What’s For Dinner?
Posted: 2012-09-16. Categories: Food

Has the food craze hit your family?  Our family has been spending more time in the kitchen than ever before. From baking homemade breads and pizzas to dehydrating chicken for the dogs to eat, we are really enjoying the time spent and since we are careful what we buy and prepare many of the foods from scratch, we’re eating healthier. Something I can feel good about.

Yeast bread dough, ready for proving

Yeast bread dough

We aren’t exactly rolling in the dough. In fact, we are constantly looking for cheaper more natural ways of doing things. Simple things, always keeping in mind the bottom line.  We don’t have a discount bread store up here in the mountains, so bread is expensive. I like my bread soft and if I can’t get soft, chewy, light bread, I don’t want any. We were paying anywhere from $1.99 to $4.99 for a loaf of bread.

That’s fine if we were occasional bread eaters, but our son is a teenager, he eats about half a loaf – every single day.  Yet, another reason to think about baking from scratch and with the bread-makers they have today, it couldn’t be simpler.

I love the money savings. I can get 25# of flour for about the same price as two of those tiny bags they sell at the store. I have three 10# bins that I rotate between. So, it does take a little bit of planning. But well worth the effort as I smell bread baking in the oven.

And you know those little packets of yeast? Forget it. For $1.00 more I can buy a big brick of yeast. Enough to  bake bread for months, instead of days. The trick is to keep the yeast in the fridge. Just tuck it away in the back, or if you get in the habit of baking everyday you can buy a special container for it and keep it more accessible.

I’m discovering there are like a million ways to bake bread. You can literally find a bread made out of just about every ingredient imaginable. Have your kids help out as much or as little as they want. Some of my fondest memories are of baking bread together with my grandmother. What fun we had.  The smell and the taste helped to embed that memory deep. Even today I can’t smell bread baking with out thinking of my grandmother.

So, whatever is for dinner, make it something special and don’t cut corners on quality, buy the best meat, fruits and vegetables you can afford. Consider buying your meat directly from the butcher, you’ll be surprised at the savings the closer you get to the source — you might even consider visiting the farm that provides your meat.

Braided Cheddar Pear Bread Recipe – Serve with or without frosting. A sweet bread that is simply heavenly, the entire family loves this.

In Search of the Perfect Dinner Roll – I had given myself four days to learn how to make the perfect dinner roll, but after several mediocre attempts, I was certain that I’d never learn the secret and be forced to go out and buy dinner rolls. Until…

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