Wednesday
Jul012015

dresses and quilts

I finished all the dresses I had officially planned with the new fabric.  I am really enjoying the a-line and simple sheath shapes.  With everything with a bit of grey in the tones, I am feeling very elegant even though my body is swollen in interesting places due to infection.  I keep hoping that I will heal faster but that just does not happen.

After each dress was done, I cut all the scraps up into squares.  As I put together the quilts I have already laid out, I am making more quilt blocks.  I am finding these very exciting and calming.  This will be the first quilt that will have cashmere and wool in it with linen and cotton.  Also, it will be the first quilt that is all solid.  

It is going to be hard to be away from it for almost two weeks.  We are going to the mountain and I am not taking my "portable" sewing machine.  I will have one spinning project and one crochet project with me, and my sewing kit.  If I really want to sew, I will hand sew.  It will not be the first time. 

I am rather tired and with the chaos happening at work, I am looking forward to being on the mountain.  It will not be long enough.  Maybe I will take a few squares to hand sew.  I have many.  It would work.

Tuesday
Jun302015

cold soaked oatmeal

When it comes to oatmeal, I like hot steel cut oats.  It is about all I eat anymore but quick and old-fashioned oats all taste like flour paste too me.  Flour paste was actually used as wallpaper paste so I could have said that but then someone in my life would have asked if I had ever tasted wallpaper paste.  It becomes a circular argument.

One of the summer interns that I work with was eating this cold soaked oatmeal concoction one morning, most mornings.  I asked Miss C about it and she told me the recipe.  My Beloved keeps telling me it is too hot to eat his normal breakfast so I thought I would try it, even though I only had quick oats in the house for granola. 

He liked it.  Oatmeal in summer.  The texture reminds me of my Dad's cream of wheat so this is not something I will eat but I did not make it for me.  Three nights this week I have put this together so far so my Beloved has breakfast.  Now Koda Bear, he is still eating fishes in the morning.  I am with the small bear person on that one if I cannot have tea and toast or some type of bread.

cold soaked oatmeal

1/2 cup oatmeal (every recipe I read said old-fashioned but I have been using quick)

1/2 cup dairy or non-dairy milk (I have been using honey almond)

1/2 cup greek, bulgarian, or icelandic yogurt

a squirt of agave or maple syrup, what is to your taste

1/2 cup berries:  raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries

The night before, in a mason jar, mix the oatmeal, yogurt, milk, and sweetener together.  Put the fruit on top.  Close the lid.  Put in the refrigerator unitl the next morning when you are ready to eat.  More fruit can be added or some nut butter too.

Monday
Jun292015

a swedish style rye bread

I have been having the urge to bake more and more bread.  There is only so much bread one household can eat.  I have been told to give it away.  

Saying that, fishes seem to be the other big thing that is wished for in our household.  Smoke salmon.  Baked halibut that is similar to fried.  Fried catfish.  Fish has been asked for for breakfast.  

After having a rye that was not flavorful enough out, I decided to see if I could find a simpler rye then I had found before.  Yes, it was very good but I like not having to have extra special ingredients in the house.

I found Swedish recipes for kymenlaakso.  They had other Swedish names attached but nothing translated well.  It is basically an artisan bread made with 100% rye flour, salt, and a starter.  And time.  Lots of time because there is not a lot of gluten in rye. 

The resulting bread was not soft per see but it is moist.  Sliced thin it is chewy and flavorful.  With smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and thinly sliced red onion, life is pretty good.

swedish style rye bread

sourdough starter

3/4 cup water

1 cup rye

the rest of a 24 ounce bag of dark rye (I used Bob's Red Mill)

1 cup water

1 to 2 teaspoons of salt (this is to your taste.  experiment)

The night before, refresh the starter by mixing in 3/4 cup water and 1 cup rye.  Cover and let sit overnight or until bubbly.  Save a bit for next time (I use whatever I have in whatever bread I am making).

Mix in 1 cup water.  Mix in 2 cups rye.  Cover and let become bubbly.  With the rye having less gluten and no sugar, this may take a bit.

After the sponge gets bubbly, mix in the salt.  Mix in enough rye to make a soft dough.  Knead until smooth.  I found it took most of the rest of the bag of rye and it was a bit sticky still.  I did not wish to make the dough any stiffer.  

Cover and let rise until double.  This may take overnight depending on how stiff your dough is.  You can put it in a ziploc and let is rise in the refrigerator.  It will make the bread more sour.

Butter a large loaf pan.  Shape the bread to fit in the pan.  It will be sticky soft.  Cover and let rise until puffy.  This will take time.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 1/2 hours.

Yum.

Saturday
Jun272015

odd pain management

I have had arthritis pain since I was an early teen.  The fibromylagia came later.  It means that I look like Grandmother Turtle trying to move with the world on her shoulders many times.  This week has been one of them.  Add an infection in since Wednesday, and it is all I can do to get through the day.  

Yes, I have worked with doctors and  naturopaths and I am much better then I was.  But there are times, like now, where a quote I saw fully explains the pain.  "It is not just pain.  It's a complete physical, mental and emotional assault on your body."  - Jamie Wingo.  

I just keep trying to move forward.  My non-corporate work really helps with the pain.  If I could bend, I would be in the garden today, but if I were to bend over to pull a weed, I would have to wait for someone to find me to get me back up.  Just pain.  

So I put my hands in dough.

Bara Brith, waffles, cornetti.

I washed fiber so I may have some to spin when we go to the mountain next weekend.  Whether I am in shape or not,  I will go to the mountain.  In a car.  With Koda Bear, his dog, and my Beloved.  We will leave Koda Bear and his dog with the Tall Short Person at the end of the week.  The last news I had about my Grandmother was she was doing better so I hope to see her.

I know, odd.

Thursday
Jun252015

sourdough waffles

The boyos really like sourdough pancakes.  They are really easy for me so I have no problems making pancakes for them.  Or setting it up so they can add eggs and make them themselves when I am off at work.  But once in a while I do like a nice waffle.  I had been thinking that it would not be that hard to take my sourdough pancake recipe and switch it to waffles.  I have noticed that waffle recipes seem to increase the amount of fat in them.  I have always thought that is to try to limit sticking to the waffle iron.

I was on instagram last week and @local_milk had posted a picture of her sourdough waffles, giving an outline of what she did and saying she used Rhulman's ratios for pancakes as a base.  Like I thought, the basis was to increase fat and there I would have it.  I was actually thinking the flavors from my cornetti would also be good in a waffle, the orange and vanilla.  I was out of orange so vanilla it was.

May I say these were some of the lightest waffles I have had?  And I let them bake a bit so there was a crispness to them.  You do not have to do that but that is what I like.  Next time, I hope to have an orange in the house to give try.  That with "black sugar" (sugared berries, talk to Koda Bear about that name), so good it would be (we have a lot of Yoda around here).

sourdough waffles

sourdough starter

3/4 cup water

1 cup flour

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

At least a day ahead of when you wish to make the waffles, freshen the starter by mixing the starter, 3/4 cup water, and 1 cup flour in a medium bowl.  Cover and let sit at least 8 hours until bubbly.  Remove about 2 tablespoons of starter for your next sourdough experience.

In the starter, mix in the buttermilk, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and two cups flour.  Cover, let sit over night until you are ready to bake.

In the morning, heat up your waffle iron and oil they way that works the best for you.  While the iron is heating, mix the two eggs and the baking soda into the batter.  Let sit a minute.  It will grow on you.  Pour about a cup of batter per waffle into the iron.  Bake until it is what you like.  Like I said, I like crispy which is longer then most people like.

Serve with "black sugar" (sugared cut strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries).

Enjoy.

Update on my Grandmother.  The last I heard she was actually doing better but I have not received the latest update yet.  My Mother was supposed to go down and see here yesterday.  I do not know if no news is good or bad but prayers are still appreciated very much.