Friday, March 27, 2009

bread + cred

This week, being pay day week, I finally purchased some electronic scales. My Mum bought some for me as a present about six years ago and my then baby son got hold of them, threw them across the room and killed them. A while later I found some lovely old balance scales with the weights in imperial measures. That has been mostly quite useful, but hasn't cut the mustard since I started working with Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters book. He puts absolutely everything into gram measures, including liquids, and I was floundering in my seemingly limited kitchen.

So yesterday I started a Whitley recipe for Scottish Morning Rolls, using my new scales. I guarded them carefully against my offspring. Cooked tonight, they have turned out very nice. I first thought not especially flavoursome but as I've scoffed almost half of them, I think that has to be revised. They are quite a lightweight bread after my rye sourdoughs though. Tomorrow I think I'll start another sourdough starter as I ditched the other one. Well the last three actually.

The scales are very wonderful, it turns out. Lots less use of bowls/cups/spoons as I can reset the scales to take the existing weight off and measure the new ingredient straight in. Without doing fancy maths as I go along. They weren't cheap though. I was tempted to go to The Warehouse where they definitely were available and much cheaper. But I gave myself a big talking to (several) about keeping local businesses afloat in hard times. I bought it from our specialist kitchen shop here in smallwettown where I know that they will deal with any warranty issues promptly and cordially. And I saw the mugs I want, finally. Intense bright red with large white dots. They had them in egg cups as well. At $7 each, I didn't think they were flabbergastingly out of reach pricewise.

Coconut oil. Supposed to be extremely good for all of us and the goodness does not disappear when it is heated. I forget what caprylic acid does, but coconut oil (processed the right way) has lots of it and it is good. From my admittedly holey memory. So the local health food shop, where I routinely hand over a shapely percentage of our pay packets, or so it seems, now has virgin coconut oil in stock. I bought some this week and tonight I rolled partly boiled potatoes in some before roasting them in the oven with the chicken. Then when the chicken was resting out of the oven, I cranked the heat up and crisped the edges of the spuds. Yum yum yum. Favourite Handyman was(is) at the pub and the children ignored them but I liked it all. I'll be telling FH how yummy it all was and what an adoring and kind wife I was making roast dinner on a rainy Friday night all to no husband. When he has a sore head in the morning I will be telling him all of this.

Important for cranking up a sense of needing to make amends. I have the amends project lined up, one I seriously do not want to do. I heard scurrying in the roof above the study this morning. Which almost definitely means rodents. Which means someone needs to get up into the roof and investigate and either lay traps or bait. I'll go buy the death means. It's a wonderful thing, marriage.

I've been thinking about budgeting skills a lot. Well you do when you buy KFC for lunch after spending $489 on three new car tyres don't you? I see we've missed the boat for the cheapest 3-4-5 year fixed rate mortgage rates - should have gone in last week and fixed. Talk of huge inflation in the medium term seems to be growing. I could always do better on my budgeting skills. But at least I know what goes in and must come out and how to at least keep spending within what we actually earn. I appreciate so much that my impulse buy of KFC this afternoon when it was after 1pm and I'd had breakfast before 7am was a luxury that on many budgets would just blow the week to smithereens. I also know about the nutritional badness of KFC. I know I'm bad. I'm a lapsed Catholic, remember?

I had a look through the National Qualifications Framework online yesterday, curious to see if there were any units on budgeting which our young people (and adults) could study for and gain. Not that I could find. This really has to change. The fallout for families of not having budgeting skills, the despair and loneliness and danger, is so serious. How come we have all these healthy eating and growing and sexual health and exercise and so on lessons, all of which do have value in my eyes, but nothing on financial management? That seems a gaping yawning cavernous hole to me.


Leanne said...

Have you heard of YNAB - you need a budget.
A budget is a powerful thing!

Love Leanne NZ

Sandra said...

I may have given the wrong impression Leanne. I do actually budget quite carefully - only way we can manage things like the three tyres. It is an ongoing project as our lives change though. Money on KFC is an extravagance but we are lucky that it is one that, taken once a month and for one person, won't kill our finances.

Sharonnz said...

Loving the pics, Sandra! And yes, yes, yes to the financial literacy skills for our kids!!