Creative ideas come "out of the wild" growing like yeast. Enjoy a meander around my creative pursuits - art printing with stamps, sketching, photography, baking, gardening...

31 August, 2011

Nice to join in WOYWW again - 117

Hello again. Good to be back WOYWW at last - I've missed this circle with Julia Dunnit at the hub. If you want to know more visit the Stamping Ground every Wednesday. I've been very busy but am well and content with life in case some wonder where the blazes I've been.

But first the desk...

Paperfic purchases and Christmas accents

As you will know from my previous post, I went to the Paperfic Show last Saturday and bought a few goodies. Stands to reason that my purchases might encourage certain activities. I bought the Creatables die-cutters which are light blue and cut out two sets using the Big Shot. These Christmas cut-outs will be lovely for decorations, for cards, and for grand-daughter activities when she comes to stay.

The set on the right are cut out of 250 gsm card which was nearly too heavy. The set on the left are embossed with Judikins Aegian Silver, a fine Gold EP, and some deep blue EP combined with aqua PearlEx powder. I sprayed it with workable fixitive and feel quite pleased with the result.

Other things of interest might be some bottles of Liquid Pearls and part of the Tim Holtz film strip die-cut all of which came from Paperific. On the left side of the photo above the heat tool, is a piece of blotchy stuff which has somehow migrated to my craft desk. It is a slice of zebra rock from the Kimberley area in the north west of Australia. It's fascinating how the distinct colours occur in stripes throughout the very fine sedement and remain discrete as it turns to stone. Because it is such fine sedementary rock, the cut cross section is exceedingly smooth - one of my favourite keep-sakes from travelling up north some years ago.

Now I could do with some suggestions for interesting things to do with egg whites. I have passionfruit icecream churning in the background as I write and egg whites stranded in the refrigerator. Any ideas gratefully received.

Yours as ever,

28 August, 2011

I'm Sprung!

From yesterday's post about the sourdough, I was sprung by my friend Jenny who was demo-ing at the Paperific Show yesterday. She knew where I was!!!  Great to see her there amongst the crowds of traders, make-and-take demos, and folks looking, learning and buying. One lady drove a few hundred Km with her DH who called himself Treasury. He was impressed with the demo from my friend Jeanette, so I think some picture stamps were on the agenda.

Now the sourdough saga continues. This morning the starter had developed into a nice bubbly sponge so I decided to use the lot and make three loaves. One is a fruit loaf with mixed spice, a little malted grain flour and a fruit soak. The next is just plain white bread flour, and the third is mainly white strong flour with a third wholemeal spelt and half a cup of soft grain mix.

Fruit loaf, white and light wholemeal dough almost doubled in size.
They have all been knocked down and are proving a second time which takes longer than with bakers yeast. The kitchen smells great.

This morning, I had a lovely visit to the monthly Farmers Market which is all produce. Came home with lots of vegetables, olive oil from French Island the other side of Mornington Peninsula, and fruit, much of it grown locally. Oranges come from Mildura but the brambleberries (for home made icecream), apples and pears are local. There are local meats, baker's delights, and sea food.

The star of the show was Brownie, a black cow who was milked at the market for on-the-spot butter and buttermilk. I brought home a small pat of butter and the butter milk will become pancakes tonight. Some of the kids couldn't believe their eyes, whilst others were laid back and knowledgable.  And for Pete's sake, I didn't take my camera. It was still in my bag from yesterday's journey.

LATER THIS AFTERNOON:  after the baking is all over and cooling, it LOOKS good but how will it meet the taste test?  I've got so much bread in the house now! The big clean-up is done - strangely, there were little globs of cement on the kitchen floor.
Three loaves, two tins and a pizza stone.
Well, the fruit loaf is just cool enough to try and the temptation is too great. Some of Brownie's butter makes is just great. The loaf is very moist and has a different texture from yeast bread. Very more-ish. Feeling very pleased with my first attempt at sourdough bread and now the challenge is to keep the starter alive and well for the weekly loaf or two.
Oh yum,

27 August, 2011

Froth & Bubble After Being Away

Can't believe how busy the last couple of months have been... singing, gardening (weeding), preparing tax, and experimenting with yeast baking. I've made quite a lot of bread, good yeasty pizza bases and fresh pasta which isn't yeasty of course but delicious.

But here's the froth and bubble!

I decided to have a go at making my own sourdough starter last Monday. I fed it each day, and because I can't bear to discard three quarters of the brew each time I feed it, I kept it and started a new pot. Now I have starter to give to the whole neighbourhood, let along friends, and it's very lively!

While I was out today, it grew and grew.

What a hoot. Tomorrow I expect to have a bread-making spree and visit the Farmers Market. If you're interested in the ingredients for this living ferment, I'll be happy to post it. Of course there are as many recipes and magical mysteries as there are bakers but this one has given me a splendid start.

I must say it's a pleasure to be back to my blog, and in touch with those who have taken an interest in the past. Spring is here, and the late winter wattles are in full bloom. The freesias smell heavenly, and there are buds everywhere. Best wishes to you all.

Life's good,