Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beautiful day!

Why is it we don't notice a frame is crooked until we see it in a picture?

It's remarkable how lovely the weather has been here, much more like late March than February.  Somehow I'm pretty sure there will be equality somewhere... hopefully not with one hundred degree temps on summer days.  A meteorologist on a local TV channel is fond of saying "Mother Nature balances everything out eventually".

Next week I will continue Pantry Ponderings and respond to some comments.  For instance, a commenter this morning mentioned that the "just add water" pancake mixes do not have a long shelf life. 

That's very true and that's why I only keep two or three small boxes on the shelf and rotate them regularly.   I have a lot of information about really deepening the pantry on my links that are always available on the sidebar but the real secret of a deep pantry is rotation.  I'll talk about that more later, too.

I don't use Bisquick or anything similar after reading they can contain unseen mold as they age and that people with severe mold allergies need to be careful (both my guys have severe mold allergies).  I thought it was an "old wives tale" until I researched it at the time and there were instances of people with such mold allergies getting sick.

Of course, this was only when products far past their "use by" date on the box were eaten.  I only use Bisquick (and similar products by other manufacturers) for a couple recipes that I don't make often and making my own at home is very easy.  I have a book called Make-A-Mix that has excellent do-it-yourself mix recipes but I've also seen such recipes in other cookbooks.

Anything with baking powder as an ingredient has a short shelf life.   There are oils which store better than others, too.   Do feel free during the Pantry Ponderings posts to comment with your knowledge.  It was on one of the past pantry posts I found out Crisco CAN go rancid... but again more about that later.

So many commented about the Brambley Hedge pictures!  I love all the Brambley Hedge books but many of them are going out of print (as soon as I found out Stephanie was expecting my first grandchild, I started ordering Brambley Hedge books... ten years ago). 

Along with The Wind in the Willows and the Peter Rabbit series, they are my favorite children's books.

The book shown in the pictures is The Complete Brambley Hedge which is out of print and prohibitively expensive at one time.  I place such books on my Amazon Wish List and keep an eye on them to see when the price lowers.  When there were a few available for $20.00, I ordered one with credit for my bookshelves.

This past week, I've been perusing the book just to enjoy the pictures but the stories are so charming.  There appears to be a pattern in my best loved children's books... talking rodents?


Vee said...

Talking rodents...hahahahaha!

Very interesting discussion of shelf life. Back along, we had been given some cake mix/muffin mix items and all of them had expired by two years or more. I tossed them. I don't want to take a chance. I always use the method you shared one time about marking whatever as 1/6, which means that it's the first of six or whatever. That way, one has some idea of what's going on.

I wonder how shelf life affects pets, too. Molly the Wonder Poodle gets a bit persnickety if her dog food isn't fresh, fresh, fresh. It reminds me also to make sure that my hands are scrupulously clean and dry before scooping her food.

So much to think about here. Oh, one thing I've thought about enjoy symmetry.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I am going to see about buying the Brambly Hedge book for my kids, and me!

I learn so much from the comments in your pantry posts, too! It's great to share our practical knowledge isn't it?


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I enjoyed seeing your picture today of the hutch. I want to rearrange mind, but can't quite decide how...
I dearly love the Brambly Hedge books and one I have has a lot of her biographical material in it. (I collect books about children's book illustrators who give such gifts to us all.) I will have to go look for the title. The world Jill Barklem created with her art is a very great joy.

I am not good at rotation. But now I find I have more and more energy from the therapy I'm doing for my knees and am resolving to go through my pantry thoroughly! I will be very interested in seeing what you say about rotation, and keeping track.

Motherkitty said...

Brenda ~
You are a terrific inspiration. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us.

Nanna said...

great insites on shelf life, reading your blog is always as enjoyable as reading a good book, grab a cup of coffee & savor over all the info, thnaks for alwasy keeping us organized , updated & uplifted!

Terri said...

Just read the whole series from this past weeks posting and am happy to do so. I discovered that God was strongly impressing me to stock up 6-12 months worth of food as another sort of 'emergency fund'. I've been keeping my list for a couple of months now. I too realize some things are not in my stockpile that should be: matches, shortening, shelf type milk (other than evaporated) etc.

I deeply enjoy these posts by the way, and the posts about books, and the posts about tea even though I don't LIKE hot tea, and the Sunday ponderings...

Anonymous said...

Your hutch is so pretty. Love the symmetry. Thanks for all the good tips on stocking a pantry.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

The title of the book I have is The Four Seasons of Brambly Hedge and it begins with 22 pages of autobiographical material/memoir about Jill Barklem's life, the detached retina she had as an active young girl which turned her into someone who needed to find quieter pleasures which she discovered in art. And then the first four books follow. I think I'll have to make two blog posts (in time) about, first of all, children's book illustrators and secondly about the magic of books which show us very small worlds that go on (in the author's mind) around the world of grown up human beings....I think the first book I ever read like this was called Chip Chip and was about a squirrel. It was a Little Golden Book from the late 40s and one picture showed a cross section of tunnels where the squirrels lived beneath a huge tree.I still have this book....I'll have to look at it again.