Blog Ending, Blog Beginning

Well, time has come for me to move away from this blog. It started as a collaborative effort, but in the end that didn’t really pan out, and I (m741) ended up writing the bulk of the posts. It’s felt a bit awkward writing under a collaborative headline when it’s mostly been one person involved.

Furthermore, I’ve felt a bit constrained writing purely about skills (well, mostly about skills). When I was writing about work, or numerous other things, I felt like I was betraying the premise of the blog. Other times, I didn’t write about a topic at all, because it didn’t fit in to the ‘skills’ shoebox. And also, I have to admit that SkillsFIRE is a bit of a goofy name for a blog.

So, I’m stopping this blog, and moving to a new one. The new blog is Rob Evolves (yes, my name is Rob, and yes, I hope to evolve!).

The topic there will be growth generally. That will include financial growth, developing skills, growing spiritually, having adventures, more esoteric philosophical musings. In other words, the same sort of stuff I was writing about here, but with a broader, and more personal, focus. I’d like to do some shorter posts with just a link or a brief thought – most of the posts here were 500 to 1000 words. The overarching subject will still be growth, but of course that can mean an awful lot :). If you enjoyed this blog I think you’ll enjoy that blog as well. If you didn’t enjoy this blog… why are you still reading?

I’ve transferred over the bulk of the posts I wrote here on SkillsFIRE and eliminated a few that didn’t fit in.

(Again, the new blog is Rob Evolves).


Skill a Week: Baking Bread

First off, sorry for the lack of updates recently. Had some family stuff going on and updating the blog here was not my highest priority.

What have I learned this week? I made bread! This was one of the things I had on my list of aspirations for 2013 – to start baking my own bread. This for a number of reasons:

  • Baking is useful for making a lot of foods, and bread is a simple baked product
  • I can make healthier, cheaper bread
  • It seems like a nifty skill
  • It opens the doorway (through yeast) to other micro-organism ventures, such as brewing, wine-making, yogurts, fermentation, pickling, etc, which are intriguing to me

I saw a few recipes that looked dead simple – and they are. The most basic bread is just flour, water, salt, yeast. Four ingredients, and about 10-15 minutes of time.

I followed the steps described by the gentleman who put together how to make perfect French bread in 10 minutes. There are similar batch recipes.

Another useful resource (for this, but also cooking generally) is this Bulk Foods website. I haven’t ordered anything yet, but the prices are great.

Anyway, I made two loaves, no problems, with this method. But eating them knocked me out. I’ve been tired generally recently but the bread was a bit exhausting (though delicious when hot). It’s so much flour. So I’m looking at a few possibilities. I’m going to try putting some wheat flour in the bread (to replace part of the white flour), as well as some oats and other grains. Just dump it in and see what happens. I’ve also got a book of bread-making recipes that looks interesting – one bread is a tofu bread, which I think will cut the carb content somewhat and add protein. Also I might add milk to the bread, or eggs. More ambitiously, I might try substituting in a bit of protein powder, for maybe 1/4 of the flour. This has worked fine for pancakes and crepes. Lots of different things to test!