Tag Archives: bread baking

Olio – January 26, 2019

Olio:  a miscellaneous collection of things.

This past week has been bitter and sweet.  A  Redtailed Hawk discovered my pullet pen and early in the week, killed and took one of my Mottled Javas.  The pullets are about 11 or 12 weeks old now and have some size on them, but not enough to fight off a hawk.  Because of the cold, I left them cooped up the next day and spent an afternoon building a bird net cage using the 4 foot high fence and 7 foot poles, rope, and zip ties to secure it.  Last night when I went out to close up the coop for the night, the hawk was inside the net and a second Java was dead.  In the hawk’s panic to escape me, it flew through the net and out, leaving the pullet.  I considered going out today and getting a 10′ by 10′ dog run that is 6′ high that I could put a tarp or wire top on, but they are hard to come by this time of year and weigh almost 300 lbs.  A friend with a stock trailer and truck offered to help bring it here if I could find one.  Instead, some of the unused garden fencing was cut to 8′ long panels and secured across the top of the existing fence with a garden pole in the middle to help support it.  The panels were overlapped by about 8 inches and zipped tied together every foot.  When the last panel nearest the coop was ready to secure, it was tied to the previous panel then folded up to give me enough room to get to the pop door.  An arch of fencing was stapled to the side of the coop and the front of the coop and secured to the fence on the side and the last panel.  That gives me room to get in and around the coop, but will require crawling under the low part if necessary.  My hands and feet are frozen, but hopefully, the littles are safe from the hawk now.

IMG_20190126_141431

It isn’t pretty, but hopefully it will keep them safe.

IMG_20190126_141447

They were glad to be released to the sun.  Maybe this spring, a proper, secure run can be built.

The sweet side of the week involves crafting.  There is a project called Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em to support the conservation of threatened breeds of sheep.  Fiber raisers and fiber artists are encouraged to participate.  This week, I have ordered and received 4 packages of roving from different breeders, 4 ounces each of Jacob, Navajo Churro, Shetland, and Romeldale CVM, and arranged to get 4 ounces of Leicester Longwool from a breeder friend who is participating.

IMG_20190124_214009

IMG_20190126_092402

Two of the breeders have provided extras, like samples of other sheep or a pen with their farm info on it.

Fiber has to be spun, photographed and submitted, yarn must be knitted, crocheted, or needle felted, photographed and submitted. It is a three year project and once you have 5 breeds done, you can submit for a prize.  After I finish spinning mine, I plan to knit a log cabin blanket with my 15 breeds.

Though I started collecting my breeds, I had some other spinning projects to finish before I could begin.  I had a 2 ounce braid I was spinning on drop spindles that I wanted to finish.  It was plyed and produced 166 yards of fingering weight yarn that is a very soft wool and silk.  There was some Alpaca and Merino that needed to be finished and I got it done as well.

IMG_20190123_203511

The week was also used to dye some fiber for sale in my shop.

IMG_20190117_203813

And finally beginning to spin one of conservation breeds, starting with the Jacob.

IMG_20190126_152804

The past week has been very cold and the forecast is for potential record breaking cold this week and possibly another light snow.  I need day that is mild and dry to finish trimming some of the fence edges.

Winter is not the time to take care of the outdoor tasks, but  they need to be done.  I’d rather be indoors, cooking and baking bread like I got to do yesterday before realizing that my pullet run was not as secure as I had hoped.  Tomorrow, I am fixing dinner for family and will make more bread for them to enjoy with dinner and take home for the week.

Doing What I Love the Most

An early start to a busy day, fueled by my super oatmeal with chia seed, walnuts and honey, I’m saving the eggs for the family visit and to send some home with our student family. Prep work for their visit requires a good house scrubbing as Son#1 shows signs of allergy to the pups. Beds which are left unmade to discourage stink bug hiding, must be given clean sheets, blankets and quilts. They are threatening us with accumulating snow on Wednesday or Thanksgiving, so wood must be stacked on the back stoop for the wood stove and the garage or front porch for the fireplace.
While Mountaingdad still slumbered, bread was started. I had nearly forgotten what a pleasure it is to make bread. I used to make all of our bread but we have been buying artisan loaves at the Farmers’ Market for a while now, but it is up to $9/loaf and with five of us eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 4 1/2 days, it seemed much more economical to make it. Two loaves and a pan of rolls are in the works.

image

The kneading bowl was a Christmas gift from Mountaingdad, handmade in November 2006 of cherry wood by Glendon Royal. It was often used in the past and brought out of display for bread making today. There is too much dough in it to allow a good initial mix and rise, so another treasure was put back into use.

image

This enormous hand thrown pottery bowl was thrown by Rob Podd of the Poddery. It is one of my early pieces from them. We met them at a craft show as they were just getting started and with our purchase of a small dish were given an invitation to their first annual kiln opening to be held the weekend before Thanksgiving which falls on or near my birthday. It became a tradition to go for my birthday and let me pick out a piece of pottery as my gift. There are mugs, a honey pot, plates, bowls, pitchers, and casseroles added a piece at a time over the years, all treasured, used and loved. This piece isn’t dated. Later at the request of the opening guests they began dating each piece. The scramble to get a piece warm from the kiln was fun as folks leaned and shouted to be able to have first refusal on the next piece touched. I don’t know if they still hold the openings or not, we live too far away now for the annual visit and I have all the pottery I need. We only missed two openings, the year I was over due with our daughter and hubby dared not take me 2 hours from home and the hospital and the year they didn’t have it because Karen was due momentarily with one of their children.
Such memories. The bread is rising for most of the day to make it light enough for the grandson’s tastes. Sandwiches, French toast, dinner rolls for Thanksgiving, I await drooling over the thought.
It is time to get back to mopping, scrubbing, sweeping, bed making all while enjoying the bergamot and vanilla infused water in the tiny sauce size crock pot simmering and filling the house with delightful scents until the bread can fill the house with it’s enticing aroma.