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Sourdough SCOBY?

I’ve been making sourdough on and off for years.  This batch was parked beside the kombucha tea urn.  Is that why it formed a kombucha tea-like SCOBY,  or biofilm? This is the first time I’ve seen this happen.  Beneath the layer all was well,  the sourdough smelling nice and spicy.  I took the layer off and fed the sponge.  It’s bubbling away as good sourdough starter should.

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After The Ice Storm

After what seemed like days of weather watches and special statements it was hard to take the forecasts seriously.  But Thursday the expected freezing rain did begin and by early evening if was obvious there would be a mess by morning.  The power went out as most people were preparing dinner.  We enjoyed a  candle light dinner of take out pizza and the lights came on just before bedtime

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Thursday evening as it’s still raining.

We fell asleep listening to branches crashing down and I debated whether the vehicles were safer parked on the road or in the driveway under the trees. The only major branch we lost fell over the fence within inches of the neighbour’s camper trailer. So there is lots of cleaning of small branches.

Friday morning.
Friday morning.

The power went out again at dinner time which meant serving rather undercooked and frosty veggies for Easter family dinner,  but everything else was done.  The lights came on as we finished dessert.

Saturday morning.
Saturday morning.

Saturday morning dawned sunny with the ice still on the trees.  It was dazzling.  But,  we are still hearing chainsaws as everyone tries to clean up. Some folks are still without power.  I’ve posted more photos on my Google albums.

https://goo.gl/photos/THttXzpSeF8eCvwLA

Passing the Winter Days

My project this winter has been to learn to use a knitting machine.  I now have two,  a mid-gauge suitable for knitting fine yarns and a medium gauge for heavier yarns. I’ve so far made some simple projects such as cut and sew sweaters,  some charity hats,  a braided scarf and other wearables.
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Now I’m working on a sweater so that I can experiment with patterns and sizes to finally make myself the sweater dress I would like. I was lucky enough to find 4 cones of alpaca acrylic blend in a very fine yarn. I have two in a natural color and two in black. Judging from the amount that I’ve used so far to create my first sweater there will be plenty left over to make things like socks and who knows what else. Learning to use these machines means that I’ve relied on lot on YouTube videos. There are so many helpful people that have put instructional videos online. Two that I’ve relied on a lot are Roberta Rose Kelly and Dianne Sullivan.

It is very satisfying to make something that can’t be deleted with the press of a key.

January 2016 100k Walkies

Although I did not set out with the goal of walking 100km this month, it looks like my habit of walking 3.2km or 2 miles a day will get me there anyway. Unusually mild, dry weather means I’ve been out walking far more than I would expect this time of year. This is how my walking log looks right now:

 

Date Activity Calories Burned (kCal) Distance (km)  Time (seconds) Avg Pace (min/km) Avg Speed (km/h) Steps
Jan. 11, 2016 Walk 230 3.272 2217 11.29093 5.31398 4457
Jan. 10, 2016 Walk 226 3.226 2097 10.8318 5.53923 4394
Jan. 9, 2016 Walk 226 3.237 2069 10.6526 5.63239 4408
Jan. 8, 2016 Walk 393 5.629 3631 10.7500 5.58133 7666
Jan. 7, 2016 Walk 225 3.204 2159 11.2287 5.34342 2160
Jan. 6, 2016 Walk 240 3.429 2256 10.9629 5.47299 4671
Jan. 5, 2016 Walk 283 2.646 720 4.53430 13.2324 2785
Jan. 3, 2016 Walk 99 1.406 945 11.1953 5.35937 1916
Jan. 2, 2016 Walk 355 4.944 3085 10.3989 5.76982 6733
Jan. 1, 2016 Walk 203 2.762 1691 10.2037 5.88017 3761

To log my activities I use the mapmyrun app, actually mapmydogwalk and my Garmin Vivofit. So, I’ve achieved just over 33% of my goal in 11 days. I know that two miles a day is not that far to walk, but that’s where I am.

November 2015 100K Walkies Challenge

Last November Maxx and I walked 114 km and we plan to do it again this year. I created the 100k Walkies Challenge to motivate myself to get outdoors during the dreary month of November. I use my MapMyDogWalk app on my phone to record our time and distance. Yesterday, through cold rain and wind, we did our first 3.65 km. Today, the weather is much more inviting.

If you need some motivation to get walking, Maxx and I will be glad to be your cheering section. I’ll be posting photos from our walks on Instagram and here. Please join us!

Well, Here I Am

After struggling now for the third time to get EDALB Blog up and running on my Netfirms account I’ve given up. I spent most of yesterday trying to install WordPress so that it didn’t trigger their security, but apparently it can’t be done. It seems  to be difficult to maintain a WordPress blog on that host, and I really don’t want to take the time to reinstall and rebuild every six months. So, until I decide exactly how to proceed on on that front, here I am WordPress.com. Since this blog exists largely for my own entertainment, that may be where it stays. My work on About.com Horses and Ponybox of course take precedence. Besides, who wants to be online when you could be hanging about in trees?

Apple Picking
I bet Eve too felt that all the best apples were just out of reach.

As Busy As I Want to Be

I’ve been as busy as I want to be lately. I’ve been redecorating my house. The kitchen is almost done. Walls have been painted, new flooring installed. A new sink and tap has been purchased, and new ceiling fixtures have been installed as well as some cool under counter lighting. A new chandelier is waiting to be put up in the dining room. We need to pick out new counters, but are feeling tentative about it! Too many choices!

I’ve been crafting like crazy too. My Cricut Explore has given me so many options! I’m learning to make greeting cards, and today, I plan to cut an intricate leather design for the pockets of a pair of jeans I’m making. I’m sewing too. My favorite recent creation is what I call my tight pants. Every time I wear them, it reminds me of the Jimmy Fallon/Will Farrell tight pants skit and I feel like singing the song. The pants however, are anything but tight, so my family is a confused about why I call them my tight pants.

And because I don’t have enough to do, I bought an old knitting machine. I’m just learning how to use it and so far, have almost completed a scarf for my husband. Everybody might be getting scarves for Christmas next year, because it’s just so much fun to zing back and forth, and I haven’t learned how to do decreases and increases, or fancy patterns yet.

The next plan is redecorating a spare room into a crafting/sewing studio. I’ve got the paint and am waiting for some help to move some furniture. Then, the bathroom is going to get redecorated.

Right now, I better get out of my PJs and get going. Think I’ll wear my tight pants.

Tight Pants – Will Farrell and Jimmy Fallon

Experiments with Tiger Nut Flour and a Quick Recipe

I discovered Tiger Nut flour at the bulk food store. I  was after almond meal, which I use the odd time when I bake. It was substantially less expensive than the almond meal, so of course, I bought it. Shortly after getting  it home, I did some research and learned it isn’t actually a nut at all, but a tuber that grows on the roots of a certain type of sedge (grass). Many sources suggest that it may have been one of the earliest human food sources, and that it is a nutrient powerhouse. It is well-known in many countries and is also used to make a milky drink.

If you’d like to know more about the cultivation of tiger nuts check out http://www.tigernuts.com/tigernut_tigernuts_chufa_chufas.html

I’ve done a little experimenting and have found it can replace coconut flour or almond meal one for one. It is much sweeter than either of these, and if you like to make muffin or cake-like treats, you may find you won’t need much, if any extra sweetener.

Tiger nut flour, or at least the brand I bought at Bulk Barn, has a less mealy texture than either coconut or almond meal, but it does have a slightly gritty texture. It’s almost as if there is a bit of sand in it, but it doesn’t have the same effect on your teeth. My guess is that it is either very fine sand particles (it does grow slightly underground, so this would be understandable) or it is the plant fiber that makes it seem so. It was off-putting at first, but I’ve gotten used to it now that I know I’m not floating my teeth each time I eat it.

Summertime means BBQ time, and burgers are a quick and easy meal. While you don’t, strictly speaking, need a bun, it makes you feel more like one of the crowd if you don’t eat your burger with a knife a fork. Here’s how to make a super quick hamburger bun. If you are microwave-leery, bake it in your toaster oven.

Quick Tiger Nut Hamburger Bun

  • 1 tbs of coconut flour
  • 1 tbs of tiger nut flour
    OR
  • 2 tbs of tiger nut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs of water
  • 1 tbs melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder
  • sprinkle of salt

Mix everything but the baking powder in a large mug. Let sit for about five minutes so the flours can absorb the moisture. Then, mash in the baking soda. Spread the mixture out so it’s even in the bottom of the cup, and microwave for about  a minute and a half.

Dump the ‘bun’ out of the cup and with a very sharp, knife cut it horizontally to make two halves. Pile on burger patty and toppings. This will be a bit more crumbly than a wheat flour bun, but really much hardier than many of the wheat-less or gluten-free  buns I’ve tried.  You’ll be able to pick up your burger like the rest of the kids.

Sorry I don’t have a photo to share. I keep getting half way through my burger before remembering I should take a picture.