So I promised I'd report back on the bread. Here's how it looks on the inside.
Because it's intended to be a sandwich bread, it has a fairly dense crumb in comparison to other artisan sourdough breads. It's made with a whole wheat starter, white whole wheat flour, regular bread flour, and pumpernickel flour. There's a bitterness associated with the pumpernickel flour that I can taste, and I'm not a big fan of that. Nevertheless, it was delicious toasted with jam and butta this morning.
Even with getting a haircut and making bagel dough yesterday, I had several hours for sewing. The hand is finished now.
From there, I finished up the bottom portion of the snake. I'll be giving him an eye eventually.
And here's where I left it for the day.
If you look at that image above, you can see the largest sections that extend diagonally from lower left to upper right. There is one above the hand that is all background fabrics. I've finished the next one down, and now I'm working my way across the one below that. When all the sections are finished, I'll sew them together on the longest seams.
The little OshKosh overalls I purchased for their labels and hardware arrived in yesterday's mail. Let me tell you...overalls on the floor are every bit as enticing as a quilt on the floor.
Whoa, Smitty. What is this? It's diffurent from those other beds Mom lays down fur us.
Okay, Sadie...I think it's safe. I purrsume Mom put this here fur us to nap on.
The sun is shining today, and we haven't seen the sun for quite some time...unless there was snow on the ground simultaneously. Seeing green grass and sunshine is quite a spectacle. As the storm moved off yesterday, the skies were dramatic.
We had one of the first rainbows of the season, and it was a full-sky arch.
This morning I baked off the bagels. These are all plain. Mike can't tolerate things like poppy seeds or sesame seeds, and so I've been topping them with onion. The topping tends to fall off into the workings of the toaster, however, and it makes a big mess. Plain seems the best way to go.
You can see that the ones in the upper left corner are browned and they've risen nicely. The others deflated when they were boiled. I'm trying to figure out what causes this, and no explanation I've read really suffices since they were all handled exactly the same. It doesn't affect the taste one iota, and so I'm only curious in a baking self-improvement sort of way. One idea I have is that there is a chemical reaction going on in the water. I'm using an aluminum pot and there is a tablespoon of baking soda in the water (aids in browning). The first ones into the water deflated more than the latter ones. As they are boiled, the water becomes foamier and foamier. (I can only fit three at a time.) I'm assuming it's something that comes off the bagel and into the water that prevents the deflating. Next time, I'm going to try boiling them in my enameled Dutch oven to see if it makes any difference.
The one in the lower right stuck to the side of the boiling pot before hitting the water, and it got stretched out of shape as I pulled it away. I ate that one right away to hide the evidence. No one will ever know, assuming you don't tell anyone. (Zips lips tightly shut.)
Also yesterday, I made some progress on Millicent. She's been pretty much neglected for the past week or so. I'm hoping to get her finished within the next couple of days.
When she's finished, I can get back to the Hocuspocusville block I was working on.
We're taking off on our camping trip tomorrow, and I'll leave it as I did last time. My laptop is tagging along, and if there's anything to tell you, I'll get on and write a blog post. If not, then I'll be right back here next Tuesday morning. In between we're hoping for at least one good day of weather on our three-day trip. The rest of the time we'll relax, eat, sleep, stitch, and I'm going to take along my scrub jay photograph and try to draw out a pattern a la the Ruth McDowell method.
Sewing these while traveling isn't a good plan since they require a bit of room to spread out. On the other hand, drawing the pattern is an excellent camping project. Ann Shaw gave me a good place to start when I was at her class last week, and so I think I can take it from here. I'm kind of excited to give this a try while the technique is still fresh in my feeble mind.