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Monthly Archives: March 2010

A walk to the mailbox, early evening

I have to walk half a mile to my mailbox. The mail carrier doesn’t come down the unpaved private road I live on. I took my camera with me when I went to pick up the mail this evening. Above: pear trees in full bloom. I wish I could say they’re mine, but the trees […]

What time is it? Cluck cluck…

Chickens have good clocks. When they know it’s time for me to bring them food and water, they keep watch, to see if I’m coming up the hill with my hands full…

Second attempt at sourdough bread: C+

My second baking of sourdough bread today was considerably improved. I’m starting — starting — to get a feel for sourdough. But I think that it’s going to take some time to become confident and skillful with sourdough. Still, today’s bread had a better balance of flour and water. The crust was good. The starter […]

The story of bottled water

The Story of Bottled Water — YouTube The people at the Story of Stuff have a new video on the story of bottled water.

First attempt at sourdough bread: D-

So flat! Big mistake… I couldn’t wait to try out my 7-day-old home-cultured sourdough starter. It’s probably a miracle that I even got bread that rose, and was edible. I ate it, for sure, with spinach salad, Stilton, and a slosh of chardonnay. But I have two big criticisms of my first effort. 1. The […]

The woods and the sea — close cousins

The woods, from the deck at the back of my house This time of year especially, I miss the California coast. It’s wildflower time at Point Reyes, the best time of year to hike along those grassy promontories above the sea. When I had to move inland, away from the sea, I knew somehow that […]

At last!

The daffodils are blooming at last. In the fall of 2008, I planted 55 pounds of daffodil bulbs. Every spring hereafter, they’ll pay me back. Notice how they all turn their little faces to the south. The day lily shoots are growing fast. The deer don’t mess with daffodils, but they love to eat day […]

Can you espy the cat?

Solution below. Don’t peek. The woods are full of the sound of spring peepers, but other than that and some daffodils almost ready to open, spring has not yet come around the corner. Spring peepers are chorus frogs. Isn’t that a nice term? This time of year they do make quite a chorus. They drown […]

Sourdough starter, Day 4

For the first three days, there was no apparent activity in the sourdough starter. But on the morning of Day 4, the starter was nice and bubbly. It smells good — nice and fruity. On the fourth day, the directions I’m using call for switching to water to feed the starter, rather than pineapple juice. […]

The methods of 100 years ago

Here is a link to a scanned copy of Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes and Processes. The book, which is in PDF format, is more than 800 pages long and covers just about everything a self-sufficient American in 1914 might need to know — farming, shelter, tools, homemade cosmetics and medicines, preserving food, and so […]