It is about time I got back to blogging

I know I know, it has been too long, but I have a good reason. Well, I think it is.

Knitting for KOGO

I have been knitting up a storm for that charity, KOGO. Winter is coming fast and I wanted to get my box done so they could give out the beanies and scarves to people who needed them. I think I knitted around 20 scarves and probably the same with the beanies. I filled a big box with everything and delivered it this last week. So relieved to get it all done.

No idea whether any of it was any good. I haven’t heard from anyone. It doesn’t really matter. I enjoyed doing it, but am glad I’m done for now. I am going to do more, but not concentrate on them as I have been. I pretty much stopped doing almost everything to get that boxed filled. I am going to aim for another box of knitted goods to be delivered next year before winter. This way I can knit when I feel like it and not feel so rushed with it all.

I did do some other knits as well. I had to knit a couple of blankets for my cats, Ralph and Susie, because they love the final products. I also knitted scarves for my daughters and beanies for Dave. I think I am done for now. My right arm is starting to hurt so I need to give it a break.

It is time to get back to other things.

Changing how I make my sourdough

I’ve told you how I’ve been making sourdough bread now for a couple of years. When I was learning I saw so many different ways of making it. I have always done the way with the multiple stretching and pulling etc. It is a fairly classic way of doing it. Most of the time it worked and it was good.

Recently I saw Paul Hollywood (Great British Bake Off) making some sourdough and he used his stand mixer. OMG a light went off in my brain. I tried it. It worked. It worked really well.

The dough has to be in the stand mixer for quite a while, around 20 to 25 minutes. I do it until the dough is really smooth. I still do the stretching and pulling, but only a couple of times. Then it is left in the proofing box for about 4 hours.

It is making these perfect loaves of bread. I’m so happy. Less time mucking around with it and great bread when it is done. I think I will continue making it this way from now on.

The photo in the header is of some sourdough bagels I made the other day.

The garden

Things are happening there, but I think for this post I will leave it at that. I will do a post on the garden and just the garden soon.

Is that enough for now? I thought we could look at the cats.

My Cats

I don’t know if I told you that we have a new cat.

This is Ralph.

He is another cat that did belong to my eldest daughter, but she was having trouble with him. More that he was too lonely and really needed another cat. She was also working so much that she didn’t have time for him.

We weren’t sure how our other cat Susie would cope. She has always seemed like a cat that prefers to be the only cat.

Turns out Susie really enjoys Ralph being here.

He came for a week’s holiday six months ago. I think we can safely say he lives here now.

I love him. He has really become my cat. He likes to be around me all the time. Though, he is like Susie in that he doesn’t like being picked up much and won’t sit on my lap. He is such a gentle soul though. He has a lovely and curious personality.

I will leave you today with some images of them. Look at the one of Ralph watching cat tv on YouTube. He often watches the tv with us. I’ve never seen a cat do that before.



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    1. Hello Mitchell, I remember you, it has been a while. Welcome back. That was a long time ago, wow, I think Laura and I stopped the collab stuff back in 2015. It has been a while.

  2. Oh that bread looks delicious. I haven’t made yeast bread for years, although I used to make it every couple of days. Your knitting skills are impressive, I never have gotten the hang of knitting, although I do crochet, and enjoy beading. And your cats! I am a cat lover too, right now I have five cats. I haven’t posted any photos of them for a long time. I really need to get back in the swing of living. My peonies are blooming, and the flowering trees have been here/done that already. The weather is weird as usual, and everything just bloomed quickly and then stopped.

    1. Thank you Pat, I love sourdough and I really enjoy making the bread. I have been knitting since I was a kid, I don’t remember learning. I did learn to crochet, but I never really kept it up so I don’t really remember much with it. Cats are so funny, I don’t understand people who don’t like them. I know what you mean, I’ve been hibernating, it is too cold to do anything. I love peonies, I haven’t had any luck with them. So if you have any tips I’m all ears. The weather is always weird these days sadly.

  3. Great updates on all the various things you do! I’ve been making quilts (mostly from scraps and donated fabrics) for Project Linus, which they say they donate all over the world. It makes me happy knowing that a kid somewhere may get a quilt from our group in Knoxville. Your sourdough sounds dreamy, so I hope you keep doing it as well. Best wishes for a productive summer.

    1. That sounds like a great project to be involved in Rusha. I love things like that. We are a long way from summer, but winter is shaping up to be a wet and cold one for us. Thank you Rusha.

  4. Your knitted scarf looks lovely, beautifully knitted and such a great mix of colours. The bread looks very good too. I don’t make sourdough (just with packet yeast), as I expect you know, but before I had problems with my wrists I would knead the dough for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Then I decided to buy a food processor, so I could still do things I did before, and now it takes about a minute to mix the dough and it is more springy than when I used to knead by hand. It is amazing what machines can do..

    1. Thank you RJ, the wool for that scarf was so nice and the colours kept changing. I love the sourdough bread, sometimes the starter can be a pain, but I just do it. I have the same problem with my hands. I love being able to use the hand mixer for dough. I agree, machines do do it so much better.

  5. Ralph is so cute! your knitting looks great Leanne, and it’s so wonderful that you donate them. ❤️ The bread looks good, just dip it on a wee bit of olive oil or similar. I’ve noticed that you’ve not been here or on IG lately, our “real” lives always come first!

    1. Thank you so much John. I love donating them, it is an interesting way of volunteering I think. I still love making my own bread, and it is always great to eat. Yeah, I had to get that stuff knitted, but I plan on getting back into it all this week.

    2. I look forward to seeing your works! My mother loved making bread with her machines. She had one that looked like the R2D2 character from Starwars. We were watchiing TV in the other room when we heard a huge boom! The darm machine had vibrated it’s way right off of the counter! Ooops… 😂

    3. Thank you John. I used to have a bread machine, but I didn’t like it. I have heard other stories of them ending up on the floor. I heard one story when it did and the dog ate it then had to have emergency surgery to get rid of it. I’ve worried a few times that my Kitchen Aid would end up on the floor, but so far it has just moved on the bench.

    4. The companies that make them should rething the design! 😂 It’s funny to se R2D2 on the floor rolling around…

  6. Ralph is a handsome boy, and Susie is a little beauty! I’m glad they get along so well. Only one of my cats likes to be picked up, but I have to walk around with her. So weird. I thought cats enjoyed being cuddled. I guess they do, but on their own time. Such independent little ones. 😺

    1. Susie is so tiny compared to Ralph. I thought they loved cuddles too, our old cat loved them so much that it is hard to have cats now that don’t. They are very independent creatures. Thank you Lois.

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