A Patch of Blue

You see it, don't you? That patch of blue there in the sky. Phew! I thought I might be hallucinating.

Look fast, because it's already gone as I'm writing this. Nevertheless, the forecast calls for a dry day today with only a 20% chance of rain. Tomorrow, it goes to 10%, which is a good thing. Tomorrow, Sue and I will get back to our regular Friday morning walks. She's been off gallivanting around the Southwest for the past month, while I've been here at home attending quilt classes and camping at the beach. For once, we planned our vacations at the same time.

There was no time for sewing yesterday. The bread dough took its sweet time rising yesterday. This was a very slack dough, and I had it in my oval bannetons for its final rise. It took three times as long as expected, and as soon as it was removed from the bannetons, it turned into a pancake loaf. Even the heat of the oven couldn't bring it back.

The loaf in the foreground is perhaps 3 inches in height at its tallest. The one behind is only about an inch and a half. My baking friends on Facebook use these failed loaves to make croutons, and so I'll do that with the back loaf. As for the one in the foreground, the bread tastes good, and so I toasted some for breakfast this morning. Still, this isn't a recipe I will repeat, and so I'm still in search of a good plain old white sandwich bread. Next up, I'll try one out of the new Bread Illustrated book from America's Test Kitchens.

As I've said many times, America's Test Kitchens is generally my go-to source when I'm trying to find the best recipe for something or other. Let's hope they come through with the bread.

The bread took so long that I didn't get off to the grocery store until afternoon, and I had a few other errands to run along the way. That meant I didn't get any sewing done, but I did use the bread waiting time to get a good start on Gertrude.

This morning I did her curls and beaded necklace. There's a whole lotta French knots there. The knots needed to be fairly large, and so I used three strands of floss and did a double wrap.

Today I'm taking advantage of the dry weather (and the soggy soil) to spend some time pulling weeds in the culinary herb garden. I noticed that the chives are already coming up and I harvested some for last night's dinner. It's very good weed-pulling weather, and cleaning up the herb garden is always one of the first gardening chores of the season. We get the most annoying weed known as "hairy bittercress." You probably have it in your own garden.

It's an edible weed, and I've actually used it in salads and deviled eggs. It's best eaten before it blooms, however, and most of ours is past that point. Once its flowers go to seed, it's impossible to pull it up without them broadcasting their seeds in all directions. The herb garden is full of it right now. It's easy to pull up, but the time is now since I don't want an even bigger crop next year. I expect it will take me a couple of hours to get this done this morning.

Aside from weeding the herb garden, there are a few housekeeping chores to do, and then I'll get back to my sewing. If you're stitching along with the Bag Ladies of the Fat Quarter Club, 

Cat Patches

I hope you'll link up at the party that goes live tomorrow. No finishes required.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dorothy Finley said...

I have another name for that weed----and it's unprintable :-)

CathieJ said...

Gertrude is looking wonderful. My son likes to rely on America's Test Kitchen for tried and true recipes also. He also likes their equipment recommendations. Your breads may be flat but the crust is beautiful. I am glad that it tasted good and that you will use it to make croutons. Happy stitching and baking....weeding too. LOL

Shirley Elliott said...

I have hairy bittercress in my yard but never knew what it was called. It's just a weed that I fight each year to keep out of my yard. I spent about an hour this morning pulling up clumps of it. (Yes, my soil was moist also and it was usually easy to get up roots also. Love your bag ladies. They are so personable by the time you have finished the embroidery. Have really enjoyed following along on your bread adventure.

Denise :) said...

I did see blue -- we had about that much here ourselves, today. Unfortunately, our rain chances are going up, up, up! Your purple bag lady is darling -- I love the French knot accents (I adore stitching French knots). She definitely looks like she belongs in the red hat club! Was the coloring part of the pattern? I can't remember. I've been trying to decide if I wanted to add a little color this way to Hocuspocusville. I've seen one or two crayon tinted, several that used lots of different colored flosses, some that kept it to two colors of floss (generally black and orange) and some that were all black floss. Things to think about. Sorry about the bread. Fresh croutons are nice! I had a lovely pound cake that I made in new pans -- they didn't turn the cake out well. I scraped it out in chunks -- wasn't about to serve it as a cake, so I cut it up in squares, put them in a gallon freezer bag, and tucked it in the freezer. I pull it out, grab a couple of handfuls, toss some fresh cut strawberries on top with some whipped cream and voila. Lemons to lemonade, right?! :)

Kate said...

We need to do some weeding and such too. Looks like we'll get rain for the weekend, so it's probably not happening then. Hope you got all your garden chores done so you can enjoy the weekend.

Dana Gaffney said...

I was thinking about you yesterday when I was potting up new hibiscus plants for the iguanas. Lots of blue skies here and sun and heat.

Lady Jane said...

We have had some nice blue skies lately but we are predicted for a lot of snow this weekend. DANG!!! Just getting to see the yard again. Love your bag lady. I agree with Dorothy. Mine is unprintable also. I am afraid I have had bread mishaps also. Sad but true. Hugs, LJ

Wendy Tuma said...

That bread should make scrumptious croutons. I like to use Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle for croutons (recipe is on the larger bottle, I think?) Yum! The sun is trying half-heartedly to come out today, peeking out just a bit. So tired of the gloomy days. Enjoy your weekend!

Brown Family said...

Your french knots look great!

quiltzyx said...

Guess that is just a rude bread recipe after all. Laying out flat like that. Humphf!

Fabulous job on Gertrude's hair! She's looking quite nice.

Dar said...

You did an excellent job on Gertrude's hair and necklace. That must have taken quite a few hours to do. She is looking marvelous!