Heffalump, Botulism, Ducks, and Bread

The heffalump is all done.  C is not wild about it, but that’s okay.  H was enthusiastic, and Brad liked it well enough to offer his opnion on the finishing heffalump_033109

(specifically, he felt that the ears needed to be very floppy.  I obliged.)

heffalump-butt_033109

Here’s an unrelated one of C.

c-sitting-up_0331091

C started eating applesauce yesterday.  There’s been a discussion on a canning group I’m on about the safety of feeding home-canned foods to a baby.  I feel that as long as it was canned according to USDA-recommended methods (which is all I use), it is fine.  The discussion of a baby’s susceptibility to botulism spores was interesting.  I mean, maybe that is the case, maybe the spores, even dormant,  cause a problem for them (which they don’t for non-babies).  However, I didn’t exactly ADD spores to the applesauce before processing.  There may be some present (prevented from producing toxin by the acidity level, in this case), but there are no more than there would be in a fresh apple I may cook and mash up.  Am I to avoid that as well?  That’s total rubbish, and that’s why I’m led to think that this rumor is either from people who are ill-informed or from baby food companies.  Or maybe people who distrust home-canned foods.  I am not prone to conspiracy theories, but really.  I have looked and asked and discussed and I have not found an argument that makes any sense to me.  Am I supposed to only feed my child super-high-pressure-processed foods?  That would be AWESOME for vitamin intake, now wouldn’t it.  Sheesh.

In other news, the Mandarin ducks are back.  They seem to have been nesting somewhere around here for the last couple years, at least, but I don’t know exactly where.  We see them every year in the spring, but they leave sometime during the summer.

mandarin-ducks_033009_2

I think I’ll make some bread today, in between bouts of working and babycare.  I’m really in the mood for cornbread, but I’m trying to learn how to make a really good loaf of WW.  So far the secret appears to be added gluten (I HATE doing that!) and kneading for 20-30 minutes.  That’s, um, kinda long.  I’m hoping (against hope) that I’ll find a shortcut that doesn’t involve white flour.  I expect to settle, eventually, on finding a good ratio between home-ground WW flour and store-bought white flour to make a good texture without an insane amount of kneading.  And, hopefully, without the added straight-up gluten.  I prefer adding just white flour because it is tasty and inexpensive and can cut the kneading time.  It does cut the protein content, so maybe it’s not the best.  What can I say?  I am lazy.  Maybe using hard white wheat would make a difference, but I still have around 40# of hard red to work through before trying that route.

Reminds me, I should post the recipe for some sprouted bread (very high protein!) I made a couple of weeks ago.  It was interesting, different, very hearty — the perfect bread for a simple shepherd’s meal of a chunk of bread and a chunk of cheese.  It took a while, but I was able to finally use the manual meat grinder I picked up last year at a thrift store.  Cool.

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About sayingthings

K lives in the US with her man and kiddos, knits, cans, dehydrates, bakes bread, (but doesn't cook regular food, particularly), crochets, spins, gardens, studies for a degree that never seems to end, and um, works. Sometimes she wastes time online. Also -- and family, she's looking at you here -- sometimes she swears and says things you might not agree with. But she still loves you.

Posted on March 31, 2009, in Around the House, Fambly, Food, Knitting. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’ve read a bunch, will comment once. Tatting? Lordy woman, is there anything you don’t try? The ducks are beautiful. The male looks like a carving. Remind me to show you my ‘artisan breads in five minutes’ book. It seems like a miracle, but really works. I’ve made some WW using the method, and found it quite edible. I’ve not done my taxes yet, and I’m WAY past college. Thanks for bringing the boys over. It was a lovely day.

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