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  Having big question mark on this one. My DH asked me today to make it, like his mom used to make it, this time of the years, using canned corn, hard cooked eggs and old potatoes.

So I did it… I will know only tomorrow if it is good, a bit too late tonight to eat the pie.

  

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What a great concept! Take one book and leave another behind for others to read. Completely free, no membership required. We are starting to see that concept more and more around here, outside the library, at corners, in public places, even in the front yard of private houses, get involve. Start one.  I will have my own, this fall for sure!

  
  

 And smell the books on the shelves.  Today, get yourself your library card and start reading a paper book.      

   
          

   

  

  

  

  

  

  Looking at a  package of sunflower seed yesterday, I could hardly believe this mention … Pollen free branched variety….!

It is time to each one of us, to step in and do something to help the bees. I love sunflowers. I will plant a huge amount of them, with pollen, ok?

 

my sunflowers last year, beautiful big and healthy plants!

 
  So this year, I am putting a garden for bees, full of brightly colors flowers and specifically yellow as a dominant colors.  

  Also I will provide them with a place to drink water and so on.  Bees do not disturb me so the more the better.  The space for my project is 40’x40′.  

   

  

 Today, I will go around and buy my seeds for this.  Will update this post as the summer takes its place!

Bouturage

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Le bouturage est une méthode de reproduction de plantes, simple, faite à partir de la mère de la plante. Dans mes jeunes année, j’utilisais cette méthode pour remplir mon logis de plantes, sans qu’il m’en coûte un prix exorbitant. 

Encore aujourd’hui, je prend ici et là, des feuilles, des bouts de branches que je reproduit en grande plantes mature.  Il faut, bien entendus, être patient et avoir beaucoup de soleil pour une réussite parfaite.  J’utilise du miel pour ´auxiner’ le bébé à former ses jeunes racines.

Cette année, j’ai choisi d’utiliser des boutures pour mes fleurs et pour mon jardin. On verra si ce choix s’avère meilleur que de partir mon jardin avec des semences de graines en terre.

L’eau de saule est une décoction de saule permettant, comme l’auxine, de faciliter le bouturage des végétaux.

On peut la fabriquer par exemple en écrasant avec un marteau quelques rameaux de saule (toutes espèces confondues) qu’on laisse tremper pendant 24 heures dans de l’eau. On récupère cette eau et on y met à bouturer les tiges de la plante. L’eau de saule favorise la rhizogenèse.

Mais la meilleure recette de fabrication consiste à plonger quelques grosses boutures de saule (peu importe l’espèce) dans une bassine d’eau pendant 4 à 5 semaines.

On obtient ainsi deux choses très intéressantes :

  • plein de boutures de saule prêtes à être replantées.
  • le liquide restant dans la bassine ressemble à une sorte de gel laissant des résidus glissants sur les doigts. Les parties du saule qui étaient sous l’eau semblent également être enduits d’un gel transparent ; en particulier autour de la surface de la coupe à la base. Ce liquide permet de faciliter le bouturage ou le marcottage de n’importe quelle plante et de renforcer des arbres affaiblis (par un rempotage par exemple).

Cette technique était très utilisée avant la commercialisation de l’hormone de bouturage en jardineries.

On peut aussi utiliser du miel comme auxine, pour le bouturage.

Sourdough bread made with starter, last July 2009

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Update April 22, 2015, Becacine…., time to bring her to life.  Dropped warm water and same amount of flour here, with some sugar. Took the dry flaked Becacine, mix it all together in a clean jar. Store on a shell and wait…


 

  

Becacine

*June 20, 2012, update : Becacine is in the freezer, well and hibernating for the time being, until I am ready to use her services again.  Here in China, at the beginning of 2011, after coming from Mexico with her in a small plastic bag, I woke her up and did few breads with her.  But the temperature and the air are not very suitable for her health so she is back in the freezer, frozen until further use.  Last time I checked,  Becacine was very well, had a nice white color and ok.

The picture of the bread above, was done last July.  This sourdough bread I made was done so by following the guidance of this gentleman Joe Jaworski.

I am following this site step by step :

OK, I have started back from scratch, my homemade starter for making bread.

Yesterday, April 30, was day 1.  I started my ‘Becacine’ at 2hpm.

100g of bottled water

100 g of white flour (I live in Mexico, in the mountain, I take what I have around me)

My bread starter ‘Becacine’ May 01, 2010, day 2

Today day 2, May 01,  2pm, 24 hours later :

I can see some action here : bubbles and a smell of sour just a bit.  I removed all the mix but 75g of starter and add to it : 75g of water and 75g of white flour.  Let it go for another 12 hours.

Tonight, May 01, at 9h30pm, 7.5hrs later:

The starter has doubled in size, and is full of bubbles.  A very nice smell of sour comes out of the jar.  It will have to wait tomorrow morning, at around 8ham, to feed it again, as I won’t do it in the middle of the night.    

  
 

 

7.5hrs after first feeding, May01 2010

See the green line on the jar?  The starter has doubled in size.

the starter has doubled in size after first feeding May01

Day 3, May 02, 8ham:

Becacine survived her first night…, there is hope for me in giving birth to this ‘water+flour=starter’.  So up I go to feed the child to be : removed all the mix and kept only 75g of this glue mix, add 75g of lukewarm water (bottle) and 75g of white flour.  Mixed it all together and returned on the shelf.  Let ferment for another 12 hours and see where I stand after. 

This process reminds me of the toy that was on the market many years ago, during christmas time, where I got two of those noisy little chain toys and it has to be fed and taking care at any moment of the day.  If not taking care of, it would make a very high noise to tell the child to feed it and so on… very annoying.  And if no taking of, it would passed away… (I ended up in removing the battery at the back of those toys without the children knowing about it).

A starter needs to be fed every 12 hours or so to be kept alive… a true child.  This is the reason most of the bakers have given a real name to their ‘starter’.  This is something that they take seriously!

Day 3, May 02, 10hpm:

No rise this time but formation of ‘hooch’ :

(The ‘hooch’ is just the liquid byproduct of metabolism of the organisms and when it accumulates, you know that soon you need to get your little critters out and feed them. But it doesn’t have anything to do with the sourness of your finished loaf of bread.)  So the starter is progressing and still alive.  Lets feed it again and wait for another 12 hours.   

 
 
 

 

May 02, hooch, 10hpm

Day 4, May 03, 10ham:

Still formation of the ‘hooch’ this morning, progressing and hungry.  Very nice smell coming out of the starter, a kind of sour and sweet at the same time.  Lets feed it and wait another 12 hours.  

 

Close-up, May 03, 10ham ‘hooch’

Day 4, May 03, 10hpm:

Almost no activity after 12 hours, but to no despair (reading this site is helping me to focus on ‘Believe’)  I see a tiny bubble there, the starter is still alive, just kind of digesting the feeding. After all, this is a brand new baby, I have to give it love, tenderness and patience!  Lets feed it and put it back to bed.  Sweet dream baby Becacine.

May03_10hpm_just barely one bubble

Day 5, May 04, 10ham

This morning, the starter has almost double in size, overnight, after another 12 hours of resting with a full tummy.  The tiny bubble yesterday night developed in size and fluffiness.  Now, anywhere between day 5 and day 7, while continuing to feed this hungry baby, the starter will double in size within 8 hours and right then, it will be ready to use to bake breads.  So feeding as usual this morning, and let it sit for another 12 hours.  See you tonight at 10hpm!

May 04, day 5, 10ham, almost double overnight

May 04 close up of the bubbles

May 04, at 1h30pm update

Well the starter has already double in size.  Becacine is alive and ready to bake some wonderful breads.

May 04 day 5 1h30pm

How to maintain a starter now, where I will be spending the next few hours to read and read and read.

May 04 day 5 1h30pm detail of starter alive and well

And because I am who I am, I have already put some aside to dry out and put it in the freezer, just in case something drastic happen to my already very well alive starter.  Here a site that explains it all.

Drying sourdough starter for the freezer in case

Update : back from a vacation of one month

Becacine is alive and well.  I left for an entire month on vacation.  I fed Becacine the day before leaving and put it in the fridge, closed lid.  Today Saturday, exactly 7 days after I got to feed again, she is strong and back to life.  I did 75g-75g-75g of feeding once a day for 6 days this week, throwing out everything.  I kept on smelling Becacine and she told me by itself when it was the time to be fed and when it was the time to wait a bit because her digestive system was still recuperating.  So there is no magic here.  Back to baking now.

Hardball starter

Another starter I am keeping alive is this one, made with a different method of forming a hard ball and letting it grown by itself.  Interesting method and it did go faster than when I was making ‘Becacine’.  This starter has been alive since May 15 and its name is ‘Manuel’.  The smell and flavor is different, more nutty and the sour taste deeper somehow.  I was able to keep them both alive during my month of vacation.

Now I have the ‘Sourdough husband and wife’.

Notes for myself, as I go along with my Becacine:

‘…I treat the starter like the mother or chef and if I am going to be needing a larger amount I simply build what I need. I keep such a small amount so I can remove a Tablespoon or so and use it to inoculate a mix of flour and water as large as I need. So, if I need 300 grams of sour rye for example, I add 50 grams of starter to 125 grams of rye and 125 grams of water the day before. The next day I have 300 grams of sour rye for my deli rye bread…’

‘…I keep a “barm” starter a la Peter Reinhart that I use for much of my baking.  I feed it once a week, to keep it alive and happy.  For feeding, I just use a 1:1:1 ratio of barm to water to bread flour.  It will usually be 2 oz. of each.  That way, when I want to bake bread, I just pull a little bit out of this refrigerator “stock”, and make whatever starter I need for the specific bread I’m making (sometimes a wet one, sometimes a stiff one).

When I feed my barm, I just pull it right out of the fridge, mix in the flour and water (at room temp) very vigorously, and let it double in size at room temp – this usually takes about 6-7 hours in my apartment on a semi-warm day.  Then I pop it back in the fridge to wait until next week.

If I want to bake, I usually mix up the starter at night, and let it go overnight on my dining room table to bake in the morning…’

 

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Hibiscus to be

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I planted that tree actually, last November!

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Simple and beautiful

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Present moment

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Langue de chats pour certains, langue de belle-maman pour plusieurs

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A mature hibiscus tree

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