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Making Bagels

Good bagels are hard to come by in Interior Alaska.  I honestly can't force myself to buy another bag of them off any grocery store shelf.  I want a good bagel shop bagel, of which there are none in our town.  I've also done the bagels from the chain grocery store bakeries and while superior to the ones in the bread aisle they still lack taste.    This past weekend I decided to go all-in and give making bagels a second try.  I've made them once before, but only with a quick and easy recipe that produced more of a hockey puck than an actual bagel.  This time I opted for a recipe that was straightforward and was made with ingredients I already had on hand in the pantry.   I used the New York-Style Bagel Recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet .  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, with ingredients in both weight and measurements.   I didn't plan for the toppings, so I opted to use sea salt on four of them and dry minced garlic on the other four.  Next time there

Alaskan Winter Snapshots

I thought I would share a few Alaskan views from this winter.  I'm a lazy photographer in the winter.  Mostly because it's cold outside and I don't enjoy being cold.  However, I do click the random sunrise or snowy morning shot, often when I'm on my way to town to run errands or making a supply run to Fairbanks. This first shot is from our drive to Fairbanks last Friday morning.  We stopped for a potty break and I grabbed a quick shot of the sunrise.  The sky was beautiful that morning. This is a quick click of sunset in our front yard.  The pink popping through the silhouette of the trees was such a beautiful contrast.   Sunrise view from my studio one morning in December.  I love it when the sun lights up a cloudy sky like this.  These colors might inspire a future project. Winter wonderland, a fresh layer of snow in our yard always makes me think of the beginning of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  It's like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia waitin

Laundry Room Update

We did a mini make over to our laundry space.  Our laundry room is less of a room and more of a laundry hall.  It’s a bit of an after thought in our house. Tucked on the garden level, slightly stashed under the stairs, and serves as the hallway to my studio.  There really isn’t a lot we can do to make it a room, but we did make it feel a little bigger by taking out some older cupboards and installing shelving.  Before... Once the cupboards were down the wall was repainted a clean white.  Wall brackets were installed and then two shelves.  There is room add an additional shelf or two if there is a future need. Here’s the after... It looks so much bright and the space does seem a bit bigger with the clunky cupboards down and gone.  I have a plan to purchase some baskets or bins to hide the clutter, but for now this is a huge improvement from the ugly dated cupboards. I wish there was a better before photo, but unfortunately no.  You can see we got rid of a couple of ugly cabinets in the

The Porch Postscript Volume 2.1

This weeks' postscript is a little light on photos.  I'm noticing that since I've given up the constant social media posting I often forget to take photos.  Much like I did with Wednesday night's beef and bean enchiladas. We had pork tenderloin sandwiches on homemade buns.  I cheat when I make these because we can easily get pork cube steaks at our local commissary. There's no need to pound anything thin, just season and bread with a flour, egg, panko three-step dredge.  Then I fry them in shallow oil.  The buns are the trusty Homemade Hamburger Buns I've been making since March.  I made a chocolate loaf cake from my Joy of Cooking cookbook, the version published in 1946.  I used the one egg loaf cake and opted for the chocolate version.  I also stirred in a few chocolate chips.  I topped the cooled cake with a peanut butter frosting and a few mini chocolate chips.  I'll work on getting a recipe post up specifically for this recipe soon. I made Minestrone S

My First Pair of Socks

When I say my first pair of socks, I'm not talking about fancy knitting on double-pointed needles.  There is no toe or heel to construct with this pattern.  It's an easy pattern that creates a basic tube sock.  The pattern comes from  Teach Yourself to Knit the Easy Columbia-Minerva Way publication from 1967.   My mom has made this style of sock for us over the years, we generally wear them as a house slipper of sorts.  She shared the pattern with me ages ago and I am finally getting around to making them. I had some Lion Brand Baby Wool, worsted weight, in my yarn stash and decided it was the perfect yarn to try out this pattern.  I used two skeins to make one pair of socks.  I also followed my mom's suggested adaptation of using the magic loop method for knitting the sock, which eliminates the seam in the finished sock.   Since the yarn I chose was a variegated one, I got some funky striping or maybe we should call it color blocking.  Which created a fun pair of socks as

Porch Postscript Volume 1.4

I feel like winter is longer than usual this time of year.  It's been unseasonably warm this winter, but it's still been dark.  Yes, yes, I know we're going daylight now that we're past Winter solstice, but it's still way too many hours of dark.  I'm ready to play in the greenhouse and plant a garden.  Patience is really a virtue this time of year.   This is last Friday's sunset at 4pm.  It rare that I capture a sunset up here, as I don't spend much time outside in the winter and there are no sunsets in the summer.  We also live in a very treed area, so I'd have to plan to leave the house to capture a stunning sunset with the horizon in play.   Hubby made an observation last weekend, this is probably the longest we've gone without eating out regularly.   The reason isn't what you might be thinking, it has nothing to do with COVID  or restrictions.  The less than a handful of restaurants we have in our small town are all very mediocre at best,

Pattern Review: Stripy Spring Shawl

At the beginning of January, I picked up my knitting needles after a crazy long hiatus.  I finished the project that had been on the needles for literally years and fell back in love with knitting.  Knitting is a very relaxing creative outlet for me and I enjoy easy patterns that finish in small amounts of time, excluding the times when I put them down for ages.   The Stripy Spring Shawl is a fantastic pattern, with little knitting knowledge needed.  If you know the basic knit stitch and how to increase using the knit in front and back of a single stitch, you'll be able to complete this project without fail.  I enjoyed the project so much that I've made two of them.   The first version was created using yarn I purchased in Hawaii in 2016, which is when I cast it onto the needles.  I'd picked it up here and there as we crossed those for years, but pandemic times brought me into the grove of finishing a few projects.  This first version turned out beautifully and I had sever