Not a Jigsaw Puzzle

On this rainy grey day I return to one of my projects. Some people do jigsaw puzzles – not me. I am joining small woven squares. These are scraps from a knitting project two winters back I wove the scraps on a 4″ x4 ” pin loom, and am now joining them together. I had laid the squares out and determined the pattern, and then bundled rows Today I passed the halfway mark! Nice quiet …

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Sunday Morning in the Kitchen

Sunday at 5:30 a.m. I lit the oven and pulled the second rise of the dough out of the refrigerator. As the Two Dutch ovens heated in the oven, I inverted the first two loaves – one in a greased bowl and one in a rice floured banneton Here’s the difference – still doesn’t look like much! I slice the tops and mist and place in the Dutch ovens and into the oven I clean …

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A Clarinet Breakthrough

This week I had a major light bulb moment. It’s funny. As a teacher (of other things like swimming) I had seen students pause or stall for a time before moving forward, and then at some point they became ready and wow! Weeks, if not months ago, my clarinet teacher had started to explaining the circle of fifths (sometimes the notations are reversed and called circle of fourths – especially in jazz groups). I had …

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The Distraction Packets

As we headed to lock down here, I realized I wasn’t going to see some of my favorite people – farm kids. And they would be home trying to stay engaged with school work and avoid boredom. So, the idea of “distraction packets” was born. Creating these packets was fun and I avoided boredom as well. The first week I sent a mailer with a sheet of postcard stamps and a bunch of postcards from …

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Kitchen Day

Today I spent a couple hours in the kitchen. I had wanted to make a liver spread. But I didn’t have any mayonnaise. So … I made some mayo. But mayo only requires yolks. So I used the leftover egg whites to make macaroons. Loyal has nudged me to up my game with dipping the cookies in some melted semi sweet chocolate So we had a picnic like lunch wit cress salad and some salmon …

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Cold Snap Activity: Rendering Lard

When it was cold last week I knew I would be using the cook stove, so I asked Loyal if he would help me with rendering lard. He created this fat cutter with objects he found here. It works like a paper cutter. I follow the directions in Ken’s old Stocking Up. Place a quarter inch of water in the bottom of a kettle, add fat, add heat. Once the temperature reaches 255 degrees, the …

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Thanks, Mom and Dad

Each year my parents send me paper whites. This year they also sent me an amaryllis Ken had grown amaryllis plants in the past, but this was my first. This one is quite remarkable; there were two blossom stalks The other remarkable thing was instead of two or four flowers per stem, this one has six blossoms on the first stalk Now there is a third stem with a flower bud! Beautiful. Thanks Mom and …

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Maple Season 2020

This season is one of transition. Loyal came and tapped trees here, hauled sap and boiled sap on Ken’s evaporator. I helped him finish and bottle the maple syrup Loyal found some filters that work better than any Ken and I had used. But after he had cleaned and hung them to dry, I had a feeling the KKK had done laundry in my kitchen. Contact Loyal if you want to buy syrup

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Bread and Tulips or When in Doubt…

I have not been happy with the crust on my bread. Months ago I had tried adjusting time covered and time uncovered. I thought more uncovered time would result in a crust that was more brown and well, crusty. Last week I was distracted and left one batch covered and at a higher temperature longer. The result was better crust, but the interior was bordering on gummy. However I am headed in the right direction. …

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