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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sewing and cooking and…school?

Yep, that’s right.  I am back in school.  College to be exact.  I decided that after a 10 year break, I should go back and see what I am missing out on.  So far I have battled with an instructor, passed a few tests, continued to battle with a professor, learned how to install memory into a computer, used a yard stick, battled with a professor (and finally dropped his class).  This is not the college I remember, but I think I’m going to like it.  I even get to use this blog for one of my classes…BONUS!!  Aside from the fact that everyone in class now knows that I am a self-absorbed, craft and thrift store addict, this rocks!

On my last post I gave you all a recipe for beautiful, fluffy, buttery, sourdough biscuits.  Over the years I have honed my baking skills.  I have learned from the best: Mama D, Martha, my mother and myself.  Its not that I think I am a master of baking, but I am a master of trial and error.  For about a year I made probably 50 loaves of bread and 20 batches of cinnamon rolls.  I have worked with sourdough and yeast, quick breads and flatbreads, pizza dough and tortillas.  It has been a labor of love brought about by an unsatiated hunger.  A hunger for a single, fluffy, buttery, cinnamony roll.

I have worked tirelessly on finding a great cinnamon roll in the city I live in.  I have gone to every bakery, coffee shop, breakfast joint and bar (the bars are mainly to help me drown my sorrows after coming up empty-handed in the “great cinnamon roll search”).  Its like trying to find a vintage sweater that doesn’t smell like old lady perfume or moth balls.  After 2 years of searching I have determined two things: a. this town does not have a decent cinnamon roll; and b. the Ocean Roll must die.  Who decided that some crappy, dry, cardamom-flavored roll was a, “great substitute for a cinnamon roll!”  As the girl behind the coffee counter cheerily replied to me.  Whaaa?  I do not think so.  Why did it have to replace it?  Why can they not coexist, side-by-side?  Who made this decision?

I will now hop down off of my soap box and give you some sourdough pointers:

  • Don’t buy sourdough.  Chances are, you know someone that has a starter that they will let you take a bit of.  Some people keep it a secret, so ask around.
  • If you can’t find someone with a starter, make your own.  There are plenty of tutorials on how-to online.
  • Your sourdough will last a lifetime if you properly care for it.  Mine is over 50 years old!  That’s much older than me and it carries with it a little piece of home.
  • Every sourdough will taste a bit different.
  • Find a great resource for sourdough use and care.

I have a sewing blog for you that I will be putting up int he next week.  I am preparing for the arrival of my dearest friend’s first child and have been sewing up a storm.  I look forward to sharing my creations with you!

Here’s a little taste of what’s to come:


Meeting your blogger

Have you ever met someone that is almost famous? Not someone that the general public might be aware of, but someone that is famous in your world. Did you geek out a little bit? A lot? I have had this happen a couple of times. Just last week I saw a blogger that I follow at Target. He was with his family, so I wasn’t really planning on going up to him and going all “fan girl”. I stalked him from the racks of swimsuits that I was dreadingly going through for a class that I am taking. (The thought of wearing a swimsuit in public makes me nauseus.) Then, this wonderful self-help blogger- this man with nothing, but tips on success and how to achieve the best possible “you”- said something so unlike his online persona that I was left shocked. Shocked and awed as a matter of fact. I had just realized that this man who had all of the answers to life and business was, in fact, human. Mind- blown.

Yup, that’s right folks. Just like teachers and baristas and bar tenders, bloggers are just people. That is so freakin’ cool.

I bring this up because I was fortunate enough to meet a follower of my blog. Up until this point I thought that only my close friends and family followed my blog. I thought my bubble was small and that nobody really knew about me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that I am a world-wide phenom who will be offered a book, TV show or movie deal (although I wouldn’t turn it down, or maybe I would). I know that I am “small potatoes”, but it was awesome and flattering and rendered me somewhat speechless; although I did ramble to the poor gentleman some nonsense about other blogs and chicken coops and fodder.  That being said, it is nice to know you are appreciated when you are sending these messages off into the unknown.  Just as important, I feel that it is just as important to stay humble.

That being said, I have a recipe for you!!!

Have you ever cooked with sourdough?  Tasted sourdough? Do you know what sourdough is?  Even if you cannot answer “Yes” to any of these questions, this post will be beneficial to you.

I will start by saying that I have gone through stages of hating, loathing, tolerating, loving and obsessing over sourdough.  As a child, I liked sourdough toast for about 2 weeks.  Next, I wavered between hating and loathing it for about 15 years.  For a brief period I was intrigued by the different techniques of using it.  I spent about 2 months loving it.  Now I am obsessed with it.

…Sorry I have to interupt this post with a little message: “If your phone is particularly loud and clear, it is probably on ‘speaker’.  Please have the decency to deactivate this feature if you are in public; for your sake and mine.  I am in a coffee shop writing this blog, sitting next to a lovely couple that keeps handing the phone back and forth.  I currently know their ages, travel plans, mailing address, and I am sure that if I wait long enough their SSN and their credit card numbers.  Situational awareness folks!!…

Back to the blog:  The sourdough starter that I have is over 50 years old and from a place that I call home.  The most important thing I have learned about sourdough starters is to never, ever buy one.  You most likely know of someone that has one hoarded away in the back of their fridge or pantry; or you can start one yourself.

There are many resources for the handling and usage of sourdough.  Maybe someday I will take the time to become one of those people, but for now I will just say (without any affiliation) that I saw a post from King Arthur Flour on Pinterest the other day that I am sure would be great.  A couple of books that I would suggest are: “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery, and “Idaho Backcountry Cookin'” by Judy Hull.  I didn’t put links because I would prefer that you order them from an indie bookstore like Iconoclast Books ( than to order form b&n or amo-crazy-place.  SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE!!!  Both books are great resources.  If you cannot find Judy’d book please let me know, I have order forms.


Let’s Get Cookin’!

Because of my love of sourdough, I am sharing my favorited sourdough recipe with you.  Even the neighbor kids call these their favorite biscuits.   I may have started a neighborly battle with a stay-at-home mom.  Her child prefers my sourdough biscuits to hers.  Not bad for a “part-time mentor” and full-time “work-a-holic”.  A couple of tips for this recipe:

  1. Do not over mix- you want chunks of butter showing.
  2. Do not over knead, it will be a bit sticky.
  3. Allow it to rise- I usually allow 15-30 minutes depending on how long I have had the wood stove cranking’.
Because they are so good!

Because they are so good!

Sourdough Biscuits (from Idaho Backcountry Cookin’ by Judy Hull!!)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sourdough starter

Oven to 400.

Mix dry ingredients.

Cut in butter.


Add sourdough starter.

Adding starter.  Be sure to measure by pouring rather than dipping.  Less likely to  contaminate your starter.

Adding starter. Be sure to measure by pouring rather than dipping. Less likely to contaminate your starter.

Mix until dry ingredients are wet.

Mix until just moist.

Mix until just moist.

On a lightly floured board, knead gently 2-4 minutes.


Fold and knead.  Adding flour as needed to keep from sticking to board.

Fold and knead. Adding flour as needed to keep from sticking to board.IMG_0480

Cut out biscuits and place in cast iron pan (or on a cookie sheet if you don’t have one).

They don't have to be perfect.

They don’t have to be perfect.

Rise for 15-30 minutes in warm area.

Cover with a towels or plastic wrap.

Cover with a towels or plastic wrap.

Bake 13-18 minutes.  You are looking for the tops to become golden brown and for a hollow sound upon tapping the tops.

Apply butter and/or gravy and enjoy!!

Have fun with this one and please send me photos of yours.

PS  Thank you to my 12 year old photographer.  Than goodness he takes biscuits as payment!!

PPS  Yes, I am wearing a pink, cashmere robe I found at a thriftstore.  It is luxurious!!

One more huge shout-out: My friends and their parents are starting their own hard cider business.  Please check them out.  These folks are going to rock the cider world:


Yes, another horribly long break.

Yes, I have taken another horribly long break from blogging.  A lot has changed and I can’t wait to catch you all up on what is new!  This is just a quick post.  I will be back this weekend with a new project and a new recipe!!  I am attacking my Pinterest folders and can’t wait to share my successes and failures with you.  There is also a little business in the making.  I hope you have enjoyed the break from me because I am back in force now!!

New topics and requests are being taken.

Because they are so good!

Because they are so good!

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