Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Following the wild credit card

I just spent two whole days in New Minas, the big box store capital of the Valley. I have guests coming and a guest room with no furniture, and what with the bedbug epidemic I am afraid of buying second hand. But I cannot afford new. So I held my nose and spent two whole days going from big box store to big box store looking for bedding and furniture.

The first day I think I spent just under $1,000. I am not sure because I haven't looked at the receipts yet, I am afraid to. The second day I spent a few hundred more. Again, not sure, haven't looked at the receipts yet. At a certain point, I just gave up trying to stem the flow. It seems like once you let a credit card loose, it takes on a life of its own. All I could do was follow it around and carry the bags.

I found this carpet at Canadian Tire, a big 5' by 8' indoor-outdoor carpet, nothing special but it was on sale for $19.99. The guest room is 8' by 10', so the carpet covers half the room. The sales guy mentioned that they had two of them, he just couldn't find the other one. When I got home I thought, Gee, if I bought the other one too, then the whole floor would be carpeted. Which would be good because it's a basement room with a linoleum floor.

So I called the store back. Talked to Josh in Hardware. He said he'd see if he could find it and he'd call me back. Or, if I didn't hear from him I should call him after a couple of hours or so. I didn't hear from him so I called. He told me he'd looked but he couldn't find it. He even got another guy to go out to the warehouse with him and they took inventory of all the carpets, but no luck. According to the computer they have that carpet, he said he'd keep looking and I should call him back on Monday. So we'll see. Half I want that carpet, half I want to stop spending money, so either way it'll be good. Or bad.

I've been working through some new bread recipes. Got a couple of books on artisanal bread baking and have been trying them out. One recipe calls for baking the bread in a Dutch oven pot. They cost an arm and a leg these days, I remember I used to have one that cost me next to nothing but now, well, you pay a lot for a Dutch oven. However, I was talking about that in the local used book store and someone said she had one in the barn that I could have. She cleaned it up and oiled it and gave it to me. For nothing! Just to know that it would be put to good use.

So this recipe seems foolproof. No matter how many mistakes I make, the bread still turns out great. I've stopped putting jam on my toast, it tastes too good for that. However. The second rising is supposed to happen with the dough wrapped in a towel. Then you are supposed to preheat the Dutch oven pot in the stove oven and then tip the dough from the towel into the pot. Every time I do that it plops into the pot hard enough to deflate it. Sometimes off centre, halfway up one side of the pot. My aim is terrible. The Dutch oven is so hot I am afraid I might burn myself so I hold the towel away from it, well, it's scary and messy.

Last night I had this brainstorm. I was thinking about the tipping problem and was wondering if there was some way to lower the dough into the oven nicely. I had this idea that if I had one of those silicon baking sheets I could cut out a circle to fit in the bottom of the oven, and then leave two strips on opposite sides to act as handles for lowering the dough into the oven. I could let the dough rise on the pad and then just lower it into the oven. Canadian Tire had this great sale on a set of silicon baking forms, including the baking sheet, so I bought that as well as the carpet (and a bunch of other stuff, it was a pretty good sale. I now have a year's supply of toilet paper). But the forms all look so useful as is, I hate to cut one of them up for my little experiment. Oh well, courage, gotta do it.

If Josh finds the carpet I have to go back for it. And there's a blanket I saw at Winners, and I still have to figure out what to do for curtains...

Where is it all going to end?

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