Grinder, Soap, Cookies, and Bread... Oh My!

I've been quite the busy beaver around here the last few days. Things from school work to knitting and everything in between has been worked on. With this time change, I feel like my day is quickly spent when lunch time rolls around. I really dislike the falling back one hour; I had rather have the daylight in the evenings, so they don't seem quite as drawn out.

Most of the FUN has been in the kitchen ~ a place I love to be.

We spent Saturday in Billings, doing some shopping.While we were there, my husband picked up a small meat grinder after hearing the prices that are being charged for game meat processing in this area. We are used to a flat $40 for grinding all the meat and we just couldn't swallow the idea of spending $100 for each animal that he would take in to be processed. Any deer meat he brings home is always ground because that is the most used type of venison we cook with. Occasionally, we would get butterfly steaks cut, but ground meat around here is the way it goes.

We also knew we wanted to start buying whole pork tenderloins and roasts to grind for sausage and to slice for boneless pork chops. So while we were at Sam's we picked up a ten pound package of pork roast. I sliced up one roast and have several freezer bags full and we also got eight pounds of fresh ground pork that was made into SAUSAGE. Let me tell you something... this batch of sausage tastes so much better than it did when I was buying the ground pork.  Maybe it has something to do with the idea of grinding the pork ourselves, and actually knowing what is in that bowl of ground pork. ~ The whole pork and nothing but the pork!

On Monday, I spent ALL DAY LONG in the kitchen. Can you believe, I even forgot to go back and make up the bed after my husband left for work? Yeah, that just never happens here, but it did on Monday. My mouth hit the floor when I walked into the bedroom after cleaning up the supper dishes; I was in SHOCK over finding an unmade bed.

Wondering why I spent all day in the kitchen? Well, I had to make laundry soap. Yes, I'm still making my own. It's cheaper than store-bought and cleans so much better. Even with the scary tasting water we have here (no, we are still not drinking it) I have found that the soap cleans quite well.

I searched for a peanut butter cookie recipe where the cookie would stay soft, so I tried making THIS recipe. As of the time of this writing (Tuesday afternoon), they are still nice and soft. Not too peanuty though, I  like to taste the peanut butter in my cookies.

While I was searching for a cookie recipe, I decided to look for another bread recipe to use for sandwiches and I think I may have found a keeper. Twelve hours after it sitting in the bread box, the bread is still nice and soft. I used it for our lunch yesterday and it passed the test. The one important test for homemade sandwich bread recipe is the lunchbox test...it past! My husband told me it wasn't as fluffy as store-bought, but it is very good and tastes better than my original recipe. WHAT???

This particular recipe calls for buttermilk and is a little soft. I call it soft because it doesn't become stiff or form a ball like most bread recipes. I even added an extra cup of flour *YIKES!* to stiffen up the dough.

I can't wait for later today, I'm planning on making another loaf. There's some tweaking that is needing to be done, so I will have the actual recipe to share. As you can see the loaf rises and spreads out a little.  That is one of the tweaks I need to work on.

It may not be the prettiest loaf of bread I've made, but it sure is the best tasting!