Teahouse building weekend number 2

The second weekend of building on the Teahouse did not have any participants but Russell and the support staff.  I am the support staff.  Or in another words, I make sure there are crockpots full of food for hungry tummies and to make sure the fuel can be used for building.  I do admit that it was very humid and hot this last weekend so I did not blame anyone for not working outside.

That said, Russell got four batches of cob put on the Teahouse on Friday.

Saturday we had the house warming to go to and errands run so not much happened.

Sunday, Russell again worked on the Teahouse and I did support staff duties but added in all the tasks that need to get done for the week.  Many of which will have their own posts in the future.  But, I did finish my tasks in time to help with the walls.

Russell mixed clay, sand, and water in the mortar mixer. 

He then poured it on to a tarp and we treaded in straw.  Basically, dancing in mud!  A very good work out!

The cob then goes on the walls.  I needed help on to the loft because all my hand and feet holds are no more but we got the batch of cob on the wall.  I cob faster then anyone else Russell has been working with.  He felt like he had to be almost continually hauling up half five gallon buckets of cob to keep up with me.  I know what I am doing and I like things to do with mud.


Soon all the straw will be covered and the roof will go on.  It is a lovely space.


faerie top

I had this idea for a top going through my head for Danica after reading Carefree clothes for girls:  20 patterns for outdoor frocks, playdate dresses, and more by Junko Okawa.

The clothes were for little girls but the so reminded me of the Faerie.

I sat down and did some drawing in my book with putting ideas next to it. 

I had a sage green china silk, a white cotton, and a natural muslin.  I decided to quilt the bodice out of those three and make the skirt out of two layers of the china silk.

I pieced the bodice together, leaving all the edges raw.

I tried to decide if I wanted to add any frills or ribbons to it and I decided all of it was too straight compared to the curved quilting.

I put the skirt on

and added a sparkly button.


I should have probably waited for her for the button placement so the bodice would have laid flatter.  But she liked it!  It is a very faerie top.  I plan for it to get washed in the washing machine and the skirt to get tattered but the bodice is very sturdy and will not fall apart.

A faerie top for the faerie.


while making gifts for others,

I put a new dish towel together for myself.

I had to piece the applique together but it turned out nicely.  And I can always use new dish towels.  I always forget to make some for myself when I am making them for others.  This one is covering sourdough starter that is bubbling away in preparation for making bread.


Happy apple raspberry crisp tummies!

When we were invited to the house warming, our friends asked for everyone to bring a side, dessert, beverage to share or something of the like.  If you forgot, just come!  I decided to make apple crisp.  

But I looked at the number of apples I had and decided to add about a half a ten ounce bag of frozen raspberries.

I cut the apples into eighths, core, peel, and slice into chunks.  I use an eight inch by eight inch pan.

I then sprinkled the frozen raspberries on top.

In another bowl, Russell creamed together one half cup butter, three quarter cup brown sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, and one teaspoon ginger.  When this is evenly mixed together, one cup of all purpose or whole wheat flour is mixed in.  The texture is very crumbly.  If you wish to make it gluten free, use five ounces of gluten free flours (sorghum, amaranth, teff, and tapioca mixed together) and 1 teaspoon xanathan gum instead of the wheat flour.

Spread the crumb mixture over the top of the fruit and bake for forty five minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

We like this straight out of the oven, room temperature, with ice cream, without ice cream, for dessert, and for breakfast.  It is full of fruit!  I have used peaches, mixed berries, just blackberries (add a half cup of sugar to the berries, people fight over this one), and pumpkin. 

If I do not make crisp often, I hear about it.  It just makes tummies happy!


new mexican stuffed sopapillas

I went to Albuquerque to take a course with American Clay.  I am now a certified American Clay plasterer.  I learned a bit of new things but nothing extraordinary.  I do admit that I really liked the New Mexican food.  The green chile sauces, flat enchiladas, and stuffed sopapillas were just yummy.  I have actually taken to making this type of food at home and last night I put together two different types of beans to stuff sopapillas.  

The recipe for sopapillas is actually fairly straightforward.  It is a biscuit dough:

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tarter

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/4 cup plain hempmilk

vegetable oil for frying.

This recipe makes 16 fairly good size sopapillas.  I usually cut it to a quarter for two.

I put about an inch of oil in a small cast iron pan and start to heat it.  I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.  I dust the counter with flour and knead twelve times.  Then roll out the dough and cut into sixteen pieces (four if you quarter the recipe).  

The oil should be about 400 degrees Fahrenheit when you are ready to fry.  Drop the dough into the oil and count to 30.  Flip, count to 30, and remove from the oil. If the sopapilla is too brown or does not puff, the oil is too hot.


I take one of these pillows of goodness, cut it in half, and fill it with a savory filling.  I made a bean filling from leftovers that were in the refrigerator:  about a quarter cup of black beans, a partial jar of chiliaquilla, a little chopped onion, chopped garlic, salt, a pinch of ground chipolte, and a pinch of smoked paprika.

I did save two for dessert.  When the sopapillas are warm, they are just lovely with honey or honey, cinnamon, and powdered sugar.  Or actually any combination that you wish.

We had happy tummies after dinner but the dinner was scarfed so fast that there was no time for pictures.  There was a starfished Russell in the house.