My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

Yup, It’s True. I’ll Own It. I’m A Procrastinator.

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Procrastination…  We’ve all done it before.  Some of us (a.k.a. me) do it more often than others.  I was a big time procrastinator yesterday.

 

I started out just fine.  I bought a few plants in the morning, and I wanted to get them in the ground.  Great, right?  It was tax day, but my taxes were done (the night before, but that counts!), so I could do what I wanted with my time.  I spent a few hours gardening, planting, weeding, etc.  It was wonderful.

 

I planted lavender, marigolds, and some seeds (green beans and carrots).

I planted lavender, marigolds, and some seeds (green beans and carrots).

 

My tomato plants are coming along, and I've added some marigolds to keep the bees happy.  Well, that and to keep the rabbits away.

My tomato plants are coming along, and I’ve added some marigolds to keep the bees happy.

 

Why am I showing you a patch of dirt?  I decided to plant spaghetti squash from seed as one reader suggested.  We'll see if 4th time's a charm.  I planted some marigolds to attract bees, so, hopefully, if the seeds grow, and I get flowers, the bees will pollinate them.  Here's hoping!

Why am I showing you a patch of dirt? I decided to plant spaghetti squash from seed as one reader suggested. We’ll see if 4th time’s a charm. I planted some marigolds to attract bees, so, hopefully, if the seeds grow, and I get flowers, the bees will pollinate them. Here’s hoping!

 

I had a fleeting thought that I should make sure that the bunnies didn’t eat my new strawberry plants.  But I ignored that thought.  That was a BAD idea.  I was going to take pictures yesterday, but I decided to wait (a.k.a. procrastinate) until today.  Also a BAD idea.  When I stepped out my front door this morning, I found this:

 

No leaves!  The bunnies ate them all!  You can see their little bit marks at the base of (what used to be) the leaves.

No leaves! The bunnies ate them all! You can see their little bit marks at the base of (what used to be) the leaves.

 

And this…

 

They must love strawberry leaves, because they left the one unripe strawberry on this plant.

They must love strawberry leaves, because they left the one unripe strawberry on this plant.

 

And this…

 

Look, there's a leaf growing in the center of the plant, which the bunnies didn't eat (yet).  Maybe I can still save these plants.

Look, there’s a leaf growing in the center of the plant, which the bunnies didn’t eat (yet). Maybe I can still save these plants.

 

Hopefully, these are not too far gone, as the bunnies only munched on the leaves.  I’ll find some way to protect them, and, hopefully, they’ll survive and thrive.  Grr…  I’m not loving the bunnies this morning.

 

Of course, that’s not all I procrastinated doing yesterday.  I am a professional procrastinator!  I was a bit tired after all that gardening, so I decided to wait to make bread.  We ran out of bread at lunch, and I knew I needed to make more.  We don’t usually go through bread that quickly (2 loaves in 3 days), but my sons thought it was my best attempt so far at homemade sandwich bread (see my recipe here).

 

Arrogance proceeds the fall, right?  I thought, “I’ve got this!  I’ve mastered bread making.”  Have I never watched an episode of Survivor or Amazing Race?  What happens right before people are kicked off of the show?  They become overly confident.  While I don’t base my philosophies on reality TV, I have found a correlation between my own over confidence and my rate of failure.

 

Overconfidence + Carelessness = FAIL!  See?

 

This bread is usually ready to go in the oven 30 minutes after I put it in the pan.  When it's about an inch over the top of the pan, I pop it in the oven.  These aren't lookin' too hot.  It had been 90 minutes, and they were not rising as I'd like them to be.

This bread is usually ready to go in the oven 30 minutes after I put it in the pan. When it’s about an inch over the top of the pan, I pop it in the oven. These weren’t lookin’ too hot. It had been 90 minutes, and they were not rising as I’d like them to be.

 

So what happened with my bread?  I heat up my milk to hurry the process along when making bread.  I usually check the temperature.  I didn’t.  I think that coupled with the warm water and melted butter killed some of my yeast.  It wasn’t all dead, but my bread was rising very, Very, VERY slowly.  Not good.  Not good at all!  It should look more like this.

 

Look at those beautiful, puffy loaves!  And that's after only 20 minutes!

Look at those beautiful, puffy loaves! And that’s after only 20 minutes!

 

Usually that wouldn’t be a big deal, but remember how I said I’m a procrastinator?  I didn’t start my bread until after 8 pm.  Usually the bread is done in 1 1/2 hours from start to finish.  So, it’s 9:30 at night, and I’m tired (remember, I gardened for several hours that day), and my bread just isn’t rising.  Do I put it in the oven and hope it’s not a rock?  Or do I make new bread.  I was so tempted to just put it in the oven and hope it turned out.

 

BUT, my kids still miss the store-bought bread.  If the bread is rock hard, that’s not going over well.  Trust me.  So, I bit the bullet and made another batch of bread.  It rose exactly as it should.  Look at this picture with both sets of loaves.  The first batch is on the right.  The second batch is on the left.

 

This picture really shows the difference.  By this time, the loaves on the right had been rising for almost 2 hours.  The ones on the left?  30 minutes.

This picture really shows the difference. By this time, the loaves on the right had been rising for almost 2 hours. The ones on the left? 30 minutes.

 

I cooked both batches, just to see what would happen.  Here they are.

 

The two loaves on the left is my first batch.  It improved a little, but it didn't rise anywhere near as much as my second batch (on the right).

The two loaves on the left are my first batch. It improved a little, but it didn’t rise anywhere near as much as my second batch (on the right).

 

Here they are out of the pans.  You can really see the difference.

Here they are out of the pans. You can really see the difference.

 

You can see how dense the first batch is when you compare slices.  These are slices from the middle of the loaves.  The one on the left is my first batch.  The one on the right is my second batch.

You can see how dense the first batch is when you compare slices. These are slices from the middle of the loaves. The one on the left is my first batch. The one on the right is my second batch.

 

My first batch isn’t bad, but it’s not as light and fluffy as my kids like, so I’m making it into croutons. I’m cutting the bread into thick slices to make some nice croutons for Caesar Salad.

 

These slices will be croutons by day's end.

This bread will be croutons by day’s end.

 

I’ll post about that a little later today.  I am making garlic infused olive oil right now, and it needs to sit for at least 4 hours, and the longer it sits, the better it is.  That’s good for a procrastinator like me.

 

Procrastination + Garlic + Olive Oil = Wonderful Garlic Infused Olive Oil!

 

So, now you know a little more about me.  Maybe more than you wanted to know, but such is life.

 

Tell me a little about you.  Are you a procrastinator? 

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

22 thoughts on “Yup, It’s True. I’ll Own It. I’m A Procrastinator.

  1. Dang! those bunnies! I thought you put up some fencing around the patch though? maybe an all around cage is in order huh? :S

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  2. Sometimes I think procrastination is my middle name, but only on certain days. With MS it’s hard to know which day it will be. On a good day I accomplish a lot, on a bad day I stay in bed all day. Your bread looks fabulous though, both versions. It’s time for me to make a new sourdough starter, so I can make more bread. I really want more hot out of the oven bread, although I don’t eat a lot of it. Home made croutons are a great idea. Do you flavor them? If so, with what, and how????

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    • I’ve only made them once before, and that recipe was pretty basic: salt, pepper, and olive oil. The one I’m using today has Italian seasoning, garlic, olive oil, fresh Parmesan, salt, pepper, and paprika. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

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  3. My husband is the baker between us two. He is currently out to master the perfect loaves of bread. I will have to show him your blog. Maybe it will help him a little. He is trying to get that light aerated texture. and flaky crust. Practice makes perfect and I don’t mind eating the test batches.

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  4. I would choose the Basic 3 Month Food package, if I could afford to buy it. I know you can’t be giving something like that away. By the way I bake about 5 loaves of bread a week when I’m home, sometimes I don’t allow the dough to rise long enough in the pans (I make my dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge, and the cold dough takes at least 3 hours if not more to rise a little over and inch above the pans.) Sometimes in the past I’d not put enough flour in the dough and it was a soft rise, I prefer a stiffer rise. I use instant yeast by the way and unbleached AP flour.

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  5. I’m a horrible procrastinator! If it can be put off, I will do it until I just can’t wait anymore.
    I’m going to try making my first loaf of sourdough this weekend. Unless I put it off… haha.

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  6. LOL, poor strawberries! And I can always tell when I’ve hit a homerun with a batch of my loaf bread because my goes through it in just 2 days! I was at my parents house the other day and my mom mentioned several times that she loved the artisian bread I made… which is the hint that she needs more – it’s your recipe I use, so thanks for making me look good to my mom!

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  7. The 10 Grain Pancake Thrive looks like it could be used for a lot of different recipes. Do you have any experience with it?

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  8. You have just inspired me to try my hand at making bread. 🙂

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  9. Pingback: Procrastination Plight Transformed Into Yummy Caesar Croutons! | My Foray Into Food Storage

  10. That’s too funny because your posts inspired me to try one of your bread recipes the other night… at about 9 pm. When I should have been going to bed! Needless to say it was a later night than I was hoping for, but my family LOVED the bread! I guess it was a sacrifice we mothers make, right? 🙂

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