Tuesday
Sep122017

pumpkin babka

I have a friend who requested a pumpkin babka after seeing the pictures of funky punky monkey bread on Instagram.  I gave her options.  Pumpkin chocolate.  Monkey bread.  Cinnamon rolls.  Nope.  She wanted a pumpkin babka.  She teaches school and needed comfort food.  She did not know what shape her students were going to be in after Harvey.  They were good.  But she does not eat well during the school year anyhow so why not!

I took my pumpkin chocolate babka recipe and modified it slightly.  I wanted to get some more nutrition into her so I used white whole wheat flour and added a half a cup oatmeal.  I left out the cocoa in the dough.  I used the regular filling except making my own pumpkin pie spices because that was where I was at.

She said it was the size of a small turkey!  She actually left half of it with me.  I can say that it was quite tasty and she was not wrong on the size.  I had my half for breakfast for a week.

I would make it again.  I might cut the proportions in half though.  She was not exaggerating about the size of the babka.  But it all got eaten.  

Saturday
Sep092017

sourdough flour tortillas

I have been asked and asked to make sourdough tortillas.  I have not.  One of the things I did not pick up at the grocery store during the storm was chips.  I am still very sensitive to corn so I do have to pick up non-corn chips.  They were left on the shelf during the storm.  But the numbers of people in the store.  It was just a bit overwhelming.

So I made sourdough tortillas to eat bean salad with.

They were a success.  And easy.  They did seem to stay more flexible longer which is always a plus.  But I did have bread dough rising that was water, flour, and salt.  I know I do not do sourdough like anyone else.  So not surprised.

sourdough flour tortillas

1 cup starter (I used bread dough, about 250 grams)

3 tablespoons olive oil or butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

Flour for kneading

Put a griddle on to heat over a medium low heat.

Put the starter (or bread dough) in a bowl (Make sure you have kept something in your jar for next time).  Mix in the oil and the salt.  Mix in enough flour to be a stiff dough.

Turn out onto a clean floured surfaces and knead until smooth.  I actually had not incorporated all the oil in when I started kneading so I was kneading that in as well.  When smooth, portion into two inch in diameter spheres.

Roll out into rounds.

Cook on both sides until there are golden dots.  Remove and cool in cloth.

The interesting gotcha here is that I have never had true success with whole wheat tortillas.  I only have whole wheat flour in the house currently and these were successful.  That is huge!  I know one more thing I will be making.  But then I was looking up how to make my own barbecue potato chip today so I just think I am crazy.  But then there was also the down the rabbit hole trip for Valentino dresses.  I want to sew dresses but I do not need dresses.  What a conundrum!

And I am babbling.  Oh well.  It is a nice feeling when a trade happened for sheetrock and tile work.  A trip to the hardwar store is in the offing.

Thursday
Sep072017

a quiet cocoon

Helicopters are still going over the house.  There is still dealing with the small or not such small things that need care after the storm.  There was the delivery of food to a friend who does not care for herself when she is caring for others.  There are more storms.  There is fire. 

I worked in the cocoon of quilting yesterday.  I listened to a humor filled book called Mrs. Queen Takes the Train.  It is not a book that brings out a belly laugh very often but I smile a lot.  A quarter of this quilt was finished yesterday.  That first quarter where there is basting to adjust and the most safety pins to take out.  There has not been any excess fabric or batting to cut off yet either.  It is a work out.  And the quarter that takes the most time.  It is done.  I hope to get more done today.

Last night, I tore out two sleeves for the sweater I am making.  I would like them to a pretty close sweater but I need them to be able to go over a sleeve.  I am going to make them about an inch wider.  That should be a help.  But it means I am not looking for buttons this weekend.  Which I would probably have had to look at online.  A fair number of the freeways and highways in the region are still under water.  They are still being pumped out and have not been assessed for damage yet.  Leaving the house is not wise in some directions.

I was told to take it easy today because I looked like I have two black eyes.  More tea.  More quilting.  Enjoying temperatures that are a bit lower.  Just a breath at a time and forward movement.  It works.

Tuesday
Sep052017

chaotic mind revealed in basting

I needed to baste this quilt top to the backing and batting.  Was that an interesting experience!

I do not think I have ever basted a quilt in a more chaotic pattern!  Even when Koda Bear's helps.

My Beloved made the comment that he tells people that he is safe not okay.  I think there is a lot of truth to that statement.  On my walk this morning, one of the bridges moved underneath just from my walking.  It bounced.  No, it was not my imagination.  Once I was on solid ground, I needed to catch my breath and stomp to convince my head that I was on solid ground and everything was as good as possible.  

We are on a flight path for many of the helicopters that are working.  Three Chinook helicopters just flew over the house.  It is not just the walls that shake at that point.  It is not just the wonder if the shingles will shake off.  Things are moving on surfaces and walls.  It is a wait and see if everything will be alright this time.

I am still having a flight or fight reaction.  The rain stopped a week ago today.  I want to go forward into my normal routines but it has been difficult to focus.  Adrenaline is still raised and I am a worrier.  It is going to be very interesting to see how people react the next time there is a threatening weather event.  Or maybe just a thunderstorm.

Today, all I wish to do is sit at my sewing machine and quilt.  Listen to an audiobook.  Instead, I have some computer work.  I am cooking for a friend who is finding it hard to feed herself while she helps one of her friends who flooded.  I need to go out of the house to the post office.  And the library!  The library is open!

 It truly is the simple things.

Saturday
Sep022017

being frugal during Harvey

During Harvey, there were no stores open near us except the corner store.  It is not a huge deal for us because we cook everyday.  I have a lot of food to make here.  The one thing we seemed to go through was large amounts of tea.  Pots and pots of tea.  With milk.  I was worried about the milk supply.  I had stashed some in the freezer but I wanted to make it last as long as possible.  

I decided to make a crepe like pancake with sourdough.  I was making bread anyway so I took a cup of the bread dough when it was in batter form, added eggs, sugar, oil, salt, and about half the milk I usually use and had sourdough pancakes.  I do not like fluffy pancakes so I did not add baking soda.  These were pretty tasty!  If I had no milk, I could use water and still have a good pancake.

I am writing this down for the next trip or storm or.  

sourdough crepe like pancakes

1 cup sourdough starter, 100% hydration (equal amounts of water and flour)

2 eggs

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

(for fluffy pancakes, add less milk and 1 teaspoon baking soda)

butter for cooking

Start heating the griddle over a medium low heat.

Put the sourdough in a bowl.  I was starting this for bread so there is a bit of oatmeal in it.

Mix in the sugar, oil, eggs, and salt.  

Mix in enough milk to have the consistency of pancake you wish.  I like crepe like pancakes so I used a half cup.  If you want fluffy pancakes, add baking soda too.

Melt some butter on the griddle.  Pour about a half cup batter on the griddle.  Let cook until the top is a bit dry.  Flip.

Cook for a few minutes until there is a little bit of brown on the underside.

Serve with a bit of maple syrup or powdered sugar or jam or whatever you wish.

Watch the boyos scarf them up!  I had to save a few for myself.  But the milk got stretched out.  But I will say the frugal version of the pancakes may become the standard pancake recipe.  That is how good they are.

I might make them tomorrow for breakfast.