Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kraut & Unwanted Cultures

Cockiness it not helpful in fermenting. I attempted a batch of sauerkraut using The Versatile Vegetable cookbook as a guide. I wanted to make some for my family and a friend. I mixed up this batch, excited about the pending tanginess twelve to fourteen days away. Folly. Pure folly.

Despite past fermenting successes, this one was a complete failure. I've never seen such a carpet of mold over the top. Perhaps it wasn't that bad. As I dumped the mixture, I practically shed a tear with all that tangy goodness going back to dust. But I didn't want to chance it, especially as I planned to share it. No one needs a food borne illness as a gift...the gift that keeps on giving for 48 hours or so.

Added to this kraut misstep is a failed kombucha brewing. For the first time ever, it also molded over the top. I took a break & hope to get back in the swing. Many to dos on my list, this one is lower than the others right now.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Annals of Home Improvement: the Little House

When we first moved into this house over ten years ago, I had my eye on the outpost building/tear down we dubbed the Little House. I envisioned a library/studio where I could work, get a project going and leave it out to return to it without having to put it all away to make space for the lunch or supper. But many projects took precedence (sewage problems, for instance, among many others).

Thanks to the generous help of our friend Phoenix, the Little House renovations are underway and my studio vista will be on the California native garden with the noble Live Oak framed in the window we bought from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I'm so amazed at the items that are discarded from construction projects that can be purchased for drastically reduced prices. I'm extremely grateful for it all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Wood. Wood and more wood.

At my youngest son's preschool silent auction fundraiser, I bid on and won half a cord of wood delivered to our house.

Just in time for some cozy time this holiday season and a bonfire this weekend...if the rain stays away. Otherwise, it's a bonfire rain check. Cozy, however, is always welcome.