I have all manner of projects that I work on. Caramel making, cheese making, dyeing/spinning/crocheting wool, I’ll get focused on regional cuisine… just stuff that I do. There’s a subset of these projects that is special to me. I call them my ‘beginning-to-end’ projects, these are the projects where I try to have my hand in as many steps as possible. I can crochet something with yarn, or I can crochet something with yarn I dyed or I can crochet something with yarn that I spun and dyed myself. In the future I will crochet something using yarn that came from an animal I raised and I will process the fleece and dye and spin it up and I can even use a pattern of my own making. I have a few crochet projects in the dye/spin/crochet bin and I will probably post those later.

I set a beginning to end cooking goal for myself a couple years ago. I decided that one day I would make a pizza with a homemade crust, homemade sauce, homemade sausage and homemade mozzarella. I did it! I finally made my super pizza!

Will start off with a few criticisms because if there is anything one thing I am good at it’s criticizing my own self. We’d wanted to use a different pizza crust recipe. The one that I normally use is okay but it’s a bit puffy, we wanted something thinner. Tried a different crust recipe this time and it was just no good, dense and hard and overly chewy and difficult to handle in dough form.

Not awesome dough

It just did not want to roll out nicely and was too stiff to manipulate. Next time we will try a new dough recipe. Also, I should have par-baked it longer.

On the other hand, the sauce was tasty. I was not able to use fresh tomatoes as it is entirely impossible to find fresh paste tomatoes. All they have at the store are the red styro-bombs that are useless for cooking. In the future I will make the sauce from tomatoes I processed and canned but for now I started with canned crushed tomatoes.



Yes, I do stick shredded carrots in my tomato sauces, it helps cut the acid edge and also yay carrots.

My sausage was tasty good. I’ve been making it for a number of years now and I don’t have the recipe written down so it varies from batch to batch but is always pretty good.

Sausage, 8oz Italian

Only good babies get sassages

Dough, sausage, dried tomatoes

Up in the front there are the dried tomatoes. I buy the little grape tomatoes and dry them all the time. They are excellent to have on hand for…everything. Also, very good for just stuffing in your face when you are hungry.

And the cheese! I followed this video, it’s a great step-by-step guide. PLEASE NOTE: he says 1 and a half tablespoons of citric acid but he means 1 and a half TEASPOONS. Instead of rennet tablets I use liquid rennet from New England Cheesemaking Supply, I used a quarter teaspoon of liquid rennet. The cheese was fantastic. It needed more salt and a little more kneading/stretching but, dammit, I made mozzarella and it was tasty as all hell.


I did try to make ricotta from the leftover whey. This was my second attempt at ricotta and my second failure. I don’t know if I am doing something wrong or if there are factors I don’t know about. Either way, I will try one more time and if it doesn’t work out then I will know that ricotta is just not a thing.


Pizza! I should have used more cheese. After we ate our first pieces David went in and fried up some more cheese and laid it on top and it was even more delicious. It’s not pretty at all but it was everything I wanted to do and it is something I am very proud of. I will keep working on ways to be more involved in the different ingredients and steps and I will make more pizza.


Pizza with arugula because pizza needs arugula.

To beautiful Viivi Hazel

Welcome, Viivi
My little niece, how wonderful that you arrived! You’re probably tired, you’ll need some rest to help build up the energy you’ll need for our later adventures. I don’t have a complete list ready but so far we have: learn to swear, how to get out of cleaning your room, how to make perfect ‘mothers-day-breakfast-in-bed’ pancakes, what to do if there isn’t a toilet near by, how to taste cheese, crocheting, the legend of the moonboots, how to turn any surface into a functioning drum set, prepare rack of lamb, hair coloring, cheating at scrabble, bake chewy cookies, knowing puffy Cheetohs are far superior to the crunchy ones especially because no one wants to eat them and you get the whole bag to yourself, and AND AND how to get the entire planet to swing you, spin you all around the solar system

Spin Monkey

In February 2008, on a whim, as a joke, with no real purpose in mind I started a little group on I called it “Bubbo’s Pants” with the idea that everyone who joined would automatically be in my pants. My pants are huge, voluminous even, they hold lots of people.
I didn’t make any hard and fast rules about the group or its focus, to be honest, I did not expect the group to go past the ‘silly joke’ phase…except it did. Still, though, no real ‘rules’ were set down. Mostly, I figured there were enough places on the internet where people could be unabashed jerks to each other, places where ‘honesty’ was considered synonymous with ‘douchebaggery’. I didn’t want my group to be like that. I wanted something different. And I got it!
The Pants, as the group is called, has grown into quite a juggernaut of awesome. It’s a place where people who need help or support can go to find it without judgment or criticism. We give advice, comfort, opinions and support in an open and somewhat playful manner. In short, the group is everything I had hoped it would be.
So, what does this all have to do with the pictures above?
Well, the People of The Pants are a sneaky lot! They will form secret, private groups away from the main group! They will use these groups to coordinate secret plots to help bring cheer and love to someone who is going through a particularly rough patch. Sneaky little monkeys they are! As my birthday approached, they formed one of these secret groups. Their secret plot? To get me a spinning wheel. Oh yes, a spinning wheel! I’d been missing the spinning wheel I had, one that was borrowed and had to be returned to its owner.
I love spinning yarn. It’s rhythmic and relaxing, it’s an act of comfort as well as an act of creation.
They did it, these Pantsters of mine, they coordinated their efforts and for my birthday they sent me a Louet S10 spinning wheel and a bunch of delicious fiber as well as a giant birthday card, a painting of my Rastapotomus (more on that later), gift cards and so much more.
I have a spinning wheel! My own spinning wheel! I can sit down and create yarn once again.
They keep me humble, yes they do. Whenever I stop to think, “hey! I made a pretty cool community!” they surprise me with acts of generosity and love that I can not ever take any credit for. It is a group that is somehow greater than the sum of its members. I am immensely proud of my association with them.
I cannot thank them enough for this gift, not just the spinning wheel (which is awesome) but the gift of this community, the gift of their friendship and support and love.