Thursday
Oct262017

sourdough vanilla everyday cake

Since I started making sourdough everyday cakes, as soon as a cake is gone I am told we need cake.  When I was at my parents, I told this story.  My brother was there and said of course you always need cake in the house!  I did not realize there were such strong feelings about the topic.

But everyday cake is a good thing.  I think I mentioned I was working on a vanilla and I think I figured it out.  My regular frosting vanilla cake did not translate well.  And according to Koda Bear, birthday cake is only frosting cake!  He is adamant about this!  So having the frosting cake recipe is a good thing.  It does translate well to buckle.  But I had to tweak to get the vanilla.  It turn out well.  

I have been asked to have a cake rotation.  There is one more I am going to try.  A rift on Dorrie Greenspan's lemon spice traveling cake.  It is what she calls it.  But it is not going to have five eggs in it!

What can I say?  This is just a good basic vanilla cake.  Similar to a pound cake.  It travels well.  I like it toasted as if it is a bread, with butter.  It would be something that would go well into a lunch box.  And since we take food with us every where, I know this.  This is definitly a comfort cake not an exciting cake.  But I like comfort cakes better anyway!

sourdough vanilla 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, truly.

1 cup sourdough

1/2 cup olive oil (mine is very fruity so sometimes it tastes like I am eating more a banana bread)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons 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

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 in the starter.  Mix in the olive oil, egg, and vanilla.

 

Sift in the flour and baking soda. I usually have some bran from the flour that needs to be dumped into the compost.  Add the salt. My salt is a very coarse grind which is why I am not sifting it in. 

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 good vanilla cake.  Not very fancy because that was not the goal.  Good for a snack with tea.  Toasted with butter.  It is one of those that seems to make life better.

Tuesday
Oct242017

just trying to get caught up

This weekend was all about getting caught up.  I am not caught up yet but I am closer.  There were three bowls of dough going at one point.  Cake, bread, and mjurstat.  Tacos for dinner!  Bread for eating.  Lately, there just has to be cake.  I tried a different one which is also good.

I have also been doing a lot of crocheting for my Etsy shop.  Hats and cowls mostly.  When I need to sit, like with my tweaked back, I sit with yarn and a hook in my hands.  I do try to spin about an hour a day as well.  There are only so many hours in the day and I seem to fill them well!

My back is healing and I hope to get a quilt basted this week.  I might not be able to crawl around the floor for very long lengths of time.  I am also hoping to get another fleece washed but again it is back dependent.  There is a lot of lifting involved.  I just have to be careful about the weights.  I know the tweak is due to a twist and not a lift but that does not mean I do not need to be careful.

I was hoping to go gallivanting this weekend.  But I do not think I will be able to sit very long and since I would be doing all the driving . . .  It is the curve in the road in life.  I have enough other stuff to do.  Thinking about chickens is part of it.  Thinking about trees and what else to grow in the garden is part of it.  Documentaries and science books have been reinforcing ideas recently.  It will be interesting to see where I go.

Saturday
Oct212017

Idyllwild

Koda Bear was promised camping.  We went to Idyllwild, California and stayed in a state park there.  The other campground we had stayed in Mount San Jacinto State Park was closed for winter.  I was pleasantly surprised on how nice it was.  Especially since the campground was two blocks from "downtown" Idyllwild.  It is a very small town.  Population of 1500 without day visitors or tourists.

We got there and set up the tent.  When we got there, it was not too late but we were all tired.  Koda Bear had fallen asleep in the car.  We just crawled into bed.

The next morning was chilly.  But there was tea and oatmeal.  The day warmed up quickly.  We lucked upon a festival for kids where all the fire departments in the area were presenting.  Koda Bear thought that was great.  He dressed as a fireman and did the obstacle course.  Played games and colored.  Sat in a fire truck.  I am not sure how impressed he was with the fire truck because it was green and small.  He has sat in a red larger fire truck in Lehi, Utah.  He still talks about Lehi, Utah.

We took the day fairly slowly.  We spent almost two hours in a playground.  There was a bakery snack.  The skateboards came out.  Fallen leaves, pine cones, acorns, and pine needles were collected to make slop.  It is from a Gerald and Piggie book.  S'mores were made after dinner over a small fire.  I controlled the fire because the boyos would have made a bonfire and we would have been up all night.

The next day, we hiked up to Suicide Rock.  And back.  12.5 miles in total because we started at the campground.  Koda Bear did really well.  I did have to pull him up at times but he ran all the way down.  The last half mile his feet were coming out from under him though.  Another bakery visit seemed to help that.  

The hike was longer then I expected because the map does not take into account all the distance.  The internet description of distance is better.  I thought the internet description of moderate was a good description of the hike.  Which I felt was more of a walk.  But other people were making it out to be much more difficult.  And we were told it was a difficult hike.  It made me feel like when a nurse in the past has told me something will hurt a bit.  No, that means it will hurt a lot! 

To me, this was not a difficult hike.  It went up!  It went down!  It was long.  It was very pretty.  I was told it would have been better if there had been a bakery at the top.  

After the hike, camp was broken down and Koda Bear was taken back to the Tall Short Person.  There was school Monday morning.  But it was so good to see him.  He is very missed.

Thursday
Oct192017

North Cascades gallivanting

Part of the traveling last week was head to Washington.  We wished to spend some time on the mountain and see my parents.  Washington had one of the coldest and wettest winters on record last year and one of the driest summers on record.  So what does it do when we are there, it rains.

I did get to walk with my Mom when it was fairly dry.  This is where this sunrise comes from.  Fog of the Snohomish river.  But the mountain was a bit damp and chilly.  There is currently not a heat source but there is a dry loft.  It has no walls.  

We went driving through the North Cascades.

I did not realize that it was known as the American Alps.  Or at least that is what the sign on Highway 20 to Winthrop said.  On the eastern side, we even so snow falling but the ground was too warm to stick.

It was one of those pretty why nots.  Winthrop is a little town.  Orientated a bit to tourism and being outside.  We had a picnic lunch overlooking the river and I bought my Interagcencies pass.  It was a good day even though we drove more.  I just enjoyed the view.  Next time, I might request more of a hike though!

Tuesday
Oct172017

I could breath for a week!

Since Harvey, my allergies have been horrible.  Gallivanting for the last week and a half made them better.  But I woke up this morning home but my face swelling again.  Oh well.  I would not mind being camping and traveling still!

The adventures started with the Taos Fiber Fair.  I went to this about two years ago and was not impressed.  But I enjoyed Taos.  I figured why not.  This time was much better.  The first positive was that it really felt like autumn there.  It does not feel like autumn in Houston!  I was taking pictures of seed pods and dryed grassses.

Then there was the fair!  I was surprised.  There were a few sheep to look at and I found a beautiful Turkish spindle.  The wood that was used made it too hard for me to pass up.  It is a little bit larger then most of mine but I always have a use for a Turkish spindle.  I can break it down flat, put a small bag of fiber in my pack, and be able to spin anywhere.  Yes, I am that person.

I came home with four fleeces.  One is an Icelandic lamb in black.  I want a black cardigan and I want to play with Icelandic fleece.  The other three are CVM crosses.  I got told it is much cheaper to buy a fleece then it is to raise a sheep.  And I get more variety.  I will take this logic.

I also bought yarn.  The earth tones here were picked by my Beloved.  I will make him a sweater.  The blues are going to become a shawl.  A shawl that has a knitted pattern but I am going to crochet.  

I also picked up two kits for the Taos Mountain shawl.  One with a pattern and one not.  I am changing the pattern from knit to crochet.  I am also making it a bit bigger so I use more of the extra yarn.  And I like large shawls.  

I got to thinking about why I buy yarn when I am traveling.  A lot of the yarn I purchase is truly not speciality yarn but yarn you are only going to find at a local yarn store and not a large craft store.  Most of the local yarn stores that were near where I live most of the time are no longer in business for a myriad of reasons.  I travel.  I find yarn.  I buy yarn.  In Houston, I make yarn.  It is an interesting conundrum.

I really enjoyed the Taos Fiber Fair this year.  Enough to go back next year whether it is just for itself or I am traveling on to somewhere else.  If nothing else, it is a grand way for me to experience a little bit of autumn.  And this week back already looks like it is going to be quite crazy to I will take a bit of peace as I go.