Vermont Harvest Folk Art by Doreen Frost
~Fine Needlework, Written Publications & Finished Goodes.~

Tucked in a valley, at the foot of Round Mountain, among the graceful Maples & Oaks you will find our Little Brown House. Smoke billows from the chimney seven or eight months out of the year, a river rambles nearby, sheep & cows graze in the meadows and turkey's forage along the olde stone walls.

"I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions" ~ Augusten Burroughs.

"People aren't longing to be impressed; they're longing to feel like they're home. If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul, they'll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how odd." Shauna Niequist.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

~Rain showers & cool breezes~

Goode afternoon.  As I sit here at my writing desk a cool and gusty breeze is rushing in through the open windows.  The humidity has packed it's bags and headed on out of town!!!!  Thank HEAVENS!!! The a.c has been turned off, the fans, though still running are on their lowest setting and the sounds of bird song and the rustle of leaves, as the tree's dance to and fro, can once again be enjoyed.  I love it.

  A quick little journal entry today as I've still much to do before my workday is finished.  

  • Harriet (my sourdough starter) was given a pre-bake day float test and I'm afraid she did not pass. :( According to Amy Duska, a tablespoon of the sourdough starter should float in a glass of room temperature water when it is ready to bake with.  I did this with Harriet this morning after her daily discard and feed ...and, well, she sunk right to the bottom of the glass!!  SO, we shall continue to feed and discard until she is ready :).  

  • Much to do in the studio before I leave on Friday (orders, club kits, etc.)    Speaking of club kits...The photo above is this months kit ~ Mrs. Sarah Ann Sturbridge.  I just LOVe her!!  I do hope my club members enjoy creating one for themselves as well.

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together" ~George Eliot

Take care, doreen

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sourdough Starter ~ Day Seven

OH MY GOODNESS, I am afraid the only word that fittingly describes today's weather is....GROSS!!!!  I try not to complain about the weather. I actually LOVE the weather and all it's interesting and unpredictable variables.  And, after all, it is not as if complaining will accomplish anything. Our weather will not magically change because I threw a fit about it or allowed it to alter my mood. THAT BEING SAID HOWEVER......humidity is one weather event that falls under the category just can't help yourself!!!  It makes you it's prisoner, trapping you indoors with the hum, bang, and whirl of the air conditioner and/or abundant fans.  Heaven help anyone that isn't blessed with air conditioning!!!  We tried for a very long time to do without one but with my allergies and asthma, it just was no longer possible and I must say, though I do not enjoy the closed in, prisoner-like feeling that takes over me when it is on...I am SO very thankful for the wonderfully cool, dry, comfort it provides.

There is one thing that does benefit from warmth and humidity, and that is my newly created sourdough starter!!!  
~sourdough starter, day 7~
 Sourdough and it's growing micro's (natural yeast it captures from the air and from the flour you use) enjoy the heat and actually need warmth to grow properly.  Perhaps that is why, now on day seven, my starter is (I believe) ready to use.  I am a bit surprised she is ready this soon as I keep her (I've named her Harriet) in the kitchen, which is where the ac unit is and therefore I was expecting her to take 10 days or more before she was ready, however, according to all I've read..those peaks and valley's along with her abundant bubbles means she's ready for baking.  I won't actually bake with the starter today as I need to increase the volume before I can take from it and still leave enough, of the starter, to keep it going.  It is also too warm for baking today, so I will give her a large feeding this evening and another in the morning, and, hopefully, she will double in size a couple hours after the a.m discard and feeding and I can try baking a loaf of bread with her!!

**The rubberband represents where the starter was after the a.m. discard and feeding.  As you can see, it has doubled in size!!!

I wanted to share with you the video's, recipes and help I've had while diving into this SOURDOUGH Journey.  There is a lot of information out there on Sourdough bread baking, making your own, and maintaining, a sourdough starter and it can be confusing.  I am, by no means, an authority on the subject but I have found a few things that are consistent with everyone....

  1. All you really need is flour and water.  The flours can vary (whole wheat, bread, all-purpose, rye) and the liquid can vary as well.. One lady uses pineapple juice another uses smooshed GRAPES!!
  2. Basically, you feed and care for your starter every 12 to 24 hours until it is ready to use.  Which usually takes 7 to 14 days, depending on the environment you are growing your starter in (temperature, air quality, etc. all play a part).  After that, it can be fed once a week.
  3. It really is quite forgiving.  If you forget to feed it at 12 hours, just feed it when you remember and keep going, OR, wait until it has been 24 hours.  It's okay.  Or, if you forget to feed it for a day or two, just feed it when you remember and then continue feeding every 12 hours until you've brought it back to life again.  

**I made two separate starters; one from Amy's recipe and one from Joshua's recipe, and then I combined the two on day four.  Amy uses cup measurements and is very straight forward and easy to follow. Joshua uses grams, a scale and gives you all the little scientific details.  I LOVE both, but in the end, found Amy's easier to follow and didn't really trust my scale ( I think I need a new one) I went with Amy's method once I combined the two together. 


Following Amy's recipe;

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup tap water (we have well water so chlorine is not an issue.

Following Joshua's recipe;

100g   whole wheat flour
150 g water

I followed each recipe, for measurements & times, and then combined them, in equal amounts, on day four.  Discarding the remaining flour/water mixture into my compost bin. :~). 

 I now have one lovely, bubbly little lady named Harriet :).  **Call me crazy for naming my starter but in almost all the video's I have watched, in the last week, ~ most folks had named their starters!  Some people had several starters, all with names!!  They really are live little beings so why not!!  I am going away, on Friday, for a few days and Mark is going to have to take care of Harriet while I'm gone!!! more resource. KING ARTHUR FLOUR!!! Their information is SO very helpful!!  I refer to their Sourdough Starter page often!


Okay, must calls.  Enjoy the day, doreen

Monday, July 29, 2019

~As July Comes To A Close~

Goode morning everyone and thank you for dropping by my new At Home With Doreen Frost journal.  The sun is warm, here in Vermont this morning as I write this entry.  The air is muggy and a gusty breeze is blowing unable, it would seem, to choose a direction.    Oliver & I are just in from our morning routine of weed, water and walk.  A bit of weeding, a bit of watering, a bit of walking.  Each morning the enjoyable time is much the same; a chat with the herbs & flowers, a goode morning to our newly blossomed and sprouted vegetables, a grand HELLO to the tiny little pie pumpkins, of which I am so excited about. Oh the joys of pumpkin pie made from my own, homegrown, pumpkins!!!  Oh, the delights of cooking and baking with my beautiful herbs, the enjoyment of my carefully tended and harvested Eucalyptus & Sweet Annie hanging from pegs and hooks inside our home.  Life is goode.

Next on my list;
  • Discard and feed my sourdough starter (recipe and link in the column on the right). I will share more details in tomorrows journal entry.
  • Tidy house.
  • Studio work;  two orders to print, pack and pop in the mailbox.  Finish packaging and shipping this months club kits.  Pack and ship wholesale shop pattern order.
  • Dinner on the deck this evening;  Tossed green salad made with fresh garden lettuce and herbs and farm stand tomatoes.  Grilled chicken and Crusty bread.
  • Feed starter this evening before bed.
Until tomorrow ~ wishing you a joy-filled day, doreen