Here we are, nearly at years end, and the time to reflect on the past, present and future. Lucy doesn’t do any of that of course, being small minded and down right stupid but the rest of should not use her as a guide in anything we do except maybe bread baking once a week.
We should be thoughtful and truthful with ourselves in all things, especially this time of year as we reflect on the past year, experience the current Holiday Season and project ourselves into the future of next year.
We love Bean, Grilled Chicken and Grilled Veggie Cheese Crisps!
We all want to be successful in our life long endeavors . We also need to make sure that we are successful. The wanting is easy but it isn’t anywhere near enough to guarantee success in anything. Want can get in the way of doing and the doing is what it takes to be successful in all things…….as long as you are doing the right things in your life.
Especially when they are decked out with the guacamole, Crema and Pico de Gillo.
The wonderful thing, thank goodness, about doing the right thing is that it is every bit as easy as doing the wrong thing or even doing nothing at all. It is hard work doing nothing – take it from me! So we might as well do the right things instead of the wrong thongs, or things if you can type better than Lucy. The rewards far outweigh the just deserts of being a failure at the end your life.
This years, new and different Christmas cookie is Fresh Guava Bars. Never seen fresh guavas in the Mexican store before. Hey they look better when dusted with powdered sugar and not as tart as Lemon Bars.
One of the things it takes to be successful in life is to be financially self-sufficient. That doesn’t mean you have to be filthy rich but you need to be comfortable when you retire. Nowhere in the Bible, or the Old Testament’s first 5 books if you are Jewish, does it say that your children are supposed to take care of you in your old age.
1949 SD Fruitcake crumb shot - yummy! These slices still frozen....
These same scriptures do talk extensively about parents taking care of their children though. One way to do that is to have a firm financial footing – even though money isn’t everything. Being rich helps even more and Lucy, who knows nothing, says it is pretty darn easy to be rich if you are human. If being rich money wise is what you want - then it is easy as pie. Oddly, to be rich, non money wise, is pretty darn hard ……no matter how much money you have.
Lucy never forgets the salad and now with the garden producing lettuce and tomatoes.....So much better!
So, let’s stick to the easy stuff .....being rich money wise. No mater how poor you start out in life, there is no reason you cannot become wealthy…… if you have normal intelligence and health – there are few excuses otherwise. Let’s get to some easy doing then... instead of worthless talking about it.
If you want a million dollars cash in hand when you retire at 65 years old and you are 21 years old today making $15 an hour, all you have to do is invest $1.70 a day, every day, into the Vanguard S&P index fund and increase that amount every year by 3% as you gain experience, education and make more money over time. That’s it. I think we can agree, that just about everyone can afford that pittance – that really isn’t one at all.
Now, if you want to have a million dollars in today’s money when you retire, you have to invest a $4.06 every day and increase that by 3% every year. You will have over $2.4 million but in today's dollars that will be $1 million due to estimated inflation over time. To be very young and using the power of compound interest in your favor just can’t be beat for ease and simplicity.
Since 1928, the S&P has returned an average of 11.5% through thick and thin, good and bad years, if you include the dividends it throws off every year and you reinvest them too. So what poor, 21 year old person, making $15 an hour can’t afford to invest about 1/4 of 1 hours pay per day to be a real millionaire in today’s money, when they retire? Ignorant ones…..or ones with poor character. See, being rich has little to do with who you know or how smart or educated you are - even though they can help. But, it does have everything to do with knowing things others do not know or appreciate and doing about the easiest things, barely what it takes, to make you rich…… instead of them because few others will and they need a lot of help.
Just remember, the longer you wait to start investing in yourself, the harder it gets. Eventually it becomes impossible no matter what you do short of winning the lottery. Now let’s talk about kids. I didn’t have my first and hopefully only one until I was 39. Most people have kids when they are much younger than I was. But ,no matter when you have them, the rule is the same - you have to take care of them.
People do not seem to think about this enough but the one thing, besides love, that you have to have with kids is money - lots of money. Love can only get you so far. Kids are not cheap and they get more expensive as they age – way, way more expensive.
The one thing parents forget about totally, after food, clothes, shelter, schools, vacations, summer camp, weddings and whatnot, is that they need to make sure that every kid they have becomes a millionaire, in today’s money, the day each one turns 65. This too, like all things money, is very, very easy.
The 2 easiest ways to do it is to either put a one time $5,912 into the same S&P 500 mutual index fund on the day they are born and forget about it or, put $1.58 every day into the same index fund for them until they are 65.
You have to live to be pretty old to do the latter but, being 85 for a 65 year old, like me today, is certainly easy enough and very probable. My Dad is 85 and just had a hip replaced this month! He says he had at least 10 good years left in him if the surgery didn't kill him. What ever age you eventually make it to, will seem like a blessing to your kids if you made them a millionaire along the way. If your kids think you were a blessing …..then you have succeeded in life beyond your wildest dreams - right?
Now for you, your wife and 2 kids if you are poor and 21, a real bad combination, for all 4 of you to be rich in today’s money,when you are 65 ; costs you a whopping $11.28 a day – every day total or $4,118 a year. Sadly, I used to smoke more cigarettes a day than that! If you are lucky enough to work for a company that matches your 401-k retirement contributions. then your personal costs are immediately cut in half.
If the company you work for offers a 401-k Roth – you are double lucky - then the government won’t even get a piece of your personal fortune in taxes. The only thing worse than taxes is death itself. I told you being rich was easy. My dad had 2 kids when he was 21 but said he was too poor to invest any money like this. We all know now, even though he really believed he was too poor, what he really was - was ignorant. It is all in the doing – or lack of doing. He still made it to 85 without any of is killing him too. - another blessing!
What did Yoda say to Luke? Try Not! Do or do not, there is no try! He is by far the wisest of all the mythical creatures that never existed. It is easy enough to be like Yoda and teach your children to do well for themselves and their family. - so do it. Now on to the hard stuff - Sourdough Buns.
These are 25%, 6 whole grain enriched buns made with a 12% pre-fermented bran levain at 100% hydration. The enrichment was 2.5% sugar and 5% butter with 2% PH sea salt at 75% hydration overall. The levain was retarded for 24 hours but the buns were not retarded.
We did not do an autolyse but mixed everything, except the sugar and butter together, including the levain and let it sit for 30 minutes to hydrate the flour, before adding the sugar and butter and beginning the first of 3 sets of slap and folds or 60, 10 and 4 slaps. We then did 3 w=sets of stretch and folds of 4 stretches each. All dough manipulations were done on 30 minute intervals. We then let the dough bulk ferment for an hour before dividing into 110 g portions and shaping into slim buns.
After 2 hours of proof we fired up the oven to 425 F for 8 minutes of baking after being egg washed and then 15 more minutes at 375 F convection to finish them off. To a light golden brown and 205 F on the inside. We froze them as soon as they cooled for smoked pulled pork sandwiches Christmas day so we will have to wait for the crumb shot and a tasting.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.