Tuesday
May222018

almost soured milk

I have talked about yogurt before here.  It is not hard to make.  Just, a lot does not get eaten here so I do not make a lot.  But I came back from camping to an almost gallon of milk close to being soured.  That was a lot of waste for me.  I made it into yogurt.

It was a very thin yogurt when it had fermented so I strained it a bit.  A lot of it is still very soft but some was much thicker.  That is how much yogurt I made.  You could tell consistency differences in the batch.  

I saved the whey that was strained out of it and have been using it the bread I have been making.  I will share that recipe tomorrow because it is quite good!  French like without being French.  

Life is quiet.  I am having a hard time finding things to write about because it is just my life.  I do kind of wish I had pigs for the milk but I do not.  I would have to live on the mountain for that full time.  Someday.

Saturday
May192018

needing color

I should not watch movies about people who do not live the norm.  Or rather live the norm I always wished to when I was younger but do not.  Captain Fantastic is one of those.  

Good things that came out of it is that ir reminded me that I need to do more yoga.  Palo Duro Canyon helped remind me as well.  More movement for arthritic hips.  More strength. 

One of the things that came out of Captain Fantastic is that I want more color.  I do not mean more prints but more vibrant colors.  Jewel tones.  I am that crazy person though if I am wearing white you may wish to check if I am depressed.  I really like blacks and greys.  Woodland tones.  But I need to intersperse more jewel tones.  More tropical.  Not the prints.  Just the colors.

I went through some of my leftover yarns and started to put this shawl together.  I had some yarn leftover from my Taos Mountain shawl I had made.  I had some skeins I had purchased just one of because I liked the colors.  After pondering this through a whole yoga asana, I started to make a triangle shawl.  Honestly, my shawls are all triangles.  This is modeled after a granny square.  It is exciting to work on.  

I am actually almost done with all the bright blue in the picture and the green.  Which means I still have two dark blues and a grey blue to go.  That bright blue is the ball of yarn that decided to roll off a mountain.  

I am having a hard time settling.  Part of it is the air in Houston.  The sadness.  Part of it is that I still wish to be in the desert camping.  Or someplace in the middle of nowhere but with ice cream not too long of a drive away.  That is me.  I can be as happy with a bowl of ice cream as a glass of a tequila based beverage. 

I have also spent a lot of time on the computer this week.  That always makes me antsy.  I was redesigning business cards for letterpress printing.  I am going to need to spend some time printing soon.  Such exciting pictures!  I am being sarcastic.  Like pictures of my working on the computer are exciting too.  Not really.

I am now going to putter off to my sewing machine after some yoga.  I might even get a quilt laid out in the next week or two!  Another way to add color. 

Thursday
May172018

Palo Duro Canyon

It has been awhile since I got to go camping at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Part of that is that it is a ten hour drive from Houston.  It requires a long weekend to get there.

It is desert so it can be hot.  The day we arrived it was forecasted to be about 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the canyon itself.  It is nice that it cools off during the night.

We did go for one of the longer marked hikes in the canyon.

The rock formation called the Lighthouse was the destination.  Most of the hike is very easy.  The last quarter mile had my bad hip not happy with me.  I had to rest more then I would have liked to wish to let pain stop.  I was at the extremes of movement for my right hip.  But I made it.

I even made it with a crochet project in my pack.  Fruit, water, and crochet. I could not ask for more.  Though one ball of yarn did decide to go over an edge.  At least it was not too far so I was able to have help getting it retrieved.  

I usually do not get to hang out much when I am camping.  Especially when there is someone else with me.

My family likes to go.

This time, with the heat and the drive and what life has thrown at us recently, there was a lot of sitting.  A lot of walking too because we always walk.

Hanging the hammock and having books helped.

It was really hard for me on Monday to say, yes back to Houston.  A large part of me wanted to go west.  Five hours to Taos.  A diner I like.  Mountains.  A yarn store I like.  Maybe soon.

Thursday
May102018

sourdough crackers

I get to go camping!  I get to go camping!  I get to go camping!

The last time I went out of town, hummus and crackers saved my butt.  I did not need to by food out at an expensive venue.  I did not get cranky because I was starvished!  (That is a word from a book.  Starved and famished combined.)  I had a snack.

I posted about making my own hummus.  I just made another batch.  I cooked a full pound of beans to make it and probably got a few of the porportions off but it still eats.  

The question was asked:  could we make our own crackers?  Yes.  I have a wonderful recipe for crackers that takes me all day.  Because that is how many it makes.  I decided to try something different.  These are sourdough and vegan and yummy.  A simple cracker.

sourdough cracker

2/3 cup sourdough

3 tablespoons olive oil (other oils can be used depending on what flavor you wish)

3/4 cup flour (I used a heritage wheat that looked white but is not)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

salt or other herbs for toppings

In a bowl, put the sourdough and the oil.  Mix it together as best as you can.  The oil may have some problems incorporating.

Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda.  I kneaded it smooth like bread and then let it sit for about an hour.  That was to let the gluten relax and make the cracker easier to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dust a counter heavily with flour.  Split the dough into at least half if not quarter.  Roll until about 2 millimeters thick.  

Cut into rough squares.  Put on a silplat or parchment covered baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and/or herbs.  I pressed it in a little bit.  

Put in the oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes.  Turn the sheet around and bake another 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden.

It is a really nice cracker.  I did think the ones I rolled thinner were better.  They had more of a crunch.  The thicker crackers tasted more bread like.

But I would make these again.  I might try some other herbs on top.  And it did not require a run to the store to eat the hummus!

 

Tuesday
May082018

being creative while tired

I am still tired.  I have a friend who thinks it is due to the pollen in the air.  The way my face has looked and my lungs feel, that would not surprise me.  I am happy I am not sick because there are also viruses going around but I do find being this tired makes it hard to be creative.  I can do the tasks in my processes that require repetitions quite easily because I do not have to think very hard.  Being truly creative is hard.

Dyeing has been fun.  I get to put things in pots and walk away.  Come back and stir.  Walk away and wait.  I can go sit and crochet or work on nine squares.  Creations that have points where I do not have to think very hard.  Just do.

I played with madder last week and ended up with the silk in the picture.  It looks almost like an antique burgundy or very dark antique rose in the sun.  Out of the sun, it looks like a chocolate.  It is a color I really like.  

This piece of silk was dyed with mulberry and beet.  Just a touch of iron.  The silk was actually dyed separately in the beet but it just made a gold.  That was until the mulberry was added.  The color in the sun looks like a sage green.  Lots of grey.  On my work table it looks almost silver.  I put a bit of it up in my Etsy store as ribbon. 

I have saved a good portion of the silk back as fabric.  I am tempted to make a slip with it.  I have not had a slip sell in my shop but I do wear them.  I like the lightness of the china silk for slips but then they add more warmth then expected.  I get cold easily.  Combine the mulberry beet fabric with the madder fabric.  It could be very interesting!  

I find that "talking" thoughts out are a good place to be creative when nothing else seems to be working.  Thank you for all who read my posts for the ears.  You get to listen to my babble.  

There is camping in the desert this coming weekend.  I am hoping it will break some of the allergy reactions.  Then maybe I will have some energy back?  I can hope.