Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pointless updates

(Um, oops, while I was working on this I hit "publish" instead of "save," and someone actually clicked on it in the five seconds it took me to realize my error. So if that one person was you... that was a draft. Here's the real thing.)

There are a few things I've been wanting to write about, except none of them alone warrant a post. Possibly all three together don't warrant a post, I don't know, the good news is that this is my blog and I get to do whatever I want. Mostly.
This has nothing to do with the updates. I just like this picture of our cat. He's looking very pensive.
I have been making this iced coffee (and vanilla syrup) all summer long, except I've refined my technique. I like to have more coffee than milk in my glass (and a whole lot of vanilla, what, don't judge me), so here's what I've found works for me:

1/4 pound ground coffee
3 to 4 quarts of water (depending on how I'm feeling that day)

Combine and let sit for 12+ hours. Strain, chill, drink. I think that's the beauty of this recipe--you can tweak it so it's perfect for you. Also: I've been hearing from an awful lot of people that this recipe has changed their lives and they've cut back considerably on their coffeehouse visits. I know! Me too! It's awesome!

For the first time in over a year--since Trisha's Homemade Cleaner Month, actually--I had Eric buy a box of laundry detergent. And people, it's weird. After a year of no smells (I'm not a fan of manufactured smells) it about knocks my socks off when I go anywhere near the laundry room. (THIS is the recipe I've been using... you have to scroll a bit, but there it is.)

I've been very happy with my homemade detergent. But Eric's been having some problems with his white t-shirts becoming really dingy really fast, and since this used to never happen, I can only conclude that my homemade mix is to blame. So here's to experimenting, I guess. I'm hoping the headache from that "fresh smell" eventually goes away.

Not long ago (or maybe it was, I don't know, time is a mystery), I wrote about my frustrations with my minimalistic endeavors. Somewhere in that post I mentioned trying to find stainless steel kitchen utensils that were made in America to replace my worn out plastic Pampered Chef tools.

I found myself flush with unexpected cash in July, thanks to the front office winning some company-wide classified ad contest (yay us!). I decided to use it to replace my kitchen tools. I'd been eyeing the All Clad stuff, which apparently used to be made in America but is now made in China (at least the utensils, anyway). It gets great reviews, so I went for it and got the 6-piece set, plus the pasta spoon and tongs. This in no way replaces everything I had, but I tossed my oldies in a donation bag and decided to just use the more minimal set. And you know what? I love this stuff. It's probably overkill for a home kitchen--it's heavy duty, yo--but man, it's pretty! And functional! And works like a champ! (That pasta spoon I was wondering about, but it's my favorite piece. It's magic!) Eric has already somehow managed to scrape up the outer part of my ladle, but since this is kitchenware and not museum art, I'm letting that go. It'll all be scraped up sooner or later, right?, with use. (I'm SO MATURE. It's really hard.)

I really haven't missed anything I didn't replace except for my potato masher (All Clad doesn't make that, and I'm OCD about matching), but we're managing somehow without one.

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