Monthly Archives: December 2017

Year’s End

It’s the last weekend of the year, the last day of the year. I decided to usher 2017 out the door by making soap. I haven’t been making as much soap this year as I did in 2016 but I am still reading about soap and planning soap.

Yesterday, I made an experimental batch of soap that uses two kinds of lye, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. In my reading, over at the Soapmaking Forum, I came across a post about a dual lye soap and how using both can increase the lather in a low coconut oil soap. I decided to give it a try.

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It is now out of the mold but still quite soft and not ready for slicing yet. I coloured this one with Aztec Gold mica and it’s scented with a combination of cedarwood, rosemary, and lemongrass. It smells wonderful!

Now, I am in the mood to make another batch of soap for the upcoming year. I’ll be making a batch of Lavender & Goat Milk soap, a lovely mild, skin-loving soap that smells amazing. It will help to use up some of the goat milk languishing in the freezer. And we’ll be set for the upcoming year.

And, just because, here are a few pictures taken over the last few days. It’s definitely winter here.

 

 

Categories: Christmas, Finished, Holidays, Making Soap, Soap | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snow Day

It’s December in the Okanagan. We expect snow. We’ve had snow for the past couple of weeks. I’m okay with that. Honestly, I am.

However, overnight we received another 5-6″, with more still falling. I did make the effort to get out the door and try to get to work for a four-hour day. No. Just no. The roads are dreadful and people are driving way too fast for the conditions. At one point, I was driving at a 45º angle! Four hours of work is not worth taking my life into my hands.

And so, time will be spent working on a project I started in October of 2015 (yikes!), the Hidden Light Cardigan for John. The back is done, the front panels are done up to the arm scyes. And then, I got bored. Or my hands hurt. Whatever the reason, the bag with the pieces and needles has been languishing in my yarn stash. Yesterday, after work, I decided it was time to pull it back out, dust off the pattern (which I would have done had I been able to find it) and pick up where I left off.

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This picture really captures the colour very well.

And so, today I will be spending time listening to the weather news and working on John’s sweater.

Categories: Blogging, Cardigan, Christmas, Holidays, John's Sweater, Knitting, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Breaky Kind of Day

It’s snowing out. We’re under a storm watch. Christmas is just days away and I’ve taken a few days off this week so I can catch up on some things. And to relax, to be honest.

One of the first things I did this morning, after driving Ethan to school was to do the dishes. John’s away for a couple of hours and I can take my time. I can be careful and do it right.

I dropped a mug. My favourite mug. The mug I was given for Mother’s Day. From my daughter and grandchildren.

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The one that says “Inspire”. They gave it to me because they consider me an inspiration. It didn’t fall far; I was washing it and it slipped. The handle hit another mug in the sink and fell off. I’m sad.

Then, while I was finishing up with the pots and pans, the cabinet to my left opened and a couple of Pyrex dishes slid out, onto our tile floor, startling me!

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Someone… not saying who… just does not know how to properly stack bowls and Pyrex, apparently. And, oh my, the noise when those dishes hit the ceramic floor! Yikes!

I think it’s time to sit down with a relaxing cup of tea and some knitting. Hopefully, nothing else will break.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lazy Sunday Morning

I’ve been battling a head cold this past week; thankfully, I’m at the end of it now and finally sleeping again. I really hate being sick (have I said that before?). It cuts into my ME time! So, today is kind of a lazy day for me.

And, what does someone like me do on a lazy day? Bake bread, of course. Because that’s what I do when I want to relax. Doesn’t everyone?

Today, I’ve gone back to one of my favourite bread books, “Great Bread Every Time” by Marilyn Barbe. I’m not sure how long I’ve had this book but it has to be at least twenty years.

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So far, everything I’ve made from this book has been successful and tasty. I even gave this one a big star and a couple of exclamation marks.

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I’m making, obviously,  Healthy Whole Wheat bread, which uses a combination of bran, wheat germ, oats, sesame seeds and, of course, whole wheat flour. It uses the sponge method, where you make a “sponge” with almost all the ingredients except the final addition of flour and allow that to rise for an hour. Then, the sponge is beaten down and the last of the flour is added to make the dough. The loaves are shaped once the dough is ready, then a final rise before baking.

The sponge, as it’s rising, smells so yeasty and delicious!

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And, of course, the smell of bread baking is one of the most amazing smells ever!

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Oh, and just because I could, I also made a couple of loaves of raisin bread. Just cuz.

Categories: Baking, Blogging, bread, Kitchen | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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