Good Finds · Uncategorized

Little Bit here, Little Bit there

In my last post, I wrote about life not being one long timeline of wondrous-after-wondrous happenings. Case in point, I did not, despite the desire, hop a plane to Tahiti this weekend. There was no gauzy sarong around my hips, there was no gazing out over aquamarine waters. Instead, my husband and I went looking for a new car, my family and I enjoyed a completely delicious dinner at a restaurant nearby and then we ended the weekend stuck inside the house because of utterly torrential rains. Tahiti it was not, but weirdly enough, those things made me happy and left me feeling content. I didn’t even add that Sunday night means Downton Abbey, so I suppose my happiness level was greater than I mentioned.

And thus, per my previous post and hypothesis, I mentioned that life is about the little things.

One thing that has been on my mind quite a bit has been food. And spending. And how, if you want to buy good, healthy food, you end up spending a heck of a lot of Benjamins. Argg! It breaks my heart when I hear people say that they don’t buy organic or go to stores like Whole Foods because they can’t afford it. How did it come to this? That so many Americans can’t even afford to buy the food that will help to keep them and their families healthy?? Don’t even get me started.

And then there is just the routine of it all. For someone who loves to cook, going to the grocery store actually gives me agida. You figure out what you want to cook, then you figure out what you need to buy, then you spend time and money at the store and STILL, within a few days, you end up with teens and tweens gazing annoyedly into the cupboards muttering “there’s nothing to eat”. AND you have just spent a few hundred dollars. This occurs week after week, without fail. Someone-please shoot me.

In a perfect world, I’d be in Tahiti. I’d also be buying only organic this and organic that. Yes, my husband would call me a sort-of health-nut of a food person. I do try to educate myself and make good choices for my family, within reason, of course. Our wallop can only take so much of a walloping. I remember once talking to a fellow mom at my daughter’s school and she told me that she heard a rumor that I didn’t let my kids have any sugar. That was one of the most hilarious things I had ever heard (and someone believed it and then actually passed it along? Really? Ok, then). Uh, have you noticed that I love to bake and I will never pass up a dessert? I just don’t eat cheap junk nor eat it every day. I’d rather give my kids a great slice of homemade chocolate cake with gooey frosting made from real butter and sugar than a store-bought box cake filled with preservatives and unpronouceables.

The American consumer really is over a proverbial barrel these days. “Eat healthy!” they say! Support local, local, local! Go organic!

I. Want. To.

But. It. Costs. Me. A. Bloody. Fortune.

So what is the compromise is our house, seeing as we do have to consider our wallet? We pick and choose. It’s all about those little things and that includes doing what you can to make your life (in this case) more healthful. Therefore, I hunt for substitutions or maybe I add one or two new things to our repertoire. I just don’t add a cartful. In my mind, somehow it all adds up along the way.

I hope.

So, moving forward with Daily Frosting and it’s mantra of the little things, I’m going to post a few things each week that I have discovered that fall into this “little but better” category. They will range from healthy items for your kitchen to good things for your soul.

First up is WHOLE WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR. As I am a baking gal, the thought of pumping my family full of white, bleached, nutrient-less flour gives me the willies. So, to make things a wee bit better, I substitute whole wheat pastry flour. They key is that is is not just whole wheat flour…it has to be pastry. It is very delicate and won’t turn your baked goods into bricks. I also use it half-and-half with regular flour depending on the recipe (although I don’t buy the bleached kind). Better half than none, right? Remember, when there is the word “bleached” on the bag, that means it has been stripped. Stripped of color, of nutrients, of vitamins. Blech.

Bob’s Red Mill makes a great Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and Bob is creeping into the big stores now, so he’s not that hard to find. Go forth and bake on! This flour also works beautifully in pancakes and waffles, muffins, tea loaves….

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