and quickly close the door.


Range is fixed. Need new cookware.

We had someone come in to fix our EW30EF65GSA Range.

Our Electrolux Stove is out of commission

We needed a new Relay Board, and I was sick of trying to fix it. Another thing is they said the power wasn’t hooked up correctly. Quizzical since it was installed by installers and the power cord was separate then, but brand new, they hooked it up. It worked all this time, nothing changed but all of the sudden the front right burner just changed. So the first visit, they fixed the electrical connection, and voila, the front right burner wasn’t “ON” all the time anymore, but the Relay Board wasn’t right, and the burner’s inner ring wasn’t working. (Before that, the whole thing was ON red hot, so this is odd, to me.)

They came back on Saturday, and now it all works again. Maybe better than before. Haven’t determined whether or not that is so.

I have a few kinks to get out though, still missing one halogen light in the oven, so expensive! The upper one stopped working in the first couple of years.

The oven racks are, or were, lovely — but have become cratchety old ladies. They need limbered up, and re-aligned in some way. No way I’m ordering new ones when they are over $180 each. Ouch!

I’d love to get a new glass top, but that’s something I can’t yet find, nor can convince my husband of the necessity, though that time is coming sometime. It’s all scratched up and there is a deep pocket of missing glass on the front right burner, yes a chunk gone and no one knows how or why or when it happened, just in the last few months. No one claims to have done it, or witnessed it or anything so… I know it was a mystery to me when I discovered it already there.

I do want a new set of cookware. The stuff we have is old now, we got it when the range was new. It’s flat bottom stuff, but junk for a glass top stove. It warps as it gets hot, so misshapen and the mess of the stove top state…

Flat Disc sort of cookware is what I want/need, at least something that will NOT warp.

I really want to use Cast Iron, but won’t unless I have a flame to cook over. I don’t have a gas stove, but truly it’s the ultimate cooking device and I don’t have one. No gas line to the community we are in, and the other method to obtain gas, husband isn’t convinced of, so electric is the only way and if I had to get another stove I think I’d quit cooking, end of story.

I hate flat top cooking surfaces, I hate coils. I hate them so much, have ALWAYS loved flame and so I am destined to always have what I don’t want, I guess.