the newest bread iteration

Bread is one of those things that I go along happily making the same recipe for months, years.  And then I read something.  Or see a picture.  The recent read was the Nordic Baking book (tome) by Magnus Nilsson.  I also listened to a BBC broadcast where he was being interviewed.

The main jist of the conversation was that Nordic baking was really quite good.  If not superior to say French baking because of all the hurdles that needed to be surmounted.  A lot of that baking never left the small regional area it started.  

There was also a lot of conversation about how Nordic baking could be used as our climate changed and there were less places wheat could grow.  Also, the grains that were and are being developed in that part of the world are much hardier to the changes in climate.  When the rock record is studied, it is actually quite interesting to see how even though there is an increase in global temperature, there are parts of the world where the microclimate gets colder.

I could get into a long discussion about climate change but the basics are I believe in climate change.  Climate has always changed and is very cyclic.  I do believe that humans have affected the rate of change and that is going to impact our children and grandchildren.  We need to do better for them.  But the Earth will be okay without us.  It will heal.  

What has this to do with bread?  After the conversations about Nordic baking and climate change, I was intrigued about how my oatmeal bread would taste with a cup rye added to it.  I have been making yogurt cheese so I replaced one cup of the two cups of water I normally use with one cup of whey.  A cup of rolled oats and a cup of rye were added to the batter.  The amount of wheat flour that was used was about four cups.  I kept the salt, sugar, and butter the same.  I have been kneading my butter in.  A little more work but a better loaf.  It helps develop the gluten because of the lower gluten levels with the oats and rye.

These changes made an exceptionally tasty loaf.  It went wonderfully with the honey my best friend has been sending me.  I get boxes of love which usually contain honey and yarn.  Someone who knows me well!  I am going to keep making this.  Especially since I have two quarts of whey in the refrigerator.  The last loaf I did I used two cups of whey and no water so there would be room in the refrigerator for the next batch of whey from the yogurt cheese.  Yes, I can be that frugal.  And if small boys only wish to eat bread for a day, I know they are getting good food.


breakfast nook and table

I have been having a difficult time figuring how to blog when I am working on a carpentry project.  I think there is a definite bit of I am not used to that energy being used that way.  I am also not used to being outside in Texas heat for hours.  By the end of the day, my brain cells do not rub together let alone what to make words.

But yesterday, all the benches were taken away an dthe table was finished.

The funny thing was that I was given the wrong dimensions by the boyo who I was building this for.  So, I built three storage benches instead of two.  And the new one was huge!

I never did get a chance to take a good picture of all three together.

But the storage works.  They work as seating.  Hopefully, they will survive two small boys.

Then, there was the table to build.

The whole thing took over 40 hours to build over about three weeks.  The original time estimate I saw was 20 hours.  But I put bottoms and backs on the benches which were not part of the original design. There were three instead of two.  The last bench was almost seven feet long.  And I do not think the original estimate included the table.  Basically, it was $100 and 10 hours per item.  It probably would have been more if I had done each individually.  Or used better wood.  This was just from Home Depot.  Which I may not go to anymore.  Bleah on the CEO!

I was still trying to do other work.  Other home stuff.  Coaching.

I did buy myself two new tools.  A new hammer and a new table saw.  The table saw is because I hurt myself on our old one and I keep thinking about small boys helping me.  This one has technology that will stop it from cutting flesh.  The hammer is because my old one needs to be rehandled and has not been yet.  

What else took time away from this project was I am learning to sharpen knives the way the boyos wish it done.  I am going to be runnin the  mobile sharpening truck.  After I build it.  Guess what I get to design and build next.  Ideas are welcome!


keeping between my shoulder blades warm

When I went to the fiber fair in Estes Park, one of the ladies I buy fleece from was wearing a small poncho.  Knitted of course.  I think of ponchos as something usually rather large.  That cover to your hands and possibly to your knees.  But this just went to her elbows.  It got me thinking.  It would keep the spot between my shoulder blades warm (which is where I get cold) in all of the summer air conditioning and would allow me to put my hands in bread dough with out worrying about where the poncho was.  Or the swearter sleeves.

I had some beautiful yarn that I came to the realization that I was not going to wear what I was making out of it.  Maybe someday I will wear a crocheted dress but not any time soon.  I pulled my cables apart and started a poncho.  I even worked on it in a coffee shop drinking tea!  Not very characteristic of me anymore.

I rarely go out for tea or coffee anymore though I used to.  It is a nice place.  A place where I do not know anyone so I can have solitude in a group of people.  I enjoy that.

It was a quick crochet.  I am almost wearing the same outfit currently.  I like short sleeves on shirts but need something to cover a bit of my arms.  This works. 

I may end up adding some more length over time.  The one Elena made was a bit bigger.  A different process in the making as well.  If I do add more length, I will probably end up dying some yarn with purple cabbage to complement but not match.  Or add some grey yarn made from one of Elena's fleeces.  I am washing some now and need to spin.

So many ideas.  All I know is I am currently wearing this poncho and loving it.  It may seem strange but it is a very old fashioned idea.  I like it!  I am planning to make something similar for my best friend.  Again, I am not going to use the yarn I have like I thought I was.  I will share more pictures as it changes over time.  Because I do believe it will!


different brain cells

After I finished the ruffle skirt, my brain cells kept pondering another skirt.  So I headed to my stash again to see what I could find.  This green piece of corduroy was it.

I have been wearing some of my older dresses and realized that I really like the shape of the skirt.  But I wanted the option of changing the tops.  And pockets.  I took the skirt pattern I had made for those dresses and made a skirt.  The major thing was I needed a waistband that was not elastic but not too tight.  Especially when sitting.

I used India Flint's idea of a piece of string to measure what you and took it from there.  Buttons from my button tin.  Buttonholes.  The skirt was made.

I really like how it lays over my body.  The waist is not too tight.  It goes to my ankles but does not drag on the floor.  I like it a lot with my hiking boots.  I can wear it with a t-shirt or shirt.  I can easily put a sweater over it.  I may be making another.

Making another is always a bit problematic for me.  I am not a big clothes buyer but I do like making items for myself.  My homemade garments take much longer to wear out then store bought.  Which is a good thing.  But it does mean my closet is full.  I have clothes that are ten years old.  And in fine repair.  I have a few things where the fabric is starting to go but not the craftsmanship.  I rarely make anything anymore that I do not like.  And if I do not like it, I make it into something else.  The garment does not end up at the thrift store or the landfill.  Oh well.  I will just try not to make too much!


A shrug

Last Thanksgiving, I was in Tolt Yarn and Wool with the family.  The Tall Short Person saw a picture of a knitted shrug she liked.  It was the Emma shrug by Carrie Hoge.  As I have said many times, I do not knit.

Carrie had done the shrug in a linen yarn.  It was not very soft so I went with an alpaca blend yarn.  It was a lace weight.  I found a stitch pattern for a wave type ribbon pattern that made an interesting fabric.  The same feel as what Carrie had knitted but very different.

I did buy the pattern so I could get all the measurements.  Even though I used a softer yarn which created a stretchier fabric, I went with those measurements.  The shrug fits across the Tall Short Person's back well.

I bought too much yarn so I have enough to make at least one more.  Maybe even two depending on the size of the person I am making it for.  How much yarn depends on the chest measurement.

I am thinking about making something similar for myself but out of a heavier yarn.  More like a sweater shrug.  I am doing smaller things for me so I can still put my hands into dough up to my elbows and not get my crocheted items doughy.  I find shawls fall in.  And the place between my shoulder blades get cold easily.  I usually have to sleep in sweater.