Adventures In Bread Making


I just got my first bread maker, the Sunbeam 2 pound breadmaker and tonight I made my first loaf of bread, with this bread maker bread recipe. It turned out pretty well for a first attempt. You literally just put in the ingredients and press the button and three hours later, voila, a loaf of bread. The machine is pretty big, not as big as a microwave, but not far off and it does take up a good deal of room on the counter. It tasted pretty good.


Now I will experiment with different recipes for this machine. That bread maker is not a top of the line one, but it had many good reviews on, that’s why I got it. Now many might assume I got the machine mainly for my own use, but the truth is, I got it mainly to bake bread for the birds and the squirrels. It is less than half the price to make the bread from scratch than buy it at the store. I like to put bread out for the outdoor critters, but putting out loaves of $3 per loaf bread can get expensive if doing so a few times a week, so I thought this was a good solution.

I am sure the neighborhood wildlife will be appreciative of my efforts on their behalf. People spend money on birdseed for birds, so why is baking the critters bread that much of a step? I’ve always put out stale bread for them rather than put it in the garbage, but they’d often come looking and nothing would be there for them. Perhaps not the standard use for a breadmaker, but it works for me.



Ginger Snaps


If you’ve been looking for a good ginger snap, I’ve found one. A family favorite we used to get was Pantry brand ginger snaps in the pink box with the open top covered in cellophane, I cannot even find a pic of the package online. They were bought out by another company, changed the recipe and the name and are nothing like they were, same with Arrowroot cookies, it’s nothing like it was sadly. So I was trying a couple of different brands of ginger snaps and found one that is the most similar to the now defunct Pantry ginger snaps if anyone else has been looking for a similar tasting cookie.


These are called ShaSha Co. Original Ginger Snaps. They are tiny, quarter sized little cookies in the shapes of hearts, with a true ginger taste and the thin, crisp texture the Pantry ones had. I cannot imagine anyone that loved the Pantry brand ones not liking these. I found these on the site, but apparently they are also on Amazon, so do check them out, they are nice cookies. Not overly sweet, and with a good texture.

Grace Peanut Punch & Grace Coconut Water

peanutpunchOne of my favorite drinks is Grace Peanut Punch. I’d never heard of this delicious elixir until last year when I saw it on sale in the grocery store flyer and thought it looked interesting. I love nuts, peanut butter, and thought I’d likely enjoy this unusual treat. It is fairly pricey for such a small sized drinkin’ box though. Usually over $1.25 CDN for a 240 ml box, less than one cup size, 1 cup is 250 ml, still a small size for a drink.


I love other Grace products, too. Their coconut water with jelly is fantastic, by far the best brand of coconut water I’ve ever had. Not sure what they do to it other companies don’t, but it is in a league of its own taste wise. I love the floating bits of pulp in it, though they have pulp free as well. These are not the cheapest products, but they are wonderful as a refreshing treat and when on sale, nice to stock up on.

Cabo Fresh Guacamole


I had never in my life tasted guacamole until yesterday, it just was never something we had or tried and I saw some on sale in the grocery store flyer and decided I’d like to finally try some. I asked my mom if she’d ever had any and she had tried some homemade guacamole at a party before and said she thought I’d like it, so I took the plunge and got some, a bit expensive for the size tub, but I had some leftover corn chips, so why not.

Well I knew after the first mouthful on the corn chip it was not for me, I thought it was gross and not a flavor I’d ever want to experience again. I ate a bit, maybe a third of the tub and knew I couldn’t choke down anymore, waste of $6, and that was on sale! I gave the rest to my mom and she thought it was dreadful slop as well. She said the homemade one she’d had before was much better than this stuff and it was just awful. They have some bizarre recipes on their website too, everything from chocolate guacamole cupcakes to guacamole and almond milk smoothies, sounds vomit producing if you ask me.

Home Water Distillation


Recently I got my very own home water distiller system. I had for the last eight years been happy with home water delivery every six weeks or so of a few jugs of distilled water, but with no notice they closed up shop. Luckily I had over a month’s worth of water on hand and some time to do some research.

There was only one local water delivery service left with only one day a week delivery, so if you miscalculated how much you had on hand, too bad for you. I then thought why bother with all that, other people’s schedules, traipsing into my home, why not get a system that does it myself? I then began researching home distillers and found some very fancy and pricey models. Yes, to buy the best would be nice, but I wasn’t looking to spend the better part of a thousand dollars either.

I came across the Mega Home distiller and saw it had very good reviews and was in the mid price range I was looking for, so I ordered it from a company all the way across the country in British Columbia. I looked at the manual and set about making my own distilled water at home, right on my counter top. It’s always harder to tell from just a picture what the actual size is, it’s a good sized model, larger than a coffee maker and prepares one gallon at a time, and that takes around five to six hours to complete.

It’s a stainless steel model, appears well made and sturdy. The first batch you don’t use, you run the cleaning solution through the first gallon and discard it. You fit a filter thing in the nozzle and the whole gallon inside is boiling all that time. The top is not tight fitting at all, if you have children please do not let them anywhere near it, if they pulled on the cord an entire gallon of boiling water would be on them, same for pets, if you let cats on your counters, beware the outside of this unit gets very hot and the hot air blowing out the top from the fan is as hot as a blow dryer.

I watched and I waited, it takes nearly a half hour until the first drips appear in the glass carafe they include and drip by drip, it fills up over six hours time. After the unit has cooled at least a half hour, you can remove the lid.

You should see the disgusting residue that the tap water leaves in the bottom, it’s beige crud that smells like old corn chips. This is what you are drinking in tap water. You need to clean that out the gritty, pasty residue with a damp cloth before doing your next batch. I have been pleased with the unit so far, having made around six gallons so far. I don’t need nearly as much as a family would, so I don’t have to change the filters as often. They consider average use a gallon a day to process. I go through less than two gallons a week, so hopefully the unit will last me many years.

The overall cost is around the same as having water delivered, but I no longer need to call in orders and have to wait on people to bring it at times inconvenient for myself. If pure, good tasting water is something you enjoy, but you cannot be bothered by a home delivery service, this is an excellent alternative.