Picking up Lost Skills

Last weekend we went up to Asheville, NC for my birthday weekend.  I have formally entered my 30s with a sense of purpose and a desire to make the best life possible.

We went to the True Nature Country Fair in Flat Rock (right outside Hendersonville) on Saturday.  I signed up for an artisan bread making class.  I’ve been making bread for a while now, but I wanted to get deeper into the whys of it all, to see if I can make bread without a “recipe” per se.

The class was wonderful; he taught us how to let the flour and water sit to autolyse, where the flour will absorb the water all on it’s own, and keep you from making a dry dough.  I also learned that the less kneading the better, and to make my dough as wet as I can still work with it. They were going to bake our bread in this awesome cob oven:

…but unfortunately the class took entirely too long, and the oven still had 2 hours to heat up!  I’ve been really interesting in regaining some of the skills lost to our generation, and I think making great bread at home is definitely one of those.

I also got to meet, for the first time face to face, a blogger that I read.  Ashley English of Small Measure was running a booth on water bath canning.  She was gracious and engaging; we had a short conversation on chickens and the neighborhoods of Atlanta (love Decatur anyone?).  I picked up a copy of her book Keeping Chickens, and I love it!

What lost skills are you trying to regain?

Full disclosure: If you follow the book link to Amazon.com, I get a (very) small commission from anything you buy while visiting the site from that link.

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6 Responses to Picking up Lost Skills

  1. Kim says:

    Well, there’s the spinning and breadmaking that I already do, though I would certainly like to be less recipe dependent on my breadmaking, too. I’m kinda married to that Tassajara Bread Book wheat recipe, but I really want to branch out. I am also really interested in learning to make cold process soap, and by gum, I will get over my angst about the possible waste of a whole lot of olive oil (not to mention fear of using lye) and make some this winter.

    • Jessie says:

      I’ve definitely had soap making on my TODO list for quite a while. Right now I’m getting in to foraging, so expect some news about that in the near future…

  2. I’ve been planting heirloom varieties for seed saving. Veggies that don’t cross are easy….it’s those other ones!

    • Jessie says:

      Almost all the veggies I’ve planted thus far have been open-pollinated or heirloom varieties. I’m really interested in closing the loop on my garden, and getting everything I need from my property. Chicken poop is certainly helping in that regard!

  3. Pingback: Google Alert – keeping chickens | Chicken Ark

  4. Pingback: Google Alert – keeping chickens | Chicken Ark

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