altivo: Gingerbread horse cookie (gingerhorse)
This may seem irrational gibberish to readers who don't cook. But when it is bitter cold outside and chilly inside, baking bread and simmering soup always seems to make it warmer. Plus you get a good supper from it.

Actually, no soup today. But I did make a new kind of bread. We have many, many shelves full of cookbooks. Most of them have been skimmed more than once, but certainly also most of those recipes have never been prepared here. Triggered by some bananas that were past their prime, I went in search of a yeast bread into which I could put bananas. No difficulty finding many such recipes, but most of them were overly sweetened and had raisins or other fruit added. I was hoping for something lighter and eventually I found it.

Banana and Aniseed Bread, recipe under cut )

We had the bread with our dinner salads and pronounced it a keeper. I'm eager to see how well it works as toast.

Somewhat colder today than yesterday. I went out to clean stalls and make up hay nets at about 2 pm, and had to interrupt that work after 30 minutes to come in and get warm again. Despite heavy mittens, my fingers were getting frostbitten. The temperature was about 13°F but the wind chill was probably below zero. I made tea and got warm, then went out to finish. That took another 45 minutes or so, plus the time to put the horses into their stalls and give them supper. Came back inside with painful fingertips and ears again, and that time I had switched to leather mittens lined with fleece and had a knit cap on over my ears. Woodstove is going again, after I cleaned out the ashes and got it started. Feels much better now.
altivo: The Clydesdale Librarian (Default)
Meant to post these yesterday, but stuff got in the way. Like, getting them out of my cell phone to somewhere I could post them from.

Vegetables in containers

This year's vegetable garden is smaller, squeezed in between the barn and the arena. We have not done well with a larger garden out behind the woodlot because it is so far from the house and requires us to run about 400 feet of hose to get water out there for the dry months of July and August. Also, the deer, rabbits, and woodchucks are less reticent to visit out there.

I decided to set up some containers and raised beds in the spot where a gap in the oak canopy allows sunlight for several hours on clear days. In spite of excessive rain until the end of June, it looks promising. In the photo above, from left: cucumbers and miniature sweet peppers in the red "growbox," potatoes in three blue plastic tubs, okra (not easy to see) behind the potatoes, tomatoes (back) and melons and eggplant (front,) and at the extreme right section of the raised beds, more cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, and peppers.

Vegetables 2015

This view shows to the left of the previous, or a bit farther west. These are pole beans that got a late start and are trying to make up for it now. The soil is about 8 inches of aged sheep manure from when the sheep pen was located here. It was spongy and loaded with water until late June, so the beans didn't go in until a month later than usual. If the frost holds off, I still expect a good crop. The purple pods are heavy bearers, and I'm trying a couple of other varieties. The larger leaves at the right end of the trellis are scarlet runners. Not only do those have tasty pods, but they have beautiful red blossoms. Zucchini and butternut squash are between this trellis and the other photo, and the hot frame (uncovered) in the background will get a planting with kale, kohlrabi, and lettuce for the fall. I had lettuce in it for spring but the insects were voracious and devoured it all.

Today's baking

And this bonus photo shows today's baking. I made the peach and blueberry pie using blueberries from out in the old garden. Gary made the sourdough bread with dried sour cherries and chopped pecans.

In other news, after much teeth grinding I have mostly beaten Gentoo into submission. I still haven't managed to create a custom kernel that will boot, but I figured out how to make the generic kernel from the installation CD do my bidding for now. Only the basic command line system is installed, but it's all working and I can even run backups to another drive from the console if I boot into the proper model. I figured out the boot configurations and can boot from either data partition that I created, with or without an intermediate ramdisk image. Next: get X11 installed and working. But I'm taking a break for a day or two to do other things first.
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)
Well, except for dessert.

Spinners' newsletter edited and released. Heatwave subsided Saturday afternoon and today was a normal weather day for July. Tess got to go out into the drought-stricken pasture for a few hours and hunt for anything green that might have survived. Screech owls still visiting at dawn and dusk. Still no rain.

From scratch buttermilk waffles this morning. Created homemade pizza for dinner tonight, and baked a pie from a new recipe. "Old Fashioned Sour Cream Raisin Pie" is actually a custard pie made with eggs, sour cream, sugar, and raisins. (Can you guess I'm trying to use up eggs? Three ducks laying daily is too productive.)
altivo: Commission line art colored by myself (cs-tivo-color)
Here is a pie made from an heirloom apple variety, Roxbury Russet:

Roxbury Russet Pie


These are a very old apple variety, noted as being excellent for winter storage and well suited to cider making or baking. By modern orchard standards, they are considered "too ugly" to have any commercial value. That's pretty typical of modern shallow thinking. The flavor and scent of this apple is far more complex and intense than that of any widely grown variety today. The flesh is very hard, and I can easily see that they would keep for a long time under ideal conditions. We haven't sampled the pie just yet, but I expect it to be far from mundane.

In other news, the week drags on. It snowed this afternoon, fairly hard in fact, but melted almost immediately. I won another N scale locomotive off Ebay, this one is a steam engine, a 2-8-2 light Mikado style which was one of the last types in use by DT&I before they abandoned steam completely in the early 1950s. It has a Chicago & Northwestern herald painted on it, but I expect I can either cover or remove that to apply the normal DT&I monogram. I wasn't going to buy more stuff until after Christmas, but this was going for such a cheap price that I couldn't pass it up.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
...the behinder I get.

That's how it felt today anyway.

Why does it take five hours to run a map update on a Garmin GPS unit?

Expecting a slow day, I started the update on my desktop machine at work this morning. Of course two large book shipmets arrived immediately after that and I had to scrounge another machine to do cataloging work on.

Meanwhile Gary was baking cookies. All day! That's a heckuva lot of cookies. Most will be given away, but still...

Unseasonably warm, all the snow is gone. Chances of more by Christmas seem slim, though it is supposed to get unpleasantly cold again by tomorrow.

Just about all the shopping that will get done has been done. Hope the stuff that I ordered will arrive in time. One more trip needed, but shouldn't be too difficult. But for now, to bed, I think.

Oh, one other interesting thing. A book requested through interlibrary loan arrived today. Scott Trostel's history of the Detroit Toledo & Ironton Railroad, supplied by Indiana State University and not required back until the end of January. Fascinating, almost 400 pages of text and photographs telling how a small railroad in a limited territory was nonetheless an innovator and leader in many respects, and particularly so under the administration of Henry Ford (who ran it in the 1920s.) Looking forward to reading most of it if not all.
altivo: Geekish ham radio pony (geek)
Here are the two cabooses mentioned a couple of days ago:

N scale cabooses


Neither is quite right for the DT&I, at least not in the target period of 1952-1960, when they used mostly wood sided cabooses with center cupolas. I'll keep looking for one to match that, but these are the right size at least. The Pennsylvania RR was nominally the owner of DT&I during this time period, so a borrowed PRR caboose is not entirely impossible.

Also just won a white tank car for $2.99 on Ebay. This is for Gary, to fit with his plan to make a t-track module with a bee yard on it, and bears harvesting the honey. We'll put his logo on the car, with the words "Pure honey. Consumed globally, produced locally."

Acquired the last needed ingredients for fruitcake and cookie baking, I hope. It got above freezing today and most of the snow melted. The duck is still laying eggs, too. She hit number 70 today. Gary thought she missed yesterday, but tonight we found that egg buried in the snow and frozen. Blizzard casualty!

Haven't bought eggs for several weeks, but picked up a dozen today because Gary goes through so many with the baking projects.

Autumnal

Oct. 23rd, 2011 04:29 pm
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
I feel like taking a long nap, in fact. For those who may have wondered what I mean when I refer to "the Oak Grove," our house and barns sit in the middle of an oak savanna, a prairie biome that predates white settlement though ours is second growth as far as I can tell. At this time of year there are a lot of leaves. I mean, a LOT. We haven't counted, but there are more than a hundred large oaks on our land, many of them 80 feet or taller. They tend to drop their leaves all within a few days of each other.

Fall in the oak grove


That's what you get. Some years the leaves drift to ten or twelve inches' depth in places, but this year the release has been spread out over a couple of weeks and Gary has made a pass with the mulching blades on the tractor. What you see here and in the next photo has accumulated since that first mulching (or "munching" if you like.)

The last hay wagon


And here's a view of the lane going back to the pastures from the barns. The last hay wagon of the year is still sitting behind the arena here, though we expect Cody (our supplier) to pick it up soon. He called and asked if it was ready. Last year he left the last one standing here all winter, but it's out of the way and not a problem for us if he does that again. Several years ago we had one still in the arena when heavy snow and ice hit, and it stayed inside under the roof through the winter because there was no way to get it out. No immediate ice or snow expected here yet, though. It's over 60F this afternoon and was even warmer yesterday.

Ratatouille!


And above you can see some of what's happening inside the house. We visited the farmers' market yesterday and got eggplant and zucchini. Combined with tomatoes, onions, sweet pepper, garlic, and a little cayenne, then simmered slowly for several hours with a splash of red wine, these make a classic ratatouille. We like it with rice and a dab of sour cream. Dessert is pumpkin pie, still in the oven at the moment.

Apples!

Oct. 13th, 2011 05:11 pm
altivo: 'Tivo in fursuit (fursuit)
Nothing beats having a half day off (except, of course, having the whole day... duh.)

Thought we'd go pick a few more apples this afternoon, but weather wasn't cooperating. Gloomy, with cold drizzle falling that later turned into a fairly hard rain. So we agreed to go for lunch and some groceries. Needed flour (for apple pies and pancakes, used up all the pastry flour) and Gary wanted some things to throw into a late supper since I've elected to drive a friend to the Audubon meeting tonight. As usual, picked up more supplies than intended, but all stuff we will use. Gary's miscalculation of the number of cans of dog food in the pantry has resulted in an amusing overstock, but I'm sure Red will be happy to take care of that problem soon enough.

Home, unpack and put away the spoils, and then, apple pie. Today's pie is half Empire and half Winesap. Empire is a modern hybrid developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station I believe, hence the name from "Empire State." It is a successful cross of Red Delicious with Macintosh, I'm pretty sure. The apples are generally larger than Macs, but have most of the texture and flavor of that parent, with some of the size and firmness of the Red Delicious. Red Delicious has very little flavor to me, but Empire is sweet and rich-tasting. Unfortunately, it doesn't keep very well, and tends to turn mealy like both parents. Winesap, on the other paw, is an old heirloom variety with what some folks call "character" (by which they mean that a lot of people who don't favor old style apples will spit it out after biting it.) Hard fleshed, it combines juicy and tart with a surprising amount of sugar and can be used to make quite a good hard cider. It keeps really well, as do most hard fleshed apples, and develops additional sweetness for a while after picking. I like Winesap to eat plain, and think of it as a "real" apple, but like many of the old 19th century varieties, it is hard to find. Fortunately one nearby orchard has a single row of trees, and we got there in time to rescue a full peck. It was amusing to walk along the row and see the number of apples that had been "sampled" and discarded, with just one or maybe two bites out of them. No, people, this is not Gala or Red Delicious. There are lots of those two rows farther down. Leave these to the real apple lovers and both you and they will be the happier for it.

So, the pie is in the oven, and will come out just before I have to go pick Susan up for the meeting.

Oh, and Red was happy to eat peels from both the Empire and the Winesap. No picky eater he. XD
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
First knock down the round pen. Take Tess out to the pasture since her pen is broken down. Then go to grocery store early to avoid mess in town due to street festival. Come home, unpack groceries, watch load of hay pull into the lane. Once wagon is parked in the arena, reassemble the pen, and go get Tess off the grass and into the shade. Watch her drink half a bucket of water.

Interrupt hay stacking to go to the apple orchard. Damn, our favorite one is already closed for the season. Go to second choice place. They are still picking and have some pre-picked in the cooler. Decide to pick, and get a peck of Winesap (old fashioned cider variety, good for cooking, long keeping) but do so by picking through the windfalls. Actually many of those have fallen from the tree as people picked the apple next to them, but they didn't bother to pick up the one they dropped. Also got another peck of mixed Red Delicious (OK if fresh from tree, mealy if kept too long) and Blushing Golden. Picked a half peck of Jonagored from the cooler. Trees were nearly bare, I'm betting that place will be closed in a day or two.

Now unload and stack 140 bales of hay. Roll empty hay wagon out of arena and into pickup location. Easier than last time, for whatever reason. Clean loose hay off wagon bed. Go back in and have late lunch. One more load of hay like this one, probably tomorrow, and we're done with that for the year.

Change part of the water on the flax soaking in the dogs' kiddie pool. Note that it seems to be almost ready to dry. Maybe tomorrow. Actually succeed in pulling a fiber from one stem and twisting and plying it while wet. Very fine stuff if we can really get much of this from it.

Start to go out to clean stalls (my day for that) but Gary offers to do that if I'll bake apple muffins. I have a new recipe for those from @Dodge_horse on Twitter. I agree, and stay in to bake. Also make black bean dip, and marinate two small steaks. Run out to help feed critters and bed them all down. Then back in to make salad and shower while Gary starts charcoal. By now it is dark.

Let Gary shower while I make baked potatoes and the last two ears of sweet corn. Quite possibly the last barbecue of the year. Turns out pretty decent, even the cheap steaks. Feed dog and cat, clean up, put in some laundry so I have clothes for work tomorrow.

Shortly we will try the muffins that have been cooling on a high shelf to avoid dog pilferage, and then go to bed. Very full day it was.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Apple season began this weekend. We have four varieties of new apples, right from the trees: Ginger Gold, Jonamac, Honeycrisp, and Cortland. And even though there was chocolate zucchini cake left in the house, I just had to make a pie (Jonamac and Cortland, a good combination):

"A" was an Apple Pie


Not bad at all for the first pie of the season. The better apples are yet to come, though. I need to get to Lang's right away for some Ruby Jon, and there should be Empire and (I hope) Melrose in the offing at the very least.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
This isn't new. We've had lots of practice, but I'm always delighted with this stuff when it turns out properly.

Whole wheat pita, rising


Above: Here are half a dozen individual pitas in the last rise stage, after being pressed out flat by hand or rolling pin.


Whole wheat pita, baking


Above: View through the oven glass, more or less. The loaves are puffed up and browning nicely. The sudden inflation in size causes the gluten strands to separate, leaving a large pocket in the center of each pita.


Whole wheat pita, cooling


Above: Finished pita loaves cooling after baking. They turned out to taste even better than they look. We filled them with home made hummus, chopped tomatoes, and diced Vidalia onion.
altivo: Wet Altivo (wet altivo)
All Easter means to me any more is like Christmas: a massive struggle to prepare most of a huge festival meal, pack it up and haul it to Chicago, where if anyone shows up they don't want to eat it anyway.

Because it somehow helps my mate and his mother try to recapture their memories from half a century ago, I keep doing this twice a year.

We went to three grocery stores today trying to capture all the elusive pieces. I'm particularly disgusted by what Jewel has become. For those not from Chicago, Jewel is (or was) an old local grocery chain that dates back to the 19th century and was noted for delivering goods to your door. Over the years they looked more and more like the conventional supermarket, and reached what I'd consider to be their peak in the 1980s sometime, when they were building new stores that had expansive produce and fresh deli departments, live fish markets, and a really extensive selection of foods both local and imported. Typically they had an associated pharmacy under the same roof, and a liquor department with a very fine selection of wines.

Then this local tradition was bought up by a west coast grocery mega-chain and things changed. Old brand names disappeared, replaced by generics. Prices started creeping up, then shooting up like weeds after a thunderstorm. The prices at Jewel are now nearly double what I pay at the local Centrella (used to be Certified, similar to IGA in other parts of the country--independent grocers who obtain many of their goods through a cooperative warehousing system.) Jewel stores are still attractive looking and have a good selection and variety of products (not what it once was, but still better than many) but the prices are so high that I don't understand why anyone shops there.

Anyway, we did go to Jewel. Their weekly flyer had some special offers in it that made it worth the trip. Of course, in typical Jewel fashion, they had already run out of most of the specials (which were supposed to run through Tuesday) and the substitutes were no bargain at all. They told us we could drive over to McHenry to get what we wanted, which would have canceled out most of the savings just in the cost of the gas consumed. "And that," I said as we left the store, "is why we don't shop at Jewel any more." We used them for years when we actually lived in Chicago. Now they're just too expensive to even consider. We also went to Walmart, specifically to get some things Gary's mom had requested, and almost didn't find them because their shelves, even in the pharmacy, were nearly barren. Not just because of the holiday, but because they are always like that. I guess they're too cheap to reorder until they run out of everything. Or else, they're too cheap to hire anyone to put stock out on the shelves.

Fortunately we'd already been to the Centrella in Marengo, and got most of what we needed. Then Gary went off to sing in church yet another day, while I stayed home to bake the traditional lamb shaped cake that must be served even though no one wants to eat it. We could have bought one at Jewel... at a price of $15 for a cake that weighs well under a pound, closer to eight ounces. If I succeed in frosting and decorating it without its head falling off (a distinct probability) I'll take a photo of it.

Now to bed so I can get up at 5 am and bake the ham. ;p
altivo: Horsie cupcakes (cupcake)
I'm snow tired, I haven't slept a wink.
I'm sno-oh-oh-ow tired, my mind is on the blink.
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink...

Must still be that virus. For a Monday, today wasn't all that bad, but it felt draggy and I'm really worn down. Came home, helped take care of horses and sheep, made dinner, and watched a 30 minute animated film (Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death) which I didn't think I'd seen but Gary was quoting lines so apparently we did see it before some time. Funny how he's always saying he can't remember stuff, yet he rattles off dialog from films or books after only one time through.

I still owe y'all the photo of the plush paint pony he got me on Valentine's. Haven't forgotten, just haven't gotten around to it either.

Mmm, pie. We made a pie on Sunday. There's a tale thereto. Gary and the Kishwaukee Ramblers were performing at the farmers' market in Woodstock last fall, and someone put a squash and a recipe sheet in their tip basket. It looked like an acorn squash, but had yellow skin, and the recipe called it a "sweet potato acorn squash." I'm guessing it was a hybrid between delicata (sometimes called sweet potato squash) and a regular green acorn. Anyway, the recipe was for what I'd call sweet potato pie, but using the squash instead. We stuck it in the fridge and it sat there all winter. Finally got around to it, and the squash was just beginning to show a little aging as dark freckles on the skin. Pie is flavored with dark spiced rum, too much sugar which I cut in half, eggs, and pumpkin pie spices. Served with whipped cream, it's quite good, but I'm glad I cut back the sugar as it's more than sweet enough anyway. Delicata squashes are very sweet of themselves.

Gonna try to get more sleep tonight. Bai.
altivo: (rocking horse)
...in the twinkle of an eye. Well, if it's a slow eye. Takes about 45 minutes in the oven to attain a nicely browned crust. Today's dessert:

Cherry pie


Our non-traditional Christmas day dinner consisted of a Cornish hen baked in a clay pot with a curried mixture of pineapple, green pepper, and onion and a little sherry. We added a curried dhal and kidney bean dish, steamed rice, and mango chutney, with a white zinfandel. It was quite good. The dogs were not pleased that we only saved them a little of the stock from the dish. However, I note that they ate it with plenty of relish, displeased or not.

As I promised, we mostly goofed off today except for taking care of the horses and sheep. However, I have what seems like a month's worth of laundry to do, so tomorrow will be busier.

It was a white Christmas in the sense that we have plenty of snow on the ground and up in the trees. Nothing significant fell today, however. Quite an improvement over last year when we had an ice storm and were without electricity for 36 hours, ending just at 9 am on Christmas.

Whatever winter holidays you celebrate, or even if you celebrate none, I wish you joy at the return of longer days and the best new year ever.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
OK, today is the day. I had the walnuts from Susan, and they were soaking for almost 48 hours. Because she advised me that they are stinky when simmering and usually full of bugs, I decided to follow her example and cook up the dye pot outdoors. That was a good plan, too, as all kinds of wiggly things crawled and flew out of those when they started to heat up. The smell, while not as obnoxious as I'd feared, was not very pleasant. To me it resembled scorched milk, the smell you'd get if you spilled hot chocolate onto the top of the range or something. Gary said he couldn't smell anything, but that's not unusual.

After two hours of simmering, the water was black as ink. We scooped the walnuts out, and poured the rest of the mess through a cheesecloth and sieve. Then I returned it to the heat and when it began to simmer, added my two skeins of pre-wetted wool. Walnut is what we call a substantive dye, which is to say, it attaches itself to protein fibers without the need for a mordant or other assistant. So I just put clean yarn into the pot. I let it "cook" for about 20 minutes, and then rinsed it in gradually cooler water to avoid thermal shock to the fiber.

Here is the finished result (undyed skein of the same yarn shown for contrast):

Walnut-dyed Woolen

I'm quite pleased with the color, which will make a good contrast with the goldenrod yellow I dyed last week.

In honor of the end of the summer, I also baked a pie today. This combined Michigan peaches with Illinois blackberries, and is displayed here with one of my handwoven towels:

Salute to Summer's Ending

We're just about to sample it, but I'm pretty confident it will be good.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Or something like that, at least judging by the feel of it.

Spinning guild this morning, supervised the drop spindle "race" which went well with seven contestants and a fair amount of fun for all. A clear cut winner was easily identified and it was agreed that we should do it again some time.

Came home and baked foccacia with caramelized onions to take to the retirement pot luck in the evening, then we had a visit from two of Gary's friends from his Civil War historic recreation events. They had some musical instruments for him to evaluate, and got a tour of the farm and the animals as well as a look at my weaving setup.

Took Tess out to the pasture for her hour, then dashed off to the party, which was very pleasant with too much delicious food: several salads, a lasagna, a chicken tetrazini dish, some excellent wine, and then cake, coffee, and butter pecan ice cream. We presented Karen with a custom made bench for her garden and listened to a lot of reminiscences about weird events in the library's past. (Four of the attendees at the party had a combined tenure of 84 years, so they have a lot of memoires they could write. It would make a very amusing book if they did so.)

Now it's time for bed. Tomorrow I'll have to squeeze in a whole weekend's worth of normal activities, like grocery shopping, laundry, etc.
altivo: (rocking horse)
Amazingly enough. I had a brief spell of sleepies after lunch but got through it. Laundry done and put away, stalls cleaned, cared for Tess' feet, baked bread, made meat loaf in the crock pot, baked banana bread on a last minute whim, and got in some watercolor experimentation working on a couple of techniques for that fox picture I mentioned a week ago. Tried out the permanent black Prismacolor pens and they work well with watercolor, no smearing or bleeding, even though they don't seem quite as black as what I'm accustomed to using.

Chased the neighbors' dog out of our barn loft. I dunno what he was doing up there. It snowed this afternoon but the air temperature was 37F so no accumulation beyond what we already have, and that's turning slushy.

Gary has been working on an obnoxious pile of homework all day today and most of yesterday as well. It seems obvious to me that these teachers do not actually try doing their own assignments. The number of errors in the questions and instructions is astronomical. He ends up sort of "guessing" what they want because, of course, none of them answer e-mail or return phone calls.

Isn't it time for another holiday? I don't want to go to work tomorrow. ;p
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Did lots of stuff today, which kept me out of touch with news for a few hours. So, has the obligatory conservative religious loudmouth pronounced that the Chilean earthquake was God's judgement on the world yet? Have the right wingnuts tried to blame it on Obama like everything else?

For a change it's not terribly cold outside. In spite of a biting north wind all afternoon, right now it's just barely below freezing. And here I brought in a wheelbarrow full of firewood and stacked it in the garage so as to avoid a cold night. ;p

I think art is going to happen again. I got some paper ready using the proper sort of gummed kraft paper tape that I prefer, and two new sponges. A blue one for "has glue" on it and a green one that "is clean." See how small things can amuse me. One does have to avoid smoothing down damp paper with a glue-contaminated sponge though.

While we were out shopping this afternoon I hunted for Pitt or Copic artist's pens but found none. Guess I'll have to mail order them. I picked up a set of four black Prismacolor pens that will do for now, but they really aren't as black as I'd like. The ink is indeed waterproof and doesn't smear once it's dry, which is the big consideration. And they have nice points of varying widths and softnesses. Reading the label, I was amused to learn that Prismacolor is now owned by Sanford (who once upon a time made nice fountain pen ink and pens but now mostly make cheap office supply pens) who are in turn owned by Rubbermaid. Rubbermaid? Eeek.

Fed all the horses, cleaned up after them and the sheep, doctored Tess' dry hooves with Hooflex. Did not go out for lunch, but had weird ramen instead and then tonight Gary made Thai for dinner. That was good. Laundry is going, bread is rising, paper is drying, and I'm going to bed I think.
altivo: Gingerbread horse cookie (gingerhorse)
Attempting to reconstruct an excellent bread recipe that we have somehow misplaced. This is a "no-knead" dough. It rises at room temperature overnight, is shaped with very light kneading and rises again, then is baked inside a closed container such as a cast iron Dutch oven. Very easy, though I recommend a scale to weigh flour rather than measuring it by volume.

Recipe and photo tomorrow if it succeeds.

We did get about a half inch of snow last night, which was within the predicted range. Warm enough today to turn everything slushy. Tomorrow evening though, another big storm is supposed to hit. Now they're up to a 12 inch prediction, which makes it start to sound like another overly dramatized dud.

No art today due to cold symptoms that caused me to sleep much of the afternoon, but maybe tomorrow (or the middle of the night if I now find I can't sleep.)
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Happy Christmas to all my friends. I hope you are safe and warm, with friends or loved ones, and able to enjoy this special time of the year at least a little.

Our power did come on this morning just before seven. I had put a teakettle on top of the woodstove to boil so I could make coffee by dripping it through the coffee maker. It boiled, I carried it to the kitchen, and the lights came on. The outage was over 30 hours, probably the longest we've had at this address. (We once had a 48 hour outage at our house in Chicago, many years ago.)

I can't tell you how good it feels to have running water again. Especially hot water in the shower. With the generator hooked up and running, we do get running water but only cold. This time of year you have to be desperate to take a shower in that.

Today we stayed home, though it wasn't just rest. Chores had to be done, of course, and we feared a flood in the small barn again if all the predicted rain materialized. So we had to clear drainage channels in the snow to let water drain off even if the remaining snow freezes hard where it is. The rain didn't happen much, though. Now it's snowing, and they say we'll get up to three inches before it ends tomorrow.

Supper today was a bit too classy for this kind of lazy day, but it was good (so far, haven't cut the pie yet.) Cornish game hen stuffed with oranges and backed in a clay covered pot with orange juice as liquid. Mashed sweet potatoes; Brussels sprouts; Home baked bread; red wine; tea and home made mince pie.

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