- First, we took everything down, all the books, magazines, loose recipes, appliance info, coupons, and menus.
- Then we reshelved the cookbooks by grouping them in these categories from left to right: baking, cooking with kids, quick and easy meals, booklets, miscellaneous, and basic cookbooks.
- We looked through the loose recipes, deciding what to keep. We placed them in plastic sleeves in a three-ring binder. (See "Recipe Keeper" above.)
- We gathered all the coupons in a plastic organizer and stacked the menus in a similar plastic envelope.
- We began looking through the cooking magazines and clipping only those recipes that Emily was sure she wanted to make. (I stored the rest of the magazines on a low bookshelf for Emily to review as time allowed.)
- Finally, I took the appliance info to the basement.
My daughter, Emily, keeps her cookbooks in a cabinet above the stove. When I visited last week, she mentioned that I might help her organize it, so when her two-year old was sleeping and the twins were still at school, we got started. Here's what we did.
My twin grandsons had such fun learning how to make flour tortillas. Their father taught them how to work and roll the dough. Dr. Mary L. Gavin writes about a few of the benefits of cooking with children, such as building basic skills, boosting confidence, and exploring with the senses in her article here titled "Cooking with Preschoolers." My cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids here, includes over a hundred pages of recipes to help children experience each season of the year.
While visiting my grandchildren, Toby and Charlotte wanted to help bake a birthday cake. Both their mom and grandpa's birthdays were in January and we were going to celebrate! First, I showed them how to grease and flour the pans. But I should have cut and placed a circle of waxed paper or parchment paper in the bottom. That would have helped the cakes to stay in one piece when removing them from the pans, but I forgot.
My second mistake was preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. I knew that the temperature for dark cake pans needed to be 25 degrees lower, but I forgot. So the cake was dry.
My third mistake was waiting too long before turning the cakes out of the pan. At home, I usually put the timer on for 10 minutes. I got distracted playing with the kids and lost track of time. It was probably an hour. And yes, they fell apart.
My fourth mistake was making frosting that was too thick. Trying to spread the frosting to "glue" the cake together was not working very well. A thinner frosting would have been easier to spread.
I was too embarrassed to share the end results until my daughter encouraged me. Even cookbook authors like me have failures! It makes me appreciate the successes so much more. At least one way this experience was a great success was spending time with grandchildren baking. And the frosted cake tasted great! What mistakes have you made? And your great success?
I bought this galvanized steel tub--the perfect size for a magazine rack--for our newly remodeled bathroom. I loved the Christmas pickup-truck, and discovered that I could turn the picture toward the wall to use the tub all year 'round. Plus, 35% off for an after-Christmas discount helped make it affordable. I bought the copper-handled trash can at another store. Are galvanized steel accessories new this year, or am I just noticing them? I like the farmhouse look, especially for our outdoor theme. The painstaking removal of the 1990s pink-flowered wallpaper border, which we had added when our daughters were young, was well worth it. And because of using the wrong kind of cleaner that etched our porcelain tub (yes, I did that!) we had the tub reglazed. That's what started this transformation. One thing led to another, but now it's done and we can relax and enjoy it! What are you working on, big or small, in your home?