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May 1, 2020

Sourdough starter

I've got a new hobby.  It's baking with sourdough starter, instead of yeast, for bread.  I made crumpets for the 1st time about a month ago.  It sounds fancy, but really is simple, and V E G A N:

C R U M P E T S

1 c. sourdough starter
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 T. sugar or honey (this morning I used a mashed banana instead, so it was more like a pancake)

Mix together and pour onto a skillet with a bit of oil on it.  You can use rings, but I just find it's easier without, one less thing to wash.
Flip and let cook about a minute.  I top mine with jam (Bonne Maman is my favorite right now) and I enjoy mine with a hot cup of tea.
I usually use a little less starter, never measure it, just guess, what would be the amount I "discard" daily.  I think it's pretty cool that the starter + baking soda react with each other, an acid and base.  Chemistry in the kitchen!

Based offCultures for health recipe and the King Arthur flour website.

I also made artisan loaves of bread, focaccia, crepes, two batches of kulich (for Pascha, the first one came out a bit too doughy but the second one was better because I let it rise longer, overnight), and pizza dough. 
Our outdoor pizza oven is heated by wood.
Parmesan after baking!  We made pizza last week on my husband's birthday.
Inside the 1st batch of kulich.  Not right, but still edible.
 Cheese pascha makes everything better.
One cup of starter in a large bowl, add 2 cup water, 4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt and mix well.  Knead.  Let rise overnight.  And bake at 400 for 45 minutes or thereabouts.  There are so many great recipes and varieties a flower that you can use tomorrow I'm going to our farmers market and picking up some spelt and rye flour.
Garlic + basil from our yard.
I made herb-cheddar rolls!  Using a sourdough based dough, it wasn't ideal, but still scrumptious!
Hope you have a great weekend.  What are you making or baking?

March 19, 2020

Vernal equinox

Love this catalog, Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds, + these luffa gourds! I hope ours grow well this year.  Ready for spring!
We are happy to have Olivia home more than usual.  Snuggly little boy!
 Our rain barrel is full.  We also have a larger one that is full!
UV free light to help with seasonal affective disorder, SAD. I'm not sure if this is something I'm struggling with, but it can't hurt to try!  I'm looking forward to the days with more sunshine.
 Yesterday we made a meal from Hello Fresh, farro + greens...it was really good!
It's March 19, 2020 and at 11:50pm is the vernal equinox.  It's the earliest date for spring in 124 years!  https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox
What are you planning for spring?

March 17, 2020

Things change daily

It's still winter.  I see little changes outdoors, birds singing, buds forming on trees, the temperature warming, rain is coming + it's almost spring
 We trimmed our peach tree last week
 and brought the branches inside.
Overnight, these blossomed:
I'm embracing all the changes, with the corona virus, staying home a bit more, but thankful we are healthy now.
Love how little ones express their joy
 by swinging their legs like this!
It's ironic how my previous post is titled,
You are not alone, yet many are, in quarantine, although we are all doing it for the same reason.  I miss our library story time.  This evening I missed my book group.  It is postponed 3 weeks.  I'm glad to have Olivia home more, since school is also closed.  All lessons are to be done at home.  How can you be positive with these recent changes?  

January 10, 2020

You are not alone

Yesterday, I met with my counselor for an hour.  I started last month after coming to a point where it was obvious I needed help.  Today, it's been 6 weeks since I've started taking 50 mg of sertraline daily.  I've kept it a secret except from my immediate family, because I've been ashamed that I couldn't take care of things myself.  I do think it's helping my control my mood extremes.  I want my family & friends to be around me, not step back because I'm obnoxiously friendly or brooding.  I've been both.  I wonder if I'm bipolar.  I am trying to trust in God more, ask Him to help me when I can't seem to function...
One thing I'm doing is devoting more time to things I like to do.  I plan to read this book.  And just finished this one (below) last night!  It was written beautifully, set about 100 years ago, about sisters who were neglected as young girls and are now old women...
One of the best things a friend said to me is "You are not alone."  We all struggle.

January 9, 2020

What makes you smile?

20 things that make me smile:

Sunshine on my face
A baby falling asleep in my arms
Seeing someone help another
A clean house
Chocolate
Hiking
Brie en croute
Crocheting
Bare feet
Tea
Honey
The stars at night
Fresh air
The moon
Birds chirping
Drawing
Turquoise
A good book
Being kissed

Yesterday, George repeatedly climbed up the chairs and stood on the table.  Paul said "I'm sad because now we will have to put away our table...where will we eat dinner?" He remembered that 2 weeks ago we put the coffee table away (George was standing on that numerous times everyday and falling).  We will keep the dining room table, and try to be patient through this stage.  But it made me laugh.  What makes you smile or laugh?

January 8, 2020

Thoughts on Nativity

Yesterday, we celebrated our Lord God's birth.  Having children has helped me realize that although we love them and want to mould them, they are unique and have a plan.  How did the Theotokos feel when her Son was crucified and resurrected?  I'm a mix of emotions, all the time....
We gave and received....
Homemade giant bath bombs (from my sister in Canada).  Chocolate for my mom (from my other sister in Oregon) which she generously shared with us!
We had a festive day and lovely dinner at my mom's house, with my one sister (who lives nearby) and her family.
Olivia's arm extended, trying to get Paul in, but he was busy playing.
And these 2 one year old cousins with their matching knit bonnets!
This morning brekkie was eggs and rosemary bread (that my niece made for us).
Hope you enjoy your time with family & friends today.  And remember to thank God for all things!  
P.S. Thank you to Melinda who has a gift for bringing people together.

November 20, 2019

12 months of stickers

As your child gets older, these cute little monthly stickers become more of a challenge.  Anyhow, he's 12 months old, now!