April 15th, 2002


Finally, Great Cinnamon Rolls

I just threw all these things into a bread maker on dough cycle...

1 cup warm water
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 Tbs melted butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt

and let it rip. An hour and a half later I rolled it out into a largish rectangle (10 x 20?), brushed one tablespoon of melted butter on it and sprinkled

2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar

on it, rolled it up along the short side of the rectangle and then cut it into eight pieces and plopped them into a cake pan, covered it with a plastic bag in the fridge (I think I should have just used a sheet of parchment paper, would have let the sugar sweat dry out a bit) and let it rise until Saturday morning. 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven and they were very, very satisfying.

They're probably leaner and less sweet than most people's ideal cinnamon rolls, but they were great for me. Especially with a little buttermilk icing, that was just confectioner's sugar and enough buttermilk to make a glaze. Tangy.

On Sale Baby Back Ribs

Yeah, it was a food weekend. After all the coding pressure of the last week and mostly subsisting on Lean Pockets and fruit, I needed to decompress a little, and the $3/lb baby back ribs were tasty and simple enough I really enjoyed them.

2 slabs of baby back ribs

Dry Rub:
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbls kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground chipotle
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika (preferably sweet Hungarian, does good color things and tastes good)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp of Penzey's jerk pork rub

shake shake shake and rub onto the thawed, rinsed, and patted dry ribs. Let sit in the fridge for an hour. Pour on one can of food processed no salt tomatoes. Cover tightly. Bake at 300 for at least an hour and a half. Stir the sauce at the bottom, baste the racks and then serve. It's possible to broil them for a bit after basting them or even throwing them on a grill, but we just ate them as is, and they were yummy.

Quieter day

The weekend was Full Of Stuff. Food, stocking up the house again, church, coding, writing, journaling, planting, digging, running around the yard. I managed to get a window box of herb seedlings in, with Jet 'helping' by plunging up to his elbows in the water/planting mix. I was mixing them together to get the soil wet, he really loved the mud and started to just sling it in all directions before I got him with the watering can and put my window box up where he couldn't reach it. Yeesh. *grin*

It's 82 today. Two weeks ago they were threatening snow, this coming Friday it's supposed to snow. Saturday was the first Really Warm Day that I remember in a while and I know I was going nuts with it. It didn't help to have the landscaping contractor here that morning to survey our yard and what he thought we could do with it.

We have about two acres of prairie, mostly planted in buffalo grass for two horses that used to live with the previous owner. They'd wander about both portions of the yard eating the lawn and fertilizing it, so it didn't need to be mowed, weeded, or fertilized much and they were a retired couple that took care of the yard and watered everything religiously. We're from Seattle, it was quite the culture shock to have to *water* trees!

So the whole yard is pretty much a wreck.

The back acre we just mow twice a year to keep the tumbleweeds from growing to be more than five feet high. The front acre we're now considering doing something about. Lots of wonderful ideas. We'll see how it turns out.

Jet got to play outside for most of the weekend. Today he's a bundle of splinters, cuts, and bruises plus his hands got burnt by the threshold to our back porch. The sun was shining all Saturday morning on the back porch, as usual, the the threshold is nearly black. Jet had been, all morning, going over that threshold to get out onto the porch, so he just put both hands on it that afternoon and got small patches of second degree burns on his hands. Ouch. We did yell, "Hot!" but had been too far to catch him, and it's pretty fiercely hot even getting close to it. Jet learned the hard way. His hands are healing nicely, and we soaked them in cold water just when he did it, so I think he'll be okay.

He avoided the threshold the first time after, but after we said it was okay, he tested it and went over it. But he now stops dead in his tracks when we go 'HOT'! We did find some white contact paper and put it over the metal and that seems to be working pretty well, now, so he can't do it again, hopefully. Next time it'll just be another thing we never thought about.

Jet's perfectly content today, with all his small badges of honor. He slept through the night last night, for the first time in a while, and he's just been happy and cheerful all morning. He's even napping really well, right now, and that's been really nice, too.

Giant Word Problems

You know the reason they taught us word problems in school. It's so it's even *possible* to do ones taxes.

Gods... we had a rebate from our Colorado taxes that might have affected how much withholding we could take last year, which actually might, possibly, have affected our taxes, and there's actually an entire extra information booklet about this precise problem. And the whole calculation is presented in *words*, not some formula to plug stuff into, but just words. Bah. Took John and I three go's at it before we finally decided on a formula that looked good to us... and since it wasn't in our favor, it was probably right. Feh.

Yay for the taxes to be out the door! Yay for getting the first estimated tax check to the post office! Yay for all this to be done! Yay!