baguettes.

But first, a winner! I used a random number generator, and it picked April! She’ll receive a copy of Killing the Darlings, the latest album by Pearl and the Beard. Congratulations, and thanks, all, for commenting. [If you have thoughts about whether you’d be interested in seeing opportunities like this here from time to time, do send me an email.]

Now, baguettes.

Remember how I received a gift that keeps on giving (sourdough starter) for my birthday? Well, dear friend Ethel Louise came over last week to teach me how to make baguettes from my starter. The night before, she provided instructions for mixing the leaven and the poolish, and then I prepared the dough and gave it a few turns before she arrived. We shaped the dough, took Boh for a walk, carefully molded it into baguette loaves in a special way to maintain tension in the dough, heated the oven (and her baking stone and special beat-up cast iron pan for the bottom of the oven), and then, just before the loaves went in, she threw a handful of ice into the cast iron pan to make lots of steam. She is a rockstar. (Also, did you see that my new oven has an oven light? Fancy.)

I mean, these are awesome in normal vision, but don’t they look even more delectable in hipstamatic? (Yes. The answer is yes.)

Ethel is headed overseas for research for a few weeks, and is leaving me the baking stone, the cast iron pan, and her copy of the Tartine cookbook. We’ll see if I can recreate this magic while she’s away…

Happy Friday, folks! I’m off to campus.

norwegian tomato button bags.

Ahh, Friday. Today’s title is a mixture of elements from each of the things I have to show you. (It has been a long week.)

norwegian top fiber

norwegianbob1

This is Norwegian top, from the big, basic fiber order I placed right when I got my wheel. It is softer than it looks, but I’m not quite sure how to tame all of these super short fibers. I divided my 8 oz into 2 chunks, and I’m working on turning the first 4 oz. into some basic 2-ply. I’m interested to see what happens once I ply and set the twist. Anybody have experiences with this fiber to share?

tomato jam

Last night I made this tomato jam. I am planning to bake bread today in order to enjoy it. I am very, very excited.

babybelleneeds buttons

As you can see, I won my race with my ball of handspun — and I even had about 15 yards leftover. Next up: blocking and buttons!

baggu!

Also, yesterday was full of surprises! First up, this set of Baggu bags arrived from Joy the Baker, along with a lovely note about how I’m a winner. (I needed that.) I cannot wait to take these to the farm this week. Plus, I heard from a college friend who just happens to be within a few hours of New Home, so she is driving down for the day!