Sunshine Quilts

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Things We Accept

They say we don't know what we don't know and I wonder how much I don't know, guess I'll never know! :) Back in my younger days I used to make cheesecake using the Jello Brand Cheesecake Mix. I had never had a real cheesecake and the first time I had one, I thought it was awful! I now love real cheesecake but I just didn't know any better. My favorite flour is King Arthur and I have always ordered it. I had no idea our local Kroger now carries it. I was complaining last week about not having King Arthur and having to make bread using a regular flour. Chad said "I can bring you some home from Kroger." WHAT? They have King Arthur? On the bottom shelf and I never noticed it. I know there are other brands just as good as King Arthur but look at the difference in the size of these two loaves of bread. Same exact recipe, everything was done exactly the same. The larger loaf is made with King Arthur and the smaller loaf was made with probably Pillsbury or something straight off the shelf. Pretty big difference, huh? Even Vince and Chad can taste the difference in the bread. Chad was probably 10 and he had gone to his dad's one summer. He called and he was kinda whispering and he asked me if I could send him some soap. He said "Mom, they use storebought soap!" He was appalled. I haven't been making soap and we're all using storebought soap now and accepting it but if I made soap again, no one would want to use the storebought soap if given the option of homemade or storebought. Vince and I were talking at lunch and I wonder how many people accept that storebought tomatoes are how a tomato is supposed to taste. No doubt some people get good tomatoes at the grocery store. We most often do not. I can hardly wait til my tomatoes are ripe and I can pick one and eat it fresh off the vine. What about the difference in having a fresh egg, just gathered from the hen, or a storebought egg with an expiration date stamped on it? What about the difference in fresh squeezed orange juice or some of the OJ from the cartons? Some if it is downright good and with the price or oranges, I'm thankful for the cartons. But, if a glass of fresh squeezed OJ was put in front of me, I'd surely choose it over the OJ from the carton. What about herbs picked fresh from the garden or the dried herbs in the tins? I sometimes use the ones in the tins because I don't grow everything but the ones I do grow are amazingly better than the ones that are dried. What about fresh shrimp bought directly from the shrimper . . they were caught during the night and he's out peddling them during the day? Nothing like the frozen ones we get at the grocery store. There are many things I know that I am missing out on because either I don't know any better or the better products are not available in my area. This brings me to an idea that I've mentioned here before. I hate going out to eat. Yes, we sometimes do it but rarely do I enjoy it. We seem to lack really good restaurants in our town. We do have one that I love, American Bounty. The picture on their web page is salmon wrapped in crispy fried potatoes and it is so yummy! If given the choice, I'll take homemade most any day over eating out. Today's lunch consisted of Grilled Pork Backbone, Grilled Corn, Baked Beans, Strawberry Walnut Salad, homemade bread and cake. I didn't spend all day in the kitchen. In fact, getting the food on the table probably took less time than it would have taken me to get dressed, get to the restaurant, get seated, order, get the food, come home and . . mine was all homemade and I pretty much know what went into it all. Last night I put the pork on to marinate, took about 5 minutes. This morning I cleaned the corn and soaked it. Took another 5 minutes. The bread . . that took a while but I did it last night. The beans took about 5 minutes to stir up and get in the oven. The salad took a few minutes to wash the lettuce, make the dressing, wash and slice the strawberries and toast the Ramen noodles and walnuts. But it was all so worth it and so good! I love reading Patty's Morning Ramble blog. She is such an interesting lady and such an inspiration to me. It's a rare day that I read her blog that I don't learn something or think about something differently. My challenge to myself is to examine the things I do .. whether it be cooking, cleaning, gardening, quilting. How much of what I do is purely out of habit? How much is because 'that's the way I've always done it' and I just don't look beyond my own self? There is so much in the world for us to experience. It doesn't have to be bigger or more expensive or more showy . . there may just be a better method or a better tool or a better ingredient. I'd like to challenge all of you to think about the things you do day in and day out and surprise yourself with some very small changes that may make a world of difference. Look at the difference in the two loaves of bread . . just from changing the flour! Judy


  • Do you think it's the simple-times that a lot of us are going back to? More homemade and more make-do? I still have a lot of friends who spend more on eating out than my weekly salary. My guys would rather eat a plain hamburger than go to McDonalds (would like to see the ingredient list on their food sometimes).
    My family enjoys fresh and homemade also, they're very appreciative that I really don't mind spending the extra moments doing it.
    Will have to check my grocery for King Arthur.

    By Blogger Mama Koch, at 6/29/2006 11:24:00 AM  

  • We love King Arthur flour here, too and I was never as happy as the day I figured out my local grocery was carrying it!! I agree with you...there's nothing better than a homemade meal or your own home-canned goods. I used to be a soapmaker, too ~ and my kids don't want anything else!

    By Blogger Shannon, at 6/29/2006 12:17:00 PM  

  • You're singing my song, Judy! :oP

    By Blogger Tracey, at 6/29/2006 12:46:00 PM  

  • Judy,
    Looks yummy!!! I like summer time eating cuz it's so easy...the grill is my best friend! And salads are yummy!

    By Blogger Laurie, at 6/29/2006 01:20:00 PM  

  • Have mercy, girl! I am losing weight, and all this food talk will be my undoing! I especially love breads, and after that photo, I shall have to wipe the saliva off of my keyboard. You make me want to go out and try King Arthur (I only became aware of it since moving south), but if I bake it, I will eat it......

    By Blogger Gail, at 6/29/2006 01:43:00 PM  

  • After reading your challenge, I am going to order a pattern I have been thinking about, but was afraid to try because it had a lot of applique. Thanks for the inspiration! (And that salad looks sooooo good.)

    By Blogger Bonnie, at 6/29/2006 05:25:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Pam, at 6/29/2006 05:33:00 PM  

  • Funny you should mention this. I made 2 loaves of Italian bread on Saturday. The first I used King Arthur bread flour, the second I grabbed the wrong bag and used Gold Medal unbleached flour. The first loaf rose high and was delicious. The second loaf was chewier, didn't rise as well and just wasn't as good.

    I'm impressed with your insight, Judy...I'm thinking about all the things I do because I always have or I'm too lazy to do things differently. I'm going to have to think about all of this! Thanks!

    By Blogger Carolyn, at 6/29/2006 06:38:00 PM  

  • You make me so long for the days before I had to work. I used to run a food co-op out of my house, cook in a wood cookstove and bake my own bread. We eat out a lot more often than I would like and hardly ever really enjoy it. We do it because after working all day sometimes neither of us can work up the energy for to cook.

    By Blogger tami, at 6/29/2006 07:13:00 PM  

  • Judy, you are such an inspiration. I have 5 children and strive to do as much "homemade" as possible. I bake every Wednesday (I'll now try King Arther for sure!) if you have any great recipes, please share! I also only use homemade soap, but I have to buy it at craft fairs. If you have any "recipe" for soaps you'd be willing to share that would be awesome.

    By Anonymous Audrey, at 6/30/2006 06:31:00 AM  

  • King Arthur is all that I use too. Their scone mixes make scones that rival ones I had in London. (They sell clotted cream in the catalogue too.) I also like that the company is employee-owned. I'd never done a test though to see if the quality really made that much difference. So, thank you, Judy, for the scientific evidence!

    By Blogger JB, at 6/30/2006 10:07:00 AM  

  • You are so right about doing things the way we've always done them. Moving made me change the way I do alot of things and often it is for the better.

    I also remember making a similar discovery about the differences in brands of flour. Amazing isn't it?

    By Blogger Shellie, at 7/01/2006 09:04:00 PM  

  • I was telling my family that one of their aunts didn't cook.Never.They eat take out every single day and they have an 11 and 2 year old. My 17 year said,"What, I can't imagine one day without something homemade." Makes me wonder if I have spoiled my boys. Your grilled food and salad look so yummy.I have used King Arthur flour before but never compared it to anything made with some other brand. Those comparisons are really something to think about.

    By Blogger Esteemarlu, at 7/03/2006 04:32:00 PM  

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