Two weeks ago at this time I was just beginning to get panicky about the state of my house since my family was due to arrive in the middle of the week. I was also Ikea-izing my house. I finally made it to Ikea for some bookcases. We bought one basic, short Billy bookcase for the upstairs hallway. That hallway is freakishly wide and so a thin bookcase works quite well there. It also helps anchor a large framed photo that we finally hung on the wall. We also bought a Traby unit to use as a buffet-type piece in the dining room. Now some pretty servings bowls that did not fit in my cabinets and most of my cookbook collection are stored in that bookcase-like piece.
A nifty thing about Ikea: you can take your basic used alkaline batteries and compact florescent bulbs to Ikea for recycling. They have some bins near the exit to collect those items. This thrilled me because I knew you were not supposed to dispose either thing in the trash, but didn't know where to get rid of them (did I really have to hang onto such things for the annual county hazardous waste collection, that always ends up being scheduled on the Saturday that I am out of town?). I know this doesn't help everyone as not everyone has reasonable access to an Ikea…
This morning we made very delicious blueberry pancakes. I had a favorite pancake recipe, it is on page 426 of The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook (my book is the Reader's Digest edition, copyright 1980). I didn't even have to look the page number up, and barely need to look at the recipe. I learned to cook using this cookbook and fantasized over the picture index as a kid. But this recipe might just be replaced by the Light and Fluffy Pancakes from The New Best Recipe.
This is the second time I've made TNBR's pancakes (with buttermilk). And they are so so good, exactly as the title says, they are light and fluffy. Today we added blueberries to the recipe (and they instruct to drop the blueberries onto the pancakes once you drop the batter onto the pan, not to stir them into the batter where they color it blue and all drop to the bottom–we actually did that before TNBR though). To be fair to the TGHIC, I have never tried their buttermilk
waffles pancake recipe on page 427 and it is very similar to TNBR's recipe.
I also mixed up a batch of Mexican Cocoa
in a Jar this morning. While I'm sure the layered look makes a better presentation, this wasn't a gift (and is currently stored in a covered pyrex bowl) so I didn't bother with the layers and went directly the to "dump in a bowl and stir" part of the directions. FWIW, 1 1/2 discs of Ibarra makes about 3/4 cup chopped Ibarra. Overall I'm happier with this cocoa than most of the 'add hot water' mixes I've bought in a store lately, but if you make this variation do no try to drink the last tablespoon in the mug since it is gritty. I really wonder if the Ibarra is necessary at all and plan on mixing up a smaller batch with just powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon. If anyone sees powdered milk that isn't "nonfat" please let me know.
Finally, I've been plugging away at the Dream Baby Granny Square Blanket and now have 17 squares finished (the goal is 48 squares). My knitting projects are plagued by the "must sit down and concentrate on it" disease so I haven't made any progress there. But I did start another pair of Fetching because I needed a car project.
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