Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy T Stands for Tuesday and Catfish Dinner

Good morning everyone, 
    Happy T Party where we all share a post with each other along with a beverage photo. Click on button in the right hand column to take you to our hostess Elizabeth.

  Not allot new going on this past week but we did enjoy a catfish feast at our friends, I am still sewing my hexagons and am on the fourth focal "flower" and then I will be cutting and basting up more hexagons.  Still spinning with my drop spindle working on finishing up that bag of cheviot wool roving. Got another skein finished. 
     I started back on the rock work in the bathroom yesterday-and sigh I discovered my bag of mortar that I have been working with this year has gone bad-sitting too long and had absorbed moisture-although covered up and in a bucket-some of the rocks I have already done may need to be done over-sigh hoping not too much. This happened to me already on one of the walls in the shower where after I finished it I discovered that the mortar was not right so it would end up crumbling away-so of course I am not pleased and frustrated. My new bag and these are heavy at 80 pounds went bad too and turned hard so I needed to break that down and get it outdoors. My back is not feeling so great this morning-and I did break down the bag-oh well-such is the way of things.

Photos: Our catfish dinner-we were invited over to our friend's home-the one that built the huge gorgeous log home, and whom is just a really good friend-one of those people that is always there for you. The guys went out fishing a week or so ago in hubs new boat and they caught a huge huge catfish and several smaller ones-soooo good eats-enough for a few more dinners!  (photos will enlarge just click on them)

In the background above photo you can see their fun loving dog-Hattie-she is a sweetheart

Of course plenty of sides as well, I brought the bean salad and the pineapple upside down cake, and a jar of grilled pickled zucchini-which were really good-found those at Aldi   When we sat down to eat I noticed only one bowl of catfish-oh no I was so bumbed as he always makes a batch of gluten free for me. (and I am used to going to picnics like this in the past where there is nothing I can eat)  So hubs says just take off the batter-no I can't do that I say-so he asks our friend what flour did you use for the catfish? he says oh everything here is gluten free-instead of making two batches we are all going gluten free today even the pasta salad is gluten free as well--so of course I dug right in to the catfish lol   I should have known that he wouldn't forget me.

and for my beverage this week-my new found drink is a mule-which I had never heard of before. I had purchased a bottle of huckleberry vodka on my trip that was distilled and bottled in Bozeman. I looked on their site for drink recipes and found their huckleberry mule and I love love this-ginger beer (which is not beer at all no alcohol), splash of lime, and vodka. So this is my go to vodka drink now. This one is made with Tito's gluten free vodka. I am searching online for a diet ginger beer though-the one I bought has way too much sugar.

In the background is my next skein of spun yarn, my bag in the back is the wool I am spinning, the newest Ply spin magazine, and if you look in the background you can see my loom and my sheep-that I have had since the late 80's-the wife of a friend at work at the time was making these at Christmas time and I had to have one.

Happy T Day

Friday, June 23, 2017

Happy Friday Everyone

  It has been another hot and humid week here in the Ozarks, but a cool down is coming in later tonight-Next week looks awesome with much lower temperatures.  Perhaps I can get more weeds pulled in the garden next week.

  Yesterday I went into town and picked up the photos I had framed. On facebook I have been following a photographer that I really love
Thomas Szajner ,  I messaged him and asked if he sells his photos-he does so I bought two. One was taken with three bison females and a gorgeous backdrop as the sun was setting back in February and the other photo was a spring snow in April.  When I get them up on the walls I will share their photos as I love the frames.

  I will hang these in the living room so I can really enjoy them.

    I also needed to pick up a few items in town and ran into this Lodge cast iron square grill pan. I have been really wanting-needing a larger size grill pan than what I have so I snatched it up. Lodge is usa made though new they still make good heavy cast iron pieces. My favorite pieces and most of what we own is the vintage pieces by Wagner and Griswold but Lodge still makes good pieces. I saw one by the Pioneer Woman that was made here in the states too but not nearly as heavy and I liked the design and feel of this Lodge much better.

I found this photo online-I like that it is deeper than what I have and large enough for two pieces of meat. I like to get this super hot and then grill steaks etc-just like cooking over a fire outdoors but over a gas flame indoors.

We are going over to our friend's for fried catfish dinner. Last week hubs and him caught allot of catfish so tonight we will enjoy their catch. Our friend makes the best fried catfish-he has a fryer that gets super hot so that makes the difference-never greasy  and he makes a batch gluten free just for me-so I need to decide what I want to make and bring tonight. Perhaps cast iron cornbread not sure yet.

Have an awesome weekend everyone

Update: new photos
    I decided this morning to re season my go to cast iron pieces that I use all the time-about 10 of them. The new Lodge says they are pre seasoned but I still washed it up and re seasoned anyway
    First photo is the new pan on the left and to the right is my old vintage grill pan

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy T Day & a Catch Up Post

Good morning everyone,
    On Tuesdays I enjoy joining in with Elizabeth's T Party where we share our week and a beverage. Click on T for Tuesday's button in the right column to learn more and join in.  (I am posting early as I am enjoying free time this morning)

  Not allot happening here. It has been very very hot and humid so I am not outdoors much in this kind of weather. We have gotten some rain which the veggie plants needed. My tomato plants are doing pretty well especially the ones that got yanked out of their pots twice now. lol We believe it is the deer doing it and not the raccoons. and surprise the impatients they ate down to the roots are beginning to show some leaves again which made me smile.

  I have been tired and also have lack of energy lately. Blame it on getting older, the extreme heat indexes here and allergies-which have been difficult since last fall for me. So I have been doing more reading, hand spinning, and the other evening I picked up my basket of civil war hexagon pieces to work on too. I also am planning to start cutting and sewing my newest quilt project very soon-see last post, I just need to finish up some things in the bathroom and get started back on setting rocks as well-which is actually fun for me to do.

     I have been taking the Boswellia and Turmeric Curcumin for a couple months now and it really has made a huge difference with my left hand which I had injured in a fall a couple years ago. These herbs have really taken away the swelling allot and helped with the pain. 
    I wanted to see if these herbs improved my hand function enough to hold and hand stitch the hexies again. And it has made a huge difference. Just can't go overboard hand sewing for more than an hour at a time,  which I tend to do with my craft projects.
    I wish I would have started this quilt project before my hand injury. I love these civil war reproduction fabrics so much and also the pattern--- that I am just going to continue on and see what ends up-It may not be the queen size quilt but something else 

Those blocks with the turkey red centers will be the focal point of the quilt-placed in the middle of the quilt and then different color combinations of the civil war reproduction fabrics for the rest of them. I will be using a light beige around each block and then a chocolate brown for the rest of the "filler" hexies.

   As I had mentioned in a past post I was trying out a new method for gluten free bread-my first attempt was the best the rest of the breads in that batch were still just too gummy inside but the wildlife enjoyed all that bread-they ate it up right away-there were allot of whole grain flours in it  
    So to make me feel better about baking I made hubs a sourdough rye bread that he says was perfect. I had ordered in a more sour rye starter from Austria for these breads-so it reminded me I do know how to bake. Gluten free bread baking is just difficult-and pie crusts I still have not gotten that right yet for gluten free.

  We were invited yesterday to a grill party at a friend's house. His parties are always fun lots of food as everyone brings a dish and he knows so many people that we get to meet and visit more of his friends.
   I usually bring a pie as the other typical sides are covered. and I do love baking fruit pies learned from my Mom and Grandma so they are country style pies with loads of fruit and the men all love them. I decided to make cranberry-blueberry this time I also made a batch of gluten free brownies and baked them in some mini cupcake liners and served them on a plate with some of my handmade dark chocolate bark placed in those same liners- I had made a huge batch of the bark last winter and just keep it in the freezer for times like this.

For my drink to share this week-we had purchased a watermelon that was a bit over ripe last week-especially in the center. This makes into excellent watermelon margaritas though-so I made hubs and I a batch one evening. Delicious and refreshing!

Happy T day everyone!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Good morning Wednesday-Very Hot and Humid Here in the Ozarks- a Little Gardening and my Crafts

  Last week I spent several days pulling weeds and more weeds-they were all waist deep-at least-so quite the job. Still didn't get it all finished-the veggie garden was the first area I worked on so I could plant a few things along with my tomato plants. I got about half the flower area completed.
   I have been having critter problems though-from getting all of my little tomato plants I grew from seed ripped out of the big pots in front of the house, to eating down to the roots all of my impatients-geesh has been quite aggravating to say the least. I have never had a problem like this before-thinking some of it is raccoons and thinking deer decided to eat my flowers-which they have not done before with impatients.
     We are at the point we need a good rain so I can finish up with the weeds and get more flower seeds planted. We are to have some rain come in this week.

     Yesterday I needed to do a food shopping run and I also had two photos that I had purchased from a photographer that takes amazing shots at Yellowstone-so I wanted to get them to the framer.  We have a local glass and paint shop nearby that does a good job framing. I had taken my own frame in and a piece of my art work to get framed a couple years ago and was very happy with the work.
    I haven't been able to shop in Springfield for frames so I just decided to order them in--I think they will be beautiful when finished-can pick them up next week. Of course they are photos of bison-lol

   I got out my pattern layout and dug out the fabrics for my Yellowstone inspired quilt. Hoping I got the math right for a queen size. I had found a pattern of different size blocks that used 5 fabrics and then they just mixed them up in the pattern. So I printed the layout and then needed to make it much bigger-from a lap quilt to a queen-I want to start cutting and stitching soon. I have 10 fabrics instead of the 5. I am going to cut and stitch each row at a time so I can see how the fabrics look-so then I can change a fabric if I want to. (I found this free online sorry don't remember where-click to enlarge so you can read the pattern)

      I got motivated to start this project as a friend of mine Val is a long arm quilter and is taking in work-so I am planning on using a wool batting with the flannel fabrics both front and backing for a warm and comfy quilt. She uses pantograms and has the perfect one for this quilt. So am excited as I don't know any one near me to quilt it for me.

   I am also still spinning up the cheviot wool with my drop spindle in the evenings.  Am sticking to this one til it is all spun up-and then I will decided how I want to dye it.

Enjoy your day everyone!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Gluten Free Bread-Adventure

I baked up my first loaf yesterday late afternoon--this one does actually taste like bread-finally--but still a tad bit too doughy for me-just a tad. 
    This recipe makes 5 small loaves and you just keep the dough in the frig for up to 10 days and bake when you want.     This is not your "average" dough especially if you are a baker of homemade breads. Very wet very sticky-next loaf I will work it more into a higher ball shape, I think I will also let it rise longer and bake a tad longer too.  
   First attempt though I am pleased-love the crust-perfect crunch to it for an artisan style bread. I used the author's flour recipe for 50% whole grains.

 The book I am using is here the authors are also on you tube with videos and they have a blog as well. They also are helpful with answering any questions with this bread making technique. The authors also have books out on wheat breads and I just bought their pizza and flatbread book-thought would be fun out on the grill.

      For gluten free they suggest using a heavy mixer to get it well mixed-a major problem they discovered if mixing by hand.

                   Store dough in this food safe plastic tub let it                                        rise for two hours

                              Ready to go into the frig

                       My first gluten free artisan loaf

Monday, June 5, 2017

T Stands for Tuesday and the Badlands (lots of photos)

Happy Tuesday everyone!!  I am joining in with my T friends hosted by Elizabeth. Click on the link in right hand column to take you to the T party where you will meet some amazing artists and awesome bloggers.

    On our drive to Yellowstone Park from Missouri we decided on the way to drive the route that took us through the southern area of South Dakota. If we needed a rest stop there was allot of things to see along the way. We passed up many things as there just wasn't enough time.
    We had stopped to fill up for gas and asked what the scenic route through the Badlands was all about-and someone took out a map and said it was a must see. Our National Park Passes got us in.  This was well worth it-I had never seen such a landscape before, or did I even know what the Badlands was really about. I was looking at things with an artistic eye-and wow so many possibilities. The wool roving I picked up reminded me of these colors.
     This was a nice area to stretch our legs. we climbed up pretty high-amazing views. We spotted a deer that was just standing close by as the people walked right past him. He stood there for us so we took his photo-no zoom-he was right there.
    It was here on our way out we got to see a small gathering of female big horn sheep with one newborn--so adorable. This was one of the animals I really wanted to see.

Do click on photos to enlarge for better viewing

It was just before dark that we made it to Mount Rushmore. I really wanted to drive where the native american on his horse was too but we just ran out of light to go and do that. It also was very very windy up there and started to snow. the second photo was me trying to capture the snow lol

For my beverage this is my desk where I am typing my blog-my box of snacks, my yellowstone mug, and of course I needed to bring back a big bottle of mountain water lol oh and I forgot about my two herb bottles of turmeric extract with black pepper and boswellia to help with joint inflammation of arthritis and help with the pain-it does really make a big difference for me

and this is my photo again of the wool roving I picked up to spin-the browns I also saw in Yellowstone, but this roving really reminded me of the Badlands

Oh and one more thing before I go-I had several of you ask about the bison roving. Yes this is incredibly soft-it is the down that the bison grow for an extra winter layer to keep them warm. come spring and early summer they rub on bushes etc to remove this layer. It is collected by hand so labor intensive. It is too fragile to spin on my hand spindle so I am going to see how it goes on my spinning wheel-and if I still have too much trouble-I am a newbie spinner still-I will blend it with alpaca for ease of spinning. stay tuned for progress lol

and and Happy Wedding Anniversary to my dear husband and I-celebrating 35 years today-wow-I had to look that up too lol

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sourdough Baking Today

The wheat sourdough culture was in need of feeding and baking this week. 

So, yesterday morning I took out my King Arthur crock with the wheat starter fed it a 1/4 cup of warm water and 1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour. Around 7:30 last nite I poured all this into a big pottery bowl and did the next proof with 2 cups warm water and 3 cups of the same flour.

12 hours later this morning-it looks beautiful!! lol

I took out two cups to put back into my now cleaned crock and put back in the frig for next time-and decided to make up a big french loaf and also a pan of raisin cinnamon rolls with what was left-I can't eat these but they sure smell sooo good baking.

Out of the oven:

        cinnamon and raisin rolls just out of the oven

                           with icing drizzled all over

If I could eat one I would definately be sampling that small one in the corner lol  Hubs had to go to town this morning so am hoping he gets back in time to try one still warm.

I did pick up the book before my trip for a different approach to gluten free bread baking:  Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois  
     which I am hoping to try out this weekend or next week for sure.  I needed to find a 5 to 6 gallon proofing bucket with lid for their method as you make up a big batch of dough-it rises for the most part in the frig and then you just break off what you need for a loaf or what ever making. It stays in the frig for up to 10 days, so along with their other gluten free bread baking tips I am hoping for success.
     I found the buckets I needed at King Arthur

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Few Things I Brought Home With Me from Yellowstone-photos

    Since this trip was my first vacation trip since leaving home after high school graduation in '67 of course I planned to look for some unique and memorable items to take home with me.

   I also looked for things that were made in the USA and not China or other countries I was successful in that, everything I bought was made here in the US except my gift (for becoming a member) from the Yellowstone Forever store I chose the bison stuffed animal and it was made in China-which surprised me since most everything they sell in their stores and online is made here in the US. This is a nonprofit organization-education center for Yellowstone Park. What was funny, Hubs knew I wanted to see lots of bison and their babies and says to me when I got home "what you didn't bring home a baby bison?" -smiling I said actually I did lol

    I picked up a couple things at the Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center too. This is an educational center as well. They have grizzly bears and a couple wolf packs to view during their feeding times. Sometimes if you catch it just right you can watch the bears test different products or I just missed an event-how Not to set up your camp site in bear country. If you are on facebook they posted lots of photos on what the bears did to that camp site. educational indeed if you plan to camp in bear country.

note: photos will enlarge for better viewing just click on them

I picked up this handmade pottery piece from a local artisan love it. 

I was happy to find this unique coffee cup and it is so comfortable in the hand-it is my go to cup now. Found this at the Yellowstone Forever store.

These next photos are from the quilt shop shown from the bag in last photo. The first photo is hand dyed roving to spin. I fell in love with it as it picked up colors I viewed in Yellowstone and the Badlands.

The second photo my friend found in her shop that she picked up for her Mom who quilts. I bought a package too for my Yellowstone inspired quilt. These are laser cut appliques from batik fabrics of animals found in the park they are already to press down and then stitch. I had bought several pieces of cotton flannel from this shop last year, and she also sells bison roving too. So I was pleased to meet her.

In her shop she also sold handmade jewelry, stones and rocks, and a few gift items. I picked up the porcelain shot glass of Old Faithful since it was very pretty.

I love cookbooks so picked this one up which is a conglomeration of several popular Montana cookbooks

Of course I wanted a T shirt, found this one at the Old Faithful gift shop along with two matching shot glasses.

Near the Badlands I picked up a small jar of huckleberry jam-wow very delicious all fruit. I found the same company with lots of other choices at one of the grocery stores where we stayed in West Yellowstone. I picked up their huckleberry syrup for margarita making but forgot to grab a larger jar of the jam. I did find them online Huckleberry Haven-they use hand picked wild huckleberries from Montana in their products. So I know I can get more.

I also did get a bag full of surprises from my favorite author-Peggy Henderson, which included three of her books, a stainless hot commuter cup and a water bottle with her logo. Very thoughtful.  

I am Enjoying and Loving having many of these finds around me and to inspire.