Saturday
Mar252017

quiet spot

My garden is growing.  I have been spending a bit of time out in it each day.  There are weeds starting to come back so I go out and work with my garden knife.  It may not be that long each day but I seem to get a couple handful of weeds out each time.  

I have also needed to do some thinning.  The pumpkins are trying to take over the world again.  Some of the broccoli seeds came up much too close together.  I know I will need to thin more as things grow but it is hard when the plants are so small.  But I did notice that they were bigger in the evening then when I weeded in the morning.  That is what happens when a bit of water and warmth are added.

This bunch of mint came out of my mint bed.  I walked it up to a local restaurant.  We went out for drinks last night and talked a lot with the bar manager.  I think I found someone of like mind.  There may be much more infusion happening in my future.  Infusion that is alcohol based.  For now, I will take him mint occasionally.  Even though this did not even seem to touch my mint bed.  The clipping will help it keep from getting leggy and it will grow more.  Just what I need, more mint!

Thursday
Mar232017

started bitters

I received the Issue 21 of Taproot.  My thoughts about this magazine are always a bit divided.  There are just enough good ideas for me to keep subscribing.  Part of my divided thoughts are that there is a counter culture type vibe going on with it and I just feel they try a bit hard.  Maybe because I have already lived through it before.  But I guess it says something when I pull out my flour mill to make fresh flour for soy sauce.  Been there, done that.  Just relax.

This issue had an article on making your own bitters which I have been thinking about doing.  To add another steeping jar of bits on the counter.  Why not?  I saved the peels from the mandarin oranges Koda Bear eats by the dozen.  I went through my spice shelf and pulled a few things.  I added a bit of honey.

Brandy, mandarin orange, mandarin orange peel, four vanilla beans, a knob of peeled ginger, six cardamon pods, ten whole cloves, six whole allspice, and a tablespoon of honey or so into a jar.  I shake it occassionally but it is supposed to sit until next month.  Then we will see.  To add to drinks.  To settle tummies.  To help with digestion.  I like the idea of making my own.

I will just have to see how it all turns out in about a month.

Tuesday
Mar212017

just getting through

I have a quilt ready for quilting now.  I also worked on cleaning up my work table which consisted of cutting many quilt squares.  I went through plastic boxes and found fabrics which I had forgotten I had.  It was good work.  And it was good work for how poorly I have been moving.  

There has been much pain lately which means I move slowly.  At times yesterday, there was no movement.  Most of my coping mechanisms have fallen by the wayside.  The ones that usually work have not.  Now, someone might say, why do you not go to a doctor?  Because their solutions usually do not work any better and are much more harmful in the long run.  

I will add more turmeric and ginger tea.  I will take walks.  I will try to be good about my yoga.  Sleep.  Good food that is mostly vegetables.  I will try very hard not to over do.  Which is the hardest bit actually. 

Tomorrow will be a better day.  That is my hope.

Saturday
Mar182017

market bags

I seem to be making a few shopping bags recently.  I have been making them as I make prototypes for other things.

I know these turn out.  They are success.  It is positive.  Yeah me!  Prototypes are hard because I think I have everything in place and it is not quite right.  I have to make another.  Or alter.  But ends up being making another.  Today I just wish things to go well.  Between pain and life, that is where I am at.  

But it will get better because it does.  And I will keep making shopping bags.  The first two are already in my Etsy shop.  The third will be soon.  Maybe not today.  I have dealt with some unpleasantness on Etsy.  Just people being rude.  I am going to stay away from now on today.  Tomorrow is a different day.  

Thursday
Mar162017

soy sauce, results six months from now

I should not watch cooking documentaries.  The newest Chef's Table season has Korean nun Jeong Kwan as on of the people they feature.  I find that that her relationship with food inspiring.  I was already fermenting many things but when she talked about fermenting soy sauce I was "you can do that?"  I am doing it.  The research is not even hard.  Yeastie Beasties and time.  It is what it takes to make soy sauce.  That is most of my life so it fits.

I started with 12 ounces of wheat and roasted it until golden.  I took out my stone flour mill and ground the berries into a flour

 

I cooked soybeans so I had a pound of cooked soybeans.  I mashed them into a paste.

I mixed the soybeans and flour together.  

I put the soybean and flour mixture into a ziploc bag with damp paper towels and let it sit on the counter for a week.  I had to bleed off the gases that the fermentation created a couple times.  

After the fermentation had started for a week, I took the soybean flour mixture and put it into a large glass cookie bin.  I added 8 ounces of salt.  I used Real salt. I also added 1 gallon of water.  I mixed well.

I covered the mixture.  Put is on a shelf.  I stir it once a day for the first six weeks.  Then I will stir it once a week.  In six months, I should have soy sauce.  I can let this continue to ferment even after that so I may just take a little as needed and let it go.  It will be like the pu-erh tea I like to drink.  The flavor will change over time.  The fermentation will continue.

Time.  Yeastie Beasties.  A strange and interesting adventure.