Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Science Experiments in the Kitchen

Science Experiments in the Kitchen

I did make lime curd on Wednesday. It turned out well, although it did not taste as much like limes as I thought it would. I taste mostly sugar. As someone who doesn’t eat a lot of sweets, I find sweetness sometimes overwhelms other flavors. The lime curd was also very yellow—not green—no doubt thanks to the richness of the egg yolks. I thought about adding some green food coloring, but in the end, I just followed the suggestion in the recipe and added some freshly-grated lime zest for a bit of color.

Cathy ordered more Meyer lemons and had extras to share, so I stopped to see her yesterday and picked them up. She also gave me a lovely Weck tulip jar. She’s been making salt-preserved lemons. They sounded intriguing, so when I got home, I did up a jar, too:


These apparently are an ingredient in many tagines, so those will be new dishes to try in a month or so when the lemons are ready. Cathy passed along a chicken tagine recipe with olives that sounds amazing.

Fermentation has been a topic of discussion in a homesteading group I belong to on Facebook. I’ve done pickles, I’ve done sauerkraut, but I’ve never (intentionally) done sourdough bread. I am still trying to figure out how much of and what kinds of wheat I can eat. I’ve heard some people say they can tolerate sourdough even if they can’t tolerate anything else. And the Jovial organic einkorn wheat seems to agree with me, mostly—I’ve done a few pizza crusts with it—so I used that in my starter. It’s day 4 and so far the starter seems to be happily bubbling away:


According to the recipe, I should be able to start using this today. I’ll make a loaf of bread and see what happens. I’ve mangled fine without bread for almost eight years now, but it would be nice to be able to have a sandwich once in a while.


I got an actual Rhapso-T made yesterday afternoon. You might get a picture eventually. I take horrible pictures, though. No one could ever accuse me of being a selfie-obsessed narcissist. This Rhapso-T is complete except for the hems. It even has a bias neckband that lies perfectly flat and I am pretty proud of that. Now I need to get out the coverstitch machine and learn how to do hems.

You’ll often hear people say that the way to tackle a big project or something new is to break it down into manageable pieces. Heck, I’m guilty of spouting that particular platitude myself. The problem is that sometimes you don’t know what pieces to break it down into. This was one of those projects. There was so much to learn and sometimes it felt like I had to learn all of it simultaneously.

But oh!—now that I have a basic T-shirt pattern that fits my body the way I want it to and I am comfortable with my serger(s), I want to MAKE EVERYTHING. No more too-short shirts! I am going to be picky about the material I buy, though; the knits from Joanns are okay, but I know there are better, higher quality garment fabrics out there. If I am going to put the time into making something, I want it to look nicer than what I could get at Kohls or Macy’s.

[One of Zede and Mallory’s suggestions is to put clear elastic, twill tape, or ribbon along the shoulder seams of knit garments when assembling them. Zede demonstrated that on her Baby Lock serger which has a presser foot with an opening in the front. The elastic gets inserted into that opening and is fed into the seam as the material goes through. My Janome serger doesn’t come with that type of presser foot. I looked into buying one. They are $45 each, or I could get one as part of a set with two other feet for about $100. Yikes. I am so used to buying presser feet for a couple of dollars apiece that I just about fell over when I saw that price. I’m going to hold off for now. I was able to feed the elastic in manually and that worked okay. Also, I am not convinced the elastic is entirely necessary.]

I owe the husband a set of seat covers, but last night, he brought me this:


It’s the zipper on his insulated Carhartt hoodie. Although the husband has infinite patience in some situations—as with little boys asking him a million questions about what he is doing—he has a lot less patience in others. If a zipper gets stuck, he doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out why; he just yanks at it until it comes free. Collateral damage results. (The lining in the corresponding spot on the other side is ripped.)

I’ll take the zipper out tonight. I think I have a suitable replacement zipper in the stash. He has another one of these Carhartt hoodies, but on that one, instead of having the zipper inserted between the exterior fabric and the lining—which makes the lining prone to getting caught in the zipper—the zipper tape covers the lining on the inside. It’s a decidedly less couture method of constructing the jacket, but does a good job of protecting the lining from the zipper teeth. When I put the replacement zipper into this jacket, that’s how I am going to do it. This isn’t Project Runway.

If a Sewing Machine and a Serger Had a Baby...

If a Sewing Machine and a Serger Had a Baby...

Fun With Geometry

Fun With Geometry