December 1, 2011

Whole Wheat Sourdough

Over the summer I learned to make sourdough.  I loved it!  I made sourdough bread, pancakes, pizza crust, biscuits, and probably other delicious things too.  At the end of the summer things got a little crazy in my life, and sourdough (and breadmaking in general) was one of the first things to go...after this blog.  Now that my life is much more in control, I cannot wait to make start another starter, hopefully a few days ago.  Wait!  That didn't happen!
So here is how to make your own starter.  Hopefully I'll share some recipes in a few days.

1.  Mix equal parts of wheat flour (or any flour) and water in a quart-sized jar.  I started with 1/2 cup of each.
2.  Put a napkin over top, and screw it on with a lid.  The napkin allows for airflow to get into the jar.  The idea with sourdough is that you are getting natural yeasts and healthy bacterias from the air.
3.  Set in a warm place.
4.  "Feed" the starter twice each day, following steps 1-3.  I usually use 1-2 tablespoons of each flour and water at each feeding.  Be sure to mix well, making certain to scrape the bottom and sides of the jar.
5.  Within 2-4 days you should start to see bubbles.  This is all dependent upon things you can and can't control such as temperature.  When I started my starter during the summer, I had a lot happier of a starter than I expect to this time.  Just do your best to keep it warm.  Keep the jar on the stove so that it warms up while your cooking, etc.  (Note:  When I tried in the future, I found it rather impossible to get good results in the cold winter temperatures.  I'll give it another shot, and then I think I'll just have to wait for warmer weather.)
6.  You can make crackers in less than a week of starting your starter, but you should probably wait 1-2 weeks prior to making bread, just to make sure your starter is happy (lots of bubbles).
7.  When you're ready to make a recipe, take out as much starter as the recipe calls for, then replace with equal parts of flour and water.

Easy!  This really only takes about 1 minute of work each day!

I learned how to make sourdough from Kitchen Stewardship.  If you don't like my directions, you can check out her's.  I also started by using her recipes.  Then I got more adventurous.

November 11, 2011

Stock Up on Peanut Butter!

Prices on peanut butter have already risen, and will continue to rise.  But, good news to some of you, Fresh Market has Sunland Peanut Butter on sale for $.99, per 16 oz. container.  Time to stock up.  If all the peanut butter is gone, ask if you can get a rain check.  Hopefully you can.

A note about Sunland Peanut Butter.  It tastes a little different than you may be used to.  I love it!  (And so does the rest of my family.)  It's made from Valencia peanuts and palm oil, instead of the typical hydrogenated soybean oil.  Palm oil is a healthy fat, soybean oil is not.  

August 2, 2011

Maceys Case Lot Sale

Maceys' caselot sale begins tomorrow, and runs (most likely) for the next 2 weeks.  Here is my review on what is a good deal.  Remember that grocerysmarts.com has a great star rating system, showing what they say is a good deal.

Milk and Eggs
  • Country Fresh $8.88-I've heard good things about this brand, but have never tried it.  According to the Augason Farms website, this can makes 39 cups of milk.  This brings the cost to $3.64/gallon.
  • Morning Moo Milk Alternative $8.88.  I cannot stress enough that this is not real milk.  It tastes good when drinking it straight, and works great in baking.  I bought a 50 lb. bag of it several months ago.  I have since decided that because of all of the ingredients in it, that this is not what I want to feed my family.  I will finish what I have, and will not be buying more.  Ingredients can be found here.  Anyway, each can makes 90 cups of milk, bringing the cost to $1.58/gallon.  Great price!  The chocolate milk comes to $2.33/gallon.
  • Country Cream $11.99-I really like this milk.  I think it tastes good to drink.  The price on this comes to $2.40/gallon.  Not bad compared to the prices at the store.
  • Whole eggs $11.99-I use these in my baking frequently during the winter when fresh eggs are more expensive.  I only use 1 T egg powder per egg, allowing the eggs to go farther than what the directions say.  Using my method, each egg in this can costs about $.07, or a dozen eggs costs $.84.  Great deal!  (This may be a great item to give to loved ones for Christmas!)
  • Butter Powder $18.99-I've never had this before.  The prices comes to $3.62/lb. (4 sticks).
Grains
  • 45 lb. pail of wheat $15.99 and 50 lb. bag for $11.99-Great prices!  This is much cheaper than buying wheat at a Family Home Storage Center (LDS Cannery).  In the bag, this wheat costs $.24/lb. which is an amazing price!  This is a great stock-up price!  (Can you tell I'm serious about this being a great price?)  To learn more about changes in the price of wheat and other items, look here
  •   50 lb. bag of oats $19.99-Great deal!
Other
  • Chopped Onions, 23 oz., $5.99-  Not that great of a deal.  The Family Home Storage Center has a much better price.  By the way, 6 T of dehydrated onions equals about 1 cup of fresh onions.
  • Canned tomatoes $.50-Yeah!  I get to stock up!  I'm all out!
  • Canned beans $.50-Best deal you can find these days.
  • ShurSaving brand canned pears and peaches, 29 oz., $.99-This is a good price, but ShurSaving isn't known for having the best quality.  I would probably want to try a can first if I were stocking up on these.
  • Pineapple $.88-Good price!
  • 25 lb. bag sugar $12.99-Not that great of a price.
  • Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce $.88-Decent price, but you can find better.
  • Tuna $.57-I haven't bought tuna in a long time, but I need to stock up on some.  Is this the best price I'm going to find? (I'd really like to find it for $.35 a can, but I have a feeling those days are long gone.  Is this the price I need to settle for?)
  • Tomato sauce $.25-The best I can plan on finding
  • Tomato paste $.39-I haven't bough tomato paste in a long, long time.  Is this a good price?

Did I leave anything out that you have questions about?  Leave a comment if you do, or if you can answer my questions regarding tuna and tomato paste.

July 23, 2011

rhubarb juice


 I have a lot of rhubarb.  I have 12 plants.  Several hundred (probably close to 500) stalks have been been pulled, and you can't tell that any have been taken.
My neighbor gave me a great idea on how to use it in large quantities:  juice.  I have access to a steam juicer, so I tried it.  Now I have 20 or so pints of rhubarb juice in my freezer.  It tastes awful by itself, but I mix it with apple or home-canned grape juice, and it tastes great!