Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Long Time No See...

I've been in one of my August Slumps...similar to a July Slump but accompanied by more anti-social tendencies...

But...I've picked up little signs that summer is waning...even if the thermometer is supposed to read 103*F by the time all is said and done this afternoon...even if the bleepin' a/c unit for the back of the house...read "Bedrooms"...has apparently decided today would be a lovely time to go on the blink...

Sheila's Top 5 Signs that Summer Will Be Gone*...after a while...

1. if I get up early enough in the morning and step onto the back deck, I can catch a soft cool breeze

2. the singing bugs (I have no idea..frogs? crickets?) are carryin' on something fierce...

3. the crows from the woods next door are, well, more crow-ish

4. the evenings are softer...still hot as...but now the evening light cuts across the pines with a soft gold colour...lingers a while...and then slowly dark comes on, fading in from a soft-then-deep purple...In high summer, the evenings are more like Hot & Bright Then Bam Dark...

5. I'm getting in the mood for baking...and deep cleaning...and making "things"...early stage prep work for holidays and cool weather nesting...

The evidence:
Faux sourdough bread...from a recipe from a friend that uses a starter made of instant potato flakes! well, I never...I managed to goof this recipe half a dozen ways and the bread still came out wonderful...I'll post the recipe if any one wants it...

half of one of the loaves disappeared like *this* [imagine snapping fingers]...part of that, I'm sure, was the great bread...the other part was, I imagine, due to the fact I would not buy any bread at the grocery store...I was determined the next loaf of bread used at #17 would be made my own 8 fingers and 2 thumbs...and since I kept goofing up the time table, we were without bread for, oh, just over a week or so...

the most heard question/remark at #17 this past week: "Are you baking the bread today?"...and then I'd lie and say "yes"...because I kept thinkin' I could bake the bread...until I dragged the recipe out and re-read the directions...and the bread is resting in a new-to-me bowl bought from the Antique Mall up the road...love it...I want to branch out my yellow ware collection into the green bowls, but still love the yellow ones so much that this is sort of a compromise bowl...sort of a transition piece...

oh yes...it is possible to justify just about anything, isn't it?

movin' smartly along, I finally washed the fabric I will use to begin a quilt...I was thinking "yo-yo", but maybe I should just do a patchwork...this is going to be my first quilt...but I still need to iron the fabric...that fabric has been sitting waiting on the iron for over a week now...I hate to iron...well, that isn't true...I just hate wrestling with the ironing board...

and here is Mr. Brown...he came by way of Gretel and her Marchpane Pig etsy shop...and, by the way, reading Mrs. Appleyard and I, led me to uncover what "marchpane"** means! I'm feelin' a bit smug about that right now...Mr. Brown is an example of scherenschnitte...but more importantly, the moment I saw Mr. Brown and his companions out and about in the evenin' time, his story popped into my mind...and I love when a piece of art just comes to life like that :)

bless his heart...I wish we could all be so self-satisfied as Mr. Brown...

now I'm off to refresh my coffee...actually, to turn it into an iced coffee...and catch up on my blog reading!


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*feel free to share any signs you have seen that autumn might be comin' along here shortly

**adding "marchpane" to My List of Favourite Words



AND...I forgot to mention Toni awarded me with this! Thanks, Miss Toni and I should pass it along? I believe this is the first award I have won since my Senior Superlative...(should I share that? is that mildly-to-awfully embarrassing?)

wait...is a Senior Superlative even really an award?............................................

Faux Sourdough Recipe, courtesy of Miss Suzanne over at Southern Inspiration


Starter:
1/2 c. sugar
1 pkg. yeast
3 T. instant potatoes (flakes)
1 c. warm water
Mix in jar. Let stay 3 to 5 days in refrigerator. Use 1 cup to make bread.

Part 1
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. instant potatoes
1 c. very warm water
Remove starter from refrigerator in the evening and set on cabinet overnight. Next morning, mix Part 1 ingredients well and add to starter. Let stand out of refrigerator all day. (It will bubble) At the end of the day, use 1 cup to make bread. Return remaining starter to refrigerator, covered with foil. Keep in refrigerator 3 to 5 days (I usually waited a week and started bread on the same day every week) and feed again. If not making bread, give 1 cup to a friend or throw away. Starter must be fed every 3 to 5 days (or weekly as I mentioned).

Part 2
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. corn oil
1 T. salt
1 c. starter
1 1/2 c. very warm water
6 cups bread flour ( I used a combo of reg. white and whole wheat....usually about 1/3 to 1/2 of wheat flour; didn't use bread flour)

In a large bowl, make stiff batter of Part 2 ingredients. Grease large bowl. Put dough in and turn over (the batter, silly, not you!) Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Next morning punch down and knead 3 to 4 times. Divide into 3 parts and knead on floured board 8 to 10 times. Put in greased loaf pans. Brush with oil. Let rise 4 or 5 hours (or all day), covered with wax paper(spray the wax paper with cooking spray to minimize chance of the paper sticking to the dough). Bake 30 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and brush with butter (I didn't do this.)

This bread is very flexible...can use varying flours, can stretch the times it suggests, and you can use 2 larger pans than 3 regular for bigger size loaves. Try it --it makes a moist, kind of dense bread that is good for sandwiches and toast!!!

Suzanne says you can also use this dough to make cinnamon rolls...I was so caught up in just tryin' to get the bread done I completely forgot all about that...but I'll remember for next time ....thanks, Suzanne :)

13 comments:

Simply Me Art said...

Welcome back from the Summer Dulldrums... I dont blame you. I see Absolutely No signs of Fall though. Oh, maybe some of the Halloween and Fall things Ive made. September here is a very Hot month, so we have a way to go. That bread looks so good too, can ya pass some my way please??? Jamie

Rabbit Hill Creations said...

Hi Mrs. Sheila G!...its gonna take a while for me to get used to the new name...anyhoo...glad too see you back in blogland...as far as starting on a yo-yo quilt...I've been in the beginning stages of one for the last 3-weeks and I'm ready to pull my hair out and rip the yo-yo's to shreds!...first I made my circles way too tiny, then had to retrace the circles on all the fabric, I finished doing all the cutting and now I'm sewing the edges together. I dont want to give up because I really love the look of the quilt...just a little bit frustrating!

Penny Carlson said...

In the mountains of NC where I live we usually don't have fall color until October. But we had such a hot dry summer, some of the trees are getting some leaf color. Not alot.... The light just "looks" different. I can't explain it.

Your bread looks yummy!
Penny

see you there! said...

I want the bread. I really, really want the bowl. I'll send my address. HAHAHA

Ok, lets start with the bread recipe. I'll settle for that until you save up the postage to mail the bowl.

Darla

jayedee said...

it's still hot as blazes here in the lost world too......but i find myself experiencing the cool weather nesties as well. can't put my finger on it, but things "feel" different to me. i tell my husband i can smell the cooler temps coming, but it's not actually a scent...it's something else.......
glad to know i'm not the only one!

Suzanne said...

Well, if ya'll are feeling fall, I may just pack up and move over there.....
Hey that bread looks fabulous!;)
And love the bowl that was the means of it getting here.
Oh, and I also wanted to tell you that in my younger days, when I could actually SEE, I used to do scherensnitte all the time. We had a craft sale and I did lots of them, and sold them for only a fraction of the cost(my hours of time!). So I can appreciate Mr. Brown.......

The Feathered Nest said...

I haven't felt my usual self since all this heat started. I'll be really glad when it starts to cool down - 80's next week (woo-hoo).

The bread looks good - I'd love the recipe.

Manuela

Brenda said...

I have Summer dulldrums every August and Winter ones every Jan, I spend the time on the couch cuddling with my dog, Coco.
I liked your blog immediately because I knew I was not alone in my dulldrums and because of your cute dog and then Sourdough bread, all 3 were a hit with me.
I thought this lady has something special. Loves doggies, loves home-made bread.....yeah, your my kind of blogger.

I would love to know how to make the sourdough bread into the Cinnamon rolls. I looked at the site but couldn't find the recipe.

I will come back soon. : ) Bren

http://benzy55.typepad.com/my_weblog/

Belle-ah said...

Y'all and this bread...I swear! You have just tortured me with it all week...so unfair. :-(

Paula said...

Your bread looks delicious. It certainly wouldn't last long in this house. I am seeing and hearing the same signs of fall that you are. I'm worried that it won't be a pretty one because of the dry conditions, but we'll see.

Cathy said...

Love sourdough bread! Looks delicious!

Anxiously awaiting fall in SC,
Cathy

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Oooooooooh that bread sure looks good! Must try that sometime :)
I have the summer dulldrums too. Bits of some trees here in Ontario are already changing and that`s not supposed to happen yet. Not fair. Can`t believe that it`s actually almost over. It went far too fast. I love fall....if only the snow wasn`t ahead.

tea
xo

Nan - said...

I just found your blog because I was posting a recipe from Mrs. Appleyard's Kitchen on my blog, did a google search, and found that you have a Mrs. A. book on your nightstand! Isn't the internet an amazing thing? One doesn't read about those books just anywhere, does one?!

I love your signs of summer leaving and that bread!

Anyhow, I'm having a nice look around and will be back to visit some more.

it's all about the journey...