Friday, May 27, 2011

homemade cream of stuff soup

I've never liked Campbell's cream of stuff soups...even a lot of things with it in it. So, for the first 7-8 years of our marriage, I didn't make anything that had it in it. But then I found an Amish recipe for homeade cream of soup. If you know me, you know I love Amish food. I tried it and I really like it. And as a result, I now like gravy as well...which was something else I couldn't stand. But the gravy has to be made with drippings or broth, and not buillon. I just don't like buillon. I don't know the exact recipe since it's so easy to do, I never had to use it again. It's a very simple method and if you can make gravy, you can do this.

This particular soup is cream of mushroom. I start off by adding however much butter to the pot that I need...which is usually about 2 Tbsp and heat it. Then I'll add the mushrooms (or celery, potato, chicken, whatever you need for the flavor you're trying to make). Sautee that until it's tender. Then, I'll add in a touch of chicken broth to reliquify it...a Tbsp or two, not really sure. Then, slowly add in about 2-3 Tbsp flour. I like to make mine thick so it it will look thicker than gravy would at this point. Once all the flour is mixed in, I start pouring in more chicken broth, whisking the entire time. I think it ends up coming out to about a cup? I add salt and pepper and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken up nicely. It comes out thick like the canned stuff but tastes much better to me. I used this at the beginning of the week to use in a pasta bake that was our last hot meal for a while.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

calling all cooks

I need your help! It's been in the 90's all week here...and for a while with a few breaks for a day or two. We can't turn our AC on yet...who knows when we'll be able to. Our house is really hot and I hate heating it up further with cooking. Adam is refusing to eat hot food right now anyway so it's pointless. So, I need some good ideas for good summer meals that require little to no cooking, are healthy and have a very minimum (none is even better) of proccessed foods. So, please leave a comment or email me with your ideas so I can feed my family tonight...and through the summer. :o)

Monday, May 23, 2011

apple butter recipe

I actually lost this recipe before I posted it on here. I finally found it and I will not make that mistake again! This is so good and I plan on making it every fall. The whole house smells so good while it's cooking. Last Oct., I only had one crock pot to use but now, I have this one, another I had but forgot about that is almost as big and three smaller ones. So hopefully, it won't take me all month to make it this year.

My favorite thing to do with it is to just spread some on a piece of bread. It's a great snack, and even dessert.

12-14 apples
2 cups apple juice
1 tbls. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cloves

Wash, core and quarter apples (don't peel).

Combine apples, apple juice and spices in large crockpot. Cover and cook on low setting 8-10 hours. What works for me is to start it in the morning before work so when I get home, I can finish it up on the high setting. Then, I collect the batches in the fridge until I have enough for a canning session.

When fruit is tender, I use a stick blender and puree it right in the crock pot. Cover (with the lid cracked open) and cook on high setting for 6-8 hours, stirring about every 2 hours or so.

peanut butter cup cookies

I love these cookies with a hidden trasure inside. I don't make them too often though since making cookies is more hands on than cookie bars. I like to slide something in the oven and work on other things while that's baking (I'm just too lazy about my baking). But it's certainly worth making every once in a while.

2 sticks butter
1 C. creamy peanut butter
1 C. light brown sugar
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag of Reese's peanut butter cups (really you could use any fun size candy bars you felt like using)

Combine butter, peanut butter & sugars using an electric mixer on med. to low until fluffy.

Slowly add eggs & vanilla

Mix in flour, salt & baking soda.

Chill for 2-3 hours. Divide into 1 Tbsp pieces & flatten. Place pb cup in middle and roll into ball.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

40 mile ride to Carl

I got to go for a long bike ride again! I needed that to lift my spirits. It always has a way of doing that for me...even though I'm usually hurting when I get home. Today was especially nice because I let myself get lost. I took roads I didn't know where they led to. I ended up making it home at 8:32...sunset was at 8:33. I cut it pretty close!

This family plot is actually in someone's yard. In rural Georgia, that's not completely uncommon. I saw more than one today but this was the nicest one.

I want a piece of land like this one!

Or this one...

I wandered around for a couple of hours and decided I needed to figure out how to get home. I figured out basically where I was when I got to Carl. I know how to get home from there at least.

At my turnoff, there was this cemetery that I didn't visit last time I rode by it. It was hot so I decided it was time for a break and spent about 15 minutes walking around it. There's a section with newer headstones but I like to see the older ones. Most of the headstone are from the late 1800's to the early 1900's.

This headstone was laying flat on the ground...a popular way of doing it along time ago (at least in this region). The headstone is actually a capstone that is placed on top of a box made of stones. So the elements have had a long time to work on eroding the surface. Most are very hard to read. I was able to make out a year on one of them though. Crazy!!! I don't know if that's the birth date or the death date...either way, it's really old!

This statue was next to a headstone I couldn't read but each headstone in this bed was small and the rest only had initials...which is how they did the headstones for infants who died at birth.

This bed is all for one family. The parents share a headstone there are 12 more. 5 of them have a name and a single date. Each of these 5 were born and died the same day. I am thinking the other 7 were infants who didn't make it to full term? So sad! They had to face so much loss back then! That's one thing that makes me glad I live today and not back then.

Finally, I found the dirt road that I would have to take to get me back to familiar ground. Several people sped by and left a swirling cloud of dust in their wakes that I then had in my mouth, eyes and lungs (still wheezing).

But the dust they kicked up was creating cool light effects as it broke through the trees.

When I got home, Adam had just pulled dinner out of the oven. Talk about a happy coincidence! :o)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

chainsaw Saturday

On Saturday morning, I was working on my garden some more. Adam came out and offered to teach me how to use the chain saw (again). I used it in Wanship to cut some fire wood for our wood stove but I forgot how to use it since I haven't used it since. We had a few trees in the back yard that had fallen and needed taken care of. There were also some trees in our island by the driveway that needed to go. That's where we started. Adam felled the largest tree in the island to show me the technique. Then gave me some pointers and put me to work loping off branches of his fallen tree to get some practive. Then, I felled a few of my own and chopped them up as well. After about 45 minutes, Adam asked if I needed a break. I said yes and went and got some water. I was expecting to use it again but he didn't give it back.

He was cutting down a small tree here.

That's my handiwork.

Adam started in the backyard with a pine tree. When we moved here, it was a scrawny stick that was leaning over badly. It was taller than me by a couple feet but only a few inches around. Adam talked about cutting it out then but it never happened. So he was surprised to see how big it had gotten. When he cut it down, it actually fell on the dog fence and into the dog pen. You can see the mess inside the fenced in area.

Here's the trunk of that same tree behind the dog pen. It really had gotten quite big.

For the grand finale, Adam chopped down a huge tulip poplar. It was also leaning pretty badly and the roots were cracked. If you enlarge the pic, you can see Adam behind the tree cutting out a notch.

Here's what it looked like after it fell.

We had to clean up all evidence of that one since it landed partially on our neighbor's dog cemetary. It didn't cause any damage though, luckily. Only some of the smaller limbs made it out that far. We still have a lot of clean up to do in the back yard but that was definitely a good start.

After Adam finished, we went in to have lunch and I was falling asleep so took a 20 minute nap. I woke up and my left arm hurt pretty badly. It hurt for a few days. I am glad Adam took the chain saw when he did because it would have hurt even worse!

fish tacos

I've never been a fish eater, really. I remember eating those fish sticks and fish triangles as a kid but I don't ever remember enjoying it. I decided I needed to get over my aversion to fish since it's so healthy. I started by just taking one bite of Adam's fish whenever he ordered it at a restaurant. I got to the point where I could do that without gagging. Now, I eat tuna sandwiches and will even eat a fish fillet. I can't say it's my favorite food ever but I am ok with it now which is where I wanted to be.

I started making these fish tacos a few months ago and I like them because there's so many other flavors that I don't get overwhelmed with fishiness. I realize they don't look like much in the can't even see the fish hidden behind all that lettuce.

I use sour cream, lettuce (or cole slaw if I think far enough ahead), beans, fish and my yummy mango chutney on homemade flour tortillas.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

soaked whole grain tortillas

If you remember from previous posts, I am soaking flour and grains in an acidic base which helps to neutralize phytochemicals making it easier for your body to digest the food. One of the things I learned how to make soaked is flour tortillas. When making corn tortillas, I don't have to soak them since the corn has already been soaked in lime before being packaged for selling. So corn tortillas are what I make when I haven't thought ahead enough but if I think about it soon enough, I prefer to have these. They're soft, pliable and yummy. I made them super thick one time and Adam really didn't like that so these are still thicker than storebought but not nearly as thick as the ones he complained about. I like them thick.

3 cups whole wheat or kamut flour

1 cup warm filtered water

1 Tbsp acid medium (kefir, whey, buttermilk, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice)

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt


Combine flour, water, melted coconut oil or butter and 1 Tbsp of acid medium. Cover and allow to soak at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

After soaking, add baking powder and salt to soaked flour mixture, kneading in the flour until the dough is workable but not too stiff.

Shape into 8 – 10 balls and let stand 10 more minutes.

Roll to form a 10 inch circle or use a tortilla press.

Bake on a lightly greased griddle till done (not browned). Toast for about 20-30 sec. per side.
Yield: 8-10 tortillas.

I roll one out and throw it on the griddle, go back and roll out another one. After I add that to the griddle, I flip the first one. I roll another out and take off the first one and place the new one in its spot. Then, I flip the other tortilla already on the griddle and on down the line until I've made all the tortillas. I don't know how long that ends up being but it turns out a little longer than the time she suggests and it works just fine.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

bike rides

I have still been biking but not taking very many pictures as I am trying to get faster again so stopping to snap pics is not in the plans usually.

Late Jan., early Feb., I emailed a biking coach explaining that I wanted to be able to go on group rides this summer and wasn't able to keep up with others so what was more likely to help my performance a road bike or going on group rides. His wife emailed me back saying that I needed both. So, I decided to get a road bike (sure wish I hadn't sold my Bianchi). After our tax return came, I found a great deal on an older (1995) carbon fiber bike on craigslist.

It's really lightweight and rides SO different from my touring bike. This one is twitchy, meaning that it moves very easily....which can be both good and bad. As a result, it feels less stable but I've not had any problems staying on it, or it staying on the road. In fact, I was biking pretty quickly one day and someone almost turned left in front of me so I hit the brakes hard. The front wheel started wobbling side to side and I had trouble regaining control for a few seconds. It was scary, I thought I was going to get run over for sure. Anyway, the person stopped in time and I regained control without a spill. So it's plenty stable. The problem is that I am coming from driving a tank to driving a little Porsche...they just handle completely differently but both are safe.

After I bought the bike, I got a call from the coach himself. He gave me a program to follow so I can work on my speed. His program consisted of riding on the trainer 3 days in a row, then taking one day off. Then do that cycle again and again and again. While riding, I am supposed to push myself as hard as I can. I started at 20 minutes. I felt like I was going to throw up and die that first ride but after that first one, I usually just feel like I'm going to die. :o) As I got comfortable with my speed on that 20 minute ride, I bumped it up to 30. Most of my weekday evening rides are still 30-35 minutes but my weekend rides (when I get one) are about 1 1/2 hours. Those loner rides are slower than the short ones, of course. I did that faithfully for a while and noticed a huge improvement. I have slacked off a bit though lately and my speed has suffered but I am still a few MPH faster than I had been so I am happy. I still hope to improve as the year goes on and actually join his team on some rides. I am itching for a longer ride so hopefully I'll be able to get one in soon.

So, that being said, I've taken the camera along on some of my longer rides. Spring is definitely here and has been since March so everything is green.

mending: replacing a button

Adam's church pants are the same pair that I used to have Mom teach me how to hand hem on. Adam wasn't altogether satisfied with my work since it was all lumpy and bumpy at the hemline. It's true, I didn't do a very good job since it was my first time but I was proud of my handiwork anyway. Now, the pants have lost the button.

I had tried sewing buttons on when we were first married. It seemed like a simple thing but they would always come off for some reason. I did a search on the internet and found out that there has to be some slack in the threads so it can manuver into button hole without stressing out the button and threads during the proccess as well as while it's being worn. So the way I accomplish this, is by simply putting a toothpick between the button and the pants. Unlike the darning, this uses a double strand of thread with a knot at the end.

When I'm done weaving the threads through the holes, I remove the toothpick and wrap the thread around the threads where the toothpick was creating a shaft. Then, I bring the needle and thread back down through the fabric and tie off. It's a simple change that has made all the difference in how well the buttons stay on. Now, 2 more buttons to go on other clothes before I am done with replacing buttons for the moment.


Tucker is finally growing up. He can usually be trusted inside the house while we're gone (as long as we've secured all items that smell like us (clothes & shoes mostly) or food, or plastic objects that have had food in it (tupperware). Sometimes those things are safe, depending on how much exercise he's gotten in the day or two leading up to the temptation. We still have a few cardboard boxes laying around but he hasn't really touched them in a while. He really prefers chewing on his toys these days.

He spends his day napping outside, mostly. Then, when I get home, he's all riled up and ready for some running, chasing a ball, whatever it is, he just wants to be active! But no matter how much play time he gets, or how long the walk is, he just doesn't want to sleep much when I'm home. He constantly brings me toys so we can play together, or is chewing on Adam's foot, or trying to get the other dogs to play with him, Jack usually.

We have many laughs at his expense because he's just a goofy dog. He loves his stuffed toys, like I said, and lays on his back and holds the toys up in the air with his paws while he chews on them. The toy falls and he has to pick it back up often. Usually, when the camera comes out, he gets up to onvestigate but I finally got some of him playing upside down...but he lost interest in the toy when he saw the he's not playing with it in the pics. But he was still being goofy.

Around 10 PM, he just can't stay awake anymore, and he finds some place close to me and curls up and falls asleep. The moment I start walking up the stairs, he senses it and runs to catch up to me and comes up to the bedroom with me.

Aren't his feet cute all tucked up near his head?

Monday, May 16, 2011

the handyman strikes again

I feel like I'm really behind on posting the stuff we've been up to. Maybe it's not true, maybe we haven't been up to that much, we'll see. I am goingto be posting a lot until I feel I've run out of stuff we've done though.

This Saturday, Adam made a handle for the gate that leads to the area with the clothesline. He picked out a 2x4 in the garage and cut this out on a band saw. I think it's pretty cool that I have a one of a kind handle. :o)

Also, I mentioned in another post that Adam built a composting bin for me and I realized recently that I never actually posted pics of it. I figured this would be a good post to add it to.

It's 4' in all directions. The gate is off for the pic.

The latching system is one that Adam thought up himself. He made the bin with all 4 posts in front (2 top, 2 bottom) hanging over a few inches. He cut a notch out of each post. The gate rests in the notches and it stays securely in place but is still easy to take off.

He's got some good dieas rolling around up there!

homemade detergents

I attended a class recently that taught me how to make my own laundry detergent. The funny thing is, I've been making my own dishwashing detergent for a couple years now but I didn't know that I was already making half the laundry soap too.

Here's everything you need (that grater is never used on's kept in the laundry room cupboard so it doesn't get accidentally used):

To make the dishwashing detergent, I mix equal parts washing soda and borax. The box of washing soda is smaller than the borax so I just pour the whole box of washing soda in a very large mixing bowl, then pour an equal amount of borax in on top of it. Then I mix those two up real good and put them in a couple jars. I was reusing the cardboard box with the pour spout being so small, it took a while to get the soap loaded into the box...and if it clumped up, it would clog the spout and I'd end up pouring way too much out when the clog finally moved out of the way. So a jar with a little scoop is much easier to deal with.

When I need laundry detergent, I simply take 3 cups of that mixture and add a bar of soap, grated finely and stir it up well. The most traditional soap used is Fels Naptha. It's a very hard soap and takes some elbow grease to grate it. You can also use Kirk's castile or Dove or Ivory. All of those are softer and still pure soap. You don't want to use the other body soaps...I don't know why but they say not to. With a HE washer, like I have, I only have to use 1 Tbsp a load. For traditional washers, you use 2 Tbsp a load.

I was buying a bottle of the most pure washing detergent I could find to try to keep my hives at bay and it was costing me about $5/bottle for 32 loads. Fels Naptha costs about $2-3/bar, depending on if you can find it on sale. Kirk's soap only costs $1/bar. Each box of Borax and washing soda costs a little less than $3/each. So, at most, I'm spending $9 for all the ingredients. But I get about 60 laundry loads and enough detergent for a couple months of dishwashing loads as well. I've never had a problem with anything getting clean compared to the storebought soaps.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

breakfast pie

I had been craving an apple bacon pie and I was making a chicken pot pie anyway so I decided I might as well make them at the same time since it's just as easy to make 4 pie crusts as it is 2. The one in the rear is the chicken pot pie and the front one is the apple bacon pie. Since there is so little sugar in it, I eat it for breakfast. Yummy!

Apple Bacon Pie

1 double pie crust recipe - home made or store bought
4-6 apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
Lemon juice - about a tbs
3/4 lb of bacon, smokey and salty
1/3 cup white or brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon plus other spices, if you would like
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbs butter

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop the bacon into 1/4 inch chunks and fry until quite done but not crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling. Reserve grease for another use.

*If using home made pastry lay half of it into a pie pan and roll out and then cut the other half into strips to use for lattice. If using store bought pastry defrost it completely and then turn one of the pans worth out onto a cutting board. Roll the pastry flat with a rolling pin and slice into strips for the lattice top.

* As you slice the apples toss them with lemon juice to keep them from browning. When you are ready to assemble the pie drain the apple of any extra lemon juice and then toss with the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Some recipes call for a tablespoon of flour to get tossed in here too. I don't use it but you might like it.

*Start to layer the apple slices into the bottom pie crust. When one layer of spiced apples is in sprinkle some of the bacon bits on top. Add another layer of apples, more bacon and then a third layer of apples and bacon. You can pile the apples quite high in this pie, tucking them in and laying them well to form a solid mound. Dot the top of the pile of apples with butter cut into pea sized pieces. Sprinkle some sharp cheddar cheese over this if you are being really decadent.

*Crimp all the edges well and place the pie pan on a baking sheet and then place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the pie is very fragrant, you can see bubbly juice coming up through the lattice crust and the crust itself is nicely browned. Poke the pie with a knife to make sure the apples are tender then remove the pie and let it cool a bit. All pies are just as good at room temperature or cold and it will hold together better if you let it cool a bit. It will be worth the wait.

Friday, May 13, 2011

mending: darning tights/socks

Most people are lucky to be of a "normal" size and can find all kinds of things that fit them but I am a bit taller than the average woman and tights/pantyhose are always hard to ft. Usually, the crotch hangs about midthigh. I refuse to wear them when they're like that. I found a pair while on vacation in Utah one year that miraculously fit me. I have looked multiple times and haven't found another pair since. So, I make sure to baby my tights since I may never get another pair again. From time to time, I get holes in the toes and I have to darn them. I would only darn socks if I really had no money to buy new ones since they're cheap and last me 2-3 years, or more, as it is, or if they're a more expensive variety, like wool but there are people out there who still darn their cotton socks.

It's a simple thing but does take a little time, especially for bigger holes. It's best to do the repair before you actual break all the threads but I sometimes let it go long enough that it's too late. A stitch in time, saves 9, as the saying goes...and it's true. I have never had to redarn an area so it is very strong. Darning is basically weaving the new thread into the old fabric.

This time, I had let it go way too long. I had one foot with a completely broken through hole and the other foot had a broken through hole and a smaller threadbare hole.

To do this, you need thread that matches the size of the yarn wool socks will need thicker thread and these tights. I use cross stitching floss. You also need a basic needle and a darning egg of some sort. I use an old lightbulb which is just about perfect. (If you look closely at the bulb, you can actually see where I've used it in the past.) I have this one tucked in my sewing basket since we no longer use these lightbulbs. And of course, you'll need you holey tights.

Slip the lightbulb into the toe you need to work on and slightly stretch the toe around it. This makes it easier to work on. The needle will glide on the lightbulb without catching other threads as well as help to keep the original shape of the toe.

You don't ever want to make a knot because it would irritate your foot, especially if you're repairing the bottom part. Use only one strand. Leaving a short bit of tail, make a running stitch all the way around your hole. When you get back to the beginning, start making stitches from top to bottom, bottom to top, and repeat until you reach the other side of the hole. You don't want to cinch the two sides together so leave them slightly loose. Try to leave the hole exactly the same size as it was when you started.

In this picture below, I just finished the top to bottom stitches and am now ready to begin weaving.

One thread on top, one on bottom, repeating until you reach the other side. Repeat back and forth until you have finished. You'll finish it up by doing one more running stitch around the hole and snip the thread, leaving a bit of a tail.

I realize this is an awful pic but it was the best I was able to come up with. The top hole is the threadbare one I haven't touched yet. The one in the shadow is the one I just darned. It's just to show you the weaving proccess but I actually fill it in much more desely than that.

This is what it looks like when I have finished with the dense darning in each hole. You can see the whole area I have had to darn over the last 8 years...the area with no white peeking through. As it stretches a bit, the little tails disappear.

Like I said, it's super simple but it has definitely been a handy skill for me to have!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yeasted Buttermilk Bread

This is another recipe from my favorite cookbook "Nourishing Traditions". It's a soaked bread. I tried it once before, before I had my sourdough ready. This weekend, I made both sourdough and this bread. Not sure what I was thinking...but sometimes I don't think. I loved this last time I made it. The flavor is more yeasty than I've ever been able to get my wheat bread to taste like. It's soft and moist. But I still have yet to get it to rise for some reason! I actually had to let it sit overnight since it got to be too late and still hadn't risen. When I woke up, it had risen an inch or two. The top was barely to the top of the loaf pan. I baked them anyway while I was getting ready for work. I pulled them out of the pans and threw them in the toaster oven (it was off) so they could cool and not be eaten by dogs while I was at work. I didn't get a chance to taste it until I got home from work. Yummy! It may not rise well (YET) but it just tastes and feels so good in my mouth that this is my new favorite bread.

It's in the mid 90's here this week and we won't be turning the AC on for a while. So we decided that cold sandwiches sounded good for dinner last night. I gave Adam the choice of the sourdough bread, the soaked bread (this one) and his regular, storebought bread. He asked for the soaked bread. This is the first bread I've made that he's chosen over his storebought bread so I definitely consider this one a success. It's healthy and we'll both eat it. I just have to experiment and make it rise, then it will be perfect.

Yeasted Buttermilk Bread

4 c. whole wheat flour
1-1 1/2 c. buttermilk, warm
1/2 c. melted butter
1/4 c. room temperature water
2 1/4 tsp. SAF yeast
2 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. unbleached white flour


Warm buttermilk over low to medium heat until finger temp (body temperature). Pour buttermilk out of pan and melt butter.

Combine flour, 1 cup buttermilk and melted butter in a food processor until a ball forms. If dough is too thick, add buttermilk, but it should be thick enough to form a ball. Place in a bowl, cover with a towel and rest on the counter 12-24 hours.

The next day, combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl and leave for 5 minutes or until it bubbles. Add salt and baking soda and mix well. Place half the flour mixture, half the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup white flour in food processor. Process until a smooth ball forms. Repeat with other half.

Knead the two balls together briefly. Place in a buttered bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise two hours or until doubled. Punch down, cut the dough in half and process each half in a food processor for 30 seconds each. Form into loaves and place in buttered loaf pans. Cover with a towel and let rise 1-2 hours, until doubled. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Cool on racks.

The use of the food proccessor is new to me for bread making, and usually I don't like to make things that rely on modern conviences...I'm weird like that...but I am so glad I gave this one a shot anyway because I really do LOVE this bread. There's very little hands on time (no hand kneading) but you need to plan ahead, for sure. I will be making this one often now.

Monday, May 9, 2011

sourdough makes a comeback

I finally got my sourdough aged enough that I could use it for making bread. That "sourdough" I made with yeast only worked for one loaf of bread. I put it in the fridge like regular sourdough starter and when I pulled it out to feed it (and to make another loaf of bread) it never revived. So, a couple of months ago, I started a real sourdough starter again. I've made pancakes with it in that time, waiting for it to be ready to make bread. Finally, I don't have to feed it everyday since it's tucked in my fridge, waiting for the next time I pull it out to be used.

I fed it enough so that I would have enough starter to make a couple loaves in the morning. I came into the kitchen to find this.

Hot stack, all for me since Adam doesn't like pancakes.

I have made this recipe before and really enjoyed it. Last time, I made it with white flour. This time I used wheat. It tastes good but is dry and crumbly so definitely not a good sandwich bread. Although, I stuck it in the fridge and it seems to not be falling apart nearly as much when it's chilled.

Rustic Country Sourdough Bread

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages dry yeast)
1 1/4 cups warm water (105-110 degrees F)
1 cup sourdough starter (at room temperature)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sunflower oil
4 -5 cups unbleached flour, divided
sunflower oil
melted butter

1 Place the eggs in warm water and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.
2 Warm the KA bowl by filling with hot water, dumping it out and towel dry.
3 Dissolve the yeast in water in your KA mixing bowl.
4 Let stand 5 minutes.
5 On speed 1, stir in sourdough starter, sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 3 cups flour.
6 Gradually add remaining flour or enough that the dough will separate from the sides of the mixing bowl. This should take about 8 minutes.
7 Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
8 Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
9 Punch dough down; divide in half and shape each half into a loaf. (These also can be make into dinner rolls.).
10 Place loaves in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pans.
11 Brush top with oil.
12 Cover loaves; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
13 Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and brush with melted butter.

Friday, May 6, 2011

sock bun curling

I found this video on youtube about sock buns. I was curious so I watched it. It is the most amazing thing. You take a sock, cut off the toe and roll it into a donut shape. I have a white sock and I then rolled a knee high (one of those cheap ones you can buy in a little plastic egg) that was close to my hair color. That way it doesn't show through if you don't get your hair all the way around it. So to make the bun, you make a ponytail and put a ponytail holder in it. The you thread your ponytail through it. Then you proceed to roll your hair in it as you bring it down to the scalp. It stays like magic! No pins, no scrunchies, no nothing. It's just too neat. And the thing is, it looks really nice too. Way better than my buns ever look. I watched another video by the same girl about how to use this technique to curl your hair. She had these beautiful curls so I tried it after spraying my hair with a water bottle. No curls at all. So I tried again with wetter hair. I think I let it dry way too much though before putting it up because the curls disappeared the moment I brushed it.

So here it is before I went to bed.

This is after I woke up. It really holds well!

Then I took it down and this is what I saw. Not as much curl as I was hooping for but I was happy enough with it.

Then I put it up and that was all the curl that was left! Uggghhh! I really dislike my hair's stubbornness!

I am going to try again though with wetter hair...and maybe put some gel in it to help it hold.
Related Posts with Thumbnails