Saturday
Nov182017

parts are coming

Yesterday did not go as planned.  I spent about six hours on troubleshooting the boyos sewing machine that sews leather.  I got pulled into it Thursday evening when a sheath was needed to be made but the machine would no longer pick up a stitch.  I have had a few more years experience with sewing machines then any of the boyos.

After the six hours.  After spending time on the phone with support, parts are in the mail.  I am hoping that they will fix the problem.  If not, the machine gets shipped for a different style of TLC.

Going into Thanksgiving week, my guess is that it will be a different week as well.  There is camping planned.  Koda Bear here.  Food but not traditional.  Boyos working on the Christmas rush.  There really is one, even if it is only knife sharpening.  I can see where they are going to train me soon as an extra pair of hands.

Off to quilting the fussy quilt.  It will be one of those things I can only show after Christmas.  But that is life this time of the year!

Thursday
Nov162017

Seem to be chasing autumn

There has been a bit of weekend camping going on.  I love it.  It does mean there seem to be less hours to do in the week but I will take the relaxation every time.

I have been doing lots of little steps recently.  I have to do a so I can do b.  It all ends up in a finished product but the stories are not really worth telling until I have everything together.  And I am working on Christmas already.  That will be be able to be shared until the gifts are delivered.  Or maybe a few pictures of the process.

I am feeling better.  I had a conversation this morning that made me realize that my feeling the under the weather, whether allergies, easily injuring myself, arthritis, or infection, has probably something to do with stress.  The biggest stress factor happened about two months ago with Harvey. 

I am very much one of the lucky ones.  As well of most of the people I know.  There was a roof to repair and the inside repairs due to the leak.  But nothing was lost.  But if a helicopter circles for too long, I can tell.  Since I am one of those who has a tendency to just get on, I am thinking that my body is reacting for me.  At least the Black Hawk helicopters are no longer trying to change my heartbeat.  They flew that close.

Chasing autumn.  Camping more.  Trying to slow down, which I am horrible at.  All these things are helping.  As well as good friends, good food, quiet when needed.  But Harvey still keeps popping up and there is still a lot of recovery that needs to happen.  Whether that is emotional or physical for the Texas coast and anybody who was here during the storm.

Tuesday
Nov142017

Taos Mountain Shawl

I have been under the weather.  I am still not a 100% but I try to listen to my body when it says I should sleep or I can go.  This weekend was a lot of being asleep or still.  It has been a long time since I have sat and read so many books in a day.  It was actually really kind of nice!  I will call it a silver lining.

I finished the Taos Mountain Shawl I was making.  I crocheted it instead of knitted it.  I only took it out probably a dozen times and I could have taken it out a couple more.  There is that corner pictured above that is not quite the angle I would have wished.  And for some reason, I mixed up color order on the other border.  But it is done.

I am really pleased.  I used about twice as much yarn as the knitted version which means it is a bit larger.  I like large shawls.  It has been nice for when I want a little extra but not a sweater.

I usually wear my shawls a bit off center anyhow and this becomes even more wonky.  But it was designed after the mountains near Taos, New Mexico.  Wonky is okay.  The yarn is soft but not as soft as the other cashmere blend I have worked with.

I have another shawl I am taking from knit to crochet, Earth and Sky.  I find I do better using the pictures as a go by so I have no idea what the parameters of that one will be.  But I am going to give it a try.  I have only taken that one out three times so far.  It will be interesting.  Especially since I do not think I have enough of any one yarn for any part.  It will be a compilation.

Thursday
Nov092017

hiding under a quilt

There are actually a few cool days happening.  Which I love.  But the weather change is so fast that I get chilled.  And then I feel like poo until I am no longer chilled.  Which means that it was a very good thing I needed to bind this quilt.

I made this quilt for my Etsy shop.  I like the top a lot.

The colors are fairly mellow, leaning towards some neutrals.  I could make a quilt in all neutrals right now because that is what speaking to me.  But that is not what is really in my quilting fabrics.  I keep trying.

The back is pretty but did not turn out the way I wished.  One of the thrifted cottons was really too light to use.  Just too much like a lawn so it wrinkled a lot as I was quilting it.  None of the wrinkles will ever come out but there are more then I really like.

It is pretty though.  And I enjoyed making it which is what really counts.  It was very warm on my lap as well while I was quilting.

Tuesday
Nov072017

craving beignets

I was craving beignets last week.  I know part of that was the trip to Galveston.  It is the closest place for me to buy beignets out currently.  Unless I wish to drive to New Orleans.  I actually do not have a problem with that but I do not always have the time.  And I say drive because then I can take a tent, camp, wander, eat, drink, and be merry.  Yes.  It is how I do New Orleans at this point in my life.  

The lowly oddly beignet on the plate in the above picture was the last one.  Cold because I made it the day before but it was still a good beignet!  Which the day after, beignets are pretty bleah!  I do not know if I am making beignets next or croissants because I am craving them both but one will be made.  But I have to write down the beignet recipe.  I followed a recipe for New Orlean style beignets, changing them for sourdough and what was in the house.  This is where I get asked did I really follow the recipe or not.  My response is usually, hmmmm.

beignets

Note:  I started with the beignet recipe from Genius Kitchen.  I changed it for sourdough and what was in my kitchen.

1/4 cup sourdough starter (I have a large mason jar of starter just ready to go now.  I just dipped out a 1/4 cup)

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

3-3 3/4 cups whole wheat white flour

2 tablespoons butter

In a large bowl, put in the starter and water.  Mix well.  Stir in the sugar, egg, salt, milk, and butter.

Mix in the flour a cup a time.  I made my dough on the wet side so I held back on the flour.  But you want to get enough flour until you can knead the dough smooth.  I had to use my dough scraper to help me because the dough was so sticky.  I really wanted a dough that would rise well when fried.  I used about 3 1/2 cups flour.

Cover and let the dough rise until double in bulk.  This can be done at room temperature or it can be done in the refrigerator.  If you plan to put the dough in the refrigerator, cover the bowl with cling wrap.

When the dough has doubled, turn it out of the bowl onto a clean floured surface.  Pat or roll to about 1/2 inch thick and cut rectangles.  I went for smaller then purchased beignets.  But my dough was also soft enough by the time I transferred them to baking sheets covered with silpats to rise, the rectangles were not very rectangular. 

Cover and let rise until double again or very puffy.

In a deep pan, put in two or three inches of vegetable oil and bring to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  I use a cast iron chicken fryer.  Put a few beignets in at a time to fry.  First one side, then roll over.  An even brownness is wanted.  It will only take a few minutes a side.  They can go from golden to too dark very quickly.

I actually had paper towels in the house so I let them drain on paper towels.

Sift lots of powdered sugar over them.  Eat hot with coffee or tea.  Take some to the neighbors.  Which is what I did because I did not need to eat two dozen beignets even though I wanted too!

Like I said, beignets or croissants later this week.  The boyos would say both!