Thursday, 9 December 2010


Sky Blue Filigree towel
Ice Tea Towel set
sourdough starter

The new wares are slowly turning up (slow being the operative word!). Here are the new light blue Filigree tea towels. I had a similar colour last year and its one of my favourites, not sure why its taken me so long to reprint. The small print run last time went very quickly.

Straight away I wanted to put this with the Chalk Filigree tea towel. I think the white, fawn and blue two tea towel set would look great together for either summer (read sun, sand, sea, sky) or winter (ice, sky, snow, dry grass).

In between times, for a couple of weeks now I have been trying to get a sourdough starter going. Similarly to the ginger beer plant this is a natural fermentation process where rather than using commercial yeast to make bread you culture the natural wild yeasts present on the flour by growing and feeding a 'starter' where the only ingredients are flour and water. It smells a little sour like sourdough bread but not off at all. The bacteria grow and die as the mixture becomes more acid. I think!

I began the first one a couple of weekends ago. It burst into action about the second day only to collapse and loiter wanly for another week. Part of the problem was I kept reading more and changing tack. I started Mark Two on the weekend, weighing the ingredients this time to make it more accurate. When it showed more early promise the first attempt was shown the door. A third attempt with wholemeal flour and pineapple juice (really!) is waiting in the wings and starting to bubble, but Two started doing its thing yesterday and after its feed of water and flour bubbled up happily by a third.

I'm hoping to try and bake with it this weekend, an adventure in itself, and perhaps take this little being away at Christmas so we can experiment. Mad I know!

I was feeling a bit crazy to be experimenting with this at the busiest time of the year until I ran into a friend of mine this morning. I know that she has a to-do list as long as mine and a week of freelance work next week, but then she tells me today she's making soap for the first time. For handmade presents of course! Gotta love it :-)

Is anyone else trying to fit in some last minute making before the holidays kick in?

p.s. Here's a good site recommended by Kate which gives you the basics if you want to play along, and another Australian one with the pineapple juice method (there is a reason) and some other great info here.


  1. I have just fed my starter so I can have sourdough in the morning - so yummy and so worth the time!

  2. Oh, Susie, this blue is just gorgeous! Ansolutely stunning. you clever thing. J x

  3. Your tea towels look beautiful, I just love the prints!

  4. The teatowels look beautiful. I'll follow your sourdough with interest because I tried a few years ago and could never get it to work.

    As for last minute making, I picked up lots of apricots at NSG today ($6/kg!) and jars from Chef and the Cook in Camperdown to make apricot jam for presents. Possibly madness with a newborn, but at least I'm not leaving it til Christmas Eve this year.

  5. the bright blue and white look great together. and yes re starting crazy things at the last, busy minute. . . i got the idea in my head yesterday to print one of my sons drawings onto a t-shirt for my hubby for christmas, just not sure where to start {but won't let that stop me}!!

  6. i'm another kate (in sydney) and i make sourdough. as you are making your starter, don't be scared to pour a bit off into the compost each day when you feed it. pour some out, then add flour and warm water, and give it a stir. that way it will be sour but not too sour! the bread-making itself is easy as the dough is so robust. i use half my "mother" each time (which is about a cup and a half) and add lots of strong flour, a little sugar and warm water. i stir it with a wooden spoon until it is kind of coming together then add salt - this is like magic as it all goes smooth. then a big knead and shape it and then put it onto a terracotta plant saucer lined with parchment. then i slash the top and leave it for a few hours to a 8 - 10 hours depending on how well it's rising. i don't knock it back, but then cook it in a moderate to hot oven until it sounds cooked when i knock on the base. sometimes i turn it over and leave it in the over for a few minutes. yummy!


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