My newest book is about weaving

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When I’m not baking, cooking and gardening, I’m often weaving. I have published a 20-page, full-color booklet as both an instant digital download ebook and as a printed booklet called The Mermaid Scarf Pattern & the Freeform Overshot Technique. You can purchase a copy through my http://www.lisarayner.com site. The booklet is also for sale in my Etsy shop. The cost is $9.99. I’m offering a coupon through my Etsy store only for 10% off through Thanksgiving weekend (Sunday, Nov. 26): MERMAID10.

I wove my Mermaid Scarf on my 25-inch-wide Schacht Flip rigid heddle loom.

Handwoven magazine published my short article on my Mermaid Scarf and put the scarf on the magazine cover of the Nov./Dec. 2015 issue.

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From my booklet: Do you wish you could weave fabric with complex Jacquard-like patterns? Do you like tapestry motifs, but want to weave wearable, drapeable cloth? You can weave such fabrics on any loom, from rigid heddle looms, backstrap looms, and even full size inkle looms, to simple shaft looms, multishaft table and floor looms, and dobby looms using the freeform overshot technique.

This booklet contains:

  • Close-up photographs of the back of my Mermaid Scarf showing design detail.

  • A description of my creative process and reinventing freeform overshot.

  • A detailed, easy-to-follow description of how to weave a Mermaid-style scarf.

  • Excerpts and photographs from blog posts I wrote while I was weaving the scarf.

  • Directions on how to apply the freeform overshot technique to any weaving project.

  • Photographs of freeform overshot scarves and comments from five other weavers.

  • How to use weaving software to design freeform overshot patterns.

  • How to weave freeform overshot-style patterns on a dobby loom.

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A Wild Bread cook book fan makes sourdough whole wheat & rice bread loaves

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Santa Fe resident, vegan, and bicycling advocate Jackie Shane baked these sourdough whole wheat/rice bread loaves and took their picture. She says, “Got the idea from Sandor Katz author of Wild Fermentation, and the awesome starter from Lisa Rayner, who authored Wild Bread.”

Wild Bread: Handbaked sourdough artisan breads in your own kitchen

Wild Bread Book

The first rose of spring

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My wife loves roses. She is growing two plants for their flowers, especially their scent, in containers on the south side of our house in an especially warm microclimate. Roses are marginal here. She’s been putting the roses in the garage on especially cold nights for the last month. Older rose varieties, like Rugosa roses and wild rose species, handle our cold spring nights at 7,000 feet better; some have large rose hips (rose fruits) that make excellent tea and can be preserved for jelly/jam.

Saturday night (sourdough) pizza!

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Different toppings for different people!

The sourdough pizza crust

Adapted from Wild Bread: Handbaked sourdough artisan breads in your own kitchen.

Sourdough pizza is healthier than pizza made with baker’s yeast. The lactic acid bacteria in the sourdough culture provide myriad health benefits. Our pizza crust is also part whole wheat flour (we’re moving towards 100%). Whole grains are also much healthier than refined carbohydrates. Furthermore, I hand grind my flour, so it tastes sweet. Freshly-ground whole grain flour is healthier than store-bought whole grain flour. Store bought whole wheat flour tastes rancid to me. It doesn’t matter whether the flour comes from the bulk bin of a natural food store or is a well-known national brand. The highly polyunsaturated oil in wheat germ goes rancid as quickly as flax and hemp oils do, within weeks.

See my post on making pizza dough and rolling it out.

My pizza-making steps

  1. Preheat oven to 550ºF. Prepare pizza toppings. Steam broccoli.
  2. Half-bake crust at 525ºF for 10 minutes (at 7,000 feet).
  3. Spread on sauce. Add toppings except for broccoli, bake pizza another 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off oven, take out baked pizza, sprinkle on vegan cheese (I use Daiya Pepperjack), place back in oven a few minutes to melt cheese.
  5. Remove pizza from oven and place on cooling rack (I slide the pizza off a parchment paper-covered pizza pan).
  6. Place steamed broccoli on top.
  7. Allow pizza to cool at least 20 minutes before slicing to ensure that the crust finishes baking; as bread cools, the starches gelatinize, forming the final crumb (texture) of the bread.

Signs of spring

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The pea seedlings are coming up in our community garden plot, and fruit trees and shrubs are in the middle of flowering, like these bright yellow barberry flowers. It might be a great barberry year, like 2014 was in Flagstaff, AZ. I’ll have to decide if I’m going to make barberry juice or jam.

We’ve started a new garden plot at the neighborhood community garden

LynnAnnRose and I have a plot at our neighborhood community garden. After removing the drip irrigation tubing and raking back last year’s straw mulch, we prepared the soil and planted some pre-sprouted sugar snap peas and radishes so far. The soil is sandy, in contrast to the compacted, silty soil in Flagstaff; it required very little loosening. We had to buy some compost to spread on top since we don’t have our own compost bin yet. Compost works to improve all types of soil. We added plenty of new straw mulch on top to prevent soil water evaporation. The tomato cages on top are preventing the mulch from blowing away.

We bought the pea and radish seeds and other heirloom seeds from Native Seed/SEARCH, including one of LynnAnnRose’s favorite foods, Chimayo chiles. Chimayo is a small village not far from Santa Fe. The chiles have been grown for centuries by Hispanic farmers in the region. We also have some purchased seedlings of vegetables and herbs that will be planted mostly in out back and front yards. We plan to save the seeds from the open-pollinated varieties.

Native Seed/SEARCH is a regional seed bank for Native American and Southwest Hispanic seed varieties. Limited quantities of these seeds are available for purchase.

Solar cooking garbanzo French fries and rice for lunch

At this time of year, the south-facing area in front of my front door and side garage door is the best location for solar cooking. In fact, it’s quite a bit hotter than the microclimate on my south-facing balcony in Flagstaff was, so everything cooks significantly faster and I am having to adjust some of my cooking times and adding extra liquid to the cooking pot.

I cooked garbanzo/chick pea flour (besan in Hindi) polenta in the Sun Oven, and then baked the French fry-like slices in my indoor oven after it cooled; I basted the slices with olive oil before baking. After cooking the polenta, I cooked some brown rice and wild rice to go with the fries. The “fries” were a hit with my wife, LynnAnnRose, a relatively new vegan.