a quiet cocoon

Helicopters are still going over the house.  There is still dealing with the small or not such small things that need care after the storm.  There was the delivery of food to a friend who does not care for herself when she is caring for others.  There are more storms.  There is fire. 

I worked in the cocoon of quilting yesterday.  I listened to a humor filled book called Mrs. Queen Takes the Train.  It is not a book that brings out a belly laugh very often but I smile a lot.  A quarter of this quilt was finished yesterday.  That first quarter where there is basting to adjust and the most safety pins to take out.  There has not been any excess fabric or batting to cut off yet either.  It is a work out.  And the quarter that takes the most time.  It is done.  I hope to get more done today.

Last night, I tore out two sleeves for the sweater I am making.  I would like them to a pretty close sweater but I need them to be able to go over a sleeve.  I am going to make them about an inch wider.  That should be a help.  But it means I am not looking for buttons this weekend.  Which I would probably have had to look at online.  A fair number of the freeways and highways in the region are still under water.  They are still being pumped out and have not been assessed for damage yet.  Leaving the house is not wise in some directions.

I was told to take it easy today because I looked like I have two black eyes.  More tea.  More quilting.  Enjoying temperatures that are a bit lower.  Just a breath at a time and forward movement.  It works.


chaotic mind revealed in basting

I needed to baste this quilt top to the backing and batting.  Was that an interesting experience!

I do not think I have ever basted a quilt in a more chaotic pattern!  Even when Koda Bear's helps.

My Beloved made the comment that he tells people that he is safe not okay.  I think there is a lot of truth to that statement.  On my walk this morning, one of the bridges moved underneath just from my walking.  It bounced.  No, it was not my imagination.  Once I was on solid ground, I needed to catch my breath and stomp to convince my head that I was on solid ground and everything was as good as possible.  

We are on a flight path for many of the helicopters that are working.  Three Chinook helicopters just flew over the house.  It is not just the walls that shake at that point.  It is not just the wonder if the shingles will shake off.  Things are moving on surfaces and walls.  It is a wait and see if everything will be alright this time.

I am still having a flight or fight reaction.  The rain stopped a week ago today.  I want to go forward into my normal routines but it has been difficult to focus.  Adrenaline is still raised and I am a worrier.  It is going to be very interesting to see how people react the next time there is a threatening weather event.  Or maybe just a thunderstorm.

Today, all I wish to do is sit at my sewing machine and quilt.  Listen to an audiobook.  Instead, I have some computer work.  I am cooking for a friend who is finding it hard to feed herself while she helps one of her friends who flooded.  I need to go out of the house to the post office.  And the library!  The library is open!

 It truly is the simple things.


being frugal during Harvey

During Harvey, there were no stores open near us except the corner store.  It is not a huge deal for us because we cook everyday.  I have a lot of food to make here.  The one thing we seemed to go through was large amounts of tea.  Pots and pots of tea.  With milk.  I was worried about the milk supply.  I had stashed some in the freezer but I wanted to make it last as long as possible.  

I decided to make a crepe like pancake with sourdough.  I was making bread anyway so I took a cup of the bread dough when it was in batter form, added eggs, sugar, oil, salt, and about half the milk I usually use and had sourdough pancakes.  I do not like fluffy pancakes so I did not add baking soda.  These were pretty tasty!  If I had no milk, I could use water and still have a good pancake.

I am writing this down for the next trip or storm or.  

sourdough crepe like pancakes

1 cup sourdough starter, 100% hydration (equal amounts of water and flour)

2 eggs

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

(for fluffy pancakes, add less milk and 1 teaspoon baking soda)

butter for cooking

Start heating the griddle over a medium low heat.

Put the sourdough in a bowl.  I was starting this for bread so there is a bit of oatmeal in it.

Mix in the sugar, oil, eggs, and salt.  

Mix in enough milk to have the consistency of pancake you wish.  I like crepe like pancakes so I used a half cup.  If you want fluffy pancakes, add baking soda too.

Melt some butter on the griddle.  Pour about a half cup batter on the griddle.  Let cook until the top is a bit dry.  Flip.

Cook for a few minutes until there is a little bit of brown on the underside.

Serve with a bit of maple syrup or powdered sugar or jam or whatever you wish.

Watch the boyos scarf them up!  I had to save a few for myself.  But the milk got stretched out.  But I will say the frugal version of the pancakes may become the standard pancake recipe.  That is how good they are.

I might make them tomorrow for breakfast.  


the current favorite pizza

Like I wrote in the past, Goat Mountain Pizza in Bellingham, WA is the only place I eat pizza out.  I ate pizza there again last time we were up in the Pacific Northwest.  It is just all decadent to my taste buds.  A lot of it is because it is good bread with stuff on top.  

I have played with it in the city, half a country away.  Then, I checked out Bianco from the library.  I have wished to go to Chris Bianco's resturaunts.  His food looks good.  I actually started to follow him on Instagram because of bread makers.  Which is horribly silly.  My Instagram feed is mostly bread, mountains, surf boards, and skateboards.  It is an odd feed.  

The cookbook was not very inspiring to me but I liked the easy of his crust.  2 cups water, 5 cups flour, yeast, 1 tablespoon salt.  I use sourdough instead of yeast.  He does a thin crust pizza but uses the same recipe for his foccaccia.  That is what I did.  Made a foccacia or sicilian pizza crust.  If I have leftover dough, I have the possibilities of a good bread or croissants.  100 grams of dough.  50 grams of butter.  I make two croissants.  I still have the problem of underproofing croissants but I am getting there.  And this way I do not have to go find a bakery.

On top of that crust, I have been putting parmesan and blue cheese, thinly sliced red onion and brussell sprouts coated with a vinaigrette of oil, balsemic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  Let sit for 30 minutes before cutting it.  This is my favorite pizza currently.  I can eat a quarter of it at a sitting.  The boyos are happy because that means they will get lunch!

Everyone seems tired after Harvey.  Even if they were not "effected" they are tired because if you live here you were effected some way.  My cinnamon rolls are being asked for a lot.  I have been using white whole wheat flour in them to get more nutrition into people who need love for body and soul in the form of a baked good.  I have also been asked for cake.  Eyes lit up so big when I brought out cookies to the shop.  People are craving sweets.  They are thankful for all the good but there is some soul feeding that needs to go on.  I am trying to do what I can.  And baking for anyone who asks.



Harvey is not done yet

It is raining here.  Harvey is not yet done.  But maybe the rain will ease soon.  I have those pictures of the freeways under water.  I have the pictures from two blocks away where White Oak Bayou breached its banks.  It did not flood our street.  It did not come to close to our house.  But, as I type this, it is the first time in days where the skies are lightening a bit.  Safe, dry, with water and power.  I am beyond grateful and thankful.  

I am tired.  Tired from four days of what to expect next.  If there is an emergency, can they get to us or we get out?  My house is on high ground but that does not mean it is accessible.  The street is poorly engineered and floods.  It floods when rain just spits at it!  But it has flowed the whole time.  There is not much more that I can ask.

I have baked bread, made yarn, sewn.  I have done everything I can think of not to check the weather every hour.  Not check continually check on friends.  On the whole, the people I know are lucky.  People I know are out rescuing others and taking of others.  I have opened our doors to friends just in case.  So far, I have not been taken up on that.  It is community.  It is what we saw after Ike.  

I know the chain saw is coming out today or tomorrow because there is some neighborhood cleanup that needs to be done.  Nothing major.  Nothing blocking.  It will be low priority but if we do it someone else does not have to.  Once the rain eases more, the cleanup will start.  It is what we do.