I haven’t been consuming that much media lately — it wasn’t intentional, that’s just how it worked out — so this month’s What I’m Into post is going to be a little different.
We try to take at least one nature walk every month. This past month was the first time Lydia did the whole thing on foot. She walked the entire mile in her little rubber boots, and I found this new experience quite delightful.
We also got our seeds in the mail (woohoo!) and tapped our maple tree out front. (Maple sap starts running as soon as the temperature starts to rise above freezing during the day, but only as long as it stays below freezing at night. It runs particularly quickly when it’s sunny.)
Spring is coming!
We started boiling down our first batch of maple sap last night (it started out in the big stock pot on the left), and our house is wonderfully steamy. (We should get one pint jar out of this batch.)
Like I said last month, I’ve found that parenting a toddler and reading books don’t go together very well.
That being said, I did manage to devour Princess Academy(Shannon Hale) in about three days. (That’s saying a lot for me, because I’m a very slow reader. It means a lot of responsibilities were shirked for about 60 hours last week.)
I haven’t read any fiction for quite some time, mostly because I know that I have absolutely no self-restraint once I’ve started, so this was a treat.
It was a fun read. Hale is a talented writer, which is refreshing in YA literature after the likes of Stephanie Meyer (Not that I didn’t enjoy Stephanie Meyer. I DID.) I could tell right from the first page that she knew what she was doing:
“Miri woke to the sleepy bleating of a goat. The world was as dark as eyes closed, but perhaps the goats could smell dawn seeping through the cracks of the house’s stone walls.”
I have to admit, I didn’t find the climax of the story — with the bandits and the supernatural powers — as interesting as everything leading up to it; but I was still pleased with the entire book. Miri is a strong, interesting, lovable female protagonist; the story is unique; and the world of Mount Eskel is totally convincing.
I didn’t do much other reading, besides looking through some more books from the library on interior design (we’re looking to redecorate our upstairs living room/play room) and Montessori activities for toddlers.
Not much to report here. I can’t WAIT until the weather’s nice enough that we can take walks every evening. Then TV can shove it.
We gave up on Downton Abbey halfway through season 2, and BOY am I glad we did. I’ve since heard about the devastating tragedies of season 3, and I know my heart could not have borne them.
We watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Good acting, interesting characters. I liked it.
In the Kitchen
I realized today that I spend a good portion of my life in the kitchen, but I rarely get the chance to talk about it. So here’s what’s new in the kitchen.
I recently bought myself a Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender, and so far am totally in love. It blends so quickly and quietly, and I can fit so much more in it than I could my crappy Back to Basics food processor! But it has literally been like four days, so I can’t say too much yet.
I don’t know how great it will be over the long run, though. See, the reason I got it is because I broke my mom’s a month or so ago. I was just using it and a little plastic piece inside snapped. The design strikes me as kind of fragile. My Mom replaced it, but then discovered the original one was still under warrantee and got the broken part replaced for free. So I bought the new/superfluous one off of her.
The point of the story: if it was that easy to break, how long is it likely to last? I like to own things I know will last a good portion of my lifetime.
I also had a revelation earlier today about making tortillas.
I’ve been making my own tortillas for about a year, ever since I started paying attention to what’s in the store-bought ones. (I was recently given a bag of commercial flour tortillas, and it had 19 ingredients listed . . . including calcium propionate, silicone dioxide, sodium metablusulfate, and polysorbate 60. What the heck is all that crap?! I don’t like my ingredients to contain numbers!!)
My tortillas, by contrast, contain five ingredients: whole-wheat flour, water, home-rendered lard, baking powder, and salt.
Anyway, I’ve always rolled them out with a rolling pin. They were always super-wonky. But I discovered that if I just flatten them by hand, I end up with much nicer-shaped, round tortillas.
And that’s what I’ve been into! How about you?
Linking up with Hopeful Leigh.