Friday

Brenda's Sourdough Waffles

It’s Maple Sugaring time again here in Ohio and I have been busy boiling down sap.  Every year I try out a new recipe to go along with the season and to use some of the fresh maple syrup; pancakes, waffles, maple cake and even maple cookies.

I have also been baking Sourdough Bread most of this winter. I shared my Sourdough Starter with whoever wanted a start, one of which was my friend Brenda.

Brenda grew up just down the street from my mom and dad’s house years and years ago and we recently started talking through Facebook.  She lives pretty close to me now and she and her husband do something I have wanted to get into, Bee Keeping!  Anyway, she sent me a text that the starter makes the best sourdough waffles ever.  She sent me the recipe and I gave it a try.  These are Oh-My-Gosh-Good!  

The waffles turn out light, crisp and flavorful!  And using my homemade Maple Syrup was just the “icing on the cake!”

This is an overnight recipe, meaning the first part needs to sit out over night and bubble.  
Then first thing in the morning, after having a hot cup of coffee in peace and solitude, and before everyone else wakes, (can you tell I like that time of day best?) you mix in the remaining ingredients. 

The aroma of the waffles cooking will wake the rest of your sleepy
heads. Start cooking bacon or sausage along with the waffles and everyone will wake at the same time.

This recipe also makes great pancakes. 
I use King Arthur Unbleached Flour, it just gives me more consistent results.
I also use butter instead of oil. 
And I use Saco Buttermilk Powder to make the buttermilk. 


Sourdough Waffles


Overnight Sponge
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed


Waffle (or Pancake) Batter
All of the overnight sponge
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix up the over night sponge

Directions For The Overnight Sponge:
To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated Sourdough Starter and remove 1 cup.
In a large mixing bowl or pourable container, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.

Next morning mix together the remaining ingredients and add to sponge

The Next Morning:
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge.
Add the salt and baking soda and stir to combine. The batter will be bubbly.

Grease waffle iron and fill with batter

Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.  It is key that you spray or grease the waffle iron in between each use so the waffles will not stick.
Serve waffles immediately to ensure crispness. Or you can keep them in a warm oven till your sleepy heads wake up.


Pancakes:
Cook the batter in rounds on a greased griddle or skillet, rather than in a waffle iron.

Whole Grain Waffles:
For whole-grain waffles, substitute whole wheat flour for some or all of the all-purpose flour.

Freezing:
This recipe makes about 15 medium waffles and they freeze really well. Let them cool completely, put two in a sandwich bag and freeze.  To reheat simply put them in the toaster.

PRINT RECIPE

Leftover waffles freeze well

I hope you enjoy these waffles as much as my family did.  If you need to make the sourdough starter mentioned in this recipe or for a great sourdough bread recipe, take a look at the links I posted below.

Elizabeth

Leftover waffles cooled and ready to wrap for freezing


Other Posts:






Homemade Maple Syrup


Tuesday

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

A couple years ago I decided to make my own homemade laundry detergent.
I did a lot of research and weighed the cost per load against the leading brands and also discovered the leading brands have lots of added chemicals and fillers.
For cost comparison please go to:  Homemade Laundry Detergent.
I’m still making my own laundry soap and it's still working wonderful for me. 
It’s just that I have always used liquid detergent so when I started making my own I of course made the homemade liquid kind.

A few months ago while talking to a neighbor about homemade detergent, she stated she does make homemade, but is just too lazy to make liquid.  Hmmmm……
What exactly did she mean?  Well back to Google and a little more research.  Seems she is right, powder is much easier to make!
Following is the new recipe I use for making detergent.  I still get the same great results and the powder form lasts us around 2 months.  I have four adults in my house, even one who works construction. And did I mention I live on a small farm with way too many animals? 
Believe me, if it works for me it will work for you.
You do not have to add the Purex Crystals but it does make the detergent smell good as well as your clothes.  I have homemade fabric softener on my list to make this Spring so will post about that endeavor when done.
One other thing I have always done whether using brand name or homemade detergent:  I fill the washer about a 1/3 full before adding the laundry soap.  This gives the detergent a better chance of dissolving and mixing with the water before adding clothes.

Ingredients for laundry soap powder 

This recipe makes a large amount! so make sure to have a big enough container.  I found my glass container for about $10.00 at Wal-mart.

What You Need:
1 Box of Super Washing Soda (3 lbs. 7 oz.)
1 Box of Borax (4 lbs 12 oz.)
1 Box of Pure Baking Soda (4 lbs.)
3 bars of Fels-Naptha (5.5 oz.)*
1 container of Oxy-Clean (1.3 lbs)*
Purex Crystals (28 oz.)* Optional
Mixing Bowl
Storage Container

Mixing:
Finely grate the Fels-Naptha soap.  You can use a grater or food processor.  If using a food processor just make sure to rinse all the soap out of it before using to chop food.


In a bowl mix all the ingredients together.  Store in a large container.
Use approximately ¼ cup for a medium load and approximately ½ cup for large load.
I use the little blue cup that came in the Oxy Clean for measuring.

Mix all the ingredients together

*For the bars of soap you can also try Ivory, Zote or Dr.  Bronner’s Pure Castille Bar Soap.  The Castille soap is of good quality, but what’s great is it’s available in lavender, peppermint, almond, tea tree and other scents.

*Other brands of fabric softener crystals can be substituted for the Purex Crystals such as Downy Unstoppables or leave the crystals out and use your favorite fabric softener.  

Store in a large covered container

*I purchase the large container of Oxy Clean because it’s cheaper per ounce.  Just measure out the 1 pound, 3 ounces which equals approximately 2 to 2 -1/3 cups.  (1 cup equals 8 ounces)
Spring has arrived and we have had a few really nice days to work outside.  Yea Spring!
This week I’m boiling sap down for Maple Syrup but in the coming weeks I hope to get the barn cleaned out and then start on the garden and flower beds.
I will definitely have lots of dirty work clothes!

Elizabeth


Other Posts:


Liquid Homemade Laundry Soap

Scrapbooking A Cookbook

Building Pantry Shelves









Saturday

St. Patrick's Day and Sauerkraut Balls

At the Irish Parade
St Patrick’s Day has always been a fun holiday for us and a reason to spend time with family and friends.  Our day always starts with breakfast then off for a fun filled day with a stop at our favorite tavern, then an Irish parade, followed by visiting the Irish Family Reunion and then back to our favorite St. Patty’s Day tavern, the Hey Hey Bar and Grill.

The Hey Hey is actually located in an old immigrant neighborhood called German Village where my mother grew up. When young, my father (who was mostly Irish) was visiting his sister Mary, (who lived near German Village) and met my mother (who is German).
I also married an Irishman, and both our German and Irish heritages are celebrated and embraced by my husband and I and our children.  

My husband Bill was even at the Hey Hey for their Friday Steak-fry lunch with business associates back in 1989 when I went into labor with our daughter Alexis.  After numerous phone calls to locate him, I was able to find him in time for our daughter’s entrance into the world.
The Hey Hey serves traditional food on St. Patrick’s Day including Corned Beef and Cabbage and Irish Coffee. And their famous Sauerkraut Balls are served every day.  These delicious morels were even featured in MidWest Living Magazine!

Tuesday

Cancun Mexico

Our first trip to Mexico
My sister Kathy called me a couple days ago to tell me that they’re invited to a destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico.  I’m so excited for them.  We have visited Cancun, Mexico both during the Christmas Holidays and during Spring break.  Her call got my husband and I reminiscing about our trips to Mexico and going through all our old photos.  

What a beautiful country it is!  On all our trips, we chose to stay at All-inclusive Hotels.  All-inclusive means the meals and drinks are included in the price.

There are dozens and dozens of hotels to choose from, all in the same area with pricing ranging from affordable/moderate to over the top expensive.  It’s best to shop around for the best deal.
On our first trip to Mexico, and because we had never visited, we booked the trip with a travel agent. After that I booked the trips myself on line.  To find a good hotel,  make sure to read Hotel reviews from people who have actually stayed there.

Wednesday

Building a Wine Rack

Small Pantry Wine Rack 
Last year we remodeled our kitchen, which took nearly a year.  And while at it, I also build a new pantry.  
When I built the pantry I didn't paint it right away because summer was fast approaching.   Instead I filled the shelves and waited for colder winter months.  
Once Spring arrives, I am outside all day working on projects! 
So last month, while the snow was flying I decided to paint the shelves. And while the shelves were bare, I came up with the idea to build a wine rack.  This wine rack is a simple design and easy for just about anyone to build.

Monday

Aunt Janey's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My daughter Jami met her husband Donnie, fell in love and got married a few years back.  (Seems like yesterday!)  
We are really pleased with her choice for our son-in-law, just a great guy.  We also have had the pleasure of meeting many of his family members, which, happily we love too!

Donnie's mother Julie and grandmother Mary are wonderful cooks and I'm still trying to get their Apple Pie recipe (best I've ever tasted) and homemade Chicken and Dumplings recipe. 

Donnie's Aunt Janey and Uncle Eddie live in southern Ohio in a beautiful hilltop home.  Aunt Janey shared this recipe with me after bringing it to one of our fall parties. She told me she originally found the recipe in a magazine years and years ago.
It is absolutely delicious!

And it’s a nice change from all the overly sweet and excessive chocolate desserts, cookies and candies we devoured, (I mean sampled),  recently during Valentine’s Day and the Christmas holiday.  I usually make this as a cake but it is great made into muffins too. 

Thursday

Dry Rub Mix

Dry Rub Mix for Meat or Barbecue Sauce
While searching the Internet a few years back for a good homemade dry rub mix I came across this recipe on The Yummy Life Blog. 
I decided to give it a try and I was not disappointed.  Turns out it’s great on chicken, beef, and pork and I have even used it on fish or when grilling shrimp.

Most of the spices I already had on hand and only had to purchase one or two.
I love spices and when I find one we like I usually purchase an extra.  I also love going into spice shops when we travel.  It's comparable to some people's shoe addiction I think. 

This dry rub mix took me back to long ago memories of my sister Debra and her wonderful recipes and spicy cooking.  One summer weekend years ago, she even spent the day showing my husband Bill and I how to make homemade barbecue sauce.  My sister Debra could just mix things together and they came out delicious every time.  I lost my sister a few years back, but this dry rub mix encouraged me to try to reproduce her barbecue sauce. And I have to say, it turned out wonderful!
So much so that the kids think I shouldn't share it, but I don't want good recipes to be lost forever. 
Been there, regret that.

Sunday

Sausage Kale Soup (Zuppa Toscana)

There is something so comforting and soothing about having a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day. 

If you ever wondered about soup, traditionally, soups are classified into two main groups: clear soups and thick soups. 
I always call mine soup or stew; depending on how thick it is and if there are more ingredients than liquid. 

For soup sticklers, many definitions state: 
“Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two; however, soups generally have more liquid than stews.” 

According to Wikipedia, “Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers (which probably came in the form of clay vessels). Animal hides and watertight baskets of bark or reeds were used before this. To boil the water hot rocks were used.”

Friday

Rabbits: A Natural and Cultural History

Lagomorphs; A Natural and Cultural History.
By Guest Blogger Alexis Lynch.

Rabbits are remarkable and fascinating creatures that deserve appreciation, so I think a bit of an overview is in order:

Rabbits (Sylvilagus) and Hares (Lepus) of North America belong to the Order and Family Lagomorpha Leporidae, and in total there are 29 species of rabbits and 32 species of hares.

So what’s the difference between a rabbit and a hare? 
Rabbits are altricial; meaning they are born in an undeveloped state and require care and feeding by the parents. Rabbits are born naked and blind into fur-lined nests in burrows below ground. They stay in the nest tended to by their mother for a couple of weeks.

Thursday

Psycho Kitty or Sybil the Cat

Our small farm was once part of a much larger property with acres of farmland.  Included in that original property were woods.  Our land is still pretty wooded and has a creek, but now the denser woods are across the road from ours.  Two of our neighbor’s homes are in and surrounded by woods, a creek and ravines.
Because of that natural setting we see a lot of wild animals:  Deer, fox, coyote, opossum, raccoon, rabbits, snakes and hawks to name a few.

A couple years ago on a trip to see Maple Syrup making demonstrations, we ended up adopting 2 barn cats from Malabar Farm, the historical farm of Pulitzer prize winning author Louis Bromfield.  Seems many cats are dumped in front of the park and end up living in their main barn.  The park workers are constantly looking for homes for the many (and I mean many) barn cats living on the property.