So I considered other options: baking bread, for one thing. I'm fresh out of toasting bread (aka "bread I've baked"), and so I set to work on a No-Knead Crusty White Bread from the King Arthur website. This is a super easy recipe. No special ingredients nor techniques required, and it makes a whole lot of dough. I baked off one loaf yesterday, and there is still dough for at least two more loaves. It has one initial room-temperature rise of 2 hours, then it is put into the refrigerator for anywhere from 2 hours up to 7 days. I was wanting bread to bake yesterday, and so I gave mine just another two hours. The remainder is still in the refrigerator to be baked another day.
After that it was formed into a loaf and then given another hour at room temperature before baking. It was a little disappointing in appearance since it didn't rise much on this third step. Nevertheless, it was very tasty, and it made a nice side for our dinner last night.
I toasted some more for breakfast this morning. Toasted slices of homemade bread have become a favorite breakfast food. For the two loaves I still have to bake, I'll give them more time on that third step and see if I can get a little more height.
As for dinner last night, that is a Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet. I think I shared this recipe the last time I made it. It's so good, and easy to make. It takes about 15 minutes to get all the veggies ready to go, then another 15 or so to cook it. It has chopped onion, green bell pepper, garlic, shredded sweet potato and baby spinach. You can shred that sweet potato in about two seconds in a food processor. It's all cooked up in the same iron skillet. Then you make four wells, crack an egg into each one, and then put it under your broiler to cook the eggs. Garnish it with some avocado and goat cheese, and serve it up in the same iron skillet. Yum.
Mike likes his with Chipotle Tabasco Sauce. I put salsa on mine. So tasty...and it uses up some of the accumulated farm eggs.
As you probably know, bread-baking is a whole lot of waiting without much hands-on effort, especially for this no-knead variety. So that left me with plenty of time on my hands for doing other things.
Here was my list in order of preference:
Okay, so neither of those really sounded very appealing. Instead, I decided to get to work organizing the reams of travel articles I've been collecting for approximately 20 years. It's true we aren't taking off on our USA loop until September; but I worried it would take me that long to get organized, even if I started right away.
- Poke a fork in my eye
- Clean the interior of the refrigerator
When I had all the articles sorted and divided up by states, they covered the entire large dining room table, and the peninsula in the kitchen.
Oy. From there, I made manilla envelopes for each state. Sorry, New Hampshire and Vermont. You have to share an envelope. Eventually, I had it all filed away alphabetically in one tidy box of envelopes. This represents all the articles for the lower 48 states. (Alaska and Hawaii...we'll get to you eventually. Except...RVing in Hawaii? I don't think so. Not until they build a bridge...which I would prefer to a wall any day of the week.)
When I counted the folders, there were only 45. If you add one for New Hampshire and Vermont, that still only equals 46 states. So who's not doing their part? Huh? Well, I'll tell you: it's Delaware and Connecticut. What's up with you guys? You're going to get a reputation for being lazy, tourism-wise. Guess I'll have to contact your state tourism centers and see what's going on.
With those finished, I sorted through campground directories and more tour guides and put those all in one box.
Finally, the coveted AAA tour guides and maps.
I totally love the AAA tour guides. Mike and I prefer staying off the interstates when we're traveling. With my AAA tour guides, even the tiniest little towns can become endlessly fascinating. Not every place in America is included, but there are enough that mine become worn out and dogeared by the end of a trip. How do you think I found the actual birth place of the Jolly Green Giant?
It's in Blue Earth, Minnesota. This fun fact comes to you courtesy of the AAA tour book. Never travel without them.
And if that doesn't excite you, maybe the bobcat coming right up to the bird feeders yesterday will.
He just strolled on through like he owns the place. I imagine he thinks he does.
When I snapped these images, I was really wishing I could get a picture of the backs of its ears. I found this one on the internet this morning:
This one is from the Virginia Living Museum where they tell me that the ears are marked in a pattern called “false eyespots,” an adaptation used by many animals to fool would-be predators. Interesting, huh?
So that was a lot of excitement to pack into one day. This morning I finished up the last of Block 10 for Hocuspocusville:
The next time I work on this, I'll be doing Spooky Lou's.
By all rights, I should be starting on the next block for the Wine Country quilt, but with so few days left in the month, I'm going to get an early start on Gertrude. She's the next Bag Lady.
And this gives me the perfect opportunity to remind all you folks who are stitching along that the linky party goes live on Friday. You don't need to be finished to link up and win a needle threader. Just come on over and join the party, ready or not. It's a come-as-you-are kind of gig. I'll probably still be in my pajamas.
Since I was such a sewing room slug yesterday, I'm going to make a concerted effort to get going on the next block for It's Raining Cats and Dogs today. It's another gloomy day of weather, and so you'll find me hanging out in the basement where the fireplace is.