Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blogging and Baking, Part of What's New About me

Today marks the 3rd month of my log cabin life.  This eventful day made me wonder what was different about me as a result of "living off the land".   

Interestingly, the living off the land part hasn't quite materialized yet, as the garden is still in it's growing stage, though I am excited to share that the turnips are beginning to show their stuff...I now need to thin them some more, make room for the beautiful bulbs...I was hesitant to thin too much, not knowing what would grow!  Exciting to see the turnips forming!

The overall slow process of growth does not bode well with my impatient side, but I am learning to breath deep and let nature takes it's course.  Fact is, each day does have something new to see, a new sprout (like the turnip bulb), a new flower, or alas, even the death of one of my dearly planted sprouts. Though momentarily distressing, it just makes me want to get it "all the righter"...you can learn more about these propensities of mine in my post Garden Learnings & Frustrations.


So back to what is different about me...two things are clear and distinct from my perspective...1. I am a blogger now & 2. I am baking now.  Each has presented challenges, but more-so are the learnings and successes!

1.  I SO enjoy my writing my blog and reading your comments.  Taking the time each day to think about what it is I want to write about is an adventure in itself.  Sometimes, I have no idea, and the topic presents itself as if to say "of course you will write about this", like the post about the Sun Walking Down the Mountain.  Other times, I have a plan, like making violet jelly.  Then there are the days I learn about something new, like living in a temperate rain forest.  But no matter what the topic, the process of remembering and writing brings me great joy.  As does knowing that you are out there and reading about this adventure of mine (well, ours, me and Mountain Man's, but this is my blog after all, LOL).  I thank you for your support and interest!

I am also interested in taking my writing further, where to I am not sure yet.  But I find putting things into words to be most pleasurable, and intend on it becoming a stronger part of my future...as Thoreau says..."advance confidently...and you will meet with a success unexpected in common hour"!

2. I used to hate baking, it is true.  Even out of a box.  Disaster for me.  I am a cook who likes to put in a little of this and a little of that, and experiment with different twists on recipes, or make up my own thing.  Well, baking does not tolerate such things.  You must follow the recipe.  You must keep the proper balance between wet and dry, stirred to moist vs. whipped to fluff.  But I am learning to walk the fine line, even though I can not help myself but to experiment. 

For example, one day, we had some blackberries, only a handful.  Johny had said one of the best things he ever ate was Aurilia Jone's fried apple pies.  So I thought, heck, I can do that.  So I mixed some squached blackberries, 1 pealed peach, a little tapioca (thickener) and sugar, and them cut a pie crust into four pieces.  I stuffed the crust with the fruit mixture, and fried them, in a cast iron pan, with some cooking fat.  Hmph...
Looks good at this stage:)
...but the top two got burned and the one on the bottom left broke apart.  The one on the bottom right was the closest to the best result.  Now, Mountain Man ate them all...(he'll eat anything sweet...almost).  But I learned that pie crust is meant for baking, not frying, and fruit filling with steam resulting in a puffing action that will bust the best sealed crust.  But all that is OK.  Aurillia's recipe called for biscuit dough for the filling and frying...I will try again!

Then today I baked a Blueberry Custard Pie.  I followed a rhubarb custard pie recipe that for the life of me I can not find where it came from, but if you are interested I am happy to share the specifics.  It was easy.  Except I used blueberries instead of rhubarb. 

The custard mixture was divine, even before cooked, thick and velvety...
...and the end result looks lovely before cooking...
...not so great after baking...
...learning here?  Blueberries may not be a great substitute for rhubarb.  Worse, I cut into it and tasted and piece, and well, once again, not a winner with me.  Mace, which is an ingredient called for in the recipe, may not be a favorite of mine (looks like nutmeg but a stronger flavor).  Another thing I am still learning, my oven cooks hot, and even when I try to regulate the heat by raising the rack or decreasing the heat, with baking things are not as responsive as I'd like. 

But am I discouraged?  NO!  Will I bake again? YES!  Will I experiment with baking recipes? YES!  What can I say, I enjoy the challenge!  I suppose my persistence has grown stronger:)

I will leave you with this lovely ladybug who welcomed us in the garden this morning.  Unusual yellow lady.
I've never seen anything like it.  An perhaps, that is what I love best about this log cabin living!  There is something new each and every day!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,
Lise

10 comments:

Carol said...

Congratulations on both adventures! I enjoy reading your blog.

Mamabug said...

I'm proud of you learning to bake! It may not be your oven. Sometimes the elevation you live at can be the culprit so don't give up!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Baking is always an experiment. I am go glad you are trying new things. Don't give up, you can only learn from your trials!
I'm not a fan of blueberries, so I won't don't want a piece, sorry. LOL

Lise said...

Thank you Carol:)

I know Mamabug, the altitude does have an effect...though I'm looking for a good excuse to get a new oven, LOL, this one is ancient! And I'm good with the learning process, especially since Johny will eat it and I don't have to throw away what I consider less than successful!

Patti, I guess your not being fond of blueberries just makes more for the rest of us, LOL!

Thank you all for visiting my blog:)

Lise said...

Thank you Carol:)

I know Mamabug, the altitude does have an effect...though I'm looking for a good excuse to get a new oven, LOL, this one is ancient! And I'm good with the learning process, especially since Johny will eat it and I don't have to throw away what I consider less than successful!

Patti, I guess your not being fond of blueberries just makes more for the rest of us, LOL!

Thank you all for visiting my blog:)

Dad/Pepere said...

Lady bug, lady bug, when you pass by; sometimes you walk and sometimes you fly; lady bug, lady bug, with coat of brown; you are the prettiest lady in town! (Except for you, of course). Credit to Bobby for the memories.

NCmountainwoman said...

Isn't the blogging world wonderful? I've always loved to bake and I can assure you that once you are a confident baker you can be more creative. Honest.

Lise said...

Dad, thanks for the memories (or Bobby), but I do recall that song!

NCMountainwoman, indeed it is, and thank you for the positive baking thoughts...I shall not give up!

Glenda Council Beall said...

I am still a challenged baker after 45 years of marriage.I admire your experimenting. I'd think rubarb, being a tangy fruit? would need different seasonings than blackberries which are sweeter.
One of my baking mistake -- I made a chockolate pie and didn't bake the crust first. The filling was good, but the crust was raw dough.

Good luck, Lise.

Lise said...

Thanks Glenda, I suppose the challenge is part of what I am enjoying so much!