Sunday, February 15, 2009

I asked "paper or plastic" against my better judgement.

It was Harmon’s PTA days on Tuesday, and I volunteered for Copper Hills High as a grocery bagger. Just a couple thoughts I collected during my two hour stint as the up and coming Harmon's employee of the month.
Most people reply “plastic’s fine” when asked their bagging preference. If they didn’t care, I used my personal preference and snuck in paper bags. I was informed by my checker that that wasn’t the norm. Apparently paper is harder to work with, so that’s why checkers usually say, “Is plastic okay?”
My chattiness annoyed the checker.
Two customers out of about twenty brought in reusable bags.
We gluttonous Americans use way too many plastic bags. Why do we need to put meat in one plastic bag, produce in another, and ibuprofen in still yet another plastic bag? Really what is it going to hurt to share a bag? All of these items sat without controversy in the shopping cart.
Bagging is hard work.

I can't find the right grain.

So I have been using spelt flour with great success in a variety of recipes and was beginning to think it was a miracle grain. So I thought I would try it in German Pancake. It only calls for 1/2 cup flour, but it has bugged me that I can't find a whole grain that works in this recipe. Spelt flour definitely had the same flavor as hard white wheat. Not bad, but it has a strong wheat flavor. I would like a grain that doesn't over power the egg taste. My son didn't even notice because all he can taste is syrup. I have tried barley flour and soy flour. Soy flour was beyond horrible. There isn't enough syrup in the world to hide that taste.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hey Al Gore, can I get a new cell phone?

If you have read any of my previous green blogs, you know how much Al Gore’s approval means to me. I often think to myself “What would Al Gore do?” Okay, I don’t really think that, but I do like to make green choices. I checked out a book from the library that gives tips to reduce your carbon footprint. One of the tips was about cell phones and not to purchase a new one simply because your phone company suggests an upgrade. I didn’t know that. Seriously, who needs to be told that? I guess the same people who accept and use to the limit every credit card that they are approved for, or purchase a home simply because their loan officer tells them they can qualify for the mortgage. So if your phone just needs a little duct tape to hold the battery on don’t let your phone company sell you an upgrade, and if you can’t make the payment, don’t purchase the home. Stay tuned and I will keep you updated on more useful hints to keep the resources of the earth and your pocketbook plentiful.

Presentation! Presentation! Presentation!

I make homemade wheat rolls on Sunday quite frequently. I usually just shape them in a boring regular roll because you can use the leftovers for sandwiches. And, to be honest I am lazy, and it is just easier that way. Well, every once in a while I get fancy, and it is funny how the rolls taste so much better. Same recipe, different shape, and many more compliments.

Is a perfect society possible?

This is one of my all-time favorite books. The first time I read it was because my daughter Hollie was reading it for school many years ago, and she didn’t understand it. I initially began reading it just to give her some help in understanding the story, and I ended up enjoying the book and read it in about a day. I suggested it for my book club, and so I just finished reading it again. What would your perfect society be like? Would the world be better off if people didn’t have so many choices? How does history and memory shape our future? Just some questions to ponder when you read The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Friday, February 6, 2009

You can hide almost anything in these applesauce oatmeal cookies.

One time I made these cookies with white bean flour and nobody was the wiser. My children ate them up, but after my husband told them what was in them, they were leery to eat anything I baked for months. For some reason they thought cookies made with bean flour was just plain sick. They acted as if they had been tricked into eating dog food or even worse. I promised them I would not put bean flour in cookies again, but I think I might have had my fingers crossed behind my back.

These are actually my husband’s favorite cookie. His mother used to make them when he was little. I have experimented with various grains and beans to make them healthy. Tonight when they were warm out of the oven, my husband ate almost a whole dozen.

This is the basic recipe:

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cups applesauce
2 tsp soda
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour - you can be creative :)
3 cups oatmeal

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and applesauce. Mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Stir in oatmeal. Drop about 2T for each cookie on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Tonight I put in 1/2 cup wheat bran and 3 1/2 cups hard white wheat flour. I have tried various combinations of wheat, grain, and bean flours. If you want to sneak something healthy into your children’s diet, these will do the trick.