Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Like Buttah!

My new obsession.... canning. What can I stick in a jar? 2 batches of apple butter in 3 days? SURE! So far we have tried Fuji apples, and today (photo) Braeburn apples. YUM!

Off to make toast! (again)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


It's been a while since I've finished a larger knitting project and I'm super happy with how this one turned out. It's so yummy I don't wanna take it off! There's nothing in this world better than Malabrigo sock yarn, except maybe, Malabrigo worsted. (Or twist, or silky, or chunky....)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bread, knitting, weather and mexican food

I promised some sourdough bread recipes, but I'm not even going to share the first one I tried. It was some crazy recipe with just a little sourdough starter, 25 minutes of kneading, 30 minutes of resting time, form your loaves and then let it sit for 14 hours before baking. WHEW! The bread barely rose, even once it was baking, and although it tastes good, it's heavy. Really heavy. So tomorrow I'm going to make another batch with a different starter with a different recipe. I am determined to make this work even if I use 10 bags of flour.

In the knitting realm, nothing much is happening but I'm almost done with my damson shawl by Ysolda Teague. I've been wanting to knit this shawl since I started knitting and after many many projects I'm finally "getting around to it".
I've also started knitting a scarf and am about halfway done with it, more on that at another time. I'm looking forward to finishing my damson shawl and starting something new! I love new projects!

In weather news, it was so gorgeous out today that the man and I went to one of our favorite little Mexican restaurants to eat outside on their picnic tables, but there was the unfortunate mess of some people standing on the sidewalk smoking. We finished our meal inside and went home to take a walk around the lake. It was so lovely outside, the ducks were hanging out around the lake, and people were out walking their dogs. I'm not used to this kind of weather this time of year, but I'm not at all complaining. Rest of the week looks about the same, so many hours shall be spent outside, maybe I will even go to the garden and pick the oranges tomorrow.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Making dough

Living near San Francisco you can find Sourdough bread anywhere! The market, the grocer, the big fancy Boudin bread company... but it seems almost impossible to make yourself, but there is a way! When you hear about how to bake sourdough you think "oh, that's just too much trouble, you have to have a starter and take care of it and the bakeries have had theirs for years and that's the only way." Not true.

We decided to search for recipes for making bread and stumbled upon blogs about how to make your own starter and make your very own sourdough bread at home. This fascinated me and we decided to give it a try! (and how fun is it to have a little science experiment hanging around the fridge?) Making a starter isn't easy work... you take a cup of warm water, and a cup of fresh four (whole wheat or bread flour) stir them together and viola! So why didn't I do this before??? (See, you thought it was going to be hard!?)

So at top we have the regular all purpose flour starter, and the bottom is the whole wheat. While researching we read that whole wheat flour in the starter makes for a stronger flavor, while the all purpose or bread flour makes for a very mild bread.

So here's what you do:
1 cup of whole wheat or bread flour (make sure it's fresh!)
1 cup of warm water
Mix into a (super clean) plastic or glass container with a wooden or plastic spoon. Some metals can be reactive with the yeast that will form and your starter will be a total flop. Keep your starter in a warm area of 70-80 degrees covered, but not sealed. Then you'll want to "feed" it. Take half of the mixture out of the bowl and throw it out, then add a half a cup of flour, and a half cup of water, stir and cover again (not sealed) until you feed it again. Feeding allows the natural organisms that are forming (almost like a yeast) to "beef up" and become an even stronger organism. In the next 3-4 days your starter will start to become bubbly and puffy and take on a slight yeasty/beer smell, this is perfectly normal, and it may even end up with a watery dark substance on the surface called "hooch". Hooch is an alcohol that is made from the yeast fermenting, and should be stirred back into the starter. Once your starter is light and bubbly you can use it to make breads and can even be stored in the refridgerator and only needs to be fed once a week, sometimes less.

I'm so excited to see how this all turns out! Soon I will be baking loaves of bread out of my very own starter that I will have forever. Once I get my starters ready to bake bread with, I will post an update on how that is done along with some recipes. Until then, start starting!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I promise....

I have been a horrible blog keeper, so in the new year....

I promise to post more because I know my life fascinates you and you are dying to know what happens next.

I promise to post lots and lots of photos, cause photo-less blogs are lame.

I promise to share every knitting moment with you, if I knit when I was supposed to purl, I'm gonna tell you about it.

I promise to remember to feed the fish.

So in the new year, these are things that I promise to you (and the fish). I haven't even been busy enough to warrant an excuse to not blog, just... life kinda got away from me for a while. I have lots of fun knitting stuff going on that I would love to post about and will! Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Malabrigo March Update

So, it's March, and I'm BUSY! I've been knitting morning noon and night so I haven't had any time to post here. I'm 3 projects in, and have 4 more on the needles right now.

Will post photos when I have more time... when March is over! Back to knitting!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Malabrigo March

SOOOO EXCITING! It's almost March, which means.... Malabrigo March! I cannot possibly wait for this! I wanna knit with all my Mal rightthisveryminute!

Malabrigo March is a fun event/activity held on the forums on Ravelry, where you knit projects durring the month of March out of Malabrigo. Makes sense, huh! So in preperation, I have downloaded my patterns, purchased some yarn, and gotten all my little project bags and needles ready.
Contests are another part of Mal March and you can win fun prizes. (They say they are fun, I have no idea what exactly they are to be honest.) I'm going to try to win the scrappy contest, where you use Mal scraps under a certain yardage to make one project, or multiple scraps of different colors to make one large project. I will be making the scrappy lengthwise scarf in the scraps from all the other projects.

So, until then I have some other projects to try to finish like the Springtime Bandit for the ravelympics, and a scarf I've just been putzing around with. I figured I will take a few days and learn to crochet! One of my bestest friends in the whole wide world, April, sent me this book this week because we have been talking about all the little times in knitting they ask you to sometimes crochet. She found these books, and grabbed me one too!

I plan on sitting down with this book and some yarn and teaching myself the basics. One of my favorite patterns I have found is a crochet eyelet baby blanket. I have no babies to knit for... but I'm going to make it anyways!
Thanks April! I love my new book!