Friday Good Things, Cheez Edition
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May the Fourth Be Boring

What am I even doing here? I have nothing to say! There is nothing to write about!

Everything is strange and stressful and disorienting and yet utterly, mind-fuckingly boring.

Since I last updated here, I reorganized our pantry. I planted some flowers that should be growing by now, but aren't. I made cookies and ravioli and garlic ginger paste. Jason spent like three days making an insanely complicated, beautiful ramen. Afterwards the kids begged and begged for Domino's pizza until we caved and ordered them some frigging Domino's pizza. I learned that Oxi-Clean and boiling water will make the inside of a trashed-to-hell Le Creuset Dutch oven look practically brand new. 

(I also learned that I had zero concept of how much money I'd actually spent on said Le Creuset Dutch oven, sweet merciful jebus, what was my life even. Once I realized how much it would cost to replace that sucker I was going to restore it to some semblance of its former glory even if it took hours of scrubbing, an entire box of baking soda, and half a layer of my finger skin. But I forgot to take before-and-after photos so like, why? Why am I even talking about this?) 

I also got photographed and fingerprinted for my gubermint ID badge! I didn't get to see the photos but the woman who took them said "these are really good, actually!" I do not believe her, but I suppose I'll see when I pick up the final, approved, actual badge on Wednesday, YAY!

And then I get to wait some more, this time for a laptop. I was advised not to give notice to my "current employer" until after the laptop is finalized, which HA. HAHAHAHA. 

Ezra, Ike and I spent Saturday outside painting random flower pots and bottles and basically whatever junk I could find for them to paint. I forgot to put on sunscreen and got a terrible sunburn. 

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I'm so sick of television I could scream. (We're in between Hunt a Killer boxes at the moment.) Most of our conversations revolve around food and recipes and what we're doing for dinner. We had our first Quarantine Quarrel the other day when I forgot that Jason had a loaf of sourdough proving in the oven and preheated it for dinner. There was a mutual, momentary snap of AAAAHHHHHH YOU'RE DRIVING ME CRAZY and then everything was fine. Now he puts a Post-It over the oven buttons to let me know there's dough in there. 

(There's always dough in there! AAAAAHHHHH HE'S DRIVING ME CRAZY.)

Since some of you have asked where in the world we're finding enough flour to sustain our crazy level of stress-baking: Back when flour first started to get a scarce, Jason ordered 50-pound bags of both AP and bread flour from some bulk food/restaurant supply site. (We already had a bulk supply of yeast in our fridge and freezer, from The Before Times.)

I agreed to this plan, as long as the not-super-attractive plastic trash cans he bought for storage had someplace to go other than in the middle of the kitchen.

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So we have a LOT of flour. And it is not TECHNICALLY in the "middle" of the kitchen. 

(Jason tried to make it up to me by also ordering me some really nice, restaurant-quality baking sheets, but didn't realize they were full, industrial-oven sized and do not fit in ours at all. So they are also sitting there, because we'd pay more to ship them back than they cost in the first place, and yet have zero idea what to do with them.)

Comments

Rachel

#bakingsheetwatch2020

Your flour containers remind me of the ones used in my family’s bakery business. 😉 That’s a lot of flour.

Jodi

Totally trying that La Creuset Dutch Oven trick. Mine looks like crap.

Jen R

My kids constantly steal my sheet pans to sort LEGO for whatever they are working on.

Nicole

Turn them into magnetic message boards for the wall. (The too large pans, that is)

janine

pans could also be dry erase boards for a play room or garage or whatever!

Anna

At my gramma’s house (now my aunt’s house and by now I mean for the past 24 years, lol it turns out time passes) the bulk flour and sugar are in clean trash cans under the kitchen desk near the pantry. It’s practically a rite of passage for new potential in-laws at Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas to get confused while looking for the actual trash can.

Stacy

You're drinking an Oberon so there's that.

Cate

We buy f,our that way too. Also, for the baking sheets, see if there's a soup kitchen nearby. I made a similar size mistake about a decade ago and ended up with a salad spinner as tall as a toddler. The BreakfastMission near here was thrilled to accept it.

Stephanie

It is all so boring, isn't it? I feel like we only talk about what to make for dinner, too. And my kids eat so much food! (I mean they are 18 and 21, what did I expect, but still.) My son often fixes himself a sandwich or a hotdog after dinner, which is just...kind of annoying, but at least he's not asking me to cook again for him?
I managed to finally get a Shipt delivery window on Saturday. The store had no flour, so my shopper substituted two boxes of individually packaged 1-cup portions of flour. They were almost $6 each. For like, 1 pound of flour. Yikes. (She did check with me first, but I failed to ask the price. Oh, well.)
I frantically searched all over the place for my super cheap dutch oven ($35 from Aldi) last week. I asked my husband what we did with it (we moved to this house in September), and he reminded me that I told him to just get rid of it when we were packing. WTF was I thinking? It was very stained and chipped in a couple of places, but it was definitely not in terrible shape.
Congrats on starting the slow process to starting your new job!

Brandi

My inexpensive Lodge Dutch ovens thank you for the oxi clean tip! I tried baking soda yesterday to no discernible improvement.

AmyRenee

Take a lesson from me that I had to teach in a lab many, many, many times and label the SIDES of the flour bins, not just the lids. If both lids got removed, you would have 2 bins of mystery white powder and have to guess as to which lid goes where. Been there, done that, had to scrap a giant experiment when someone only labeled lids, then opened all the containers, and then the containers all got separated from the lids and we didn't know which sample was which.

If you don't want to write on the bins themselves, I'd suggest sticking a sheet protector or similar on the bin and then sliding the labeled paper into that.

Although, if you have the freezer space, I would highly, highly recommend you bag up the flours and freeze them. Otherwise you are risking a mega infestation of the evil that is pantry moths. I promise you those lids are not airtight enough to keep them out - and that's assuming the flour wasn't already contaminated with eggs at the bulk food warehouse. My husband and I fight this battle every few years, where I explain that the lower cost per pound of his giant bag of flour is completely negated when I have to throw away 3/4 of the contents of the pantry. In fact, I've been procrastinating dealing with his latest giant bag of flour, and I need to just suck it up and go deal with it myself, since I'm the one who will be dealing with the moths if he doesn't.

Cobwebs

Donate the baking sheets to a local soup kitchen.

Jessica Engel

Gonna try that le creuset tip...even though when I look at it it makes me feel like a good cook. "Oh you're so beautifully seasoned!

bekala

Does it count as TV if it was a play first? We watched NT Live's "Frankenstein" this weekend, the link is good until Thursday, at which point "Antony and Cleopatra" will be available, all as part of a voluntary fundraiser NT Live is doing. This is the production that got Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller an Olivier award, and it is freaking amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl8jxNrtceQ&list=LLZoqbMBKiyOOSS-Xtqy8klA&index=2&t=0s

CZ

empathize with the clearning a random pot. related pro tip that Amazon's dutch oven is identical to Le Crueset and about a fifth the price. i love ours.

AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 7.3-Quart, Blue
by Amazon.com
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073Q9QH5Z/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_p4iSEb3Z0X0XV

Anna

Someone left an italics tag open so this comment is here just to fix that

Also, I forgot to mention earlier that I’m excited to try the oxiclean trick for my Dutch oven.

Liz

What I would love to hear about is how the new meds, what they are, for your newly diagnosed ADD vs. what they thought was going on before (anxiety? depression? bit bipolar?), and how they are working for you. Or maybe there have been adjustments since then, and there's a combo factor? A totally invasive and inappropriate request for personal information. Would really appreciate though and no judgement.

Love Le Creuset. I actually want to buy more than my one dutch oven because it does not disappoint me and is not a fad, As I am now in a purge phase, I have zero desire to purge that beautiful pot. And I love the color. And the heft. Like wearing big boots that makes me feel strong and powerful. Roar!

Way too much sheltering in place in CA.

So much for having a small house and small yard because we had the big, beautiful world of No CA as our backyard! How I would love a yard now. And a room where no one could hear my conversation.

algeh
    As someone who has bought bulk flour for years and *crosses fingers* not yet gotten pantry moths, my suggestion is to invest in a bunch of large glass canning jars. While I've never had pantry moths that I've noticed, I have had tiny blank ants find my house many times, and while I've had to rinse them off of the outside of jars (particularly jars that had bulk honey stored in them if I let honey drip down the outside without rinsing it off) I have never yet found one inside a sealed jar. I had to buy several packages of the half-gallon jars to have something to decant all of my giant sack of flour into (if you go this route buy a canning funnel: it helps a lot with getting things into jars in the first place) but they're reusable and go in the dishwasher so it's pretty much just on autopilot after the initial investment.

    Currently, I'm trying to convince myself that it makes sense to buy bulk baking powder, because the restaurant supply store has plenty in 5 pound packages but it was annoyingly had to find in normal-people sizes the last time I wanted some and I need to buy more again already. Perhaps if I need to buy it every two months in normal sizes I can get through 5 pounds before the humidity gets to it and it clumps into bitter sadness?

    Vickie

    List pans on Facebook marketplace and recoop your $$$.

    Mary

    I would use those baking pans to sort puzzle pieces. If you are of the jigsaw puzzle sort. Which I am trying to be.

    Jaclynn

    I hate to be super nosey and invasive, but I kind of want to see an answer to Liz’s question. Your post, paired with something my cousin’s wife posted, made me say “huh” to myself. I spoke with my PCP about possible ADD meds but I need to speak to her psychiatrist first. In the meantime, I’d be curious as to how it’s all been playing out for you

    Rebecca

    Unlurking to say that baking sheets make fabulous LEGO-building trays, especially since the sides contain the littlest of pieces.

    Sarah Soper

    Protip on the baking powder: avoid the bitter clumpy sadness by making your own with baking soda and cream of tartar (1 to 2 ratio). It can be tricky to locate cream of tartar but it looks like Amazon has various sized options available. And you can get baking soda pretty much anywhere (I'm a big fan of the dollar store or Aldi for that.) Good luck!

    Morgan Lucero

    Baking sheets make great contained craft areas...like for your painting project in the photo above! If you don't find a better use for them.

    Helen

    Why has no-one yelled ‘Tirewatch’ about your baking sheets and bins of flour yet, is what I want to know?!

    Tj

    I bought a scotch brite glass top stove sponge (it’s purple) and on a whim tried it on my enamel dutch oven and it worked beautifully for that. I was very pleased. Doesn’t scratch either, and got it white again.

    Delora

    Baking sheets are awesome for lego building, plus they can slide under a bed!

    Fingers crossed for your ID photo. I got a new PIV in Feb. and the woman who took mine showed me the photo and goes "do you want to try again?" It was a pretty terrible photo, but I didn't have high expectations. I was like "You see these all day long, should we re-do?" And she goes "well, technically it does meet all the requirements...." and just let her statement trail off. Message acknowledged; we took another one and lo, it was much better.

    S

    I was just searching for information about my 8 month old sons screaming phase and found your advice to be really helpful.

    Additionally, may the fourth is not a boring day at all. It is heterotaxy awareness day! My son was born with this condition and it greatly influences his life. He had open heart surgery at 12 days old and again at 4 months old. We are blessed to have him doing so well now.

    Thank you for the good advice, and don’t feel bored! The world is a wonder!

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