Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The next part of the journey and back to baking!

This week marks two months since we have moved from Arizona. On some days it feels like a year and on others it feels like yesterday. We have been through the ringer on this move, but in the end, after two months of struggle, it is definitely worth the trouble.

Our move started on July 30th. We had rented a large moving truck for our household items and Matt was driving that while I drove our truck and horse trailer with both dogs and horses in tow. The trip itself was pretty tough. The rental truck broke down only 3 hours into the trip on the outskirts of Phoenix with the temps registering 107 degrees! Matt was stuck on the side of the road alone while I took the dogs and horses up the grade to the nearest rest stop to wait, water the animals and wait some more. We all sat in the heat for over 4 hours before Matt gave up on the mechanic and Budget rental company and pushed the truck onward to Flagstaff for the night. He kept overheating and having to stop and wait for it to cool down the whole 1600 miles, but we decided after that first horrible day that maybe God was telling us to enjoy the road trip and go slowly and see the beauty around us. After a gorgeous drive through Zion National Park with all our stuff in tow, we steadily made progress. A huge Thank You to my sister, Stephanie for being our 'travel agent' and finding me horse hotels and people hotels along the way. Since our trip got off schedule from our first long hour, short distance day, all my plans for horse hotels and places to spend the nights had to be rearranged. Again, thanks to my sister, we were able to find really nice places to stay and the remainder of the trip was quite pleasant and easy.

We had finally found a home to rent at the zero hour in Arizona and had signed a lease sight unseen based on photographs from the landlord and after Matt's new boss had gone out and seen the house for us and sent us new photos. It looked in bad shape, but we had discussed that with the landlord and come up with options for getting it back to clean and habitable. When we arrived in Oregon we dropped the horses at my friend, Ian's, place and went back to the hotel provided by Matt's new job. The very next morning we headed out to look at the house and see what work needed to be done for us to move in. Well, we were both in for a very shocking find when we got out there. The house was really, really, really in bad shape. Not only was it worn down and trashed by the previous tenant, they had allowed it to become infested with mice and rats and the smell alone was staggering. I think we both looked at each other and thought, "Crap! We signed a lease on this place???"

Very long story (all two months worth) short, the house has been repaired. All new flooring, new insulation in the basement where the mice and rats had torn it out, a completely new bathroom, mostly new plumbing, upgraded electrical, all new doors, and fully primed and painted. We bought all new appliances for the kitchen and added some new counters, tile back splash, sink and faucet and painted the existing cabinetry. It's been a very long and somewhat expensive haul, but we are now about 60% moved in and I am looking forward to being 100% unpacked and settled.

This morning was the first time I had baked since we left Arizona. I made some butter dipped biscuits from scratch for my breakfast and had one warm out of the oven, smeared with jam to accompany my ever present cup of green tea. It's been a long two months, but it's starting to feel like home. These biscuits are super simple, so give them a try and enjoy with jam, or under some homemade gravy!

Butter Dipped Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
all-purpose flour

In a bowl combine the self-rising flour, sugar and milk. Mix well. Turn onto a floured surface; sprinkle with all-purpose flour. Pat dough into 1/2" thickness. With a sharp knife or pastry cutter dipped in flour, cut the dough into 3"X2" pieces. Pour melted butter into a 13"X9" baking pan. Dip each piece of dough in the butter and carefully turn to coat the dough. Place all pieces in the pan next to each other snugly. Bake for 10-13 minutes at 450 degrees or until golden brown.