Saturday, January 28, 2012


It’s about time I felt like I’ve been productive. I know, I do get things done, but sometimes it just feels like nothing’s getting done or there’s little to show for my time. At least, that’s how it feels to me.

Today, though, is different. Or, I should say yesterday. Looking over the things I did yesterday makes me feel that I’ve been productive. What have I been doing you ask? Well, let me show you.

Bandana cowls from the Purl Soho web site. I liked the one I made for my daughter so much that I wanted one for myself. Then, I found more Noro Silk Garden in my stash, so I made a second one. It’s a really quick knit; these two were made within a 24-hour period. Worsted weight yarn, 5.0 mm needles… yup, they knit up quickly!

While on Pinterest early yesterday, I came across a recipe for No Knead Dutch Oven Bread. Of course, I checked it out. It sounded really simple to make, so I did. To make the bread, you first mix up the yeast (only 1/4 tsp!), water, flour and salt; this sits and rises for at least 8 hours (no labour involved… doesn’t get much better, does it?). After that, the dough is turned out onto a floured board, folded on to itself a couple of times and then allowed to rest for about 15 minutes before shaping it into a loaf. The loaf is put on a clean tea towel, liberally sprinkled with flour or cornmeal (I used a combination). After rising for 1-2 hours, it’s baked in a preheated Dutch oven. When it comes out, it looks like this…

The only thing I can find wrong with this bread is that it got a little burned on the bottom. I can live with that; I just trim off the burned bits. The crust, when it came out of the oven is crisp; the bread itself is tender and chewy, like an artisan bread should be. Even this morning, it’s lovely and chewy and absolutely perfect with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I will definitely be making this again.

It would be perfect to start it before going to work in the morning, coming home and finishing it up. I can just imagine a couple slices of this bread with a bowl of homemade soup. Yum!!

One more thing inspired that feeling of production this weekend. Remember all the grapes we picked this past summer? We had turned all those grapes into juice and frozen it; some of it I had turned into a batch of grape jelly. John liked it, but decided that it really didn’t have quite the “grape-y” flavour he was looking for. According to him it was good, but tasted more like sugar than grapes (and we even used the reduced sugar Certo). He decided to remedy that and thawed all the juice, put it into a stock pot and reduced it to about half of what it had been. Yesterday, I turned four of the five liters of concentrated grape juice into this…

That’s a total of 15 jars of various sizes and, let me tell you, it’s very grape-flavoured! And it is very definitely John-approved! There is still one liter of juice that had to be re-frozen as it wasn’t enough for another batch. It will be the starter for next year’s batch.

Now, we’re eyeing the raspberries. After all, John ate all the jam and jelly I had made last time (I rarely have jam on toast; I prefer savoury to sweet). I don’t think I’ll be doing that today, though. Seeing as the berries are frozen, they’ll keep for a bit.

I think I’ll make some pasta next. I took some pesto sauce out of the freezer this week and some homemade pasta with homemade pesto sauce, along with some homemade bread would go down really well right about now. What else are you going to do when it’s snowing out?


  1. Very smart, cooking the grape juice down, for your jam. I bet it is "grapey." But yummy as well! :)

  2. Thanks for the tip about the egg-cooking app. I loaded it onto my iPhone and have already used it twice! :-)