10 Podcast Review of the book Just Enough by Azby Brown
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Lif Strand

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since Sep 02, 2019
New Mexico USA zone 6
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Recent posts by Lif Strand

Jake Esselstyn wrote:

Lif Strand wrote: [Note that I'm pretty lousy at following directions. So I'm a big part of the problem with my results!]

I started a few years ago with the instructions here:

There's no need to kneed. Just a little folding. The instructions are very detailed and call for careful precision, but I've found that sourdough is very tolerant. My early breads weren't always beautiful, but they were always delicious. To get sour flavor, I use a long ferment in the fridge (~36 hours) after about 8 hours at room temp. Just experiment a little (take notes on timing, hydration, etc.) and you'll get the hang of it.

I've done long ferments and they were okay but then the bread didn't really rise. I suppose I should be more scientific about this, but I've been resistant to doing so. My logic (or illogic) is that bread is such a basic food, has been so basic for thousands of years, that it should be a simple thing to make. I get put off by having to have the kitchen of a rocket scientist, and the skills of a master baker, and the patience of a saint, in order to turn out a decent loaf of bread.
1 month ago

jordan barton wrote:
I never knead my sourdough!

I make it about 80% hydration and just fold it a little bit with my bread spatula. If you can find the book, tartine bread has the method i follow. Tartine Bread Link

The book explains it step by step.

Thank you so much for that info.  I'll ask my library for the book and I've found a recipe online and will give it a try.  Do you actually weigh, as per the recipe I found?  I don't have a gram scale but so many bread recipes nowadays use weight.  I guess I'll have to break down and invest in a scale.
1 month ago
I so much want to be able to make truly sour no-knead sourdough bread.  I love the tang!  But I've been an abysmal failure at managing to adapt a recipe from traditional kneaded bread to no-knead to come up with a sour loaf.  I'm off the grid and don't want to run a generator to use a bread hook (well, okay, I don't even have one because I don't want to run a generator to use one), plus my wrists just won't take kneading dough.  So no-knead is it.  

So far I haven't come across a no-knead recipe that delivers truly sour bread.  Periodically I just give up and make bread using yeast (and not sour) until I absolutely am dying for that tang I love so much.  I always come back to trying for sour.  I've used commercial starters, captured wild starters, used neighbors' starters -- so far with not very satisfying results.  Sourdough is pretty popular, seems to me, so I don't understand why it's so hard to make a sour loaf of no-knead bread.

[Note that I'm pretty lousy at following directions. So I'm a big part of the problem with my results!]
1 month ago
I like the theory of a bicycle for grinding flour or coffee or for any kitchen appliance, but I gotta share my experience.  I came across a DIY to convert a bike to charge a small (motorcycle) battery.  We used a car's alternator, and I don't know what all else, hooked up via a belt to the rear wheel rim.  We had a small automotive bulb that showed me when I was pedaling enough to make a charge.  

So far so good.

But the bicycle now is sitting outside on the porch, rusting, the battery dead, because it's such HARD WORK!  It isn't like riding a bicycle, it's like pedaling up the side of Mount Everest. This was just to charge one little battery -- I'm not sure how it would work to make a grinder's gears go around -- but I can tell you it was not something I was willing to do on a regular basis.  Or even on an irregular one.
1 month ago

Sipan Celiker wrote:Hello there, I am quite new into the group. I read the thread and had an idea for a sketch. So here you are!
Please let me know if you like it as a book cover.

What a great idea and nicely executed!  However I'd put the developed land on top and the raw land on the bottom, since the developed (through permaculture of course!) is based on the raw land.
1 month ago
Here's a link to a dog story I wrote recently.  It's called... wait for it... A Dog Story.  

The dog story is about an Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Pasha, and takes place about 20 years ago.  It's also a warning about the nature of LGDs (livestock guardian dogs).  They take their jobs seriously.
4 months ago

Burl Smith wrote: Awesome; in this genre we might consider: "Just what did Syd Barrett do wrong?"
The chopped 150 pages might be a lure to afficianados of the scene. Definitely putting this on my 'Want' list.

Not just Syd Barrett, but so many driven musicians.
What do you mean by "chopped 150 pages"?
4 months ago
I have two books I'm promoting right now.  One is Evolution Device, a novel of music and magic, and the other is Mage Music, a... well, it's hard to explain.  It's about magic and how it works.  You can read about them on my blog at

4 months ago
Wondering if anyone has actually made a wall with wine (or other) glass bottles for passive heating.  I'm thinking of dedicating my wine bottles to building a trombe wall for a stand-alone battery shed for my PV system.
5 months ago

Leigh Tate wrote:Lif, by editorial reviews, I mean reviews by print and online publications (I probably should have used the word "magazines" in my initial post) in a similar genre as my book - homesteading, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, etc. I don't subscribe to magazines, so I have no clue as to what some of these might be. I already have peer reviews from fellow authors, editors, and homesteaders, which I opted to put in a "Praise For" section on the first two pages, rather than do blurbs on the back cover. Of course, I have staff here at Permies willing to do reviews for me, plus a few specifically chosen homestead bloggers of influence as well. That seemed a better route to go than Reedsy, which doesn't seem to have anyone geared toward my niche. I thought for this book I'd expand on what I've done in the past and see if I can get something to add under "editorial reviews" on this book's Amazon page. I could use my peer reviews there, which I may end up doing, but wanted to see if I could add some other kinds of publications to my list.

So what you're looking for is names of magazines and other publications that might want to review your books. I assume you know the biggies: Mother Jones, Mother Earth News, Countryside & Small Stock Journal. I've subscribed to those at various times over the years.  I think Countryside is my favorite of the three.
6 months ago