At the moment we are in the midst of a big Thunderstorm. This is one thing about Midwest weather that I like so far. Somehow the crashing booms and flickering lights fill the night with a certain liveliness.
This past week I am back to my old self concerning cooking and baking. I wasn't doing a whole lot of either because of both the heat and just not feeling up to it. We were reviewing our food bills this last weekend, and it really motivated me to start doing most things from scratch again. Last winter I was making most things we ate from scratch, so those months are my comparison. It seems that if we bake our own bread, use dried beans instead of canned, eat hot cereal for breakfast instead of cold, and finally if I bake all of our baked goods myself we can save somewhere around $100-$150 a month. It really doesn't seem like that much of a change, especially since it tastes better to cook this way anyway. A couple of days ago I found a recipe for veggie burgers, and I mixed that up tonight. We'll see tomorrow how the recipe is. I also made some whole wheat hamburger buns using our bread maker to mix the dough, and prepared it in into buns after the last punch down. They are rising as I write, and so far they look pretty good.
I am currently almost half way through The Fellowship of the Ring. I have read it before, but I am amazed at how many details I forgot. I am having much more fun with it this time because as I am reading it I am using The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad. This atlas is absolutely fantastic! I have found everyplace mentioned so far in The Fellowship of the Ring, and since I am a visual person it has somehow made me more attentive to the story.
Yesterday I began The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. After reading yet another passionate comment about this novel, I finally started reading it. I've only read about 30 pages, but I'm already hooked. It is described as the first sensationalist Victorian novel. It is quite long, about 750 pages I think, so it was probably not the best thing to start while reading the Lord of the Rings, but oh well. Sometimes you just have to follow your passions.