it’s the little things
I've had a couple three-day weekends in a row, so this measly little two-day weekend felt far too short. I had all sorts of grand ideas for Projects-with-a-capital-P, but ultimately I only ended up doing a couple very small things (besides laundry, grocery shopping and other miscellaneous errands). So this is probably the most exciting blog post you will read all week, I'm sure.
First of all, I am overwhelmed with the state of our cupboards and closets. So I'm tackling them one at a time and doing some thorough cleaning out, scrubbing down and tossing of junk. I started with the spice/tea & warm drinks/sweeteners and small baking items cupboard. I like all my mis-matched, hand-labeled spice jars, but I also have a spice addiction, and am regularly bringing home new spices. I had organized them pretty well last summer, but the addition of two-tiered lazy susan makes it much easier to find what I'm looking for and fit them neatly into a fairly small space. I actually found a box of chamomile tea with a best before date of 1995. How is that even possible? I don't know, but yuck! Now that I thinned our tea collection down to just a half dozen or so, it's much nicer to make a cup or pot and know that it's relatively fresh and it's a flavor we like. 1995! Yeesh!
I like this shelf a lot:
Second of all, I don't know if I should even admit this, but I've never made oatmeal from scratch, and had no idea how to do it. I guess I must have known that there were directions on the can, but for some reason I thought it was really complicated and time-consuming. I don't know why, but I guess because I think of oatmeal as weekday breakfast, I was fine with a little packet of gummy, instant oatmeal, dressed up with some brown sugar and dried fruit. In the cleaning of the aforementioned cupboard, I unearthed no less than three containers of oatmeal, two steel-cut and one regular old-fashioned oats. I'll save the old-fashioned for cookies, but decided to try my hand at cooking the steel-cut. Just in case there are other oatmeal novices out there, the ratio is 4:1, boiling water to oatmeal. Just sprinkle in the oats when the water is at a rolling boil and heat to a simmer. Let it cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I added a dash of salt to the water to get it boiling faster and for flavor. And now, I don't think I can eat those little packets of instant oatmeal ever again. I had a nice warm bowl with a little golden syrup and dried cranberries and almonds and cashews. I never thought I'd get cravings for oatmeal, but I think I might have some for dinner tonight, it was so delicious.
Does anyone else not know how to make something that everyone else probably knows how to make? Am I ridiculous for writing about cleaning a cupboard and making oatmeal? I think I might be, but darn it, opening that cupboard door makes me pretty happy right now.
Oh, and the book of the week (on audio) is Leviathan , which I am really enjoying. It's imaginative and original and a rollicking adventure.