Shenanigan Sunday

Sunday was ridiculous, as usual. We went to breakfast with my dirty hippie NSA watchlist buddy and discusses our usual: reuse, reduce, recycle, make things and get weird. He makes candles and is doing a bang up job selling them. We stopped by at his house after breakfast, to continue complaining about the government (NSA: WHY DON’T YOU EVER CLICK “LIKE” ON MY BLOG? OR MY FACEBOOK STATUS? OR MY TWEETS? DON’T YOU THINK I’M PRETTY? CALL ME!) and I noticed he had some particularly interesting crates laying around. He offered me one, it’s a corn crate, we are in the middle of corn country. I like it, right now it’s outside, hanging with the outside things.

wpid-20140803_104051.jpgthe greyhound approves.

After that, I went to the local farm stand and bought everything:

wpid-20140803_103939.jpgnot pictured, 10# of sweet corn.

I got some local honey as well. I am dying to try the sauerkraut. Dying. Like, I might just get a spoon.

I also made another batch of cinnamon rolls for the people at the factory I work at. I like them a lot. They’re great people.

wpid-20140803_114241.jpgahoy! a fair sea of frosting!

Then we went off to the in laws and had lunch and then off to a barbeque! I had a busy Sunday! But it was a lot of fun!

I got my Java Moss today and I will be posting about it tomorrow, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Finally, Wedding Stuff!

music is NSFW

then I PROMISE never to write about it again!

THANK THE LORD IT’S OVER!!

(if you need any of the “pre-show” please click this tag: “wedding“)

Before this, there were two gigantic shopping trips for supplies. I also made aprons for my bridesmaids, the pattern was from this site, Molly’s Sketchbook and they were very easy and stunning! Let’s begin at the week of…

Day One, Monday: was to pick up my amazing and ridiculous maid of honor at the airport. She is from Florida! After showering me with gifts of flamingo related items (I collect flamingos, really, it’s pretty epic) and getting her to my home, I settled her into the guest room. We went to my aunt’s house, my aunt married us. She is ordained and goes by Ordained InterFaith Minster, Priestess. She’s all around amazing. We discussed final plans for the ceremony (here is a picture of some silly/not my style vows) I think we all got entirely too drunk later on in the evening. Aw, shucks. My dear maid of honor also gave me this STUNNING crochet blanket. Fitting as she is the crazy lady who taught me!

wpid-20140706_140916.jpgthis is half of it, it’s huge!

Day Two, Tuesday: We spent the day with my maid of honor’s parents, a little bit of shopping, I got some amazing earrings (more on them in a future post, I’m making a matching necklace), she got a beautiful bracelet, we had lunch, swam in her parents pool and a delightful dinner. We managed not to drink too much. We were good girls. Also I started the preferment for the bread. Which was like, baby heavy. Like, heavy as a baby.

Day Three, Wednesday: COOKIE APOCALYPSE. My girl and I worked hard and made eight dozen cookies. 4 dozen chocolate chip, 4 dozen sugar cookies. The recipe was from the JoyofBaking.com and were absolutely amazing!

wpid-20140625_071409.jpgwhole lotta cookies goin’ on. that lovely betsey johnson purse on the stool was from my now husband. i love her purses!

wpid-20140625_071343.jpgthis is the insanity that was my kitchen…FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER. WE WENT THROUGH FOUR POUNDS OF BUTTER.

It went rather smoothly, we kind of worked out a system and just kept banging cookies out. Immediately after they cooled, I put them in the freezer. We sampled a few, obviously. That day, after all of that, we had the bridesmaids over for lunch and I gave them their aprons. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take pictures of them, because, well, I was sort of busy ๐Ÿ˜‰ After that was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. Everything went smoothly and I apparently kept apologizing to the waitress that I was “hosed” as in very drunk. Which, I was, granted. Momma needed to drink to keep from pooping herself!!

Day Four, Thursday:ย BREAD APOCALYPSE! Oh my baby Jesus. I literally borrowed every bowl and pan I could get my hands on. Every single one. Also I went through every kitchen towel we owned.

wpid-20140624_101755.jpgthis is just the preferments, BEFORE THEY GREW.

It was insane. You see the picture above, of the island in the middle of my kitchen? Imagine that, FILLED with cut up preferments. We did 10 batches of bread, that made about 16 rolls each batch. I did a regular french bread, just yeast, flour, salt and water.

wpid-20140626_111953.jpgI numbered each bowl of dough separately so I knew what order to bake them in. Sometimes I am clever. This isn’t all of them, by the way.

After the first few rolls, my maid of honor got the hang of shaping rolls. I did write about shaping rolls, well actually I was making pitas, but same procedure without the rolling pin. So we did about 160 rolls, which looked something like this:

wpid-20140626_145721.jpgI think we filled three gigantic bags, maybe four. I don’t remember. Those are the JUMBO bags, not the measly regular gallon bags. Also, those bowls are every single person who has a bowl, loaned out to me.

Immediately, they went in the freezer with the cookies. I wanted them to taste as fresh as possible.

Day Five, Friday:ย Food. Lots and lots of food making. We made a romaine salad, a chickpea salad, and the boys made potato salad(s) and coleslaw(s). The tent went up.

wpid-20140627_121648.jpgtables, chairs, lots of them!

Later on, I got a semi-surprise bachlorette party, I mean I knew everyone was coming over, but I didn’t know they were bringing, um, well you know. Lots of phallic looking gag objects. I got all beaded up and we got rather silly. It was pretty much amazing. I have the best friends. Not to brag or anything.

DAY OF, SATURDAY: I threatened that one of my bridesmaids needed to carry a bucket in case I pooped myself. Also, last minute I realized I forgot to sew a part of my dress, LOL, and pushed that sucker through the sewing machine at high speed. My brother arrived to practice the music, which he wrote. Our bar, apparently a gift from one of the groomsmen, made by himself, arrived. We thought we were just borrowing it!

wpid-20140627_121620.jpgobviously we cleaned up in here before the event. And by “clean up” I mean threw everything in the garage. We covered the pink floyd poster, it was to throw us off the trail.

Everyone arrived pretty early, I was still in a tank top and jeans. Can you tell by the choppy way I am writing this, it’s all kind of a blur? Truly, it was wild toward the end there. So let’s get to the HAND MADE WEDDING DRESS…

wpid-20140628_161412.jpg.jpegin my very messy dressing room.

wpid-2014062895161550.jpg.jpegsorry, it’s blurry, I was freaking pretty much out.

I wore my grandmother, June’s pearl bracelets and ring. Earrings from the husband and necklace as well.

There are a ton more pictures, but I don’t want to post pictures with other people in them, just out of respect for them. Well, ok, one. Only because I got permission. Express permission, as he just told me:

188we’d rather be drinking…

Isn’t he a handsome fellow? TAKEN! ๐Ÿ˜€

Trust me, it all went flawlessly as I could hope, I did not cry, I did not poop myself and I drank a pile of booze. The plant hoard served as the BEST centerpieces ever, there was a lot of ohhs and ahhs over my beloved hoard. And they were essentially free! Everyone had a great time, there may or may not have been streaking (not by myself!) and in all honestly, it was so much fun, so relaxed I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

I hope you enjoyed all the pre-show, this wild ride! I am personally, very happy and very glad it’s all over so I can get back to crafting stuff! Thanks for reading! I will not be changing my name on here, so I can have some semblance of internet privacy, so it’s still bmaryglaser.wordpress.com!

Too Too Too Many Things To Do

I’m cranking away on my To Do List. I’ve got a bit of time, waiting for the garden to be watered so I figured I’d hop on and get you all up to date before I leave at noon today.

Bread,

wpid-20140521_163353.jpgI let them rise on the porch yesterday because it was deliciously warm outside!

wpid-20140521_210245.jpgmy first attempt at making hoagie and sandwich buns. the shaping leaves something to be desired…

I also made pitas and we’re taking what’s left of the vienna loaf up in the RV to the Wiz. So we’re good on bread. I have to get groceries today, which is going to be interesting.ย  The list of things to get is probably more processed food than I have eaten in years. Not exactly thrilled about that but I am going to try to sneak as much fruit, veg and nuts in as I can. Also, I am going to make cookies! From my brother’s secret recipe. That’s his youtube link. If you want a giggle, check out his music. It’s pretty good, he’s actually writing the music for my wedding. Nevermind his terrible singing. Oh sure, he can sight sing, which is damn impressive, but he has a bad voice. We both do. If you want to watch suicide rates jump, play me some Neil Young and get me drunk enough to sing along.

you don’t want to hear me sing this…

Regardless, the kid is a musical genius. Seriously, bring him to a party and sit him at a piano and LOLZ will abound.

So, wanna see what else I did this morning?

wpid-20140522_080711.jpgmy lazy seedlings

wpid-20140522_080822.jpgwhat survived of the tomatoes…

Since the seedlings were getting better, THANK YOU ILLINOIS FOR FINALLY GETTING YOURSELF UNDER CONTROL, YOU DRUNK, and we’re leaving, I just stuck them in the ground. We’ll see what they’ll do when we get back. I don’t have high hopes, but I didn’t want to just waste them.

wpid-20140522_083036.jpggood luck, my little fellows!

The eyesore berm is finally growing grass,

wpid-20140522_085115.jpgi can not haz eyesore?

The lilac is blooming! That was a major surprise!

wpid-20140522_083542.jpgim pretty from the back. NSFW

The calla lily is going crazy,

wpid-20140522_083510.jpgall the lilies bloomed and blossomed, jilted and they’re withering, i can’t stop them shivering, oh this world is a war. I was there for this video. I cried, not really, but shut up ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am allowed to have a moment, right?

And my pussy willow is looking good!

wpid-20140522_083552.jpghere pussy, pussy, pussy, where can you be? This is safe for work, um, but, um, well it’s technically about a cat, but um, well, um, it’s from the 1930’s and um, well, just listen, ok? you won’t regret it.

And the hops are doing great! I see more beer brewing in out future!

wpid-20140522_083628.jpgI don’t have a weird song for this, surprisingly.

Speaking of beer, the wedding beer is on a second ferment!

wpid-20140522_085308.jpggot nothin’. well, you might like this but it’s a little more obvious. still 1930’s though.

It’s under a towel because light is not good for brewing beer. It’s pretty! And I did have a taste before we put it under wraps, it’s a fruity delicious beer!

Alright, everyone! I’m off to the Wiz! See you when I get back! ๐Ÿ˜€

Vienna Bread, Pitas, Trouble Makin’

well done, sir!

Just want to get this out of the way:

My goal from last Monday to this Monday was to not drive my Jeep. SUCCESS! It took a little maneuvering and extra trips, but I only used my bicycle! And I worked a full gazillion hours! Granted, I did carpool for a few trips, but I feel that it’s still a success! I was hoping to use this:

wpid-20140512_091538.jpgwscottling mentioned one of these in her blog…seriously, read that post, it was pretty interesting!!

but I managed okay with a backpack. I just have to make multiple trips. When I have to get dog food or something, I plan to make use of my granny cart! I got it from my uncle, who doesn’t remember where he got it and it’s just awesome. I intended to put streamers and a little horn on it because I have no shame, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

wpid-2014-05-12-16.14.03.png.pngthis is proof that i have no shame. my uncle made me do it! yes I had a few adult beverages and it was a ridiculous amount of fun and like years ago.

Today was my day off and I decided to make pitas and Vienna bread. Pitas, as I have noted before, are good any time and Vienna bread makes great sandwich bread. It’s an enriched loaf, which means it has more than just flour, yeast, water and salt. To start, I need a pate fermentee, which is really just a fancy way of saying pre-ferment.ย  Which is kind of like a flavor boost for bread. Since pitas do not require such fancy fixin’s I started them at the same time. Instead of making whole wheat, like I normally do, I made white pitas. Kind of lame, but not everyone loves whole wheat. And besides, I can make more whole wheat ones for me!

wpid-20140512_082220.jpgIT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

wpid-20140512_083345.jpgpitas, at rest

wpid-20140512_084339.jpgpate fermentee, at rest

wpid-20140222_135645.jpggreyhound and cat, at rest

I am trying to speed up the process. TECHNICALLY, I should have put the pre-ferment in the fridge over night, but I didn’t have that kind of time. So my reasoning was to finish the pitas and then move on to the Vienna bread, giving it time to work it’s yeast magic…stuff…

wpid-20140512_102919.jpgshaped into balls, roll ’em out, stick ’em in the oven.

wpid-20140512_112448.jpgdelicious!!

So waiting on the Vienna bread, I made a grocery list:

wpid-20140512_091432.jpgi am a lefty. watch me use a can opener and weep.

Then I hopped on the bike to the store. I managed to get most of what I needed at the local place and was starting to ride back when I saw another place I hadn’t been to before. I was under the impression that they only sold grains and like real specific things, so I dropped in for a visit. I did need lentils and they’re sort of a grain, right? Well, it was early in the morning and whomever was working there did not seem to be thrilled to see a smelly, sweaty chick raging in on a bicycle screaming about lentils. But she did point me to the lentils and I would have stayed longer to check it out, but, um, she didn’t seem in the mood. Oh well, I’ll try again. I wouldn’t want to deal with me first thing in the morning either. It’s nothing but off color jokes.

NSFW

I got home and put my stuff away and then went out to buy a lining for the wedding dress! I went to a big box store (booooo!) but there isn’t any locally owned place. Too bad I guess, I brought the top part of the dress in a tote bag and off I went. I looked at about every single purple in the store and went with…

drumroll…

drumroll…

wpid-20140512_123213.jpgwell, it’s certainly purple. i got that right.

wpid-20140512_123231.jpgi like it!

There was a darker purple that I liked better, but it was too dark under the crochet. It looked navy. Oh well, I am please! Now I just have to figure out how to do it! Cost of the wedding dress so far is $72. Suck it, David’s Bridal! That might be a joke only weirdos in the Midwest get. I dunno, any of ya’ll got a ridiculously expensive chain outlet that sells over priced wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses and are fairly useless? One of my friends is getting married in August and I am a bridesmaid and I DON’T EVEN WANT to tell you how much fun (none) going to David’s Bridal was. Anyway!

I got a ton of fabric so hopefully I am free to make mistakes, but I have a pretty concrete plan of “laying the crochet over the fabric and cutting or something like that.”

That’s my story. Sticking to it. On to Vienna bread!

wpid-20140512_153742.jpgGETTING BUSY UP IN HERRE!

As I mentioned, I prefer this in a bread pan to be used as sandwich bread, which means we have to shape it. Here’s how!

wpid-20140512_153933.jpglay the whole thing out and stretch it into a rectangle, sort of.

wpid-20140512_154030.jpgcut it in half and stretch it to be as long as the pan

wpid-20140512_154055.jpgroll it up, pinching it as you roll

wpid-20140512_154203.jpgstretch out the last bit and pinch the seam as well as you can.

wpid-20140512_154322.jpgturn it seam side down and roll it back and forth a bit so the seam calms down. It doesn’t have to be perfect, unless you’re serving the pope or something. that’s your business.

Set it in the pan and wait for it to rise!

Baked up and ready to eat:

wpid-20140512_172745.jpgwe almost ate the pan

The Beer Yeast Poolish

If you recall, the wedding beer was quite lively and gaseous.

wpid-20140324_081203.jpgGURGLE GURGLE GURGLE *RASPBERRY*

Loud enough that it startled me several times. In the picture above, you can see a measuring cup with some blow off yeast in it. Well, waste not want not!

I decided to try and make bread out of it.

wpid-20140326_205624.jpgrather unpleasant looking, i’d say

I hunted around the internet for any advice and mostly saw “don’t” and “it makes dense bread”. Well, screw you, INTERNET, you can’t tell me what to do!

I decided to start off with a poolish. If the yeast was lively, it would grow.

wpid-20140326_205921.jpgagain, unpleasant looking

Sure enough, within a few hours we had:

wpid-20140327_101445.jpgIT’S ALIIIIIIVVVVVVVVEEEEE!!

Perplexed with what step to take next, I put the poolish in the fridge for two days while I thought about it.

wpid-20140327_135145.jpgPoolish Day Two: imma gonna eat ur refrigerator…

A dense loaf, like sourdough, was what what the INTERNETZ told me to expect. So I decided to do an italian bread with sugar and to use milk instead of water. Unfortunately, I had to go to work so my lovely fiance was charged with shaping, final proof and baking. I left him with sage tips, such as, “if it turns into a taquilla, call a priest.”

wpid-20140329_093606.jpgi swear, i am not a taquilla! what is wrong with you?

I came home to…

Drumroll…

No, seriously, drumroll…

wpid-20140329_174849.jpgpretty sure that’s bread…

Not too bad for a first time shaping!ย  I’ve done worse! Seriously. Well done! Now what about the taste? If you recall, the wedding beer has raspberries in it and the yeast did have a slight raspberry smell. So we cut that bad boy open:

wpid-20140331_181809.jpgnot dense. ok, well i (bmary) am dense, but the bread isn’t

The flavor was slightly sweet and very good. It was not dense at all. I think the reason for this was that the yeast used was very fresh and the INTERNETZ was mostly discussing spent yeast, like from the bottom of the a beer after it brews. That I could see being considerably less lively. Regardless, this made very good bread! If you wanted to use spent yeast from a home brew, I would suggest feeding it much like a mother starter until it was fully awake and bubbly.

Screw saving a piece of wedding cake, we’ll save a beer thank you.

Fun With Francine – Baguettes!

Francine and I had another play date! Whoo hoo!

wpid-20140210_073632.jpgit’s a yeast party

I decided to try again with baguettes, as I tried in this post, only correcting some of my mistakes. Less whole wheat flour, more room temperature time. Again, this is loosely based on Pain a l’Ancienne from Peter Reinhart. This time, even looserly based.

wpid-20140222_080348.jpg“looserly based” – phrase made up by BMary to describe adventures in making a mess and ignoring better judgement of others

As this was a real fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants adventure, I feel that it would be okay for me to post the recipe. It’s not even close to the original.

wpid-20140223_105858.jpgcertainly worked though. yeah, baby, you eat that bowl, ya bad yeasty beasties.

Obviously, you would need a mother starter for this. If you don’t have one, well, you should make one. It’s not difficult, promise!

Francine is a whole wheat mother starter. There are as many varieties as there are types of flour. But they are basically wild yeast that you collect from where ever you choose to leave the flour/water mixture at. Don’t me intimidated. It works pretty flawlessly. Just be patient.

wpid-20140223_110034.jpgon the counter! this is like the best lazy person’s bread ever.

wpid-20140223_110347.jpguse a bench knife to cut it into strips. no shaping required!

wpid-20140223_120105.jpgbaked up decent, probably could still tweak it a bit.

wpid-20140223_134454.jpgwhat’s on the inside is what’s important.

Ok, so here we go:

2 and 1/4 C Water

3 and 1/2 C Bread Flour (or AP, whatever)

2 C Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp Salt

1/2 C Mother Starter (that has been left at room temperature overnight)

Put water in bowl. Put starter in water in said bowl. Mix flours in gradually in said bowl. Add salt somewhere in between. Mix until consistent. Set on counter until the bread dough attempts to eat the bowl. Might be a long time. If it’s too late to bake, just chuck it in the fridge. Let it warm up an hour before you bake. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Like really, preheat that baby. Pull out dough onto well floured workspace. Stretch dough (try not to degass it!) into a rectangle shape. Cut with bench knife into long strips. Put onto a greased pan and allow to rest while oven preheats. Put bread in oven. (NO WAY!) After two minutes, turn down the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for another 7ish. Check to make sure bread is baking evenly and has not turned into a calculadora. Rotate if it is not baking evenly and bake another 7 minutes, or until bread is at 205 degrees and brown and delicious looking. If it turns into a calculadora, call the oven repair person or your local priest. Try to wait ten minutes before consuming all loaves. Don’t burn yourself.

This version is much less bitter than the last one, due to the reduction in whole wheat. I think my next attempt will be a boule which is fancy French speak for shaping dough into a ball. If I do attempt that, I am probably going to have to modify the proofing times. We’ll see what happens!

Results from Francine a l’Ancienne!

Finally Francine got to work for me!

wpid-20140218_095833.jpgi’m awake!

If you recall yesterday morning we were here:

wpid-20140217_072927.jpg

WIP

So I was pretty thrilled that we got Francine a l’Ancienne to wake up. Next time, I will probably feed her and leave her out overnight before I mix up another batch.

wpid-20140218_100040.jpghappy mess

wpid-20140218_100443.jpgnot my prettiest work, but this dough is wet.

wpid-20140218_100739.jpgit’s okay, i’ll eat the ugly pieces.

wpid-20140218_110444.jpgbaked up, my new gigantic cooling rack.

wpid-20140218_111102.jpgholy moly!

Well, I definitely scored on the crumb! I gave it a taste test and unfortunately, we do need some improvements. Too much whole wheat made the bread a little more bitter than I would like. It will be great with soup or to scoop up sauces in, but it could be better. I had planned on using more bread flour in my ratio (I think I ended up with 70% whole wheat and 30% bread flour) but the dough firmed up before I got to the ratio I was planning on, which was six cups of flour, not four and a half or so. So lesson learned for next time, however I don’t think there’s going to be a problem getting this bread eaten!

While Francine was baking I went out and fed the wild birds and scooped a poop zone aka turdundra for the greyhound. I don’t know about you, but I would not like to poop up to my elbows in snow. I took a few snaps so you could see how snowy it is here!

wpid-20140218_102455.jpgdoesn’t do it justice

wpid-20140218_102642.jpgsad flamingo

wpid-20140218_102600.jpgi almost had to borrow some huskies to get over to the tree

wpid-20140218_102631.jpglast years hops

It needs to warm up here before I go crazy!!!

Francine a l’Ancienne

Good morning everyone!

wpid-20140210_073632.jpgpet yeast. it’s weird around here.

Francine and I had a play date last night. I decided to try using her as a starter for a delayed fermentation bread. I loosely based it on Peter Reinhart’s Pain a l’Ancienne from his book, just to get the proportions right. Ok, not even. I can’t even pretend that I used the book. Let me rephrase, I used experience from making the former described recipe and threw my hands in the air like I just don’t care and I might have farted at caution.

wpid-1392214955324.jpghave you met me? i do that a lot. my motto is “f*ck it, send”

Basically, I started with about two cups of water, a half cup of Francine, enough whole wheat flour to thicken, a couple teaspoons of salt and enough bread flour to make sure we have some structure. I used about a cup or a half a cup less than I would normally use, because I intend for this to be a very wet dough and hopefully (!) it will make a beautiful crumb. I wanna see more holes than Ron Jeremy. Ok, that was awful, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t come up with a better analogy.

So, I am sure you’re all dying to know, WHAT HAPPENED?

wpid-20140216_190849.jpgwater, salt, Francine and stuff

wpid-20140216_191040.jpgi figured i would mix Francine in first

wpid-20140216_191221.jpgbefore the bread flour

wpid-20140216_191748.jpgafter the bread flour…

Then I put the whole thing in the fridge overnight. This morning we have:

wpid-20140217_072927.jpgstuff…just sit tight…

Ok, my bowl doth not overflow. I am going to leave her out until I have to go to work and see what happens, if she rises a bit more. I mean, it obviously rose a bit, but not as much as I was hoping for. So I am going to give her some time. Francine likes to take her time, that is for certain and I don’t mind. If I have to bake her tomorrow, tomorrow I shall! I’ve got plenty of shenanigans to keep me busy.

Today I have to FINALLY make some calls for the whole wedding thing I am going to go through with on June 28th, of this year. God help me. I hate wedding planning with a severe passion. Everything is lined up, but I haven’t made arrangements. We’re going to have it in the back yard, so we need chairs and a portajohn or two. Also I need someone to officially make it so. And I need to call and order a pig for the pig roast. All the other food we are going to make, just salads and sides. It’s a picnic wedding! Ice cream and cookies for dessert. Screw cake, I don’t like cake. And I have never baked a cake, but I can bake cookies! Plus I have to get some of my grandmother’s jewelry fixed up, get to making my dress (groan) and probably 20 other things I have written down somewhere on the Great To Do List. Ugh, I am so glad I am not having a “real” wedding with a banquet hall, crappy catering and a fondant cake that tastes like cardboard. Do you know how much that costs? A lot. A whole disgusting lot. For what? Chair clothing? Can you see it? “Ma’am, I see you’ve refused to spend $5000 on coverings for these banquet chairs and therefore I am leaving.” Ha! One of these days I’ll post the Great To Do List, when I get some done!

all dressed in red, always the bride, off with her head, all dressed in white, off with her head

courtney sings the blues

Cinnamon Rolls and French Bread

What a baking day I had yesterday! I was finally getting over this cold and I decided I should skip one more day of work. But, um, I should, um, bribe my coworkers. With cinnamon buns. Because who couldn’t be bought by home made cinnamon buns?

wpid-20140211_060405.jpgain’t nobody. i could buy you with the smell.

Also I had to make bread for R, as she is trading me an ironing board. So I decided to try a french bread with 100% mother starter (since named Francine) instead of commercial yeast. So here we go!

Sunday I did the pre-frement, again with 100% Francine (mother starter) and I decided to omit the salt that I usually use in that pre-ferment because I have read (and noted) that mamma starter with her wild yeasty beasties tends to be a slower grower than commercial yeast.

wpid-20140210_092126.jpgpieces of the pre-ferment, mixing with the final dough

wpid-20140210_092244.jpgwhen i make bread and things are looking this shaggy, i usually pull it out of the bowl and just start kneading.

wpid-20140210_093632.jpgfrench bread on it’s way!

Phew! Now the cinnamon rolls. I’ve never made these before, so God willing and the creek don’t rise, it will not turn into a grapadoraย or anything other than delicious.

wpid-20140210_113831.jpgthere is a lot of butter in there…

wpid-20140210_114656.jpgnot going to lie, i tasted the dough, just to make sure it didn’t taste like a grapadora

wpid-20140210_144135.jpgand now we rest.

wpid-20140210_114755.jpgyou can see why i made enormous towels for bread baking. i can’t be the only person crazy enough to make two kinds of bread at once?

My plan was to do all the proofing and shaping for the cinnamon buns and then leave them in the fridge to bake off this morning. So they’ll be hot when I get to work. My cold shall be forgiven!

wpid-20140210_152110.jpgshaped baguettes. i never bother to score them. that’s just me.

wpid-20140210_145100.jpgthis is what rolled out goodness looks like. plus, i am an idiot.

wpid-20140210_145940.jpgcutting them down

And we rest…

wpid-20140210_152155.jpgbread takes a lot of rest. I took a nap too.

At about 5 pm I started to bake the french loaves and put the cinnamon buns in the fridge, lightly covered.

wpid-20140210_175528.jpg wpid-20140210_175514.jpgthat just looks tasty…

This morning I hauled my bulk out of bed at 5am (ok, I am usually up at 5am, but I’ve been sick!) to make the buns, hon.

wpid-20140211_051941.jpgfrosting. which is literally milk and powdered sugar. if you buy frosting out of a can, you clearly have not lived.

wpid-20140211_060405.jpg

They took quite a bit longer to bake, but that’s probably because I am an idiot and cut too many. So the pan was overstuffed. Alas and alack, I made it work.

wpid-20140211_061636.jpgi made too much frosting. LOL JK THAT IS CLEARLY NOT POSSIBLE HAVE YOU EVER EATEN A CINNAMON BUN AND SAID GEE I NEED LESS FROSTING???? IT’S A CINNAMON BUN, NOT A SALAD.

Whew! With an hour to spare before I have to bring these babies in, I am going to make some coffee!

wpid-20140211_063742.jpgafter the frosting soaked in a bit. damn, I should’ve saved some for my coffee!

Trading French Bread for an Ironing Board…

Did I ever tell you I love my friends? I do. Obviously, who doesn’t? But I have an amazing collection of friends. Yesterday while ironing out my fabric for my skirt on my wee little ironing board, I decided to shout out on Facebook to see if anyone had a real ironing board they would be willing to trade for. At 4 pm I sent the message. At 8 pm, my former neighbor, R, had procured me one by posting the same shout out on her page. How amazing is that? I am trading her french bread for the board and meeting her on Tuesday. I started my pre-frement today.

wpid-20140209_081538.jpgusing the mother starter

wpid-20140209_081734.jpgshaggy mess

wpid-20140209_083144.jpgnow we’re behaving!

wpid-20140209_084701.jpgit looks small, but it will grow…a lot…

wpid-20140209_084847.jpghiding it under a towel, a personally crafted bread towel I might add.

Seriously though, I am thoroughly impressed. I figured an ironing board was a long shot. But my former neighbor, not only is she a freaking riot (I can’t wait to see her, honestly) she came through for me! Her and her husband were the best neighbors you could ever ask for. Even her kid, going through teenage years, was absolutely hilarious and well behaved. He’s in the Navy now and I wish him all the best. Now, I am not trying to illustrate them as a bunch of well meaning fuddy duddies. Oh, no, they were literally a riot. Her husband looks like Caption Spaulding. Not even pretending to be kidding you. When I hang out with them I usually spent most of the time trying not to pee myself laughing. They are crass, honest and good people. My favorite kind of people. You can’t buy that.

Some Updates:

Still getting over this cold! Boo! But feeling much better!

My romaine and celeryย continue to do not a whole lot. Maybe I will plant them in the garden when it thaws. I’ve added another romaine butt and now three celery butts. They’re…doing stuff….

wpid-20140209_122454.jpgcan’t make a salad yet

The amaryllis is really kicking it into gear, thankfully!

wpid-20140209_122535.jpgpictured: not a slacker

And someone needs to tell my christmas cactus that it is not christmas…

wpid-20140209_122422.jpgpictured: certainly has no idea what month it is