Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Update list

I have said many times, it is hard to know what to write about when you haven't written in a while, and don't have any major announcements to make.  So maybe for today, since I'm trying to get back into writing on this thing, I'll make a list of some small updates of good things going on that normally I'd probably write a whole post about but it's hard when you aren't in the blogging habit.

1.  Macarons - I'm getting good at them but having a bit of trouble with hollow shells.  The shell isn't supposed to collapse, yet it does for every kind I make except hazelnut.  I have figured out everything else - the browning problem was due to the pan I was using and the bubbles and cracking I think were due to my batter-making technique, which is pretty solid now.  I don't have to babysit the bubbles for 10 minutes anymore - maybe 1 or 2.  I'm not sure if the hollows are due to the freshness of the nuts or something else but that's my last thing to figure out. 

A couple excellent things I was able to do so far though - make near perfect (except for browning one time, hollow another) macarons with unaged, egg whites from a carton.  And that don't need to be rested before going into the oven.  These are the two main things bakers apparently hate about making macarons and it turns out with the right recipe they are not important!  Stella's recipe is awesome.

2.  KING BED - we did a bedroom makeover a couple months after moving into our new house and finally got a king bed, which is sure welcome.  Because Brahm is a larger than average man, a queen doesn't cut it for him and another person, even a smaller than average woman like me.  It is AWESOME.  Also, we did our entire bedroom makeover (including bedding) for under $2500.  That's less than the price of most bedroom sets alone!  Thank you IKEA furniture and Costco mattress!  Speaking of which, we really took a gamble on ordering a Novaform memory foam mattress from Costco without ever even touching it, but it worked out!  On the downside of everything, it is now hard to get up in the morning because I just want to keep sleeping in this great bed.

3.  Greenhouse - a few months ago at Home Depot I saw a small greenhouse (about 4-5 feet tall) for 30 bucks.  I bought it and set it up this weekend to give my tomatoes a better start in life.  I waited too long this year to start them so they were just tiny little things growing in front of the kitchen window, but they seemed to do well in there outside.  Last night it froze but they survived.  I have a couple of dark containers of water in the greenhouse with them which supposedly keeps it relatively warm in there overnight.  Though, one day it got too hot and killed one of the smaller plants... oops. 

Unfortunately this year won't be a good one for much gardening because we don't have a yard yet - we have to wait for our builder to do final grade and build our garage before we can do any landscaping, so I'm just going to do some containers this year.  I'm hoping they at least do final grade soon so I have a place to put the containers though, since I don't want to set too many things up if I'm just going to have to move everything when they need to move the dirt around.  Hopefully soon, as the weather is finally warming up.

4.  Downton Abbey - this is the best show.  Are you watching it?  If not, get on that please.  You can buy all the seasons on eBay for 40 bucks.

5.  Hawaii - the first vacation where I was actually really sad to go home.  Even if I've had a super fun time on a trip, I'm usually a bit excited to go home and get back to normal, or not be so busy, etc.  But I could have stayed in Hawaii for a long time.  I totally understand why people go there and then move there.  I loved it.  We ate so much fresh fish and fruit.  I want to go back already.

Okay that's the end for today.  Summer is a hard time to blog but I'll keep trying.

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