Tag Archives: bread

September just flew past

Late September skies
Late September skies

I really am having trouble believing it’s the 29th already.  In a blink, it’s just about over.  The autumn is upon us, and the nights are great for snuggling under the sheets and sleeping well.

The drought continues, however, and most of the trees are turning brown with curled up dry leaves.  I don’t think that there will be much bright color.  It’s a shame that so many others have been overwhelmed with rain this summer, but we can almost count on one hand how many raindrops we have had.

Greenhouse bones
Greenhouse bones

Things have settled down since SnowPea went to freezer camp.  I still have 3 girls for sale, but the dynamics of the group are a little bit less frantic.  We are working on putting up a greenhouse that we took down a few months ago, to give us some shelter, a little storage, and dedicated kidding pens away from the others when the time comes.  (I want to have a “nursery” type set up which is less crazy after the kids are born.  The singletons tend to pick on the new little ones, and I would like them in a slightly smaller, more controlled area).  I also want an internal catch pen, one that is not outside the main fencing.  We have got the bones of it in place, mostly, and now need to tackle some ends for that greenhouse (I would like to have a wooden end on the driveway side, if possible!).

Time for baking bread
Time for baking bread

And so autumn has arrived.  My most favorite time of year.  The days are definitely shorter, and knitting and fiber work have a much greater allure. Just wish we could get a little rain!

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Saturday again

Blue sky day
Blue sky day

And so it goes.  Weeks are flying by, and as we head into Spring we come to a screeching halt with some really frigid temperatures arriving on Sunday night.  These things happen, but after it warms up later on in the week, I really think I need to uncover my garlic!

Baby Betsy's favorite place
Baby Betsy’s favorite place

Saffron continues to improve, and she was even doing a little dance this morning.  Betsy the Bruiser will be 3 weeks old tomorrow, and she is romping and running up a storm.  Battie can’t keep up with her!

Battie and her girl
Battie and her girl

None of the other goats are due until early May, so we are watching carefully and making sure they are eating well and getting some good exercise.  Rain this afternoon and evening, so I started a batch of Ken Forkish’s bread recipe for a Biga starter last night (from the book Flour Water Salt Yeast).  It’s looking promising so far!

Memory lane

Yesterday was my birthday.  58.  Yahoo.  It’s always nice having a birthday on the weekend, so the whole weekend actually feels like a celebration.  The cold weather has descended upon us and I was in the mood for doing some baking.  John makes some of the most fantastic bread on the planet, but I have been wanting to bake up some challah. very different from his artisanal loaves.  So yesterday I decided to do just that.

A braid of challah just out of the oven

I don’t think that I have made this recipe in 10 years.  I can’t remember having baked any since we moved up here.  This bread is truly a thing of beauty.  For many years I made this recipe every Friday in anticipation of the sabbath.  Some good memories there!  Jerusalem and Beer Sheva in the 1970s.  And then holidays since then.  Really good stuff.  The recipe actually comes from a Moroccan Jewish woman in Jerusalem who used to bake up giant batches in her bathtub every Friday morning.  It’s the best.

I certainly don’t need more carbs in my life, but in weather that’s hovering around zero and a wind chill that has us well below zero, I am just going to have another piece of challah and savor it with another cup of coffee.  Nothing better!

Snowday redux

Old Bear still loves the snow!

Another storm.  Another snowday.  More photos that don’t look any different from the last ones I posted.  The sun is shining this morning and everything looks clean and white.  Such a surprise!  I can’t complain, however.  We had a good day yesterday.  It gave me one more day to recuperate from the stomach flu.

John's breads from the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day"

John did some bread baking, Sawyer began his career with blocks, watched some movies and did some reading.  (Yes, we did have a little bit of a Thomas the Tank Engine marathon!).  I got the better part of a baby cap knit up as well.  All in all, a pretty relaxing day until the storm wound down and John went out to get the tractor started so that he could get us dug out.  Thank goodness it isn’t as windy today!

(Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois, 2007).

Sawyer checking out the possibilities while waiting for dinner

Mr. Big moves on

Mr. Big our AI Border Leicester ram

As usual things have been crazy around the farm.  School ended last week and I have been scrambling to get ahead here at the house.  Too many things to do and not enough time!  But, we finally found a great home for our ram, Mr. Big.  He has gone to live on Bridge Farm in Dresden, about 15 miles from here.  They have a lovely, historic farm there along the river, and he will have some new ram friends, as well as some new ewes to get friendly with :*)

We took him over yesterday morning and had a lovely visit.  Kathy and Bob have a great setup, and interns on the farm have built a cob bake oven.  We have been planning on building one here and haven’t gotten to it yet, so it was lovely to see one in action.  How exciting!  Mike and Erin are making lovely breads and we got to witness the baking.  And taste a great loaf!

Cob oven in action
Loaves fresh from the oven
Mr. Big hides looks out from his new digs

So the ram who has done so much for us here finally has found a new home.  Good luck, Mr. Big!  We love you and are glad you are close enough so that we can visit!