October 30, 2009

The Three Little Pigs - Family Halloween Costume

Each year, we coordinate our Halloween costume as a family.  This year we went as the Three Little Pigs. My good sport of a husband went as the big bad wolf and I was the "mommy pig". I never knew there was a mommy pig in the story until we got several versions of the book from the library and the kids pointed out the mommy. She, unfortunately is the one who sends them off to their almost demise (guess she was sick of sharing the house with her grown children).

Each kid got to carry around their building materials. The brick is a butter box covered in red paper. I cut the ears out of two colors of felt (light and dark pink) and hot glued to them to headbands. I was going to buy pig noses from a party store, but they are really ugly and scary and way too big for the kids faces. Instead I made them out of a cardboard paper towel tube cut into 2" lengths. I taped a piece of pink paper over the front and side of each one and then drew nostrils. MacGyver (hubbie) poked holes in them and strung stretchy cord around to hold them on. Little Sausage was not very keen on wearing his pig nose, as you can tell from his evil eye in the photo. He kept going cross-eyed to look down at it! Our oldest did vote that next year we all go as the cast of Star Wars. I guess story books aren't going to be cool enough anymore, or maybe he was still upset about the pink shirt part of his costume.

October 16, 2009

Caring for Your Sourdough Starter

The care and feeding of sourdough (wild yeast) starter is really what keeps most people from maintaining one. (As a side note, it's named sourdough, because usually it results in a more "sour" tasting dough, but this can be countered by sugar or using more starter.) Maintaining the starter is actually easy and most established starters are pretty resilient.There are lots of recipes out there for "catching" the wild yeast out of the air (think of it as good mold) or you can purchase a starter from several places. Your other choice is to get starter from someone you know. If you get a "pass-along" starter the donor will most likely give you instructions on how to feed (aka refresh) it. The instructions I got were something like this: every week use or pour off 1/2 your starter, then add 3/4 c sugar, 3 Tbsp potato flakes, 1 c warm water. I had never purchased instant potatoes before, so that part was interesting. But then after reading and learning about wild yeast starters, I learned I could really just feed it with flour and water. Once the micro flora get going in there, flour is the perfect food. I feed my starter usually once a week. I screw the lid on tightly and give it a good shake. Then I use what I need or pour some down the drain ("some" means I don't measure). I measure out about 1/2 c flour and 1 c of warm water. Again with the shaking and then unscrew the lid a little so the pressure doesn't build up. Then I store it (in a glass jar) in the fridge door until next week.

I do love http://sourdoughhome.com/  as a place to learn TONS about sourdough.

Starter can be used in any yeast recipe. A good rule of thumb for converting a store bought yeast recipe is 1 c of starter and replaces 1 packet of yeast (1/4 of an ounce) PLUS one cup of liquid.

I promise to share the most amazing sourdough pancake recipe soon.

October 2, 2009

Indoor Outdoor Coop

It took such a long while for MacGyver to figure out how he wanted the Coop roof to look. Once he finally got it worked out in his head, he began installing it. The girls are gonna be so happy to go somewhere when it's windy. They love the rain (since it brings out the worms) but wind seems to ruffle their feathers!

This covered area will house their four nesting boxes (you don't need one for every chicken, they like to share), perches where they will sleep, and their food and water dishes. It's all going to be covered with cedar plank siding like the garden shed next to it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...