Thursday, May 10, 2012

Herbs and Flour... what?!

So one of the things us military spouses have on our hands is a lot of free time. Of course children help busy us, but there's still a fair share of down time WITHOUT your husband! So hobbies are important to keep you busy! I've decided since cooking is one of my favorite things in the world, I should try baking and further... I should try gardening. What a feat! I decided the most practical thing to grow is herbs, so I enlisted the help of a few other spouses that know a thing or two about gardening and I started my own teeny tiny herb garden (in pots!) I've added a few flowers for color. I plan to add more over time, but geez gardening is not inexpensive to get started!
Currently I'm growing basil, parsley, and rosemary.
Those are thing herbs I use most often. I intend to add mint to the garden and if I'm BOLD I want to try yellow bell peppers and tomatoes. At our lunch today, I learned that tomatoes can actually be grown in pots. WHO KNEW?! I'm seriously considering trying it. I definitely want to add some more flowers for color as well. But, all in time... I can't do everything all at once... another lesson God is teaching me at the moment.

In an effort to learn more about gardening from folks around here, I corralled some of the spouses that like gardening into attending a Girls Gardening Brunch. Everyone brought something to share. It was very intimate. 3 spouses total, including me. We all baked our hearts out. We used fresh ingredients when at all possible.
I made Strawberry Rosemary scones. And GUESS WHAT?! I snipped that rosemary from my OWN rosemary pot! It felt so neat to actually use what I'm growing outside. Really a rewarding and relaxing hobby.
In terms of baking, I'm really pushing myself to have better patience measuring and leveling off ingredients. I love cooking so much because it's very experimental. Baking is sort of like the science experiment that BLOWS UP if you do 1 thing wrong. For example, check out my 4-hr attempt yesterday. I wanted to surprise my extremely overworked and tired husband with TWO different types of cookies. Folks, please understand me... I can barely get a pre-made pack of frozen cookie dough correct, so baking non-traditional cookies from scratch is loco! But I wanted to treat him. We rarely have sweets in the house and I don't buy snacks. (I find that when I have snacks and sweets in the house that's ALL we eat.) So, I found 2 recipes: 1)Giada's Double Chocolate cookies and; 2) Crinkle Cookies (from Ambitious, I know!

Well, guess what! I accidentally tripled the amount of butter for the Double Choc cookies and they melted like fudge all over my cookie sheet. I was near tears. After 4 hrs of SLAVING in the kitchen. All I had was goobly goop.
My husband walked in and asked what the brown stuff on the stove was. SIGH. So, I picked my pouting lip up off the floor and set out to make the Crinkle cookies and they came out PICTURE PERFECT!!! Thank God for patience.
I feel a lot more confident trying baked things that are breakfast items. So, I started making my pancakes from scratch instead of using the JUST ADD WATER box mix. MUCH EASIER!! Success on the 1st try! I am also adding fresh in-season fruits to the pancakes! Today and yesterday we enjoyed fresh baked blueberry pancakes. Tomorrow we are having blackberry pancakes. Mariah LOVES fruit. She just didn't know what to do with herself. Look how happy she is after a healthful homemade breakfast! I hope to learn to make fresh bread from scratch without using a breadmaker. Wouldn't that be neat?!
Both the gardening and the cooking from scratch all have meshed with my new found interest in eating healthier. I want to be more conscious about the foods going into my, my husband, and my children's body. I realize that I'm providing the sustenance that will foster Mariah (and my husbands) eating habits. I want to be sure I'm teaching Mariah to like healthy eating and portion control. As for my husband, well he's not quite 30 yrs old but, I'm determining what will go into his body. I don't want to spend 20 yrs clogging his arteries! Nutrition is becoming increasingly important to me. :0)

After all, our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. We should treat them with great care. :0)

1 comment:

Daigle Family Happenings said...

I just started making our bread and it is SO easy! I never thought it would be. The recipe I have makes 2 loaves and is usually gone before we realize it. Good luck and enjoy!