Tag Archives: baking

Fun with Food and Fiber

To keep the sourdough starter going, it has to be fed at least every couple of days.  The longer you go between feedings, the longer it takes to get going again.  In order to not have buckets of the stuff, you have to use it, discard about 80% before you feed it, or give it away.  Since I had to feed the starter left from making bread the other day, I decided to feed it a goodly amount and make muffins this morning.  The recipe that I used makes a product that is a cross between a scone and a muffin in texture, but sweet, crumbly and delicious.  It made a dozen and N and I ate 2 each right out of the oven this morning.

20160331_103147

This is what was left after we gobbled down breakfast.

Today was spinning group day.  Since it was beginning to drizzle with more significant storms due, I chose not to take my wheel, but just the drop spindle and some knitting.  I enjoyed visiting with the ladies, knitting some, listening to the various conversations, entering some of them, and spinning on my drop spindle.  Like kids in kindergarten, we often do show and tell and I took the two skeins that I have recently finished, one on the wheel and the other from the drop spindle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The top one is Merino from Hawk’s Nest and there was still a bit of the purple left after carding it with the blues and grays, and the bottom is Romney from a fiber club.  The ladies said I should blend some of them together, so this afternoon after getting home, I decided to play with my new to me Strauch Petit Drum Carder.

I took this

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and this

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and there was still some of this unspun

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and made these

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is only a couple of ounces and I don’t know if I will spin it on the spindle or the wheel. There will only be enough yarn to use as an accent on something, maybe with the purple Merino blend above.

As I expand my fiber skills, I get more deeply hooked on the craft.  I have yet to work with locks or a whole fleece, nor have I more than toyed with dyeing, but I have a bag of Mohair locks to play with and am getting bolder with the idea of dyeing some fiber or yarn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre Prep and Deliciousness

I tend to cook from scratch.  Rarely do we purchase “mixes.”  J loves pumpkin pie with holiday meals and it drives me crazy that so many pumpkins are sold in the fall, set on porches and left to spoil.  And when you look for a recipe for pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, it calls for canned pumpkin.  We grow pumpkins each year and the ones that were harvested in the fall of 2014 were such good keepers, that I cooked the last 4 small ones yesterday to use to make the two pumpkin pies that will be baked on Wednesday.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

None of the remaining pumpkins from last year were very large, just slightly larger than a grapefruit each, and cut in half, they all fit on my huge baking sheet.  The chickens benefitted from the raw pumpkin seed and cooked skins with the small amount of remaining meat that I couldn’t scrape out.  The 4 pumpkins only made just under 6 cups of cooked puree.  This will be more than enough for two pies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While the pumpkins were baking, I started a couple of loaves of bread.  I used to bake all of our bread, but A, the 8 year old grand that lives with us, prefers what I call balloon bread, the soft gummy square commercial loaves.  I keep trying to make a bread that is light enough to suit him.  The rest of us love a good hearty rustic loaf.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My wooden bread bowl was put to use, more unbleached bread flour than whole wheat used and the loaves came out almost lighter than I prefer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Two beautifully risen,  golden loaves. . . and still not to his liking.  But the rest of us polished off a whole loaf with our dinner last night.  SIL will enjoy making his lunch sandwiches on the other one this week.

I need more flour, but with having 9 folks in the house for most of this week, I will do another baking when the oven is hot for pies on Wednesday.  We will need it for lunches and breakfasts later in the week.

Last night the bottom fell out of the fall thermometer. It isn’t as cold as we will see and it will moderate in a couple of days, but it was 26f when I got up and the chicken water is frozen for the first time this season. A has been dispatched to the bus, N has been fed and dressed, chickens have been fed, but I need to take some warm water over and see if I can thaw their water pail.

If it warms enough, I need to put urethane on the Beard and Apothecary gift boxes that I’m putting together for the December 12th Winter Holiday Market. If not, J and I still need to go to the bookstore to get N a book for her birthday tomorrow.

 

Things I don’t buy anymore

image
Tortilla’s for tacos and enchiladas
image
Ricotta cheese
Mozarella_marked
Mozzarella cheese
image
Pasta noodles
wpid-wp-1422390546832.jpg
Bar soap, shampoo, laundry detergent
IMG_0361[1]
Eggs
IMG_0285
Chicken
IMG_20140920_124610[1]
Tomato products, salsas, jams, chutney
wpid-20140614_145952.jpg
Mustard
image
Yogurt and cream cheese
image
Hand and body lotion

The longer we homestead, the more products have been eliminated from our shopping list, more products are made at home.  As the garden and orchard grow and my desire to be more aware of what goes on and into my body, the more items are removed.  Hopefully, the day will come when we are growing a couple of pigs on our land and at least some of the lard will replace the oils that I buy for cooking and soap making.  If Son #1 or 2 raise bees, we will be able to have honey and beeswax too (I am allergic to bee stings, so I can’t tackle that task.)

I love being able to make these items, our bread and chicken feed, grow most of our vegetables and have the health and time to do it.

Baking with a Grand

This was another morning where the freezing early temperature was the high. It was foggy with occasional freezing drizzle, not enough to affect the roads or school, but enough to warrant hunkering down in the house for the day. Daughter woke with a bad cold and after taking her son to the bus stop nearly half a mile away, she got in a hot bath then back in bed. Once granddaughter awoke, I decided to entertain her to let her mom sleep.
After we had breakfast and I did chicken chores, we decided to bake crackers together.

image

She put on her apron, helped measure, pour, mix and cut. After they baked, her job was to put them in the jar.

image

I think she ate one for every 3 she put away, but it kept her entertained for a while and she made a glorious mess playing in the flour.
This afternoon, we used two very ripe bananas to make a loaf of banana bread and now a pot pie is baking. The warm oven has helped the fire keep the house warm and cozy for sick daughter and the healthier crew that just didn’t want to be outside today. Except for bringing in wood and doing chicken chores, I have stayed inside. If it is going to be cold and damp, I wish it would snow.

A quick peek

Last night I finished grand daughter #2’s sweater for Christmas, that leaves her brother’s sweater on the needles. It was saved for last because it is going to require more fiddling to get the size right. He is tall enough for a larger size, but so thin, he requires a smaller size. Daughter is sending me length measurements and I am using a smaller size to go around his thin frame. If his takes only slightly longer to make, I should have them all done and the mittens too by deadline. Granddaughter#2’s sweater was given a wash this morning and is now blocking on the dryer top.

image

The pattern is Cottage Creations Wallaby, the yarn Universal Yarn’s superwash worsted. This is the 5th or 6th time I have made this pattern for a grand, they love it and the areas that I found frustrating the first couple of times are a cake walk now.
Big brother,  is also getting a Wallaby in a darker shade of blue.
Now I’m off on a round trip to Northern Virginia to pick up Son#1 and family for Thanksgiving. I hope the bad weather holds off until we are safely back here and tucked under warm quilts for the night. Tomorrow I bake pies and more rolls, I wasn’t happy with the first batch. The bread was perfect, the rolls not so much.