Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sourdough Starter and Pancakes

Hi there!  Some of you requested my recipe for sourdough pancakes, or called flapjacks by the old miners and cowboy cooks of yore.  Below is a photo of the (I call them flapjacks as I like the old fashioned sound of it) flapjacks that I made at camp recently.  They have a nice sour tang and are delicious with butter and maple syrup.

I suggest that you do some Google research as there are MANY ways to start your own sourdough starter.  Some just use pure water and flour and let the sourdough happen from the air.  I have also used the method of 2 cups of flour (use a mixture of some wheat flour and unbleached white), 1 package of dry yeast and enough warm pure water to make a batter.  Let stand in a warm dry kitchen for 24 hours until you smell a yeasty aroma.  Another good way is ask a friend who has an old starter for a cup of it to add to your fresh batter to make a starter.  I borrowed some from my brother and it's reportedly 150 years old!  This is what it looks like when it's "happy" and ready to use.

NOTE:  It is best to use non-chlorinated water such as spring water distilled water when working with your sourdough starter and pancakes.


(For 2 people, use this recipe.  For 4 people, double it, for 6, triple it.)

Night before - mix 1 cup flour (we recommend 1/4 cup wheat and 3/4 cup white) with enough warm water to make a nice thick batter (like cake mix consistency).

Stir that up good then add 1/2 cup sourdough starter - just fold it in, don't beat it too much.

Next morning, stir together 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 beaten egg, 1/6 cup oil, and stir these ingredients into the batter you made the night before.

Then add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in a bit of warm water and add this just before cooking, folding it in, don't beat it too hard.

NOTE:  Never use metal spoons or measuring devices or bowls when using the sourdough. Use wooden spoons for mixing and rubber spatulas for scraping.

Heat griddle to medium hot and spray with PAM a bit - batter will be fairly thin - use ladle and put about 1/2 cup of batter for each flapjack.


Cook till brown on one side, then flip over and brown the other side.  Serve with butter on top and maple syrup.


Feed sourdough batter with a batter of about a half cup of warm water and flour.  It will foam up when it's happy.  If you aren't going to use it for a while, put it in the fridge, and when you want to use it, take it out a few days ahead and feed it and keep it warm.



We received the start from a good friend of mine, who keeps his working all the time and has personally kept it going for decades.    According to Leon, he got his start from his family that has been handed down from generation to generation through the ages that was used by his ancestors that traveled across the plains into Utah in the mid 1800's.   Based on his information, your start is about 150 years old.


This is my sourdough "bible".  It's full of fun stories and many ideas.  You can probably get a copy on Amazon!

Feel free to ask questions in the comment section and I will try to answer them.  Using sourdough starter makes me feel a connection to the people in the old days who used this for all their bread, rolls, biscuits, pancakes, cakes and more.  
Remember, the sourdough starter is like a pet that needs food, water and dry warm home to thrive.  It's kind of fun!!

I am off to volunteer at Multnomah Falls this afternoon with my younger sister Denise.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Waldo Lake Camping 2015

Hello!  We're back from camping, we were there for 12 days.  It was beautiful warm weather the whole time.  Not one drop of rain.  We did have several hazy days as there are forest fires burning in Oregon and the smoke is bad.  We sailed in the middle of the 12 days, but I had to put the photos at the top as I think they are so bright and pretty.  Kristi took these with her Canon PowerShot SX50 HS with a good zoom and shared them with me.  Below are my sis and I.  We've sailed together on many lakes and rivers over the years that we've had our Sunfish sailboats. 

Below, I'm on the left, my brother Rob in the middle and my sister Roberta (they're twins) on the right.  My younger sister Denise doesn't sail, she's a kayaker. 

Many readers have heard the story about my pretty sail but if you haven't, I'll tell you the story.  A video distributor in Portland, Oregon attended a video conference in Las Vegas, this boat was commissioned to promote the movie "Tequila Sunrise" starring Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Kurt Russell.  To try to win the boat you tossed your business card in.  The man won it, and without knowing it's value, he put it for sale in the local newspaper.  Sis called me to give me notice of it in the paper.  I call, ask him is this was his best price, he knocks it down in price and I say, I will come and look at it.  It was less than a third of the value!  I go, see everything brand new in the box and say.. "I'll take it!".  I put the whole thing together myself, all lines were tied according to the set up directions and it had all the correct quality of lines in the box.  I love that boat!

But let's backtrack a bit.  We headed to the lake on Wednesday August 12th and when we got there "our" favorite spot was taken.  The campground was very full!  But we talked to the people in our spot and they left the next day so we were able to get "our" campsite and set up.  Here we are the next week when Kristi and the boys came to join us for 4 days.  We took our chairs out in the water and watched the boys have fun swimming and kayaking.

Hayden is using my kayak and Caleb is using Denise's - they did very well in them!  They look so cute!  Can you believe how crystal clear the water is?  It's one of the clearest lakes on the planet with a visibility depth of 120 feet and is purer than distilled water!

From left, my sister Denise, Caleb and Kristi and my sister Roberta.

As I say, Dayle and I drug our camp chairs out in the water to cool off and enjoy watching the boys - it was fun!  

We finally got to set sail and I headed to "Amy's Blue Lagoon", named after my daughter by my sister.  :-)  There really isn't much that makes me feel this elated, I love the clear water and being propelled by the quiet winds with only the sound of water rushing by the hull as I guide my sailboat across the beautiful clear lake with the sunshine warming me as I go.

We enjoyed arriving at the lagoon and gliding in on the sand.  We then all took a refreshing swim and sat in the sun on the bank before heading back out to sail across the lake.  Dayle took my camera from me and got this photo of my sailing along.

On our second night at camp, I prepared 3 Russet potatoes for baking by washing, drying and buttering them, sprinkling them with salt and wrapping them in foil.  We baked them at 450 deg. F for one and a half hours.  It takes longer to cook things at the higher altitudes and we were at 5,414 feet above sea level!  Dayle BBQed the steak tenderloins and I made the asparagus.  We treated my sister Roberta to dinner with us.

On Friday my niece Jessica was getting married, so the day before I painted a Sumi ink painting of irises for her card.  I also painted a birthday card for my nephew's wife Amy as we would be celebrating the next Monday at camp.

I love to be able to paint cards that I give to loved ones.  

At 3:05 on Friday, I drove my sister and I from camp to Corvallis to attend the wedding reception of my niece Jessica.  My brother Robert and his wife D'Ann's youngest daughter.  Here she is with her bridesmaids.  Her sister and my brother's other daughter Johanna is next to her on the right, we're so excited as Johanna is expecting a baby in December.  Aren't they cute?

Jessica's friend made the wedding cake for the event!  

Here is the happy couple with my brother, his wife and all five of their children.  A wonderful time was had by all as we celebrated their marriage.  My brother got 30 pizzas and they had drinks on ice in big galvanized wash tubs and the event was held in an open barn-type structure at a park.  We didn't get back to camp until 11:30 pm!

The next day we hung up the crocheted rainbow colored bunting that I crafted last year while at camp.  I have realized that I need to get a longer piece of oilcloth for the table.  :-)

Our camp from the road.  Behind us is the Shadow Bay, our beloved lake cove.  Dayle drives the Dodge dual wheeled pickup hauling the trailer and I drive my Ford Flex hauling the two Sunfish sailboats and the kayak.

I love how the colorful buntings brighten up our camp!

There are MANY chipmunks at the lake.  I also saw many that were almost black, a first time for me to see them.  I was charmed by my grandson Caleb who calls these "Chick-munks".  :-)  Kristi took this photo.  She made us all some S'Mores - and Caleb calls marshmallows "S'Marshmallos".  :-)

Dayle and I walked down to "the point" to watch the sunset and I snapped this photo of a big heart made out of stones on the beach.  Sweet.

The point is the ONLY place at camp where you can pick up a cell signal and make a call on your cellphone.  At least there is one place where you can communicate with family and friends during the nearly two weeks we are there.

I zoomed in on the little island in entrance to Shadow Bay, do you see the stone "fort" that has been added on over the years by people.

This is my sunset photo I took that evening.

On Monday, Kristi and the boys arrived and also my younger sister Denise.  We made teriyaki chicken yakisoba noodles with vegetables (carrots, broccoli, onions, celery, pea pods, bean sprouts  and cabbage) and Denise brought fresh shrimp prawns which she cooked outside on Kristi's Butane cook burner she brought to make her coffee upon.  What a delicious meal we all shared!

My nephew Joel and his wife have four boisterous little boys and our grandsons and they had a wonderful time playing together.  My sister Roberta, our guys and 3 of their cousins enjoying a visit to our trailer.  :-)

My younger sister Denise decided to stay the nights while she was there at the O'Dell Lake Lodge.  So, on Tuesday we followed her down there to look around and have dinner in the restaurant in the lodge.  This is the view from our table.  Nice, huh?

There are horses for rent there and I was happy to see them ride by while we had dinner.

Sis and Kristi and the pretty rock fireplace in the dining room.

Dayle and the boys on the boat dock.  

Denise, Kristi and the boys walking down the dock.. the boys held hands which I thought was adorable.

Kristi captured a photo of the boys from behind.  Just sweet.

As we drove back to camp the sun was setting and Dayle suggested I take a photo of the mountains across O'Dell Lake as the last rays of the sun hit the peaks.  I love the layered shades of color in this image.

Kristi caught the bay on a quiet morning.. we keep all our boats off the beach and on the rocks on the side.

Dayle was asked to take a group shot of my brother's family.  

We usually get a group shot, but this year it didn't work out - so I asked my nephew Joel to take a photo of the rest of us.  :-)

Dayle snapped a photo of Kristi and the boys and their tent in which they stayed at night for four nights.

I activated my sourdough starter and took it to camp.  It was a happy foamy starter!

My first stack of sourdough flapjacks (pancakes) and MmmMMmm they were delicious!  If you've never kept a sourdough starter and made these, you really should give it a try.  You make the batter the night before and in the morning it's all foamy, then you beat eggs, milk (or buttermilk which I used), salt, sugar, oil together and fold it into the batter, then you dissolve baking soda in a bit of warm water and fold that in and it all really starts to fizz and bubble.  Let me know in comments if you'd like me to post the recipe and story next post.  It's easy to make a sourdough start from water, flour and some yeast.  It's like a pet which you feed and water to keep active.

Later in the week I made a batch of blueberry sourdough flapjacks and they turned out yummy, too.

Our last days at camp were quiet, this is a shot of the bay from our kitchen.

I have been working on a special wedding gift for my niece and her husband.  Cotton neat ripple in cream and beige.  I have quite a ways to go!

My blog and real life friend Gracie subscribes to the British Country Living - she then gives me the whole year in a bag.  I **LOVE** these magazines!  They are SO much better than the US version.  Much more content and great photos.  I get so inspired and learn so much from these issues.  I then share them with my sisters and SIL at camp.  Thank you, Gracie!  

After the busy week a lot of the family left and it was quiet - so we did some "caravan/trailer" housekeeping and tidied up.  The weekend crowd was on the beach and it was busy and loud, so I took the opportunity to read and rest and crochet and chat with my sister, brother, SIL and Dayle.

I sure do enjoy the color that my crocheted blankets and pillows bring to our little home on wheels.  I can thank Lucy at Attic24 blog for her inspiration to bring bright colors into my crafting world.  

Can you say.. photo bomber?

Dayle made us a lunch of fried potatoes and onions, bacon from Gartner's Country Meat Market (yum!) and farm eggs over easy.  

Dayle walked out to the point to call the kids and check in and snapped this neat photo of the sunset on our last evening at camp.  

On our last morning Dayle grabbed my camera as he went out to walk the dog and captured Shadow Bay in a quiet moment.

Quiet waters.

This is the beautiful view we had for 12 days.. we love it here.

Dayle packs up the things on the outside of the trailer and I secure everything inside.  We worked together to take down the shade canopy and pack it and the camp chairs in the truck.. then we headed down the mountain.  It's a 3 and a half hour drive home.  We're all cleaned up and enjoying our easy chairs.  Now I'll have to catch up on my favorite blogs!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-)