Weekend Projects

An ordered list, though I make no promises on the order of completion:

  1. Helping Olivia move to her new digs!
  2. Baby knitting for a shower next week
  3. Getting myself educated about the candidates since election day is Tuesday. See the League of Women Voters for information about candidates and elections in your district.
  4. Doing SOMETHING with the green tomatoes: pickles? chutney?
  5. Can-jamming up the five or so pounds of peppers in the fridge. I’m thinking of some sort of spicy jelly for fancy sandwiches.
  6. Birthday knitting and felting for a birthday the following Monday
  7. Cleaning my house OH MY GOD
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0410 Make Along Bake Along

For some reason, I decided it would be a good idea to participate in a 24 Hour Make-Along just one week before our wedding.  Don’t ask me why.  Shane had a bunch of projects on his slate as well, so today turned into a full day of puttering, baking, bottling, moped-ing, and knitting.  I didn’t finish everything I intended to do – but I did make a few damned good treats!

First, I took on yogurt.  Why would I make yogurt when it’s comparably in/expensive to buy in the store?  Because Olivia makes it look so damned easy!  And also because I like the idea of making my own dairy products – I’ve made cheese in a couple of forms, so yogurt seemed like a good next step.  The process started with some science up in the kitchen:

Making yogurt

The milk took FOREVER to get to the appropriate temperature, but eventually it hit the mark and was ladled into Ball jars and tucked first into an ice water bath, then into the Crock pot-cum-incubation chamber, where it hung out for the rest of the day.  It’s not the best yogurt I’ve ever had, but it definitely is yogurt, and I’m looking forward to eating it with preserves or peaches that I canned last summer.

THEN – actually simultaneously – I made crackers.  My friends and I had these really delicious house-made curry crackers with a warm goat cheese dip at Schlafly Bottleworks last weekend, and I’m determined to crack the recipe.  I figured it best to start with a regular cracker, however, so I tried this recipe from a basic baking cookbook given to me a couple of years ago by my aunt.  This was seriously so easy, even though it did require buying a giant tub of vegetable shortening.  (Apparently the stuff only comes in giant tubs?  Or so it appeared.)  The cracker dough is pulsed together in the food processor, then rests in a big lump for an hour before getting rolled out thin and baked for about 12 minutes.  My crackers went into the oven looking like this:

Crackers before

And came out looking like crackers:

Crackers after

Real crackers!  Like from a box!  Now all I have to do is figure out the right seasoning for the curry crackers – oh, and avoid eating every cracker in the house.

Finally, I took on pita bread again, this time using a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Right now it’s hanging out in the fridge, waiting to be baked tomorrow morning for A Very Smitten Kitchen Breakfast.  Fingers crossed for a good result!

Recipes:
Seeded Crackers from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking
Yogurt from The Kitchen of Olivia
Pita Bread from Smitten Kitchen

24 Hour Crafty People

While I can’t commit to 24 full hours of crafting – I value naps and weekend relaxing too much for that – I have signed up for a 24 Hour Make-Along for this weekend.  To keep myself honest and committed, here’s what I plan on working on:

  • Finish Sipes’s stripey cat
  • Sew [redacted] for baby [redacted]
  • Make yogurt according to Olivia’s instructions
  • Dye my sad Old Navy hoodie (and also something else that I’m forgetting at the moment) kelly green
  • Give pita bread another try
  • At least cast on a baby project for [redacted] or [redacted] or [redacted]
  • Darn socks?  Maybe?