Saturday
Sep302017

working on my shop

I sew, crochet, and spin every day.  Items that are repetition that are going into my Etsy shop.  Repetition of shape not fabric.  I am not good about updating the shop here.  Probably because I reach my computer limit most days!  I am looking for an outside the house job to support my traveling habit.  Which means more computer time.  Suggestions are accepted.

I get to the point in the summer where I do not wish to do much anymore.  It is just heat and ready for a change of season.  There are times that summer feels like it is nine months here.  

If it were to cool down a bit and I put enough bug spray on I would be comfortable working in my garden.  Or walking the beach.  The beach needs bug spray currently.  I do wish there was surf but I will probably be traveling when that happens here.  It is the season of fiber fairs and I hope to go to a few this year.  Spinning everyday has been good for me.  Part of the yarns are going into my shop as goods.  Some of them are becoming sweaters at home.  

I feel like arm holes and sleeves take more concentration then the rest of the sweater.  I actually have a sweater I might be able to post about next week.  I will need to go for a button search because what was in my button box did not work.  But the sleeves and arm holes are done!  And the sleeves fit!  I had to rip them out a few times because I wished to be able to wear a sleeve under the sweater.  But I am pleased.  And it is soft.  I am crocheting edging right now so buttons this weekend.

Thanks for listening to the babble!

Thursday
Sep282017

sourdough chocolate everyday cake

My experimentation with sourdough cakes did not start with the pumpkin cake.  It started with this one.  Chocolate.  Part of that was my wanting cake.  Which is not me.  I do not like cake.  I will keep saying that.  But the reality is I do not like cake that is dry or needs frosting.  Koda Bear does not get this.  Cake has to have frosting, especially birthday cake, according to him.

This chocolate cake turned out very well.  It is another cake that is very good toasted with butter spread across.  So more like a chocolate bread?  I used white whole wheat flour in it again because that is all I have in the house.  It is very good.  

I have one more cake I am experimenting with.  Vanilla.  The last one was a bust.  It all got eaten but it was not the best cake.  I will have to try that one again.

sourdough chocolate cake

Note:  The sourdough I am using here is 100% by volume.  That means I use one cup of flour and one cup water to make it.  If you use a sourdough that is 100% by weight, 100 grams flour and 100 grams water, or whatever it takes to make a cup, increase the milk to one cup.  I used Smitten Kitchen's everyday chocolate cake as a starting point

1 cup sourdough

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup milk or water

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (you can use all purpose here)

3/4 cups cocoa, the best you can buy

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter and flour a loaf pan.  I bought the Vardagen loaf pan from Ikea.  Is is 5.25 inches by 3 inches by 12.75 inches.  It holds 1.9 quarts and works perfectly.

In a large bowl, put the starter.  Mix in the olive oil, egg, and vanilla.

Sift in the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. I usually have some bran from the flour that needs to be dumped into the compost.  Add the salt.  

Mix well.

Pour into the loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour.  

Check to make sure the cake is done by inserting a knife and it comes out clean.  The cake will also have pulled away from the edges.  let the cake cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, if not 30.  I always have someone who cannot wait.  If you do not let this cake cool in the pan, it will collapse from its own weight.  Still very edible but there is usually a bit that gets very dense.  Obviously, I have done this in the past.

 

It is a good, not too sweet cake.  On the rich side though.

Toast, add butter.  Chocolate toast for breakfast.  True decadence.

Tuesday
Sep262017

Just the head space I am in

I laid out another quilt last week.  It is really where my head is.  I have been having problems with allergies since Harvey blew through and concentrating is difficult.  Quilts are not concentration for me.  They are color and texture.  Counting.  This one seems to have a bit different feel for some reason.  Maybe I should lay out quilts more often when my head space is strange.

I also have so many nine squares.  Probably enough to make another quilt.  Which is not a bad idea.  It lets me mull over life and sometimes not mull at all.  

My biggest decision right now is trying to decide the color on the edge of the cardigan I am making.  Then it will be buttons.  Where to put in seedlings in my strange garden the city hates.  I do not conform well when it comes to my garden.  I am just waiting until it is a bit cooler later in the week for me to do much work there.  I am ready for cool.  In the evening, I keep working on sweaters.  It will be cool someday.  Or I will head to the mountain!

Saturday
Sep232017

salsa

One of those things that is still on the shelf after Harvey, is salsa.  That is a crazy thing but true.  It may only be the flavors I care for but they are thin on the shelf.  I decided to give salsa making a try.

I used a can of Barrio Whole tomatoes.  I blended them.  Then I chopped a lot of fruit and vegetables to go in.  More tomatoes.  White onion.  Nectarines.  Mangos.  Jalapenos.  Mixed it all up.  Salt and pepper were added.  Then it was mentioned that it needed more spice, so chipolte and ancho were mixed in.  Just a bit.  It is pretty good salsa.  Is this the end recipe?  That I am not sure of and I am not sure of proportions.  Just a lot of everything in almost equal portions except the jalapeno and the ground spices.  

It went really well on the taco salad I made.  Maybe I will get it tweaked well enough that I want to write the recipe down so I can reproduce it.  It is a possibility!

I have one sleeve on on the sweater I am making.  One more to go and then a decision on border color.  Or do I wish one and will just keep the border white?  I am thinking color.  Most of the projects I am working on seem to be taking a bit of time.  Not a bad thing but it does make it difficult to write about.  Not that my head is really on straight.  Harvey did blow in some interesting pollens and my allergies are bad.  This has been a tough allergy week.  I need to remember that it is okay to slow down.  I have a hard time with that.

Possibly tomorrow.  

Thursday
Sep212017

sourdough pumpkin cake

I have gotten asked if I could make a cake with sourdough.  And I have been craving cake.  But not cake with frosting but what I call an everyday cake.  Where it is a little bit sweet, may be toasted, goes well with tea.  Why not?  

I had some "extra" sourdough starter.  Actually, I took a cup from a pizza dough I was preparing.  I used it in the cake.  It meant I did not need to use baking powder, which I can not stand the taste of!  It also means, depending on the consistency of the starter, I do not need to add any extra milk.  Also, I could use water instead of milk here if I wished too.

By the way, this is one of my current favorite breakfasts.  The cake gets toasted, some butter is smeared, life is good.  It is not as bad for you as you might think.  Olive oil is used instead of butter.  I used white whole wheat flour.  I am getting requested for cake about once a week currently.  It is a good thing I walk over 7 miles most days.

sourdough pumpkin cake

1 cup sourdough

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 14 ounce can of pumpkin (not pie filling)

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

(1/2 cup milk or water)

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (you can use all purpose here)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspong ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter and flour a loaf pan.  I bought the Vardagen loaf pan from Ikea.  Is is 5.25 inches by 3 inches by 12.75 inches.  It holds 1.9 quarts and works perfectly.

In a large bowl, put the starter.  If the starter is a 100% starter by volume, you will not need to add any extra liquid to the batter.  If the starter is a 100% starter by weight, you will need to add a 1/2 cup of either water or milk later in the process.

Mix in the olive oil and sugar.  It might be a difficult mix depending on the consistency of your starter.  Mix in the pumpkin, egg, vanilla, and if you are using a 100% starter by weight, either the water or milk.  Mix well.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  I usually have some bran from the flour that needs to be dumped into the compost.  Add the salt.  

Mix well.

Pour into the loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.  It will depend on the consistency of the starting batter.  I start checking at 1 hour with a knife to the base of the cake.  When the knife comes out clean, let the cake cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, if not 30.  I always have someone who cannot wait.  If you do not let this cake cool in the pan, it will collapse from its own weight.  Still very edible but there is usually a bit that gets very dense.  Obviously, I did this.  It was a very wonky cake.

An everyday pumpkin cake.  I have not tired of this one yet.  I have a chocolate version as well but so far, this is the one that gets requested the most.