Discovering the Fun of Baking

This week I have felt very creative and brave, so I’ve been downloading recipes and learning how to bake from scratch!Thanks to my mom, I already knew the basics of baking. I know the difference between flours, the difference between baking soda and baking powder, and how to measure ingredients properly. But until now, all of my baking has been done using packaged mixes and following the directions on the box.

Now I have a small collection of recipes to use for baking cakes, breads and cookies. I will be moving up to pies next week. I have been thrilled with the excellent results of my baked from scratch cakes so far. I can’t wait to try some of the different icings and frosting types on the different cakes. This is fun – but fattening. I will be doing longer walks and some aerobics with my Wii to help keep off the extra pounds.

Wearing Green and Drinking Beer

This weekend is all about Saint Patrick’s Day. Here in Nashville we love any holiday that gives us an excuse to drink beer, so this is a big deal for downtown bars and restaurants. On top of the holiday, we have the SEC basketball playoffs here this weekend, with a huge number of extra partiers to accommodate.

I heard some big numbers on the news about how the downtown bars and restaurants can only actually seat something 75,000 people on a weekend, but with the basketball game there are going to be more like 100,000 people looking for fun and refreshments on Friday and Saturday nights. With all these extra people, Nashville decided to have a big street party and rope off a few blocks downtown to allowing drinking on the street – a very rare thing for our proper southern city!

To be honest, I do not drink much beer. I tend to not want the hassle of watching my intake and fretting about driving home without the risk of trouble with cops. And second, I don’t want all the extra calories. Third, I only like beer that is ice cold. I don’t want to hold a bottle in my hand and just sip on it for an hour with the heat from my hand raising the temperature of the beer. I don’t like drinking from a bottle anyway. I like a glass – and not plastic, I mean a real glass.

Sorry if I sound so finicky, but I have learned what I like and what I don’t like and I will certainly seek out the things that I like if I have that option. Maybe once in a while I might be at the boss’s house for a backyard barbecue and have to drink a beer from a red Solo cup, but most of the time I will be seated in a sports bar or a stadium suite and enjoy an ice cold beer served in a glass along with the peanuts or Chex Mix and a good baseball game or hockey game underway.

March Comes “In Like a Lion”

The old wives tale for predicting the weather here in the South is if March “comes in like a lion,” then it will “go out like a lamb.” So, in other words, if the weather is strong and rough in the first week of the month of March, then it will change to mild and warm and pleasant by the end of the month. I don’t really see the logic in that, as spring usually means mild and warm days anyway.

Anyway, here it is the first week of March and the weather is awful. It turned cold and rainy and windy, and it is supposed to stay like this all week! So I guess we can all take comfort in the thought that if the old wives tale is true, that this will all be over with in a week or so and the rest of the month will be lovely!

I can’t wait for the chance of frost to be gone so I can get my garden started this year. I am being very ambitious and trying some extra vegetables this year. I used to be content with just a few tomato plants and a couple of pepper plants. But this year I am planting yellow squash, zucchini, and green beans, too. Those always seem to do well in this climate and don’t need a lot of care – just pulling a few weeds once in a while and that’s it. So maybe next weekend I can get the seeds started and I can have an early harvest of fresh vegetables from my own yard!