Thursday 20 November 2008: Going To Be Here a Little Longer Yet

One reason the date of our move to our new home keeps getting pushed back is that we are doing more to it than we thought we would.  Our original plan was to move into a shell of a house:  plumbed and electrified but not sided or drywalled.  Generous gifts have enabled us to bring the house to a greater state of completion, and for that we are very thankful.

 

Some months back, Anna, tired of listening to Emilie talk in her sleep, moved onto Daniel’s porch to sleep on the floor.  When nighttime temperatures got uncomfortably low, the porch people used one, and then two, portable electric heaters.  Alas, two heaters in one area proved too much for this house’s fragile electric system.  The breaker tripped, and Daniel and Anna passed a cold night.

 

So they moved into the house.  Now all three kids, plus whatever dogs and cats are invited, sleep in the second bedroom.  The kids have started a nightly read-aloud among themselves.  Anna is reading Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea trilogy, Emilie is reading Baby-Sitting is a Dangerous Job by Willo Davis Roberts, and Daniel is reading Frank Peretti’s Hangman’s Curse (very soothing bedtime fare, I’m sure).  For daytime entertainment, the kids and I are partway through Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, read by me.  Dear Jane!  One can always depend on her.

 

Before we left north Texas, a lady in Denton put out the word online that she had several five-gallon buckets of wheat to give away.  The wheat was organic, hard red winter wheat, and should have made good bread, but for some reason this lady had not had success with this particular lot, though she was an experienced breadmaker.  I was interested primarily in the buckets, which can be used to store grain and legumes and such.  If I could get some good out of the wheat, so much the better.

 

I did not even try to use it for bread, as I already had several buckets of red wheat that had never given me any trouble.  When my store of brown rice ran low, I started substituting wheat berries for rice in some recipes.  This worked well.

 

Then I thought, why not make a sort of porridge out of the wheat?  I ran two cups of wheat berries through my grain mill on a coarse setting.  Then I soaked the cracked wheat in two cups of filtered water plus a quarter cup of buttermilk.  In the morning, I brought two additional cups of filtered water to a boil with a teaspoon of sea salt, added the soaked grain, and simmered for five minutes.  Served with coconut oil and raw honey, this makes a simple, tasty, nutritious, and filling breakfast for our family.  I don’t pretend that everyone in the household is wild about the stuff, but everyone eats it.

 

Yesterday I made a pecan pie—my very first!  The pecans are last year’s, recently shelled by the kids and me.  The pie turned out well.  The crust held together and tasted right, but it could have been better and certainly could have been prettier.  I have not put in enough hours of practice to develop a knack for pie crust.  I will just have to practice more, a prospect that pleases Greg.

 

I am late on this particular pie, which was supposed to be part of Anna’s birthday dinner back in October.  So happy complete birthday to Anna, a month and a half late.

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