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The Loaf Mass

We celebrated bread and the beginning of harvest time yesterday.  Really, August is the month for food preservation around here.  The tomatoes have been filtering in for awhile, but now things will get serious.  I might find some very serious cucumbers today, in fact.  I'm up to my ears in cherry tomatoes and the calendula needs some attention.  And there's rain in the forecast--I better get on it after breakfast!

Corn Dolly

Anyway, Lammas.  I like the idea of this festival for the celebration of harvest time.  Thanksgiving in its present place in the year makes very little sense to me.  Pumpkins will be done growing by the end of this month.  Dry beans will be ready to pick not long after.  Tomatoes quit before the first frost.  You get the idea.  To celebrate harvest in August, to bolster us as we prepare to be inundated with garden work and kitchen work, seems very fitting.

Soaking Straw

The children and I got a bale of straw and we had been waiting to cut it open and try out straw plaiting.  It's a little hard to do with straw from grain that has been mechanically threshed--there are many short and shredded pieces.  These would have been left in the field after the grain was cut and then cut down at a later date.  Nonetheless, there is nothing so thrilling as a big pile of straw on the front porch.  I can see why Laura and Mary loved it so in On the Banks of Plum Creek.

Wheat Sheaf

We made wheat sheaf bread, too, using flour we milled.  White wheat, so it does look like white bread.  This is the recipe from Festivals, Family, and Food.  The yeast amount was high, really, but the bread tasted good.  I think I would make it with honey next time, and add a rise to give softer dough.  Children tend to be heavy-handed with flour when shaping. ;-)

Harvest Mouse

Laurel loved the opportunity to play with dough, as usual, and the children enjoyed making the little mice trying to get at the grain.  We read the story "Robert's Harvest Loaf" from All Year Round and enjoyed some butternut navy bean soup with the very last butternut squash from 2015.

Wheat Heads

The recipe recommended sprinkling grain on the wheat heads, but these turned out much too hard for eating (though the children tried!).  It may be that the authors intended folks would have fresh grain for this.  We gathered them and put them out for our resident squirrel.

I think it was a lovely start to our easing into the school year.  September 5th is our first official day, as far as I am concerned, but we are working to get back into our school rhythm gently.  Tomatoes and all the other things follow no schedule but their own and it is often decided with very little notice that things must be canned or frozen right this minute.

I'll call this my crafting post for the week--making bread and braiding straw.  For more crafting, visit Frontier Dreams.


( 6 trees — Plant a Forest )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 3rd, 2016 09:08 am (UTC)
Willow has kept at the straw plaiting and can do seven strands at a time. I long to be like Ma and Mother Wilder and make hats.

Yes, November was Winter in Green Valley--cold enough to keep that meat fresh. That is what I think of it, too. I believe men around here use Thanksgiving for hunting. That's what it was on The Waltons. ;-)

The children will be so excited to get letters!
Aug. 3rd, 2016 05:21 pm (UTC)
I love your cute bread! The little mice! 😊
Aug. 4th, 2016 02:40 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2016 05:43 am (UTC)
Oh, Brandy!! Lammas! That bread! The straw-plaiting! I can't get over the bread. That is just perfect. I love Lammas, and here we haven't done a thing because of my dental woes. I think we'll just have to have Lammas two weeks late. :) - Stacey
Aug. 14th, 2016 04:10 pm (UTC)
The bread was very easy. I was so pleased! I totally vote for celebrating late. :-)
( 6 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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