World Baking Day!

I had some excellent news yesterday! After 9 years of annual MRI’s to document the progress of my Multiple Sclerosis, I finally get to step down to every other year! I’ve been pretty stable since I was diagnosed, minus a small hiccup while I was pregnant/breastfeeding my son. I was off my medication during that time so it’s completely understandable that I would have a flare up.

In case you haven’t heard my story, I was diagnosed my senior year of high school. My stomach went numb first and we just thought it was a pinched nerve. When the numbness started spreading to my leg, we decided to go to the doctor. After multiple MRI’s, a little electric shock to my nerves, a spinal tap (which ended up not closing up which resulted in me losing spinal fluid and practically passing out in my classes which sent me back to the hospital for them to inject blood in it to help it scab over), and a lot of blood work, I was finally diagnosed. I will never forget the moment I found out.  Since I was underage, my mother found out first. She promptly called a family meeting in which all of us (my brother, sister, my sister’s husband, my boyfriend, who is now my husband, and myself) found out at the same time. I’m not going to lie, I kind of resented not being the first one to know. I mean it was my condition after all and she was treating it like she was the one going through everything. But what’s done is done and after so many years it doesn’t bother me anymore, but please, if you are a parent, PLEASE tell your child about their condition BEFORE announcing it to everyone else. It will make for a more trusting and less dramatic outcome. =)

Anyway, I’ve been plotting a way to celebrate ever since yesterday afternoon. Imagine my joy when I discovered today is World Baking Day! I seriously LOVE to bake. What I don’t love are the countless pounds I gain afterwards since I’m the only one that really eats sweets in my house. Sometimes I totally wish I was like my husband and could just turn my nose up at sweets, but my willpower is practically non-existent. Sugar is my kryptonite.

I’ve been looking around at recipes all evening to see what I want to make this weekend. It’s the least I can do to celebrate the holiday and my good news, right? My favorite place to go when I’m looking for something new to make is the home economics pamphlets collection that we have digitized. I could spend hours looking at all the old recipes. We have cookbooks, pamphlets, and government documents, all containing something to do with cooking and baking.

Here are a few (you can click on the image to go to the actual pamphlet with recipes):

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We have some pretty great stuff as you can see. The cooking for a man one really cracks me up! It definitely sets the tone that A1 sauce and a slab of meat is the way to win your man over. I really wish my computer/internet would cooperate so that I could share my favorite kind of “eww” ones (ugh! Satellite internet is NOT my friend, y’all). We have one pamphlet called All about Lard and several that are about jello and aspics. They are pretty cringe worthy if I say so myself.

If you get a moment, I hope you can check them out and get ideas what to make to mark World Baking Day, especially if you are a baker like me! Happy baking, y’all!

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Short one

So much has been going on in life, that it makes it hard to get on as much as I want. Trust me when I say, I have tons to say and think about out loud…well in writing I suppose. I started grad school, which I’m sure I’ve already mentioned, back in January so between that, working, and being a wife and mommy, it’s hard to keep everyone up to date with everything!

We had an event early this month which I was pretty proud of. We called it “Vintage Viands”. We put out an all call to people in the library to help us showcase our online digital collection of home economics pamphlets by making something out of the pamphlets and bringing it in for the students and whoever else, to sample. It was a lot of work but I think it was a huge success! We had a friendly competition of the worse and best recipes. The best were Gingersnap Balls and the worse was Turkey Aspic (so gross!).

aspic

This monstrosity took the winner of the worst

Callie

I successfully squeezed orange and lemon juice for the first time for my recipes! I made this awesome raspberry lemonade and I made fudge and of course I had to try my hand at an apsic too!

Callie aspic

This was my aspic. It has gelatin, tomato juice, onion, salt and pepper, radishes, and cabbage and a little lemon juice. Needless to say, I will never make this to eat, just to eat.

flyer

This was our poster and flyer that was designed by my co-worker and tweaked a little by our supervisor. It turned out well I think.

I think we have decided to make it an annual event. It went smoothly and people seemed to enjoy it a lot. I even had people ask us to hold it again next year!

I’ve also had this going on:

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Nothing like a dose of snow to bring the child out in you. I’m back at work today, unfortunately, while my sweet husband (who tubed into the night like a big kid last night) and my sweet son are sledding it up today. I’m sure all that white stuff will be around tomorrow so I can play too. =)

It definitely feels like summer

Summer and I have a love-hate relationship. I love everything going on during summer, but I hate the weather. I’m one of *those* people who hate the extremes. Just give me 70-75 and I’m good (even with a little rain). There just something about being all sweaty that makes all the great things about summer a little less enjoyable.

There’s been a lot going on around my neck of the woods here lately. My son is STILL sick. They mentioned him possibly having asthma, but they don’t want to label him having that just yet. Hopefully, if it is asthma, it’ll be the kind he grows out of. They put him on a steroid treatment and sent him for a chest x-ray just to make sure it wasn’t pneumonia. Luckily, it’s just a virus (they think) inflaming everything, so hopefully he’ll be better here in a little while. His cough definitely isn’t as wet sounding anymore, so that’s a good sign.

Aside from all of the meds he’s been taking, he still is an outdoors man. This kid would live outside if I let him (I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned that but let me reiterate it). Our new thing this week is picking these beauties.

Blackberries

I was blessed with a non-picky eater (for now anyway). He LOVES fruits and veggies. So, for dinner and snack here lately, we’ve been having blackberries. When I say we have hundreds of wild blackberry bushes, I mean literally hundreds. We have an awesome crop this year too and I’m totally excited that my son is obsessed with picking these. Granted, he only picks them and eats them, but I’m super proud that my 18 month old can distinguish between a ripe blackberry and a not ripe one. It did take him a couple of red ones to realize it, but he got a hang of it quickly.

With all these blackberries coming in, I’m definitely going to take the time to test out some of our Home Economics recipes. Here’s one for a blackberry cake (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/HENP/id/74/rec/4), blackberry jam (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/HENP/id/91/rec/3) or this one (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/HENP/id/696/rec/6) or this one (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/HENP/id/71/rec/9). We sure do have a lot of blackberry jam recipes! Maybe some blackberry punch will work (http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/HENP/id/105/rec/8). MMM….blackberry pie!(http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/HENP/id/79/rec/11)!

Yeah, I know, too many links. They are more for my reference so I can have a quick way to get back to the recipes. So, you can just skip over the above paragraph, unless of course you want to try making some stuff with blackberries.

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Plums are also starting to come in. I’ll save all those recipe links for another day though =). I normally just leave the plums for the animals since we really don’t eat a lot of jellies or jams but I think I’ll make something with these this year. They look really good.

The other thing that makes me smile about summer is calving season. Who doesn’t love an adorable calf?

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The one on the left that you probably can’t tell it is there (it’s by the tree) just dropped. The mama hadn’t even started eating her placenta yet (is that gross? Yeah, probably, but it gives the mom tons of nutrients that she needs and you get used to it after you’ve seen it a few times). The one on the right had just been born too and luckily for us the mama was on the other side of the fence so my son got to pet his very first calf. We used to raise dairy bull calves and once he get’s older I’m sure we will again so he can experience some responsibility. He already has the makings of being a great caregiver =)

All these things I love absolutely love about summer. We went wading in the creek the other day and it was heavenly. I love making memories!

Cooking…the library way (say what?!)

Cooking, the very word strikes fear in some people’s hearts, but for others, like myself it’s met with mixed emotions. I absolutely love to cook (and here comes the B word), BUT I hate to try to figure out what we are going to eat every, single night. Let’s face it, we all have our go to recipes and we only seem to cook those go to recipes, ever. Seriously. I think I make spaghetti at least every two weeks. My child loves it, it’s quick, and it’s super easy to clean up. I maybe have two weeks of food recipes that I use religiously and that gets old.

Pinterest has certainly helped with shaking up the recipes and all the internet searches and cookbooks. But what about those who don’t have the internet and don’t make it a habit of buying those crazy expensive cookbooks? Who doesn’t have internet these days, you say? This girl right here. I do most of my interneting (not a word, I know, I know) from my phone.  I post blog updates, check out the latest drama on Facebook, and browse for my cool new project or recipe on Pinterest all from that little, tiny screen (I will admit that I do edit and sometimes make posts on my break at work, though). One day, I will break down and not be a cheapskate but for now I’m enjoying not having an internet bill (If that blows your mind I’m sure it will be equally devastating for you to learn I only have free T.V., I know, I know, shocker!) =). But back to the question, what about those few of us?

That’s where the library comes in. I think most people over look everything libraries have to offer. My library has a rich collection of cookbooks. Any type of food you can imagine, there’s a cookbook for it. I’m sure some of you already knew about this awesome (and free!) resource, but did you know about that pamphlets?

I think this is going to be the next big thing (because we all know how up to the times I am, right?). The library I work at has a HUGE pamphlet collection that ranges from recipes to household care. It even has some awesome church cookbooks (we all know church lady’s know how to cook some of the best food you ever put on your tongue). It’s housed in our Special Collections so it can’t go home with you, but we are in the process of digitizing it (You can check it out here: http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/HENP) . Which is what I’ve been up to in digital projects here lately.

I submitted a proposal a couple of years ago to get these pamphlets on the internet, where they can be used, instead of just sitting in a vertical file. I can honestly say, this is one of the funnest projects I’ve worked on. Just knowing that you can try to make a recipe from 1914 is just amazing to me. You can eat what someone else ate exactly 100 years ago! I just blows my mind. Some of them sounds fabulous, some of them not so much (like ham in a jello mold–not my cup of tea), but I have been dying to try some of these sucker out. One from the Baker’s Cocoanut Recipes is going to happen soon (How could you not want to make something with that cute little coconut on the cover?).

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