Lately, in a roundup sort of way

by Stef on October 23, 2013

in Food, Knitting

Eastsidebride, my internet spiritual guide, recently posted: Weirdly, when things are going well in other realms, it makes me clam up on the interwebs. I’m always more inclined to blog when I’m avoiding doing something else.  Which, yeah.  Pretty much that.

I’ve been doing A LOT lately, but none of those things have been internet or blog related, unless you count looking up houses, knitting patterns or researching sourdough, which is pretty much all I do these days.

First of all, my recent sourdough success has shown me just how wrong I was last time around.

sourdough bread

There was this loaf, the first of a new method and it opened my eyes and convinced me that great sourdough can be made at home.  Please ignore the yellow cast (thanks, dark kitchen) and dirty counter because taking and editing perfect pictures is precisely the thing that stops me from blogging lately so we can have these ugly ones or nothing.

sourdough bread

Then, THIS.  Would you look at that texture?!  It was chewy and filled with tons of holes without being overwhelmed with huge ones.  It was super sour and just… gooooood. Like, really good.  Although not as tall as I would have liked, the size was the fault of too little dough in too large of pan, not the rise of the dough itself.  This loaf made me realize that my previous attempts were great bread, but not real sourdough.

sourdough bread

Then, this.  Oh god that counter is so nasty, I promise you it’s clean now.  This loaf came out of the pan perfectly and was a great size, although not as sour as I would have liked and too dense of a crumb, my fault because I totally forgot it on the first rise then tried to rush the second.  Lessons, they are being learned.

If we can take a quick moment of silence, I’ll now tell you that my gorgeous, lively, miraculous starter is… dead.  I had him in my preferred resting environment, in the oven with just the light on, then pre-heated the oven to make dinner.  He slow baked in a semi-solid lump before Alan noticed a weird smell… sooo…. I’ll be starting over again.

pie1

pie2

We made some new friends in town and I brought pie to their house because food is my default method for sharing and getting to know new people.  The pie was excellent, the prospect of another family to hang out with is thrilling.  Obviously I left the leftovers at their house because, while I love pie, I’m not a total psycho, but then I decided that maaaaaybe we needed more pie too, so this happened last night.  It’s not pretty but it’s good.  Like, fucking good.  I’ll refer you to Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Pie if you’d like a recipe.  Ours isn’t exactly the same but it’s close enough to not be worth my time typing out a new recipe.  I use whatever apples I feel like, more flour in the apples, more spice, used some really gorgeous handmade Amish butter that just appeared at our grocery and added some salt to the filling because I really enjoy that sweet/salty thing in my baked goods.

Next up, my Mom and I decided to do the craft show then I had to schedule oral surgery, which I’ve been informed in no uncertain terms is serious surgery, not just pulling teeth, so we’re not getting a table this time around but that hasn’t stopped me from churning out nightly knitting projects.  By the way, your feedback on the survey was fantastic.  You guys seem to be interested in buying knit goods and would pay on the high end of the spectrum for things, which is thrilling because it means at least some people appreciate handmade wares.

So, knitting.  I’ve amassing quite the collection of things to sell and I’m slowly chipping away at my holiday gift list.

knitting1

Be-autiful Manos del Uruguay Maxima that just happened to be the wrong color for my gift list thanks to internet ordering.  I decided to just knit up stuff to sell in the hopes of breaking even.

yarn

The final (final?!) order for holiday gifts – herein lies yarn for my sister-in-law (Alan’s sister), Alan’s Grammy, one brother’s wife and hooooopefully something that works for my brothers who I’m finding very tough to knit for.  I’m torn on what is suitable Man Knitting.  If you’re still reading, would your guys wear a hat and scarf?  If you knit, what do you knit for the men in your life?

scarf

Semi-finished scarf for a family member, who doesn’t read but I still won’t mention here in case they decide to take up blog reading.  This was pre-blocked and the finished scarf is so beautiful, I’m almost a bit smug about it.

And finally, in totally unrelated news — We’ve dusted ourselves off from the blow of not getting that house and looked at a few other places which just made me whine about The House.  THEN we looked at a new The House and it is the house to beat all houses.  Starting with the bad, as I am frequent to do, it’s 2 bed, 1 bath, like 1000 sq feet on a generous day, with the teeniest little kitchen to rival some of my college apartments and really 70s fabulous (but not even slightly fabulous and really just gross 70s), which is to say that it’s nothing that we wanted yet somehow EVERYTHING WE’VE ALWAYS WANTED?!

We looked at another house the same day, a tidy little cabin on a small piece of land which was beautiful, really, but that’s not very interesting, is it? A beautiful place that needs no work is not the house of my dreams.  To be fair, I wasn’t just being stubborn, because it was too small as well with no option for an addition or proper lot locations to put a garage.  We moved along, intending to breeze through the second place because time was tight but as we trailed along in our little three car caravan and I saw, very happily, that the lot next door was for sale, then caught sight of the house itself, I could feeeeeeel Alan smiling in his car before I even saw his face.  We hopped out of the cars and he immediately said better pull out the checkbook and I knew we were going to at least try to make this place work.  It has a huge – HUGE - barn and a legit wood burning stove and I was all shut the fuck up with your adorable stove imagine the sourdough I could bake in here all one phrase say it really fast! which amused neither Alan nor our realtor but who cares because stove!  I’m getting ahead of myself (shocking!) because it’s priced too high and we haven’t offered yet but I consider this a major milestone.  Every other house has paled in comparison to the first house and now this house has taken the lead, so there is reason to hope and be positive and I’ll consider that enough for now.

If you just skim, I’ll break it down for you real quick: KNITTING! SOURDOUGH! HOUSE!  Per usual.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate October 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I’m loving all your pretty knitting. I’ve been working on two blankets and a sweater and that will be the extent of the Christmas gifts this year – and they’re all going to one person (my new nephew due December 23). As for mens knits – my husband loves hand knit mittens, hats, scarves so I say yes – they’re always appreciated.

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Kate October 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm

And very much luck with your house!!

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süsk November 10, 2013 at 2:32 am

Can I come to your HOUSE for some SOURDOUGH and KNITTING? Seriously, awesome! And I didn’t even notice the manky counter until you pointed it out, dewd. Ha!

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Laura December 4, 2013 at 11:54 am

Your knitting is looking lovely. This year I’m knitting hats for the men in my life. xoxo

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