Well here we are the morning after the storm and I'm making brownies. Sourdough brownies specifically, it takes about 25 minutes after the sponge sets most of the night to mix them. However I am a tad worried that they might come out a bit burnt as my oven is now running a lot hotter than it was before.
As for the storm...? Well we have ice, we have snow, and we have power. That makes me happy, not long after my post yesterday our internet went out for the whole day, it was expected as we have satellite internet; breathe the wrong way and it goes out. The kids again have no school so lets see... They had a total of 2 days of school this week, guess it's better then them not having any school at all. Granted though some school are having a late start today it would be near impossible for them to walk to the bus stop safely. Also as Silver mentioned yesterday due to the ice, we are not driving for the next couple of days.
We are planning on either tomorrow or Sunday to go out and set the rebar stakes into the ground, more likely on Sunday as we are going to be in the 50's then. Maybe I'll cook something outside on our mini grill if it's going to be that nice out. Though we had something interesting in the storm previous to yesterday's. The old dishwasher that was left on our property before we got here that we are going to turn into a smoker was knocked onto it's side by wind. Now it's sat on it's base for years and a couple of days ago it gets knocked over? Defiantly a strong wind, or rather strong gusts. The wind that day also picked up one of our 2 good outdoor chairs and dropped it in the pond breaking it. So now we are down to one outdoor chair, we need a couple more; hopefully we can find some more cheaply as we still have building supplies to buy.
Speaking of which on next Friday we will have money again and after bills/animal feed/gas are paid for and my DL is replaced we are going to go and buy soil for the apple trees then the next item on our building supply list. Which may be either wire, pipe or fencing for the dome itself. Depends on what we have left really.
Well have a nice day all, I have to go check my brownies as they are starting to smell very done way to soon. Where did I put that aluminum foil again?
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well today was FUN, we picked up the track hoe,;(again I am amazed that there is such a thing) and after seeing the full sized back hoe up close I defiantly think the track hoe is the better option for us. I was very happy when we picked it up that the hitch held, which I was worried about it. As we left the young man who got us hooked up (literally)
However as you can see when we got very close to home the tire..
...didn't last. Well I called the person about it, and he came out quickly with a replacement. Within 20 minutes and considering where we were sitting that was fast. He even made a joke, as he used the track hoe to lift the trailer. “It comes with it's own jack”, cute joke especially while we were pissed off at the loss of the time.
So we drove it home, the dirt road was so much -fun-; we had no traction and we had to go at about 15 miles an hour to go up the first hill. We had to “get off to the side” twice on the way to the house on the dirt road as no one would yield for us.
So the first order of business when we got home was, COFFEE! For Silver anyway, (btw pics will now be tossed in at random)I set up a new pot of coffee and put cookies in the oven for a warm treat. While he “figured out” how to start it. While he has used heavy equipment before this was a different model than he was use too using. Of course our dogs were not happy with this new loud scary looking device and only stopped barking once Silver stopped using it at about 4pm.
After he figured out how it worked he started on digging the pond out for our fishies to go in. I am also going to grow the edible water lilies and cat tails for food production. We are also considering either ducks or geese to keep in the pond, mainly to keep the algae down. If we get pairs then we can butcher the extras.
So we have a short area for the little fishies and the cat tails to grow in. Then a deeper area for catfish and full grown other fish. We are considering Tilapia. I think the deep part is at least 6 foot deep maybe deeper, hard to tell until the extra dirt is “ground down” and we can tell the “actual” ground line. After we finished it off and worked on a few other projects we discovered something that may be very good news. We may have a spring under where we dug for the pond. I will know more tomorrow after it has sat overnight.
When we finished working the pond Silver went out and dug a septic for the dome out past our tree line. The only problem we had there is he was hitting something too hard for the track hoe to cut through after about 3 foot down. So he had to opt for a wider septic than a deep one, which we would have preferred. Once he finished that he dug the trench for it all the way into the area we have cleared for the house.
The next item we did was “unpleasant”, but necessary. We needed to dig out some more on our current septic. No I did not take pictures of it, I didn't want to take pictures of it shudders it's disgusting.
After that Silver went and turned the garbage pile of things we cannot burn or are already burned and is just the garbage ash. The thing that surprised me was that it seems some of the things “out there” are decomposing. Now before anyone rips my head off. Please recall the post where I commented on the fact that while I really want to be “green” I know in some things it not possible. Garbage, is one of those “things” I burn my trash, then I dispose of the ash and the “unburnables” in a pile that will not if it ever composes down be used for food crops. However, I will be happy to grow flowers over them.
That is all we have managed to do today, tomorrow we dig the trenches for the well and the electric. Then Silver will have to find things to do with it.... I am sure he will figure something out, one thing he wants to do is remove that engine block that was here when we moved in.
I am baking some sourdough brownies right now, and tomorrow morning is a bread/laundry day. Have a happy weekend everyone!
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
So here I am with what now seems to be a once a week update of sorts.
I started my plants yesterday I filled 2 trays so far, and I'm thinking of in a month or so starting cukes and squashes to see if they grow better from starts. I discovered that I did not use up all the sugar cane seeds I got from Listia so I put six into the tray to see if I can get them from starting in the house. I'm using a “all weather” birding journal to keep tabs on this year's plants and with what I planted yesterday I have nearly filled all the lined pages.
Silver has pointed out that I probably should wet the starting mix before I put it into the “cells” so I don't have to water under them to avoid losing my seeds. ...hindsight... I defiantly think I'll be doing that next time.
I am hoping for 100% on my plants, but who really knows right? I have it set for 12 of each of the two types of tomatoes that I want to grow. I did 6 sweet peppers 2 of each of the ones I have and 6 hot peppers 3 of two of the multitude I have of those. I have some onions planted as well as cabbage, mini Bak Choi, edible chrysanthemums, nastrums, Kale, and a variety of herbs. I am hoping this time I get the lemon grass to grow good.
We have gone and found out how much a track hoe (wow it really is a “track hoe” ) would cost from a Saturday to Monday. It would be $350, and that's considering that Sunday is given as a freebie. Just need a nice weekend and the money and we can get the digging we need done. Oh, that price includes the trailer to bring it home.
We didn't get the package of insulation that I wanted to try to make the papercrete to try out, so we'll have to make an extra trip before we can buy supplies just to try it out. As I'd rather buy in large quantities only once and have it all delivered. We did discover that we are paying about ½ price when we buy the rebar in 20ft lengths, it's just a matter of getting it home after the fact. Which again would be best to include in a delivery option.
We did find out during the last rain storm that the area the house is going does get water during storms, but we are planning to build a bit off the ground; so we should be ok there.
Well I'm up again baking bread at this early hour and I need to return to it. Have a good day everyone!
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
We've been silent on the blog as we have not been able to get on the net as much as we'd like too. So an update to things going on here. Well we've had crazy weather again. For 3 days we've had spring-ish temperatures, yesterday we had severe weather in the form of severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes. Today the forecast is for occasional snow flurries and what ever our temperature this morning at 6am would be our high for today. It's so nice to see winter coming back, and I'm serious as I do have flowers that I don't want killed off due to the weather being wonky. Due to the rain yesterday our “pond” (which is still not finished being dug) is filled to the current spill over.
We have finally come to a good place in working with our wood stove, we have it burn new wood at the coal stage only and we have a smoldering fire all day and night. We don't “burn ourselves out” and it stays toasty enough. We also seem to have hit the spot in the wood pile where the densest wood seems to be at. Which is good for long burning anyway.
In the last week I have gotten up at 3 am to bake bread, I have to say I may be doing it more often. The bread I have made these last two times has been heavenly. Good flavor and just the right “weight” (if that makes sense), silver told me today that I need to get up at 3am every morning now. Guess that means he likes it huh?
We have made a small discovery that we hope will work like we think. Loews sells “blown in” insulation that is “green”. This insulation is made from shredded recycled paper. Silver has been wanting to do papercrete on the interior of the dome to insulate it. My only issue had been, where do we get that much paper. Then we noticed that insulation, we are planning on buying one bag and trying to mix some papercrete up and see if it does well with the insulation. If it works out I will let everyone know. Silver is also looking for a way to combine the wall flue of a Russian Masonry stove and a rocket mass heater. Any Recommendation would be helpful.
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
I love fresh bread, just ask anyone! I also really love my sourdough so when I found this new recipe I had to share it.
Now I am at this moment baking some of this bread, yeah it's a tad late in the day for us. However, we have a VERY good reason for it. I found another no-knead bread recipe for my sourdough. It's a white bread recipe, that you make a "batter" in the long rise time; it seems more like a sponge though.
The book is called:
"Adventures in sourdough Cooking & Baking"
By: Charles D Wilford
Copyright 1971 and 1977
The First part of the recipe Page 31:
Primary Batter "B"
1C sourdough starter
1 & 1/2 C white flour
1 C warm water
1 & 1/2 C Primary Batter "B" for baking
1 C batter to return to your starter
2 & 1/2 C total
1. Assemble all ingredients and utensils
2. Remove your sourdough starter from the refrigerator and stir well. Take out one cup and place it in a warm bowl of 2 qt capacity or larger. Return remaining starter to refrigerator. The large size bowl is necessary to prevent spillage as the batter will expand greatly during it's proofing period. The final quantity will be around 2 & 1/2 or 4 cups total.
3. Add the warm water and stir until well mixed. Slowly add the white flour stirring continually to blend the flour in well. Stir 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and lump free, or use an egg beater or electric mixer. (yes it says a MIXER!)
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free area for proofing. (now I use a plate that fits over my bowl and it works fine)
5. The proofing period is 8 to 12 hours depending on how active your starter is when taken from the refrigerator. Your batter is ready when it is foamy and full of large bubbles. It can be used at any time after this point up to 4 hours. If your batter has many tiny bubbles in it, it has already reached the proper state. If no or few bubbles are present during the 8 to 12 hours after proofing your starter is not acting properly and you should determine the reason for this before continuing with the recipe.
6. During the proofing period there is a chance that crust will form at the top of your batter. If this happens just stir it back down into the batter. The same is true of any liquid which might form on top.
7. At the end of the proofing period stir the batter thoroughly. Take out one cup and put back into your starter container. Stir your starter thoroughly and return it to your refrigerator.
White Bread recipe on page 86
No-knead Sourdough Bread (white)
1 & 1/2 C Primary Batter "b"
1/2 C warm milk (I let it get to room temp)
1 &1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
2 T cooking oil or melted Shortening (I use butter)
2 & 1/2 C flour
Yield: 1 loaf
1. Prepare the Primary Batter "B" following the directions in Chapter 4. Be sure that you return one cup of batter to your sourdough starter container before adding any other ingredients.
2. Assemble all ingredients and utensils. Let all ingredients come to room temperature.
3. In a warm 4qt bowl (I use my 8 qt pots) mix the milk, salt, sugar and cooking oil together.
4. Beat the egg well and (then) mix it thoroughly into the mixture in step 3
5. Add the 1 & 1/2 cups of Primary Batter "B" and mix well again.
6. Add 2 & 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time; and beat vigorously until all the flour is blended in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Cover the bowl and set in a warm 85 degree place for about 2 hours for proofing. When dough has doubled in bulk stir it down thoroughly. (now I find this one "odd" no "punching" down)
8. Pour into a well greased loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Pat the top smooth with floured hands (btw.. I have not done this in the 2 times I have tired this)
9. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm 85 degree place until it reaches about 1 inch from the top of the pan. About 1 hour and 45 minutes.
10. bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. When bread starts to shrink away from the sides of the pan it is done.
11. When done, remove bread from the oven and brush the top with melted butter. Place on a wire rack to cool immediately.
Now this produces a beautiful loaf of bread, so good that when we made it the first time we ate the whole loaf as soon as it was cool. Well... ok... not quite all the way cooled. It is very good and I suggest trying it out. My family loved it, I am sure your's will too.
Be Well, Be safe and Blessed be