I know it's a bit late to be sharing my new year's goal but I was reluctant to post about it at first because I was afraid it was a bit to pie in the sky and that I would flunk out and then feel silly when people asked me how it was going. It is also not like me to really make new year's resolutions (which you may not believe now that this is my second post talking about new year's resolutions). However, I made it through the first month and have been successful so I thought it was about time I started writing about it.
Anyway, earlier in 2008, I came across the CrockPot Lady. If you haven't visited her blog, let me tell you a bit about her. She vowed to use her crockpot every single day in 2008 and succeeded! You go girl! My goal is not nearly as ambitious but she certainly did inspire me to set a "Kitchen Goal" and to strive to do somethings differently this year.
So here it is ...
Drum roll please ...
I have made it my goal to make all of our own bread products in 2009, or at least be consistently making everything myself by the end of the year. So far, I haven't bought a single bread product since before Christmas. I'm having a load of fun with it, too.
Let me tell you about it. I am not necessarily setting this goal in order to save money or to be healthier (although those are certainly benefits and strong motivators). The truth is, I got a breadmaker from my mother in law for Christmas and I have heard so many people say, "I have a breadmaker that I used twice, then I put it in storage and never used it again". I am just too darn stubborn to be one of those people. I figure by setting this goal, I'll be sure to get good use of my breadmaker.
On that note, I know some people's response may be, "Using a breadmaker doesn't count as making your own bread." Well, in my opinion, if it's the first step I can take, then fine by me. For most recipes (so far) I have been using the dough setting and finishing the bread in the oven. But, I am by no means opposed to doing the entire baking cycle in the bread maker. The bread pan in my machine is horizontal, so the bread comes out the same shape as a regular loaf. The only thing I don't like is that the mixing paddles leave those annoying holes in the bottom of the loaf. In the summer, I started making some bread by hand, but at this point in life, I know there's no way I would stick to my goal if I had to do all the mixing and kneading by hand. It's just too time consuming. It's so much quicker to use the dough cycle, and so far the results have been fantastic.
The problem with making homemade bread is this ... sometimes it tastes a lot better than store bought bread which means sometimes I eat a little bit too much of it. In that case, homemade bread would not, in fact, be more health conscious. However, I have a theory that has held up thus far: the more you make homemade bread, the less novel is becomes and the less you feel the need to eat half a loaf in one sitting. I have really been impressed that we haven't been overindulgent. I really haven't been making any more than I would normally be buying, so that's a good thing!
My pasta making expedition was a part of this experiment as well. I wasn't as pumped about the extra time/effort that it took, but I'm definitely not giving up on it yet. I think the pasta portion might be one of the components that I include in the "I will be consistently be making everything by the END of year" clause. If I have to buy dried pasta sometimes, big deal. Besides, there's no way I'm going to try making elbow macaroni or other complex shapes myself. No way.
I'm sure this will be a learning process and I'm hoping to share as much of that process with you as possible. I'm going to spend the next little while catching you up on the recipes I've tried (that I didn't post through January in case I gave up on this). I will let you know what worked and didn't work and I'd love to hear from any of you if you have recipes you've tried before, or recipes you've been wanting to try. I would definitely be willing to try them out on your behalf. And if you ever come over to visit, be prepared to be subjected to taste testing!
So, now the secret's out. I'm making my own bread. Hold me accountable, would ya?