Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sourdough Starter, Sprouts and Yogurt

It's been a bit of a frazzled week around here - restoration workers (still!) in the basement, dental issues, sickness - but there was also comfort to be found in the kitchen.  I always think that centuries of women must have found comfort and calm, during trying times, in their daily rounds in the kitchen, and in the rhythm of food preparation.
I've been wanting to make sourdough starter for ages and when I came across this wonderful tutorial I couldn't resist.  I made the starter with the help of our oven light and, once it was ready to use, then put it to good use making a couple loaves of sourdough.  I ended up using the starter to make the whole wheat sourdough bread recipe from my Salt Spring Island Cooking cookbook.

One loaf was a boule shape which we quickly finished off with our lunch and the other loaf was made in this thrifted bread pan.  French is not something my boys are very familiar with but I was surprised when they both asked me why it said "pain" on the bread pan - was it meant to imply that it was a pain to make homemade bread?  I told them that pain was bread in French and then thought back to my own years of French lessons and then wondered if the boys would know more french if we ate more processed food - my brother and I used to practice our French by reading labels on cereal boxes, etc. at our breakfast. 
At any rate, this bread was not a "pain" to make and I've tucked the starter away in the fridge so that we will be able to enjoy it regularly. 
Since I had to have the oven light on for the starter I thought I might as well make another batch of yogurt in the oven.  I used to use this method to make homemade yogurt but recently found it to be much easier just to pour the mixture into a casserole dish and set it in the oven overnight. 
There is no need to put the light on for the yogurt - you can just warm the oven for a minute before placing the dish in but I found the oven light worked nicely as well.
And, since we're all feeling hungry for greens and fresh...anything...we've started making sprouts again. I love to have these on sandwiches but E likes them so much he will just snack on them while he reads.
Sprouts aren't the only thing sprouting around here - there are lots of onions on the go as well as some (early) tomatoes and peppers that are just about ready to move to the greenhouse.  Nothing like veggie seedlings to make one feel more springish.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Shawl to...Share?

Last week I finally picked up the needles to finish this shawl that I had started back in November to use up a bunch of odds and ends out of my yarn stash.  It was meant to be a gift when I started it before Christmas but I ended up making a different one for that person so this one ended up being for me...although my cat seems to be pretty sure it was meant for her.
I tossed it at the foot of the bed when I was done knitting it because I thought I would wear it over my shoulders when I was sitting up in bed reading at night.  Putty had a different idea and every time I go into the bedroom, there she is...hogging it!
I should have known this was going to happen by the way she always came to sit on it whenever I was knitting it and scowled at me each time I dared to move it a bit as I was knitting.  I actually had to pick her up and move her so that I could "borrow" it long enough to get these pics taken.
 Now she's miffed!