Wednesday, January 5, 2011

and the cinnamon roll also rises

or at least I hoped it would. Day after New Year's Day I tackled my first batch of cinnamon rolls. Also, my first attempt at using yeast. I used a great recipe from Saint Louis Days and Nights, a cookbook published by the Junior League of Saint Louis. These are the official famous Junior League rolls.

Things I learned...
1) Yeast needs to be refrigerated after opening.
2) A child's bath thermometer will work in a pinch for measuring the temp of water for use with yeast. (Throughly cleaned before hand, of course.)
3) The Pioneer Woman is absolutely right. More butter makes it better. I'll use twice as much next time. 
4) Cinnamon is a super useful spice. One I don't use enough.

{Turtle says, "Too hot."}

{Turtle says, "Just right."}

{Does this look foamy to you?}

{Mixed dough}

{Rise baby, rise.}

{It has risen. I think.}

{Successfully rolled.}

{Pre-butter dip}

{Ready for the oven.}

{The aftermath.}


Sunday, January 2, 2011

triple word score: wowza

Day One:

I am completely astonished by what I learned last night playing a game I've played for years. I've been playing Scrabble all wrong. You may have been doing so, too.

Here's the kicker. This little known (to me) rule worked in my favor this time but could definitely not some other time.  And it doesn't really seem fair. And that makes it worse. And that would make me very unhappy.

See, I like to win. I know what you are thinking, "who doesn't?" But seriously, I really like to win. My husband can attest to it. Hence the need for an oath last night before our game of Scrabble. I swore that I be sportsman-like. As did he.

Generally, our games progress like this. I start out strong and keeping going that way and he gets mad. And I get mad that he is mad. Then I win. He's madder and I gloat. The end. (His version might be different.)

And last night was different. The high score went back and forth between us until I ended the game by using all my tiles. He couldn't use his. As per the rules we had been playing by for years, we subtracted the points of his unused letter from his score. We were tied.

"How could we tie?" I said. "Let me look at the rules." 

I look at the rules. Here's what it says: "Unplayed letters: When the game ends, each player's score is reduced by the sum of his or her unplayed letters. In addition if a player used all of his or her letters [I did], the sum of the other players' unplayed letters is added to that player's score."

Our score sheet looked like this:

Me (the wife)
223 + 8 (my hubby's unused tile points) = 231

Him (the husband)
231 - 8 (his unused points) = 223

Oh, my gosh. "What?" he said. "Let me see that." I read them aloud again.

We both were flabbergasted. But I did keep to my word and did not gloat. Out loud.

Has anyone else been playing Scrabble all wrong? If you keep old score sheets like we do, would the outcomes turn out very different? Are you flabbergasted, too? Or, do you have a more exciting life than I? :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

you say you want a resolution

As I look back over the year, I think to myself, what did I accomplish? I certainly did a lot on the mom front. My son went from a little crawler to a tentative walker then runner and crazy talker. I navigated these changes learning all the way how best to care for, teach and handle an active toddler.

What did I do for myself? Um, not much. I dabbled in some exercise. Sporadically sewed (though I did get it together for a little shop on Etsy). Other than that, I am not sure I accomplished much.

I have been thinking. What if I resolved to learn or do something new (to me) every day? Too ambitious? Maybe every week to start. It doesn't have to be extreme. I don't envision jumping out of an airplane one day and then snowboarding the next. I just want to learn more, try more and do more. I think it will make me a better person. Someone not afraid to take a risk, make a mistake or embarrass myself (I do that on a regular basis anyway).

As I love to do, I'll start a list. I won't claim to have "a bucket list." This is just to get the juices flowing.
  • poach an egg (inspired by Julie & Julia)
  • go zip-lining (we do have this in Missouri)
  • go to a movie by myself
  • make homemade cinnamon rolls
  • install an electrical outlet (on the home improvement to do list)
This may seem small and ridiculous but I know I can come up with some good stuff. It may not change the world but it will help change my world and those in it.

So with that, I think the position of this blog may change a little. Just want to keep track of all the things I am "learning" and "doing." Hope that you find something that makes you a little happy camper just like me.