There’s been a whole lot of cooking going on this week at Cook and Count, with plenty of new recipes–plus some Tech Talk and a Small Success at CatholicMom. And don’t forget my Sunday Series for Diabetes Awareness Month.
Your Twitter account isn’t going to grow itself. If you’d like to learn to use Twitter to better promote your business, organization or project, try the lessons in Katharine Grubb’s new ebook, Conquering Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day. I road-tested the advice in this ebook and described the results.
Thrifting: TheKid is in (another) show, playing (another) prince. In the past 6 shows he’s been in, he’s been a prince twice and a butler twice. Fortunately, we already had a crown on hand from the last time he played a prince. So he only needed a pair of black dress shoes (which we also already had) and black dress pants. I stopped at Goodwill the other day and found just what he needed–and they were half price. $1.99 for the whole costume–that’s the best I’ve ever done.
(Death by) Meeting. I was asked to be the parish respect-life representative and to start a group. No, we didn’t already have one in the parish. I went out on a limb and had a meeting and didn’t die of embarrassment or anxiety.
Around the House. I bagged up 2 big bags of clothes that no longer fit TheKid (and I suspect there will be more). I cleaned out 1 big bag of things from my own closet (if they don’t fit, flatter, or feel good, they are OUT). And I decluttered the kitchen table and covered it with my favorite vintage tablecloth. I abandon less stuff on the table when it’s covered. I’m thinking about hauling a bookcase into the kitchen for my cookbooks, because a bunch of them are too tall for the one I have in there already. I’ll have to do some measuring first, though. The kitchen is 10×10, so there’s not much wiggle room.
In just one book, you’ll get Church history, Gospel stories, patron saints, prayers, quotes from G.K. Chesterton, social-media advice and recipes for beer. Sarah Vabulas has managed to blend all of this–and more–together to create The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Homebrewed Evangelism. And she puts it together in an entertaining manner, with plenty of good humor and common-sense advice.
I definitely get where Sarah is coming from in section 3 of this book (Responsibly and Successfully Building Community.) My own love language is food. I love to cook and bake for people. But while I love recipes, I love her message about evangelization even more (and I think a lot of it applies to food as well as what Jeopardy refers to as “potent potables”).
Sarah is honest and real about the pitfalls of social-media use and all-the-time evangelization that isn’t backed up enough by personal prayer. As an introvert, I am in awe of her ability to
“go out to dinner and strike up a conversation with a neighboring patron, acknowledging his dignity and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide my words and actions. This is the call of the New Evangelization. This is how we say ‘yes’ to the Lord in our everyday lives.” (p. 99)
Sarah describes her hobby of homebrewing beer as another way to build community. It can be a group process, which makes the job more fun–and she also finds opportunities to share her faith with her friends during the process. It’s also an opportunity to make gifts for others, sharing one’s own talents and interests while paying attention to what our loved ones enjoy so that we can craft the perfect gift.
Regarding the section of the book that includes recipes for homebrewed beer, I do disagree with Sarah’s assertion that you can’t brew 5-gallon batches of beer in an apartment. My older son does this–and he’s the reason I had a container of dried spent grain at the ready to experiment with bread recipes. Spent grain is a by-product of the beer-brewing process, and frugal brewers have discovered that you can use it in cooking. My own experiments in baking with spent grain affirm what I’ve read online–you can’t make the spent grain much more than 10% of your recipe’s total grain content.
Brewing beer actually has quite a bit in common with baking bread, and not just because both of them involve yeast and grain. They also both involve what Sarah refers to as “hurry-up-and-wait activity,” but when you brew beer, you have to wait a couple of weeks to sample your finished product!
I created this recipe for spent-grain bread as an homage to Sarah’s work. If she lived closer, I’d share a loaf with her. There’s a reason many of my bread recipes make 2 loaves: one for the family, one to share!
makes 2 loaves
1 3/4 cups warm water
2 TBL butter
3 TBL honey
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup dried spent grain
1 TBL active dry yeast
Add all ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Use the dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough to a floured surface. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place loaves in prepared bread pans. Cut 2 or 3 diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf. Allow to rise 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 and bake 35 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
You know the razor refills are going to be expensive when there’s a $6 coupon. And they were! They were on sale for $19.99.
4 in the box. For $19.99.
And it turns out that my coupon was only good on boxes of 6 or 8. So I didn’t get to use that coupon.
That’s a $5 razor blade right there. $1 per blade. And she’ll toss them as soon as the gooey lotion runs out, which is well before the blade goes dull.
But, you know, they’re named after a goddess. So there’s that.
My cheapie razors contain only 3 blades, and they might or might not do as great a job as the ones my daughter prefers. And maybe if I was 19 and beautiful and athletic and had great legs like Middle Sister, I’d care about that. But I’m none of those things, so 3 blades do me just fine. I don’t need that built-in lotion. This is how I use up that bottle of conditioner nobody likes, but that smells really good.
Note: this post contains an Amazon affiliate link for Middle Sister’s favorite razor blades, in case they happen to be your favorite too. If you buy razors through my affiliate link, I get a little bonus in the change jar that will go toward my website expenses, or my next purchase of razor blades for Middle Sister.