Books and Bread and Leeks, Oh My! - Adventures in Homesteading

This blog post is dedicated to Ryan. He knows why.

Friends. I went full homesteader on Monday.

Okay, I didn’t exactly go out and get chickens or goats or cancel our electric bill and start pooping in a hole in our yard or anything, so maybe I didn’t go full homesteader, but I went pretty far. For me. And maybe only for me.

I woke up on Monday and I was READY. TO. GO.

First of all, I started organizing/purging my home library and it felt amazing. I started a LibraryThing account so that I could catalog all of my books.

Every. Single. One.

If you don’t know, I have a lot of books. Like… thousands. So far I’ve cataloged 361 of them. And that’s a little less than half of the ones I own on my “to-be-read” bookcase. The “read it and loved it” bookcase hasn’t been approached yet. That bookcase is significantly smaller than the TBR bookcase mainly because I take in a lot more than I can ever read, but also I give away a lot of books after I’ve read them.

Before you panic and you’re like “HOW CAN YOU SPEND THAT KIND OF MONEY?” don’t worry! I work in a bookshop and I get a lot of Advanced Reading Copies for free. But, I also buy a lot of books, because as anyone who loves books knows, they’re kind of an addiction, which I argue is a lot safer than meth, SO GET OFF MY NUTS, THE MR.

I forgot to take an actual picture, so I stole this from my  Instagram  story.

I forgot to take an actual picture, so I stole this from my Instagram story.

(Side note: I’m getting rid of a lot of books that I just know I’m never going to get to, and when I was trying to figure out what to do with them, I came up with some pretty good ideas, but one of them is a giveaway. I’m thinking I’ll do it when I reach 500 followers on Instagram, so go tell all of your friends to follow me so that you can maybe get a box of free books!)

What on earth does using the internet to organize my books have to do with homesteading, you wonder? Good question! I don’t really know, but it felt domestic, so I’m including it. I also did laundry. Does that count as homesteading? Sure! Why not! HOMESTEADING CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE!

Like… baking! Because I baked bread, mofos!! This one actually does feel homesteady because I made the bread not because I was bored and felt like making bread, but because we actually needed bread to make sandwiches for lunch for the week, and since the bread aisle at the grocery store gives me anxiety, I just said “screw it” and decided to make it myself, and you guys….

LOOK AT THIS BREAD.

I have to say, I made a peanut butter and banana sandwich (with a side of goldfish crackers, like an adult) with it the next day and it was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I’m never buying bread again.

In fact, I plan on never going to the grocery store again, you know why? Well, first of all, I can make bread now. Second of all, The Mr does the grocery shopping anyway, but third and most importantly of all, I PLANTED VEGETABLES. FROM SEED.

Last year we planted vegetables, and I’m going to say that it was a learning year. This year, we have charts! We have graphs! We have absolutely NO KALE! Things will be so much better.

This is just phase 1. At our height, we will have 87 plants started indoors and even more planted directly in the ground outside. I’m so excited.

This is just phase 1. At our height, we will have 87 plants started indoors and even more planted directly in the ground outside. I’m so excited.

Plus, this year, I’m planting in accordance with the phases of the moon, which I’m pretty sure makes me a witch now? I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts, but this is like… Herbology 101, right? But with less screaming plant babies and more leeks. Also, for some reason I was feeling crazy and decided to plant Georgia Flame peppers, so… sorry, future me?

Anyway, all of this is to say that I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a little over a week, but I have a lot of books and bread and leeks to deal with.

But now I’m back, so yay! What have you been up to?

P.S. If you want to see even more photos of my homesteading adventures, go join the Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon! This blog is able to remain ad-free because of them. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

We got a new oven! ...and I'm already banned from using it.

So, Fiance and I got a new oven installed in our apartment this morning, and if you follow me on Twitter, this is not news to you, but if you don't, let me catch you up:

This was super exciting because our oven was pretty old and temperamental (in a bad way) and while I loved that it had character, that character was a bit frustrating, so getting a new (used) oven was hopefully going to drastically improve things so that I could bake even more things, and pretend to be a cheeky British person in a tent on the grounds of some castle somewhere hoping to win a cake plate. A girl can dream...

So this morning, my mood was this:

 

Everything was going according to plan. Until I got hungry and decided to make a pot of macaroni and cheese (the lunch of adults) while simultaneously attempting to bake a lemon poppyseed bread loaf. I think it was the multitasking that was really the problem. That and the fridge magnets... Allow me to explain...

You see, we have these magnets on the fridge that double as chip clips, and they are very handy at holding cute pictures of nieces, but my cookbook wasn't staying open to the right page and I desperately needing something clippy to fix that. So there it was, the clip I needed, dutifully sitting on the fridge, holding an adorable photo of Fiance's niece. I needed the clip.

So I unclipped the picture and attempted to set it on top of the fridge temporarily, but then a breeze came in through the window or maybe I didn't actually set the picture far enough away from the edge of the fridge or something, but either way, the picture fell. We don't need to start pointing fingers as to who is responsible here.

It should be noted that the fridge is right next to our new oven that I was so excited to use, and the pot of water for the mac and cheese was boiling on the burner that is closest to the fridge.

So Fiance's little niece fell from atop the fridge and down to.... well...

Luckily, she did not land in the pot of boiling water. Unluckily, she did land in a way that her arm was maybe too close to the burner.

Okay, fine, her arm was touching the burner.

Me: AH!!!

Fiancé: (from the next room) What happened?

Me: Nothing... everything is fine!

Fiancé: ...I don't believe you.

Me: Don't come in here!

Fiancé: ...why?

Me: Because I may or may not have set your niece on fire!

Fiancé: What?! HOW?!?

Me: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS ASK SO MANY QUESTIONS?!

Needless to say... I don't think I'll be asked to babysit at his sister's house for a while...

Don't all Mothers Have "Unintentionally" Perverse Cookie Cutters?

So, today is a Swedish Christmas Holiday. December 13th is St. Lucia Day. In honor of this holiday, I got together with my mom to bake a bunch of Swedish Christmas cookies and saffron bread (St Lucia Buns!)  Now, as many of you may remember, my mother is anything but normal... or prude.

Which explains why she has cookie cutters of Santa that look like this:

She says it's supposed to be the trim of his coat. I say it looks like Santa shouldn't be around children. Same diff.

Yup. I literally made about 35 of those creepy little Santa freaks and I am not proud. (Okay, I kind of am proud due to the comedy gold that I was finding in it, but morally I am not proud!) So, I was also extra careful when spacing them out on the cookie sheet.

Mom: Emelie, you can put them closer together than that!

Me: Mother, we do not need these things looking any more inappropriate than the already do. I think some distance is mandatory. If I could give them each their own cookie sheet, I would.

Mom: Oh, Emelie. Stop being gross!

Me: Me?!?? I'm the one being gross??? I'm sorry, but someone was clearly not thinking in the cookie cutter factory that day. I'm just saying.

To back up my point, I sent that photo to John Hamm, Gumby, and Apollo

John Hamm: What the hell?

Gumby: I don't even know how that looks like Santa!!

Me: Welcome to life with my mother. Nothing is sacred.

I suspect that Apollo was too ashamed or embarrassed to reply. He is probably cursing me for having ruined the sanctity of Christmas or something. He is such a stickler.