Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Something to Crow About

Not everything happens in the kitchen... here's an update on those seeds I planted with such high hopes. All but four pots are showing up green and I haven't given up on the last four, either. It's all very cheerful looking and I need to rearrange and raise one of the lights to accommodate the overachievers.

I'm hoping that they don't grow too fast or we won't be ready to transplant them when they are bulging out of the pots. Already the beans and squash have lots of roots grown through the peat.

Next, I'd like to talk sprouted grain. YUMMY! I baked bread yesterday with the wheat I had sprouted and dried. I knew it was going to be different as soon as I milled it and the rich, nutty aroma was so distinctly different than the usual, albeit wonderful, smell of freshly milled grain. I modified my usual recipe slightly, after reading some sprouted grain bread recipes. I knew mine worked at extreme altitude, but I changed up my water for whole milk, my oil for a couple tablespoons of butter, I sponged the yeast in the warm milk/butter/honey solution, and I did two kneadings (with the Bosch) with a ten minute rest in between. The dough was silky and wonderful and the resulting bread is so light and the taste is homemade on steroids. I'm hooked.

So I set about sprouting more grain. This time I'm doing wheat, spelt and kamut. I'm interested to see how long the various grains take to sprout. I've got money on the kamut and spelt being about 12 hours ahead of the wheat.

I also tried my first fermented veggie recipe. Cabbage, carrot, onion, sea salt, oregano and crushed red pepper. Shred the veggies fine, mix everything in a bowl and then take a wooden mallet to it and beat it for about 10 minutes to release the juices. Pack it all in a quart jar and press down until juice rises to the top. Cap tightly and leave it at room temperature for 3 days. I'm really looking forward to trying it. Here it is in the cupboard with the kombucha. You can also see that my scoby seems to be developing just like it's supposed to.

And about that "something to crow about" - that was my lame attempt to make a hint about what went on in the sewing room today. I cut out an apron on Sunday and started it and decided that our rainy day today was a good time to finish it. If you know me you know I have a thing for chickens. Love em. Can't wait to have the real thing again. In the meantime, I have to content myself with reminders of their pretty, feathered selves. So you know I'm not going to pass up fabric like this:

And if you know me you further know that I wear aprons all the time. Sometimes all day if I'm working in the kitchen, playing in the dirt, or other potentially messy tasks. So I had this pattern for an apron called "50's Diner". I liked the technique that encases all the seams in double-fold bias tape. But like my recipes, I had to make my own modifications. So rather than a single print, I threw in a couple of coordinating fabrics from my stash. And then I realized that the bib was clucking for an applique. So on that went. The end result..

And Kent felt the applique deserved a close-up:

So, I played in the dirt, cooked and sewed. What a great day!

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