I love day's like today . . .

Have you had a day lately, where you finally realize that you haven't eaten anything since you got up, and that the cup of coffee you drank a couple hours ago might need some company? That's today. Now, I didn't get up until a bit after noon, but once I got up, I hit the ground running. I did about half the laundry, a little knitting, had a mini photo shoot (the fruit of which you'll be seeing for a few days), fired up the dueling crock pots and started down the long road to four loaves of sourdough bread. So, I ate my breakfast, which consisted of a bowl of yogurt with honey and cinnamon and a bit of ceral, at 4:55.

Speaking of sourdough - I don't think I've introduced you to the new starter. Meet Fredda:

Isn't she cute? I've decided to try a liquid starter this time, because as much as I liked the solidity of the stiff starter, I've decided that I prefer being able to stir the flour and water I'm feeding the starter into it, instead of having to knead it in.

I love the earthiness of sourdough. It amazes me that all I put into this loaf is some flour, water and salt. The starter was made from flour and water, and to that I just add more flour and water and a bit of salt. Then all I have to do is wait, and by some miracle, it rises into a loaf of bread that once baked is light, lofty, chewy, tangy and wonderful.

But it takes forever to get from start to finish. And with my schedule (remember, I got up at noon) it usually means finally baking the bread around midnight. I'm working on how to time this out so it fits life a little better, because I love the bread, but I don't get too many chance to make it. 12-16 hours of starter development, 2 hours of initial rising, 4-5 hours for the first real rise, 4-5 hours for the second rise, and close to an hour to bake. 23-29 hours, yipe!

I have a new project in the works, and despite my trepidations, it's flying off my needles.

This is the hood of the baby sweater, and the beginnings of the shoulder shaping. That's a day's worth of progress. I haven't done much to it today, besides take it's picture, because I've been doing all that stuff I listed at the beginning of the post. I think I can finish the shoulder shaping tonight and move on to the body of the sweater.

I have a question to pose with this sweater. The pattern I'm loosely following has two sets of ties near the neck of the sweater, and I don't like them. So, if anyone wishes to answer me: What is the best closure for a toddler's cardigan sweater? Buttons? Snaps? A zipper?

Now, about those dueling crockpots:

This is a crockpot recipe for steel cut oats, that makes either delicious creamy oameal, or if you let it cool, a polenta like semi-congealed oaty loveliness that can be cut into bars. I'm hoping it will make it easier for me to remember to eat breakfast on these "hit the floor running days." It might pack well to take for dinner at work too. This particular rendition contains steel cut oats, milk, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and some partly cooked cranberries.

This is a hybrid recipe. I combined parts of two chili recipes. This is a sweet potato chili with ground pork and some of our home made chipotle chilis. It smells good, I'll report back on how it tastes.

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