Thursday
May102018

sourdough crackers

I get to go camping!  I get to go camping!  I get to go camping!

The last time I went out of town, hummus and crackers saved my butt.  I did not need to by food out at an expensive venue.  I did not get cranky because I was starvished!  (That is a word from a book.  Starved and famished combined.)  I had a snack.

I posted about making my own hummus.  I just made another batch.  I cooked a full pound of beans to make it and probably got a few of the porportions off but it still eats.  

The question was asked:  could we make our own crackers?  Yes.  I have a wonderful recipe for crackers that takes me all day.  Because that is how many it makes.  I decided to try something different.  These are sourdough and vegan and yummy.  A simple cracker.

sourdough cracker

2/3 cup sourdough

3 tablespoons olive oil (other oils can be used depending on what flavor you wish)

3/4 cup flour (I used a heritage wheat that looked white but is not)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

salt or other herbs for toppings

In a bowl, put the sourdough and the oil.  Mix it together as best as you can.  The oil may have some problems incorporating.

Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda.  I kneaded it smooth like bread and then let it sit for about an hour.  That was to let the gluten relax and make the cracker easier to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dust a counter heavily with flour.  Split the dough into at least half if not quarter.  Roll until about 2 millimeters thick.  

Cut into rough squares.  Put on a silplat or parchment covered baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and/or herbs.  I pressed it in a little bit.  

Put in the oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes.  Turn the sheet around and bake another 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden.

It is a really nice cracker.  I did think the ones I rolled thinner were better.  They had more of a crunch.  The thicker crackers tasted more bread like.

But I would make these again.  I might try some other herbs on top.  And it did not require a run to the store to eat the hummus!

 

Tuesday
May082018

being creative while tired

I am still tired.  I have a friend who thinks it is due to the pollen in the air.  The way my face has looked and my lungs feel, that would not surprise me.  I am happy I am not sick because there are also viruses going around but I do find being this tired makes it hard to be creative.  I can do the tasks in my processes that require repetitions quite easily because I do not have to think very hard.  Being truly creative is hard.

Dyeing has been fun.  I get to put things in pots and walk away.  Come back and stir.  Walk away and wait.  I can go sit and crochet or work on nine squares.  Creations that have points where I do not have to think very hard.  Just do.

I played with madder last week and ended up with the silk in the picture.  It looks almost like an antique burgundy or very dark antique rose in the sun.  Out of the sun, it looks like a chocolate.  It is a color I really like.  

This piece of silk was dyed with mulberry and beet.  Just a touch of iron.  The silk was actually dyed separately in the beet but it just made a gold.  That was until the mulberry was added.  The color in the sun looks like a sage green.  Lots of grey.  On my work table it looks almost silver.  I put a bit of it up in my Etsy store as ribbon. 

I have saved a good portion of the silk back as fabric.  I am tempted to make a slip with it.  I have not had a slip sell in my shop but I do wear them.  I like the lightness of the china silk for slips but then they add more warmth then expected.  I get cold easily.  Combine the mulberry beet fabric with the madder fabric.  It could be very interesting!  

I find that "talking" thoughts out are a good place to be creative when nothing else seems to be working.  Thank you for all who read my posts for the ears.  You get to listen to my babble.  

There is camping in the desert this coming weekend.  I am hoping it will break some of the allergy reactions.  Then maybe I will have some energy back?  I can hope.

Thursday
May032018

my type of craziness

In this world of ours, where it is easy to go buy something, I do this crazy thing of making my own sheets.  I like linen.  I like the meditation it brings.  And on days like today where it is all first world problems, this is a simple task.

I like knowing I can do it.  I like the meditation of it.  I also have a choice of a few more colors then I can purchase.

First world problems include computers and networks that are not working correctly.  Too much to do before I leave the house to coach.  Feeling drained because of allergies.  This post will be short today because the idea of taking a thirty minute nap before I leave the house again sounds wonderful!  But there is bread dough rising, a pot of red sauce bubbling, and bread pudding just needing to be baked in the refrigerator.  The simple things are good things.

Tuesday
May012018

hummus

The tahini I made was for hummus.  The request from the boyos.  I actually need to make more hummus but I am waiting on beans.  I ordered them because that is just how good the Rancho Gordo beans are.  They are some of the most expensive beans you can by on the market but well worth it.  They cook fast too because they are so fresh.  My problem with garbanzo beans from the bulk section of most stores are they are so old it takes forever for them to cook!

The hummus was actually quite easy and so tasty!  

hummus

Note:  You can add other things if you wish.  I am going to try a black bean hummus at some point.

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (500 grams) (2 cans)

Juice of three limes (it was what was in the house!)

1/4 cup tahini, well stirred

1 head roasted garlic

2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

4 to 6 tablespoons water 

olive oil, salt, and paprika for serving

The first thing I did, was I peeled the garbanzo beans.  Yes.  Took the time to take the skins off.  It just makes a much smoother hummus.  I put an audible book on and did it.  Gift from the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh.  

Put the garbanzo beans in a food processor bowl.  If you do not have a food processor, blender or pestle and mortar.  The goal is to get everything as smooth as possible.  It is one of the few things I like my food processor for.

I then put everything but the water in the processor bowl.  Squished out the roasted garlic cloves.  Squeezed the limes.  Put in whole cumin because it was what I had.  I processed for about 7 minutes.  I then added the water.  At this point, I had one of the boyos taste for salt.  He said the 1/4 teaspoon was enough especially since it was going to be eaten with crackers.  But that is all up to you.

I got what you see in the first picture.  After refrigerating the hummus, I would have used the six tablespoons of water instead of four.  But I think that has everything to do with how creamy and loose you prefer your hummus.  Or how strong your dipping crackers or chips are!

I am making this again as soon as the beans are delivered.  Maybe homemade is not as cheap as store bought because of the quality of beans I use but I would say it tastes better.  Great snack, lunch, and traveling food.  Also gluten free which has come back into my life.  One of the boyos.

Saturday
Apr282018

tahini

I think this week is only getting crazier.  But it is all first world problems.  My phone ringing too many times from an old company.  The washing machine not draining.  This is first world.  A cup of tea.  A slice of toast.  Maybe even an adult beverage.  It is all better.

Recently, hummus has been a huge life saver while traveling.  Whether it is across country or just for a MotoGP weekend.  Only buying one meal at an event because there is hummus and crackers in the car for when you leave is huge!  I usually travel with food anyhow, even if travel is just errands.  If it is more then my normal library errands I have at least a piece of fruit with me.  It builds from there but hummus and crackers are definitely a potential.  There was leftovers from camping and the boyos decided they really liked lunches that were centered around it.

I got online and ordered chickpeas from my favorite bean company.  I also looked to see if they carried sesame seeds.  They do not.  I planned to make my own tahini.  With the right tools, ever so easy.

I purchased about 3/4 pounds of sesame seeds.  I toasted them in a dry cast iron pan for about five to ten minutes.  That is all up to you.  How toasty tasting do you wish your tahini?

I then put the toasted sesame seeds in my food processor.  Just the regular blade.  I turned it on and in about three minutes I had this meal textured mass.  

Since I make my own fermented mustard, I know that something special happens after the seven to ten minute mark.  The recipes I read said that you may wish to add oil at about this point.  I decided to turn the machine on again.

Magic happened.  I had runny smooth tahini.  At this point, I tasted it to see if I wished to add salt.  I knew I was going to add some salt when I made the hummus, so I decided not to.  Three quarters of a pound of sesame seeds made just over one cup of tahini.  Really made for good hummus.  It will make lunches easier.