• the quotidian (4.8.24)

    Quotidian: daily, usual or customary;
    everyday; ordinary; commonplace

    Multigrain sourdough and a pot of cheese.
    (Always a pot of cheese.)


    Sourdough English muffins.


    Speed chill: hot bread (polenta sourdough), hungry woman, windy day.


    Herby sourdough focaccia with fried eggs, bacon, and sharp Jack.

    Recipe testing a potato sourdough.

    Trying a new coffee cake: not convinced. Too many crumbs, oily mouth-feel.

    Mystery mead.
    (Grape and rhubarb . . . I think?)

    Stackables, whoop-whoop!

    Chilly fridge, oops.

    Wack weather.

    Rainbows galore.

    Dish and cold side: parallel shifts.

    Working hard or hardly working?

    This same time, years previous: two (no three!) fun things, dairy developments, the different kinds of meals, the coronavirus diaries: week five, the quotidian (4.8.19), scatteredness, millet muffins, the quotidian (4.6.13), yellow cake.

  • milkslinger

    Two years ago I started a YouTube Channel. Last month, I registered to be an LLC (official business name: JJ Murch LLC). I opened a business bank account, got a debit card, and attended a local business class. And I finally, finally, FINALLY settled on a brand name

    a surprise gift from my older daughter

    My daughter-in-law helped me set up a spreadsheet for tracking business expenses. My brother is helping me set up a website. I’ve hired someone to turn my videos into written recipes which I plan to sell as PDFs . . . once I get my online store up and running, pant-pant. I got a subscription to Brevo, am learning all about email marketing, and launched Splashed!, a weekly newsletter. Tomorrow I’m setting up a PO box so I can receive correspondence from viewers and readers.

    And I’m working on developing a logo.

    I was the guinea pig for a graphic design college class (the students were fantastic and the process helped me clarify what I want), have done lots of doodling (a family gathering is a perfect time to bring out the paper and pencils, especially when there’s an artist in the mix), and am now consulting one-on-one with a graphic designer, a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. 

    It’s kinda wild, this whole “starting a business” deal. Three years ago I was just beginning to make cheese in earnest and now here I am making mountains of cheese each week, dreaming of a cheese cave, and chatting with cheesemakers, both amateurs and professionals, all over the world (Spain! Mexico! South Africa!). For the longest time, I didn’t talk about my goals for this project, this business, but I’m feeling much more settled now. I know what I’m doing. The expected and hoped-for growth is happening. I can see where I’m headed. 

    So what do I do?

    Well, yesterday I got up at 4:30 (because I couldn’t sleep, not because I’m noble) and edited videos. I made and filmed a new cheese. I opened, tasted, and filmed a Manchego. I went to kickboxing and showered. I ordered some cheesemaking supplies and scheduled a couple meetings. I played Ultimate and showered (again), ate supper on the rug in front of the fire with my husband, played our NY Times games, and watched some Netflix.

    Today, I’ve responded to emails, edited videos, (mostly) finalized the next newsletter, filmed some cheese maintenance, scheduled a community post, made a coffee cake, attempted to nap, munched twizzlers, photographed a random snow squall, mixed up a batch of focaccia, made some business calls, and worked on this post. 

    Tomorrow I’m making (and probably filming) another cheese, as well as editing video. (The video editing is endless.) I’ll make sourdough. I’ll go for a run in the morning if it’s not raining (just this afternoon it rained, hailed, snowed, blew, and shone; welcome to Virginia!), and maybe I’ll walk with a girlfriend in the afternoon. 

    So! To sum up: there’s a lot of list making and crossings-off, thinking and thumb twiddling, plus there’s goodly amount of plain old Sitting My Butt Down, followed by endless squirming, with a few bursts of productivity sprinkled throughout.

    It’s all very mundane and non-glamorous, but also equal parts hectic and blissful. 

    This same time, years previous: the quotidian (4.3.23), the quotidian (4.4.22), ground beef chili with chocolate and peanut butter, instead of a walk, kickboxing, caribbean milk cake, a trick for cooking pasta, the quotidian (4.4.16), red raspberry pie.

  • eight fun things

    It’s Friday! So far today I’ve edited video, gone running, made phone calls, baked sourdough and potatoes, mixed up a batch of multigrain sourdough, showered, and made a cheese. Now I’m settled on the couch, my belly full of salad, chocolate, and coffee, ready to focus on some writing.

    I love that it’s Friday, but I can’t fully kick back since I have a middle of the night bake shift coming up tonight — well, tomorrow morning, really. Cranking out an insane amount of goodies will be fun once I’m in the night kitchen with the rest of the team, but right now all I’m doing is dreading the early morning wake-up and then the loooong day of tiredness that will follow. But I’m a tough cookie [she tells herself], and it’s gonna be just fine.

    ANYWAY. How about a few fun things to kick off the holiday weekend?


    I picked these up at Costco on a whim. Minty, crunchy, and chocolatey, they go down reeeal easy. 

    I call them “angel poop” because they taste of heaven and look like little poo pellets. 


    My husband and I plowed through the new TV series Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Actually, he started it without me and when I found out I hit the roof because fact: starting a new series without first checking with one’s partner is criminal.

    So then he stopped and gamely rewatched the first few episodes with me. Turns out, the fact that he’d already watched them was kinda nice because he was able to tell me when all the scary things were about to happen so I could cover my eyes, and because he’d already seen it, he didn’t get nearly as irritated with me when I kept asking him what was happening.


    One of my coworkers introduced me to Strands, the newest NY Times word puzzle. It’s way harder than Wordle, I think, and it often takes my husband and me working together a good 10-15 minutes to solve. We don’t do it every day, but weekends when we have more down time, we’ll do our games: first Strands, and then Wordle. There’s something so satisfying about focusing really hard on a puzzle and then solving it and ticking it off our list, like a little mental workout. Play it here!


    I finally got my first pair of bluetooth earbuds!

    These little pieces of tech magic fit over the ear but don’t go in it. I love this for two reasons. First, if I have ear buds in my ears for an extended time, my ears start to get a little sore, and second, I can still hear what’s going on around me. (If I were the sort of person who wore earbuds while running, these are exactly the kind I’d want so I could listen to my podcast while still being alert to passing vehicles.)

    I was hoping to use these earbuds for video editing, but even though I’ve paired them with my computer, there’s still a split-second lag that messes with all the cutting and splicing. Which is a bummer, but — and this is the best part — now I can listen to podcasts while sheeting out pastry!

    And I love that I can enrich myself while my hands are busy. Which leads to. . .


    Two podcasts!

    A. One of my girlfriends recommended Rob Lowe’s podcast Literally!. The first episode I listened to — an interview between him and Hillary Swank — was fun but nothing special. But then I listened to his interview with Nando Parrado, one of the rugby players that was in the plane that crashed in the Andes back in 1972. The story, which I’d never heard, was harrowing and incredible, but what fascinated me most was Nando himself: his world view, his perspectives, his attitude. That interview was phenomenal — a real gift. I can’t recommend it enough. (A new movie about the crash just came out last year. It’s on my to-watch list. . . once I can muster up the courage. It’s gonna be intense!)

    Update 3/31/34: We watched it last night for our family night movie. WOW. Harrowing story laced with profound beauty. Incredible production, excellent acting.

    B. I’m sure you’re all aware of Moth Radio Hour (and if you’re not, GET ON IT). I love the little glimpses into other people’s lives — their insights and humor and struggles. But this week I listened to the most devastating story: about a young mother who was wrongfully sentenced to death along with her husband. The losses Sunny Jacobs suffered are incomprehensible, and yet she spoke with such gentleness about both grief and grace, heartbreak and love, anguish and forgiveness that it was staggering. (Elements of her story reminded me of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book A Little Princess, my favorite favorite book when I was a child.)

    Do you have a favorite podcast? Do share!


    Have you guys met Bruce yet? 

    Our whole family is kinda in love.


    I discovered a new favorite ice cream: Turkey Hill’s Peanut Butter Ripple. I’m a huge fan of the chocolate peanut butter, so when my daughter brought home the vanilla version, I was miffed. The ice cream looked so generic and bland and stupid. But then I tasted it and the metaphorical lightbulb that forever dangles above my head lit right up. 

    This ice cream is — wait for it — the exact same as the chocolate peanut butter swirl but without the chocolate! Crazy, right? And it turns out that vanilla and peanut butter pair wonderfully, like a PB&J with a glass of ice-cold milk. I think I’ll have her pick me up another box today.


    A few nights ago, my husband and I watched Mean Girls.

    I’d never seen it (can you believe it?), and it was quite lovely — funny, warm, snappy. Like, a mashup of Napoleon Dynamite, Bottoms, and Clueless (which I’ve not seen). And now I get it when my kids say things like, “Stop saying fetch, Gretchen.”


    P.S. Feedly is no longer working for my blog, so if you want to be notified of posts, sign up to get them via email.

    This same time, years previous: redbud, celebrating seventy, the quotidian (3.29.21), milk bread, now that she’s back, for-real serious, teff pancakes with blueberries, absorbing the words, seven-minute egg, on being together: it’s different here somehow, the boy and the dishes.