Monday, June 04, 2007

Family Time

I have so much to tell you all! I've now watched my adored nephew graduate from college, and visited with Livey and LL and the baby mantises. The only thing I need is more time NOT visiting so I can post about my visiting! I'll catch up, but it'll be all out of order. I'll try not to confuse it, but, sorry. No guarantees.

I have the greatest niece and nephew in the world. Sunday, today, was my day to visit my niece and her husband. Tomorrow evening I get to visit the nephew and his sig other, a lovely and talented young woman whom I really admire, and see their apartment for the first time.

Today I got to see my niece's new house for the first time, too. They've had it for a year already. The place is beautiful, completely comfortable, and it's in a nice family neighborhood that reminds me of LL's. This was not a fixer-upper, it was clearly in very good condition when they bought it, but they did some remodeling, replaced carpeting with wood and tile floors, things like that. Every bit of work they did was perfect. Highly professional jobs. kdad and everyone who's seen the place has been quite impressed, and I can see why.

I am so proud of them.

I took the laptop with me and showed off the baby mantis pix, and Livey's place; and I brought them a nice pack of high-quality commercial yeast I get at Sam's. Wrote down the bread and sin roll recipes. I keep hammering on the young folks to bake, and I just KNOW that if I keep it up, I'll have them at it within the next year or two.

Access to good yeast really helps. So often the grocery store stuff is improperly stored, and not so viable, and when you're doing your first breads you think it's all your fault if it didn't rise right. That tends to discourage further effort, which I think is a shame. Baking bread is a soothing and homey and loving thing to do. Oh, and yes, it tastes fabulous too, let's not forget.

So I hand out these vacuum packs of yeast, 16 oz. each, that I pay about $1.50 for at Sam's. The grocery store stuff is 3/4 oz - yes, that's all - and generally runs $2-$4. Better quality, less money for a whole POUND of yeast, as opposed to dubious stuff that's more money for less than one ounce? Yup. No-brainer there.

Her husband is turning out to be an excellent cook. I've baked with my niece before at my place, and he was there kneading away alongside us on the most recent visit. She has a natural gift for baking bread and for bricklaying too. For him, it was a first time experience, so it was harder to tell. Judging from what he cooked today, and talking to them? He's decided to get into it, to do it up right and really cook. And he has a talent for it that was probably laying there this whole time, just waiting for him to say, Okay. Let's get serious about this cooking stuff now.

I got to meet the 2 newest dogs and 2 two cats and 2 toads. The only animal I knew was this wonderful little guy who visited me in Florida a few years back...and he remembered me! Dogs can be so amazing.

My niece and nephew are not only extraordinarily fine themselves, they had the excellent good sense to pick really great partners in life. The niece's husband is just wonderful. A model husband there, folks. Smart and sweet and fun and laid-back and hard-working and conscientious, all at once, and he takes care of my girl like nobody's business. He's really something else.

To see young people turning out so well, in all the ways that truly matter?

Talk about restoring one's faith in humanity. And that little thing called: Hope for the future.



Kirsten N. Namskau said...

This was really nice read .... The world need more of your people.

Nancy said...

I'm glad you're having a great time...

Looking forward to your updates!!

Anonymous said...

I could use a good, fool proof bread recipe. Getting tired of that stuff from the store. SOOooooo, when you finally get back to earth and things calm down, LL knows how to get a hold me.

k said...

kirsten, thinking about those kids maybe getting around to giving me some grand-nieces and grand-nephews? It just fills me with joy. And the odd thing is, I never wanted to have kids, myself. Some people, I think, are born to be parents. Some are born to be uncles and aunts. That's me.

When I read what you write about children and how they learn and grow, their life experiences, I believe you would really like these two of mine. I'm convinced you'd see in them what I do.

Oh, Nancy. You were sooo right. I'm tired as all get out but it's been worth every bit of it.

Snog Dot, you got it. I bet the boys might like it, too. There's something so cool about watching bread rise, it's amazing how many boys and girls both get really interested in it.

LL said...



prettylady said...

I have a fabulous bread cookbook, "Bread for All Seasons." I'll post some of my favorite recipes, soon. I know what you mean about the yeast--I'm constantly having to buy new packets and throw the old stuff out. Bleah.

So glad you're having a wonderful time!

k said...

LL - Done, ma'm.

Hello, Pretty Lady. I see you're back from your blogging vacay, yay! Adding on that I've had some limited net access lately, I was just beginning to ponder how much longer I could last without a new PL post. Then!!! Suddenly I was richly rewarded for my patience.

One reason I love those yeast packs from Sam's is this: Their vacuum pack method seems to make a huge difference in the keeping quality of the yeast, even after it's open.

Living in SoFL, we tend to put some unusual things in the fridge due to the heat and humidity. Dry yeast is one. I put the contents of the opened pack into a glass canister with a good seal, then put that in the fridge. For SoFL, it's the only way I've ever made it work.

And it does work. It stays nice and fresh until I used it all up.

The other plus is, if it did go bad and I had to toss it? Having spent all of $1.50 for an entire pound of yeast, at least I don't feel like I'm throwing an investment away.