Monday, December 7, 2009

Butter Churners

Macaroni and cheese. Top Ramen. Cereal. PB&J. Anything processed, or made from a box.

These are many of the memories I have from living with 4 other girls in a tiny apartment in college. No money and living away from home afforded few luxuries, but aren't we all better for it?

I happened to go to college (most of it, anyway) at NAU in Flagstaff. It was gorgeous, and one my favorite places to ever live. We had a quaint, sweet apartment about 10 feet from the NAU campus. Target was within a 10 minute walk, and Safeway was even closer. One didn't need a car to survive when living in this apartment complex.

I loved all of my roommates, even though we all had our quirks. I'd love to talk about the roommate who didn't wear underwear, or the roommate who fainted to prove a point to her boyfriend, or the roommate who walked around our apartment in a wedding veil, but I won't in case they're reading this blog. By the way - the wedding-veil roommate is still my close friend, whom I adore. =)

Our friends across the walkway were even more fun! We loved being around them because they made us feel so good about ourselves (can you feel the words dripping with sarcasm?). One snowy afternoon, we had a chocolate craving and wanted to make brownies. Alas, no brownie mix was to be found. We didn't want to drive to the store just for brownie mix, and it was way too cold to walk over there. We decided to go ask our friends across the walkway.

When we inquired if they had a box of brownie mix, they looked at us with very inquisitive faces. It seemed as though they were saying, "What is this 'brownie mix' you speak of?" Once they realized we were serious, the ring-leader exclaimed, "Oh! Oh, we don't make brownies out of a box. We make everything from scratch over here."

Seriously? Everything? Thus, they were forwardly known as "The Butter Churners."

Well, folks, I have become a "Butter Churner." I am making bread, rolls, tortillas, and yes - even brownies, all from scratch. Not because I don't love them from a box or from the store, because heaven knows I do. I am learning how to rotate and use my food storage in case I ever need to use it in the future. And to teach my children not to be afraid of canned vegetables, grinding their own wheat, or using powdered milk in recipes.

And, have you ever walked in to a house where fresh bread has just come out of the oven? It's difficult to find a more comforting, aromatic, yummy aroma.

I used THIS RECIPE, but here's what I substituted:

I used quick oats because I didn't have potato flakes.
I used 1/2 bread flour, 1/2 whole wheat flour.
Because I used the bread flour, I didn't add the wheat gluten.

But I know I won't always have bread flour in my pantry, I will track down some wheat gluten so I may use that as well.

So Butter Churners - thank you for your inspiration to be more domestic, but you should try brownies from a box. They're divine, too.


Gooch Family said...

You need to have Sharee teach you rolls, she is the queen of rolls. She taught me and they are so delicious!

Carlie said...

if you would have come to my apartment in flagstaff, i might have been a butter churner too! i made homemade brownies almost weekly for post-sunday dinner game playing throughout all of high school. i hardly ever use a mix for anything. whenever i eat pancakes and syrup from a store, it makes me think of camping since that's the only time i eat it. :)
i think it's worse now since top chef is my favorite show. my cooking is becoming more creative, but less swearing that the show.