RIP Hermione

HermioneAnd Bella, and Kat, and Savannah and four more of our sheep who were killed by three neighborhood dogs who crawled under our fence last night.  We caught one, the sheriff caught another and one got away.  We were within our rights to kill the dogs but decided to let the county euthanize them instead.  It’s a very sad day here.

Advertisements

Starter

YeastI’m continuing to baby the sourdough starter I made in baking class.  I’m kind of amazed that we began with just flour, water and a little honey.  It’s picked up wild yeasts from the atmosphere.  I feed it twice a day with organic flour and well water.  Our chickens eat what we can’t use.  They love it!

Bitters, Day 1

BittersI started an experimental batch of cocktail bitters this past weekend.  It’s got orange peel, dried cherries, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, cardamom pods and cloves steeping in vodka.  After a few weeks I’ll strain out the solids and add a little simple syrup.  Summer cocktail season is just around the corner.

Second Year In A Row

Dove Dove1A dove has built her nest in the eaves of our back porch cover just above where we have dinner every night.  She must have remembered the protected spot from last year.  We tried to discourage her but she’s very persistent, so we’ve decided she’s welcome to stay.

Fresh Out Of The Kiln

ButtonsMy latest obsession… pottery buttons.  The majority of the designs are from stamps hand carved by me.  These are typically purchased by both sewists and papercraft artists (who use them as embellishments in their art work).  They’re labor intensive to make but so much fun!

I Made This

B1

This is what I brought home from baking class last night, I still can’t believe I made these!

B2

We started with flour, salt, water and some sourdough starter. It took a while to get the messy mixture to come together.

B3

Our dough spent some time proofing while we started even more bread.

B4

The finished dough spent some time overnight in the bakery’s fridge. Some of our loaves rested in round molds called bannetons. Right before they went into the oven, we slashed the tops to allow steam to release during baking.

B5

Around 30 minutes later the loaves were removed from the oven.

B6

We made so many different kinds of loaves!

Remember the miniature bakery I posted a few months ago?  https://missingwillowfarm.com/2016/02/17/a-miniature-actual-bakery/

I just got back from a two day sourdough bread class from the actual bakery (LaFarm Bakery in Cary, NC).  Chef Lionel Vatinet was a masterful teacher!  It was super fun and won’t be my last outing there for training.