[cooking] Cinnamon Buns

This past Sunday, I made some cinnamon buns:

Sunday cinnamon buns.

Yet another application for no-knead dough that I keep in the fridge. In this case, part whole wheat. I tear off a hunk of dough, let it rise, deflate and roll it out (it can be sticky- so I flour often and roll it out onto a silpat mat), smear a paste of butter, cinnamon and sugar, roll it up into log, use a strand of thread to cinch/cut rounds (better than using a knife, which can smoosh the rolls) and place into a greased pan:

Cinnamon Buns

The rolls are irregular in size because my log gets thinner towards the ends. Not problem, just fiddle with pieces like you're putting together a puzzle but leaving enough room between them for another rise:

Cinnamon Buns

Ooooo eeee, after the second rise they're all nice and puffed and cuddled up to one another. Time for bake at 350 for 30 min:

Cinnamon Buns

Gorgeous. Tasty without any other additions but why not mix up some half-and-half with powdered sugar to a drizzlable (mah drizzle for shizzle) consistency:

Cinnamon Buns

Next time- savory? Pizza pinwheels? Or use a pesto filling. Once it's ramp harvesting time, I might just have to try this.


[gardening] Late April flowers

It's still early spring in VT. My hot pink primrose just started blooming yesterday:

Love this pink primrose. Will divide this year.

The hyacinths aren't very robust but they are multiplying.

Not particularly robust hyacinths but def multiplying.

I've been weeding a bit around the sempervivium:



I think I'm going to try something with the whiskey barrel and sempervivium down in the lower flower bed this year.

Fritillaria bulb that I planted last fall starting to skyrocket:

Fritillaria bulb planted last fall. Can't wait to see it blooming! #fritillaria

Cannot WAIT to see this thing bloom. I also put in many allium blubs that are starting to come up as well.

In terms of wild foraging, I checked out my secret cache of ramps down by the brook:

Ramps. Should be good picking in a week or two.

Oooooo eeeee, once these are nice and big, then I'll head up the mountain to pick from the sea of ramps.

And rhubarb:


Yuck, right? I've never caught rhubarb this early in the season before- just coming out of the ground. The leaves look like brains... popping out of red pods... I don't know. But this patch/spot of rhubarb has been on the property since my great grandmother was alive. I love the fact that it's still around (and didn't get covered up my boulders when the house foundation was being put it).


[books] 5 Colleges Book Sale

Went to the 5 Colleges Book Sale on Saturday. Didn't get there until 10am and I think this is better than getting there early, waiting in line, pushing/shoving. The craziest people have dispersed by then but the book selections are still good. I found so many crafting and cookbooks.

I didn't get this one but couldn't help giggling:

1980's Cookin' Healthy with One Foot Out the Door cookbook. Pretty sure the woman on the cover is reheating a sack of tacos for her kids at 8:45 at night. #5collegesbooksale

Cookin' Healthy with One Foot Out the Door. Sooooo 80's. I'm really feeling for this woman on the cover. Three kids, she's wearing a purse AND holding a soft briefcase under her arm WHILE holding a baby and stirring something. The clock says 8:40 and I'm going to go with PM. There's a brown bag on the counter that says "Taco Caca" so I think all she's mixing up in that bowl is a jar of salsa to go with the takeout. She's wearing a wedding ring but who knows if her husband isn't in the picture because he works 2nd shift. Maybe he's just sitting in the living room wondering where the goddamn supper is. Even the thickest shoulder pads can't alleviate the daily pressure upon this poor woman. I didn't check out the recipes but hopefully the was a special "Vodka" section for working moms.

I saw this book but it looked so laaaaaame:

Laaaaaaame! #5collegesbooksale

You think it's about a baby that can't walk or just isn't cool?

I did end up getting this one:

How can I not get this book? #5collegesbooksale

With a title like that, how could I not?

I did get a few cookbooks but mostly stuck with craft books- rug braining, drying plants for wreaths, sashiko, crocheted afghans, cross stitch pattern pamphlet for a Monopoly board (can create a customized board now!), cross-stitch alphabets, a few DVDs, maps, etc.


[cooking] Chocolate bundt

A chocolate cake in a new design bunt pan:

Chocolate bundt for dinner guest tonight. Plus two bottle of wine 🍷 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷

Had a friend over for dinner last night and made the usual easy roasted whole chicken, roasted tri-colored new potatoes, steamed broccoli. And chocolate cake for dessert. And two bottles of wine.

The recipe is Chocolate Pound Cake in the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion Cookbook.

Earlier in the week, I tried making onion rings. There were even some onion hearts:

Onion ring hearts! 💛

It was a legit disaster. I deep fry at home maybe once a year and I've never made onion rings before. I tried the flour > egg > panko. None of the breading stuck and they were gross. I whipped up a quick beer batter and tried to salvage some of the rings... but I was frying in batches and by the time I finished frying sea scallops, the onion rings were cold. So I'm not going to fry anything at home ever again and just save it for when we go out to eat. 

TGIF. I just got the Adventure Time Official Cookbook and want to try some recipes from that this weekend. The recipes are good- there's even one for Super Porp soda- which they've written as a grape kombucha. I've never made kombucha at home but would love to give it a try this coming fall when I harvest wild grapes around the property. I feel like I'll probably make Jake's bacon pancakes this weekend. Party God has a recipe for breakfast pizza. Cinnamon Bun's cinnamon buns. Lumpy Space Princess keeps reminding you to add beans to everything. It's an amusing cookbook.


[gardening] Daffodils

I couldn't resist getting some spring bulbs last week. 

Tiny little daffodils that I put in a few days ago. Will probably make a later appearance next year.

I planted some daffodil bulbs many years ago on the lower lawn, with the hope that they would naturalize and spread and my lawn could eventually be a mass of daffodils until we mowed for the first time of the year. But they eventually just petered out after a few years.

So I bought some more and put then in the front flowerbed, along with some tulips. (This all just reminds me of the tulip bulbs I tried to bring home from Holland last fall but where confiscated by US Customs... #neverforget.)

I have a few random bulbs that I planted last fall coming up in the lower flower bed. Maybe allium? I can't remember.

It's almost friiiiidddaaaayyyy. 


[crochet] Lost in Time

Starting a new shawl:

Starting something new... #crochet

Can't decide if I love it or "meh" it. I'm just going to keep on working on it. I've got so much of this yarn to use up. 


[crochet] Alter Ego Potholders

Still working on crochet-only this month. I finished a few double-thick potholders:

Three new double-thick hot pads and two little oval rugs. #crochet

Yarn: Bristol Yarn Gallery Somerset (cotton/silk), discontinued, 3 balls: purple, pink, green.

Hook: F (3.75mm)

Notes: The original pattern is for an afghan square. It starts with a circle, alternating colors for each half, and then you square it up. I followed the instructions for the round portion (and added an extra round) and made two circles- then I put them back to back and did a single crochet to bind them. Twice as thick, machine washable, bright and cheerful.

I didn't have enough leftovers for another potholder so I made quick little oval rugs. Which I started using right away:

Using the little crocheted rugs under vases.

These were all quick to make and I used nearly every last bit of three balls of Somerset that have been taking up space in my stash for years.

I am going to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival the first weekend in May and I'm so excited. I have a friend that lives in the DC Metro area now, so I have a place to stay and someone to come with. It should be flipping awesome. I went to Rhinebeck maaaany years ago and it was huge and overwhelming. I'm sure this will be the same but I've got to experience it once. I'll try to use up as much yarn as possible between now and then... to justify all the yarn and fiber I will inevitably end up buying there.

If you're local, the 5 Colleges Book Sale is this weekend at the Lebanon High School. Will probably go Saturday morning and get into line. I'll be looking for craft books and maybe some gardening reference books.


[vermont] Rainbow

Yesterday evening:

All the way across the sky rainbow 🌈 #vermont

That's rainbow ridge over there. Whenever we get light rain and sunshine, there's always a rainbow to the east. We were on our way to dinner when I looked over and saw the complete arch over one of the wild apple trees. You can see a faint 2nd rainbow above the more vibrant one. 

I'm glad that the weather has warmed and I was able to spend some time outside, cleaning up flower beds. Some crocuses on the front lawn are the only things blooming at the moment:

Crocuses on the front lawn blooming. #vermont


Continuing to clean up flower beds and paw around, inspecting early growth. Crocuses are still the only things blooming.

As I was clearing away old, dead growth, I was surprised at how much green I saw coming up.

Irises, everywhere:

Irises for days and days.

These hyacinths I found hiding under some old catmint foliage:

Worked on cleaning up flower beds this afternoon. Found these hyacinths hiding under old catmint foliage.

Early stages of what will be 5+ foot tall delphinium this summer:

The (very) early stages of 5ft tall delphinium.

Daylilies are coming. I couldn't resist getting some daffodils and tulips to put out front near grape hyacinths. In the shade bed behind the house, the snow has only just melted but hostas and bleeding hearts and primula are coming. I'm cutting back (hopefully not too much) shrubs and old perennials. It's nice to be working outside again. 

[cooking] Chocolate Babka

King Arthur Flour's bakalong challenge for the month of April is chocolate babka. And it was pretty easy!

Yesterday's babka for breakfast. #kingarthurflour #bakealong #chocolatebabka

I mixed up all the ingredients in my stand mixer and then moved the dough to the oven to rise.

Chocolate Babka

I divided the dough in half and rolled each out just larger than a silpat mat. Then I smeared the butter/sugar/cocoa mixture and sprinkled chopped chocolate chips:

Chocolate Babka

Then I rolled them up and cut lengthwise:

Chocolate Babka

The twisting took a little finagling:

Chocolate Babka

Two loaves, ready for a final rise (the one of the left was my first attempt):

Chocolate babka, into pans for a final rise. #kingarthurflour #bakealong #chocolatebabka

An hour later, nice and puffy:

Chocolate Babka

After baking:

Chocolate Babka

Chocolate Babka

So I had a slice (or two) and then my cold/flu kicked into high gear Sunday. I started to feel a little off at the end of last week- working with students all week, getting their germs. Sigh. By Sunday afternoon, I couldn't taste or smell anything (I made soup for supper- NO idea how it tasted) and I was having chills shooting down my spine any time I came out from underneath blankets. 

I cut up both loaves into individual slices and put each slice into a separate sandwich bag and stacked them all in the freezer. The plan is to just pop a frozen slice into the toaster as needed. I have no appetite because I can't taste anything and I'm not going to waste the babka. Hopefully now this sweet bread should last for weeks.


[vermont] April Fools

This is another one of my super-busy work weeks, so I don't have much to show in terms of crafty stuff. I've not had time to do anything other than get up, go to work, werk werk werk werk werk (he see me do me durr durr durr durr durr), get home, make supper, eat late and go to bed. What a glamorous life I lead.

The weather has been pretty rainy and not-awesome this week. And this is after an April Fools Day blizzard last Saturday:

Saturday, April 1

Saturday, April 1

Saturday, April 1.

That was five days ago. You know what the forecast temperature is for next Tuesday, five days from now? 76 degrees. SEVENTY-SIX DEGREES. I assume temperatures will reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit before the end of April? Maybe? Things around here should be as hot as the surface of the sun by this summer? Yes? Is that how weather works? No? I'm just... not ready to go from "Yay, snowshoeing" to shorts/flipflops/air conditioning in ten days. I am ready for spring weather and plants and gardening... but the rapid change in weather is just kind of alarming.

Looking forward to a half day tomorrow! TGI(almost)F.


[knitting] Tree of Life baby blanket

Working on a baby blanket:

Baby blanket almost done. One more panel to go. #knitting #babyknits

Once this is done, I'm moving on to crocheted items. The Sophie's Universe afghan that I keep threatening to finish. A crocheted shawl and a new crocheted baby blanket. Amigurumi. April is going to be crochet-only month for me.