Saturday, November 12, 2011

Making Life Work

One of the things that expat living in a less than fully developed country has taught me is that most food can be made from scratch. Macaroni and cheese doesn't have to come from a box people (although I'm not enough of a fan to make it from scratch myself).

Over the years, our desire to recreate delicious foods from home without paying imported prices has led me to learn how to make a lot of things on my own - brownies, cakes, granola bars, peanut butter, bagels, tortillas, bread, apple butter, sour cream, marshmallow cream, even cleaning supplies (my next experiment - making my own furniture polish). Some of these I've discovered are better than the original (granola bars). Others still lead me to buy the imported version if I'm feeling flush (tortillas and brownies).

Today I tried a new homemade version of something - caramel. Turns out that if you put a can of sweetened condensed milk into a slow cooker, cover it with water, and cook it on low for 8 hours (or in my case, forget about it until the next morning), you have a can of caramel sauce. I was dubious about this, since that "chocolate chip cookie dough dip" recipe on Pinterest was nasty (don't believe everything you read on the internet, except what I just told you). But it's a good thing I didn't have a spoon in hand when I cracked that bad boy open because it would be gone by now.

So I'm off to get another can, not because I ate it all but because I need twice as much to make my favorite bars. They're called Oatmeal Carmelites. Honestly, I don't like that name because anything that ends with "lite" feels cutesy and I'm just not a cutesy girl. I think they should be called Heaven in Your Mouth bars, or I'll Need to Exercise Later bars. Whatever - I'm just excited I found yet another way to make life work here!

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