Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bread and Apple Pie

I've been a little under the weather for the last few days with a cold, so I've felt like I'm running at half-power. Needless to say I didn't get all my projects done this weekend (do I ever?) but we did sit down with the seed catalog and pick out some vegetables to order. I also made more of the newspaper seed pots, but we're going to need a LOT more... The pattern is from eHow, and I cut down the layers by only using one sheet of our smaller local paper, and also I don't have to cut anything off.

Last week was a co-worker's birthday, and so I thought I'd make an apple pie for her. Cook's had a recipe that intrigued me, with a crust included. I used shortening instead of lard, and it turned out lovely. For the filling I did the variation at the bottom, and lowered the sugar (by request) and I think it turned out well. I used mostly Granny Smith, with Braeburn, Honeycrisp, and one I think Fuji. Definitely a recipe to keep on my shelf.

I usually do lattice tops on apple pies, but this time I decided to do something different- Stars!

I made sourdough bread today, with mostly white flour, but added 1/2 cup oatmeal and about 3/4 cup ground brown rice. The rice isn't super-fine, so it actually adds a bit of crunch to the bread. I thought I'd have to grind up the oatmeal, but it turned out just fine (I used what I had on hand, quick oats.)

The risings had some help from our wi-fi station. I've started putting the bread in my husband's office to rise, since it's so warm with his computer. Then I realized that the airport box was really the warmest, and so we put a few spacers on it and set the bowl right on top! Brilliant!

It got the thumbs up, can-I-have-another-slice from my husband, which is a pretty high rating. I think this is the best loaf so far, definitely lighter than the others.

Now I'm finishing up my last project for the weekend, which is cataloging the contents of our pantry. I get so frustrated when I can't keep track of the expiration dates and end up throwing food out.

So I'm making a spread sheet with all the items on it, and I'll print out one copy sorted by expiration date, and the other sorted by type. I'll keep notes in the margin, and revise it as needed. We'll see how it goes... I'm optimistic =)

Monday, February 22, 2010


What do you get when you mix gardening, recycling and origami?

Newspaper seed pots!

These are holding some more fruit seedlings, most likely apple. At least I marked one in the fridge, so I know it's a honeycrisp. The others will be a mystery!

I'm going to start making more for our vegetable garden soon. There are several different tutorials for making these, and when I find the link again I'll post it.

In other news, my apple tree is 1 year old this weekend! It's now living outdoors as long as we don't freeze.

It also has new friends in three Bosc pear seedlings.

< disclaimer >
These fruit seedlings are not being grown to full size for bearing fruit. The best way to propagate fruit trees is by grafting, I believe. This is a fun experiment, which I will likely train as bonsai in a few years.
< / disclaimer >
Just had to add that :)

Maybe in our grand landscaping plan we'll find room for a few more standard fruit trees. My orange is limping along, but it needs a fence so that the deer don't keep snacking on it.