A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Monday, May 08, 2006

Progress Report and a Chocolate Recipe

I had a few requests to show you what the ruana is looking like, so I draped it over a chair this afternoon, and took a photo... to the right, the stitches are all bunched up on the needle and tied closed so that I wouldn't lose any, and you can get a glimpse of bright green waste yarn, which will later be transformed into the front opening.

I am really enjoying the striping process, and also happy to realize that there is only about 15 more inches to go... there are items waiting patiently in the queue, and I got the latest issue of Interweave Knits in today's mail!

I have stayed focused and true to my two projects over the weekend, and as a result, now have a Nautie with pink head, but minus pink tentacles and felt eyes... that will come over the next few days.

I really enjoyed the comments and info about what you will be knitting for spring and am also happy to see that the doldrums bouncing around blogland about a month ago have faded and we knitters have become re-energized with the change in seasons.

I am continuing to have a great time with the Eat Local Challenge, and have even talked myself into making sourdough starter, which used to grace my pantry for years. While I am waiting for my starter to be ready, let me share the recipe for a family favorite:

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup starter (thick)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

Mix and let ferment for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place until bubbly and there is the odor of clean, sour milk.


3/4 cup honey
1 cup shortening or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
3 squares melted chocolate

Cream fat, honey, flour, spices, flavorings, flour, salt and baking soda. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine creamed mixture and melted chocolate with sourdough starter. Stir three hundred strokes until blended. Pour into two greased and floured layer pans or one large pan. Bake at 305 degrees fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and frost as desired.

Now, I know someone is going to point out that this recipe is awfully high in fat to be considered "healthy". In our family, this is the sort of cake made only for someone's birthday or other very memorable occasion, and I have always been a baker to scrimp the rest of the year, but not for a celebration... everything in moderation! If you have not used sourdough starter, or just want a refresher course, read Claire's post at the ELC website today for directions. I will add the tip that, when making a cake such as this, I would take out the starter needed, and replenish by directly feeding my sourdough crock, and not from the sponge after it had risen. I never, ever put anything in my crock except flour and water. Sourdough is an even quirkier mystery than knitting!


Blogger Kathy said...


I so love the colors on ruana. It is coming along wonderfully. I love your little snail as well.
Thanks for the recipe. How are the burros these days/

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Imbrium said...

I love the contrast between Nautie's natural looking shell and bright pink head! So cute.

And your ruana is gorgeous...I love that pattern, but I don't know if I'd have the stamina to knit it.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

the ruana is beeeutiful, and the sd choc cake looks yummy too! I'm with you, sometimes ya gotta bake it up and eat it! Everything in moderation is good for you...

10:55 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

The ruana is/is going to be so pretty! Yummy recipe too.

11:55 AM  
Blogger FaeryCrafty said...

I love your Ruana! It is so pretty! I must try this recipe! Yum!!!

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Dipsy D. said...

Hi from Austria! I can't believe how great your Ruana is already looking, the yarn you're using seems so soft and fluffy, and I love the colors!
And thank you so much for sharing the recipe, my mouth got all watery when I just read through it - I'll definitely give it a try these days!

2:21 AM  
Anonymous DebbieB said...

Oh, I am loving the way the colors are blending on your ruana! It's going to be gorgeous! You must really be enjoying knitting it up.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Ruinwen said...

The ruana is so lovely! I adore the colors!

I think your nautie looks pretty cute too!


5:09 PM  
Blogger beadlizard said...

I was just wondering when I last fed my starter... Since DD went non-gluten and DH low-carb, it seemed silly just to make bread for me, but I sure do miss the gurgling sponge! --syl

12:20 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Oh Wow! Ruana is just beautiful! Love the striping effect....you're going to be a stunner in those colors! (like you're already not?) lolol

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Monica said...

I love the colors in your Ruana and Nautie.

8:18 AM  

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