Saturday, November 27, 2010

Squash Bread

As the proud owners of a 40+ pound Giant Blue Hubbard squash this fall, we've been trying different recipes to make use of this tasty resource.  Besides making "pumpkin" pie with it for Thanksgiving dinner, I tried this recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest" for squash bread.  It is a basic yeasted wheat bread with pureed squash mixed in. They recommend any winter squash (acorns, butternuts, etc.)

  1. The sponge: 2 T dry yeast, 1.5 C warm water, drop of molasses. Mix and set for 5 minutes.
  2. Add: 2 C white flour, 2 C whole wheat flour. Mix, cover and set in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix 2.5 C mashed, cooked squash, 3 T molasses, 0.25 C melted butter, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 0.5 tsp cloves.
  4. Add the squash mix to the risen sponge.  Add flour 1 Cup at a time, alternating between white and wheat, as you mix the dough.  When it gets hard to mix, begin kneading.  Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.  You may need 6-8 cups additional flour in this step. Place covered in a BIG oiled bowl and let rise in a warm spot for an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and knead a little bit more. Shape into loaves and put in/on greased pans. I made one bread loaf plus 18 large dinner rolls. I make dinner rolls by dividing each portion into three parts and rolling each into a ball, then putting the 3 balls into a muffin pan socket.  Cover dough with damp towel and let rise for an hour or until doubled again.
  6.  Bake at 350 - 375 until done. Loaves take about 40 minutes, rolls about 20.
 Very tasty. If I had remembered, I would have thrown a handful of pumpkin seeds (obviously, the peeled ready to eat kind) into the rolls as I was making them as was suggested in a different recipe I saw.

My big loaf leaned a little, maybe because it had to share an oven rack with the turkey, which was a space hog.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hats Off

In my continuing efforts to keep the Horner heads warm, I have added another knit cap to the collection. This a pattern by Anna Zilboorg that has been bastardized to accommodate using a much smaller gauge yarn by adding extra pattern repeats and sneaking in many extra rows.  All in all, I think it came out quite cute.

And, for another fun finish (well, the stitching part is finished, but I've not made it into anything yet.)  I got this idea from seeing a QR code made of a waffle with chicklets and chocolate chips.  I know I am not the first to do this in stitches, but when the idea struck, I could NOT RESIST.

Please, please, pull out your smart phone and scan this baby! I was just so tickled that it worked.  Isn't technology amazing!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's been a circus of a week. My laptop died last Wed and I've been slowly pulling my life back togerher. It's amazing how much of my daily activities were impacted.

So with many hours sitting and rwloading software and configuring things, I've had some downtime waiting for things to install. There is still much to do, but I have regained basic functionality.

This has been my knitting project for those moments. It will be the central vertical back panel of a cardigan. The yarn is noro in some colorway that makes me think of a sunset over Circus Circus.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Loveliness of Ladybugs

Yesterday must have been the perfect combination of factors that culminated in hundreds of ladybugs emerging in the side yard. I first noticed a few on the window screen, but a walk around outside revealed hundreds of them.  Bwah hah ha, you aphids! Don't come around here.

Whenever I see a grouping of beasties large enough to catch my attention, I ponder the proper collective noun to be applied. A few friends were quick to let me know that it was a "loveliness of ladybugs" that I was seeing.  That wonderfully alliteratively enchanting phrase apparently stuck in my head all evening. During the 45 minute wait period between my daughter being dropped off for her orchestra concert and the performance, I sat around in the auditorium and doodled. And enjoyed a lolly from the Halloween booty. (Don't worry, I didn't eat any bugs.)

I tinted it a bit this morning with watercolors. My engineered palette would probably make a real watercolorist cringe, but it works for what I do, which is all that matters. (The little letters are sharpied abbreviations for the color, so when a micro-dot runs out, I can add another drop. Well, except for that pesky Davies Gray and Olive Green that REFUSE to stay adhered once they dry.)