Carb Loading

In an attempt to shoo away another round of cold weather and snow, or at least the frustration that it brings (Barb, after reading your comment, I feel your pain), I fired up the oven for an afternoon of baking. And an afternoon of baking it was.

Carbloading

I’m constantly modifying my bread recipe, and I feel like I’ve found a decent base from which to explore different adaptations.

Today, I started with:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2+ Tablespoons of black strap molasses
  • 2 Teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of ground up caraway seeds

Next, I mixed in the following ingredients with the liquid, and whisked/stirred until a consistency of yogurt:

  • 1/2 cup gluten flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 cup wheat germ

Then I added:

  • Approx. 3 cups white flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt

The rest is pretty much standard bread-making instructions (knead for 10 minutes, let rise twice, proof before putting in oven that has been preheated to 400ºF, bake for 30-35 minutes or until done — I like to spray the oven with water a couple of times during the baking to give the crust a bit of a crunch).

That was the bread. As you can see, there were a few more things besides the bread. Jane Brody has a good zucchini bread recipe, and the peanut butter cookies, though not as good as Virginia’s grandmother’s recipe (are they ever?), have still been approved for household consumption.*

Carbloading

What can I say? I am a fan of wheat.

*And, as much as I’d like to dive into all this baked goodness, we’re actually going to be feeding a group of people.

Could it be?

How anything survives these Minnesota winters still amazes me. Nevertheless life continues whether we look around and acknowledge it or not. The first bloomer in our yard is the tiny, delicate Hepatica flower.

Hepatica

Not to be outdone, though, Sedum sure makes a statement as its first leaves provide a striking contrast to the grays and browns of the garden beds.

Sedum

Those aren’t the only things emerging from a period of rest. Virginia finished up a pair of socks after a tiny hiatus* of a couple of weeks. (* Hiatus is a relative term, since for me I’d consider it a break once we’ve reached the 6-month mark).

Socks

And, for those of you with keen memories, there might be one or two other socks in the collection made from the same Regia yarn… there are only so many choices out there.

Spring Feeding

Sunday mornings are a favorite around here and it’s become a tradition to break our nightly fast with waffles and fruit. Winter waffles are usually accompanied by frozen fruit turned to sauce. But, as spring approaches so does the desire to have fresh fruit. It’s hard holding out for the local strawberries to be ready (or even the ones we’ve got growing in our yard), so at the coop yesterday I decided to wait no longer.

Strawberry

My waffle recipe has evolved over the years to increase its level of nutrition — more than just flour and milk. It’s a little heartier than some, but not so dense as to make you think of fiber board.

Waffle Ingredients

Whisk together:

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 egg yolks

Add:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons wheat germ (or ground flax seed)

Fold in gently:

  • 2 egg whites (that have been beaten until stiff, but not dry)

The next and last step is the easiest, but requires a cup of coffee and a place to sit down and watch the birds looking for their own version of Sunday breakfast.

Waffles

In Full Swing

The blog may have been down, but that does not mean there weren’t any projects being worked on, finished, and made ready to share.

Plaid Runner

This weaving project is finally finished. It’s about 9 feet long and made from cotton “carpet warp.” It’s the perfect length for the library table sitting in our sun room.

Plaid Runner

Now that Spring has been making an effort to stick around, we can put away the heavy winter blankets and enjoy this first major crochet project from Virginia.

Vcrochets_afghan_01b

It’s one giant granny square made from Jamieson’s Spindrift… so many great colors to choose from, and having 75 rows, there was plenty of opportunity to play with color.

Rising from the Ashes

After what seems like an eternity, the blog is back. Our recent experience with a hacked blog, allowed me to take a look around, make some modifications (improvements?) and forge ahead. For those of you who care to know, SPIN | KNIT was hacked and the code was infiltrated, causing anyone reading it via an RSS feed to have access to any number of links to Web sites of questionable content (is that an understatement?). May that be a lesson to continually be on top of upgrading your blogging software (if you are someone who hosts your own) and stay aware of any potential weaknesses in your directories.

This new blog, ScratchCraft, is going to encompass more of the crafty activities that we partake in (not just spinning and knitting). Unfortunately, I decided not to salvage any of the written content from SPIN | KNIT, for fear of there being some problems/weaknesses with the database. Fortunately, I had backups of all the images, and those past projects can be perused in the “Galleries” page. Titles and descriptions will be added as time permits.

I hope I did not scare anybody off, thinking I was suddenly promoting the sale of certain types of enhancing drugs, insurance and other pastimes. I assure you, I was not. If you did not run off, welcome back! We look forward to continue sharing our projects as we finish them. There will also, I’m sure, be more changes to this site as we tweak and adapt it to suit the nature of our content.

Thank you!