Sourdough Tortillas


Who doesn’t love burritos? Quesadillas? Or a simple rolled up warmed tortilla with butter slathered in the middle? These tortillas are so delicious, you will wonder how you ever survived without them.

Here is the recipe I have adapted from several different online sources, and I think gives the best flavor, holds together very well, and freezes/thaws perfectly.

Sourdough Tortillas


3/4 cup sourdough starter

2 to 2 1/2 cups white wheat flour

3 rounded Tbsp bacon grease (you can use coconut oil but bacon grease tastes SO much better!)

1 tsp REAL salt

1/2 cup milk


Combine all ingredients using your kitchen aid mixer (or hand-held mixer, but why?) for 3 minutes

Set in a mixing bowl with a towel or plastic wrap covering the top. Let sit 8-12 hours or overnight (make sure the bowl is large enough for the mixture to expand, otherwise it will overflow)

Dust clean counter and hands with flour and divide into 8-10 balls, depending on how large you like your tortillas

Roll out your dough balls until they are fairly thin but will not break when you pick them up

Transfer rolled tortillas into a pre-heated skillet, set on medium heat. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THE PAN! You will not need any non stick or oil in the pan, just use it dry

Let the tortillas cook for 30-45 seconds and then flip with a spatula to cook on the other side until lightly browned, 20-30 seconds

Transfer cooked tortilla to a plate and proceed with the next one

If you want to freeze extra tortillas, simply place a sheet of parchment paper in between each one and freeze in large, freezer, zip lock bags.




Your Friend just gave you a Sourdough starter….now what?

Since beginning my sourdough journey I have given baby starters out to more people than I can remember (and I remember a lot. I’m like an elephant. Is that even a true thing? okay anyways…) and the questions are always the same. I get it, I had the same questions and ran into the same problems! Here’s a very quick intro to how to grow your sweet little starter baby into a bread making beast and the most popular questions I get about starting out with an already active starter (If you are starting from a dehydrated starter, go here for how to activate a new starter).DSCN0053 - Copy

How much do I have to feed it? 

The “proper” ratio for feeding a sourdough starter is an easy 1:1:1 ratio. One part starter, one part water, one part flour. I can attest that it is not necessary to be exact, just eyeball it and that’s perfectly fine. In fact, sometimes I just have a little bit of flour left after epic baking days….so I feed what I have until the next day when I can get out to buy flour and give it a full feeding. I do try to have a basic 1:1:1 feeding before baking.

When do I feed it?

This is up to you! I like to feed mine every night before bed, so it’s ready for the morning, just in case I want to do fresh pancakes  for breakfast! But really, it’s up to you when you feed it. Just make sure you feed it roughly 8-12 hours before you plan on using it for a recipe!

What do I feed it?

This depends on the type of starter you have. Make sure you get that info from the friend you get your starter from! I use a white flour starter because the flour I use is whole white wheat. If you want to use brown wheat, or any other kind of flour, it’s best to have the correct corresponding starter.

I think I killed it, how can I tell?

It’s actually pretty difficult to kill sourdough starter! I have left mine on the counter for a week without feeding it (we were moving, okay? Please don’t judge…my children barely ate that week) and it perked right back up once I started feeding it again!

I fed it the wrong flour (did I kill it?)!

That’s okay! Just dump out half of the starter, re-feed with the proper flour, and move forward.

I did not put it in the fridge (did I kill it)?

Starter only needs to be put in the fridge if you are not planning on feeding and using it in the near future. At ease soldier.

I left it in the fridge for months (did I kill it?)!

Starter will last MONTHS in the fridge, in a dormant state, without being fed. I repeat; it is actually very difficult to kill a sourdough starter. This stuff walked with the dinosaurs, it’s not going out that easy.

Once I take it out of the fridge, how do I prepare it for baking?

Your starter will likely need 2-4 feedings before it is ready to use, depending on how long it was in the fridge for. Once it is doubling in size in roughly 4 hours, you’re good to go!

What is this weird black stuff on the top (did I kill it)?

Hooch. That’s what it’s called…it’s basically just the alcohol from the ferment collecting on the top. I take that as the starter telling me I am hungry! Feed me! I just stir it back in with the next feeding, though some people prefer to dump it out. I hate dumping.

What is this weird crust that formed on the top (did I kill it)?

Seriously people. Why are we such a paranoid society? That starter is not dead. When in doubt, 99% of the time it’s not dead. Unless there is green fuzzy mold growing, it’s almost certainly fine! That hard crust formed because the top layer of your starter was exposed to air. Peel it off, feed your starter, and cover it with a towel if you don’t like the hard crust 😉

Did I miss anything? Post any further questions in the comment box and I’ll add them to the list!

Now go make yourself some awesome, healthy, gut lovin’ sourdough bread!

Winter Prep in the Greenhouse


Over the course of the last four days, I’ve been busy getting my entire greenhouse planted with enough varieties of greens and herbs to feed my family for the Fall, Winter, and Early Spring. Wait….I jumped in a bit prematurely, which is typical of me. Sigh.

First things first. I just want to briefly point out that what I actually have here on the Meyerstead is not a greenhouse in the technical sense. A true greenhouse can be heated and cooled as necessary depending on the outside temperatures. What I have is, in fact, a cold frame, which is just another term for an unheated greenhouse. Just so that no one gets the wrong idea about what we are working with here. A true greenhouse would be quite an undertaking and quite an expense. Also quite unnecessary in my humble opinion. Now, let’s get back to the fun part of this post…

I planted ninety two 16 oz plastic cups, one plant per cup, with the following cold hardy greens:

  1. Tatsoi – 10 cups
  2. Brunswick Cabbage – 9 cups
  3. Minowase Daikon Radish – 4 cups
  4. Verde of Taglio Chard – 9 cups
  5. Russian Red Kale – 9 cups
  6. Vates Kale – 5 cups
  7. Wild Garden Kale – 8 cups
  8. Arugula – 9 cups
  9. Corn Dutch Salad – 8 cups
  10. Parsley – 5 cups


I have my Clayotonia, also known as Miner Lettuce, planted in two 8″ plastic water catchment trays. You know, those plastic trays you put under your potted plants to catch water? Well, I was out of containers and didn’t want to stop so that’s what they ended up in. They’re one of my favorite salad greens, so hopefully they give a decent show this Fall and Winter.

I found these two extra large pans that are roughly 18″ by 24″ and planted them both with Austrian Winter Peas. These are extra delicious in the dead of Winter and I know they do well. I had a ton of them planted under plastic at my previous house and they went all the way through Spring. Most people use them as a cover crop to fix nitrogen in the soil (great cover crop to plant where you have grown corn, for example) but the shoots taste just like fresh garden peas…which is a surprising treat in a mid winter, home grown salad. I feel they are not done justice planted as a mere cover crop, I prefer them as a food. No surprise there.

20170901_144122.jpgI had some dollar store cat pans lying around from the fodder experiment I had done when we first moved in. I decided to use one for planting my Mustard Greens and a dish pan to plant all of my Spinach. These will mostly be harvested as baby greens, so I planted them pretty dense, as they will not need a lot of room to grow to full size. I will thin as they grow, and as needed, when I harvest them out.

Spinach & Mustard TraysSpinach SproutsMustard green Sprouts

Finally I planted herbs in terracotta pots. Because I love herbs in terracotta pots, and that’s reason enough…amiright? Sometimes it’s awesome being a grown up. I do what I want. (aha…ha…ha. ahem. rarely true). I have it on good authority that rosemary, cilantro, and parsley are proved to survive and thrive in an unheated greenhouse throughout our zone 5 winters. The rest of these herbs will be experimental to see if they will go all winter. Can you imagine harvesting fresh tarragon in January? Eeep!

  1. Oregano – planted in an 8″ pot
  2. Rosemary – planted in a 12″ pot
  3. Thyme – planted in a 6″ pot
  4. French Tarragon – planted in a 6″ pot
  5. Parsley – planted in a 6″ pot
  6. Cilantro – planted in a 6″ pot

Though this entire first year of everything here is somewhat of an experiment, I am trying something out that I have no idea how it will preform this Winter. I planted Autumn King carrots in four 5 gallon buckets. I also planted Blue Scotch Kale in one of the buckets. The buckets will remain on the ground, in between the barrels, for the winter. I have a plan/idea for next Fall/Winter if these two particular plants do well in this spot.


I also have a rain barrel in the greenhouse that I will be filling and using to water, to avoid dragging a hose around in the freezing cold of Winter. This will also add extra thermal mass to my greenhouse, a win win! I love winning.

The plants will likely have to be watered every day in the greenhouse, maybe every other day. The point is, a lot. So there needs to be some kind of convenient way to do so, otherwise I will hate my greenhouse, and I don’t want to hate. I’m all about love. Especially when it’s growing food to feed my family. If you decide to go with this handy watering solution…make sure it has a spicket!


It’s been a great start here for Fall and Winter planting. The soil is warm, the weather has remained warm, and there is plenty of time for seedlings to germinate and get some growth on before the cold of early Winter hits and growth slows. I am already drooling over fresh, homegrown, hearty Winter Salads!

First Summer Garden


I love a good veggie and herb garden. Flowers are nice…as long as they are interspersed amongst herbs and veggies! And edible. I like to eat, could you tell? Marigolds andflowers that resist pests, or attract them away from my food = also acceptable. It’s tough being a flower in my veggie garden, obviously. I find much more beauty in a lush green garden growing food for my family than a bunch of pretty flowers that will soon die and fade away.

Once I decided a garden was happening this year, I had some obvious obstacles to overcome. Specifically the abundance of herbivores roaming through the area; mule deer, cotton tail rabbits, jack rabbits, quail, etc. I put up a quick and temporary double fence using t-posts and deer netting (aka: horrible overpriced nonsense) that has worked fine for a temporary solution.

Next step, since I wouldn’t be using raised beds, like I had at my previous house, I had to decide what type of garden to do; double dug beds, hugelkulture beds, lasagna mulch beds, traditional tilled beds, no till beds, waffle garden, back to eden, swales, and on and on the options go! I initially decided to combine several different methods and was going to experiment with 2 hugelkulture beds, 1 double dug bed, and one back to eden style bed with swales dug around the entire garden area as well as each individual bed.

But then…it took me 3 days to dig the trench around the entire garden area (maybe 20’x25′), dig out one hugelkulture bed (4×20), and one additional swale. The ground is more like a solid brick than any dirt I’ve ever seen! I vowed that I would not put one more shovel into that horrid ground. So I ditched the idea of a double dug bed (duuuh) and moved on with my one dug out hugelkulture bed, another hugelkulture bed that I started from the top of the ground, instead of digging down, and a back to eden bed.

Here’s a quick overview of these different methods (and I mean very quick);

Swale: A fancy word for a trench to catch and retain water in the soil instead of it all running off the property, also helping with erosion issues. I live in the desert so, of course, my primary purpose for them will be water retention.

Hugelkulture: The idea of putting large logs, sticks and wood in a big rectangular pile, or bed, then covering that with leaves, small sticks, and finally soil which you then plant your seeds and plants into. The idea here is that as the logs and sticks take on water they do 2 important things; 1. Soak up water when it rains and release that moisture back into the soil when it gets hot and they “sweat”, thereby reducing or eliminating the need to water your plants and 2. They break down over time and add organic matter and nutrients back into your soil, feeding your plants so you don’t have to continually add organic matter. Here’s a great picture of what a hugelkulture garden bed looks like over time, though mine are not nearly this large.

hugelkulture graphic

Back to Eden: Basically a deep mulch method that emphasizes using a “covering” over the soil to retain moisture and build rich soil. This is a no till permiculture method that I cannot say enough about. There are so many reasons why tilling is harmful in the garden (or basically anywhere). A few of these reasons, that matter the most to me when I’m trying to build soil for a successful garden, are the weed seeds tilling brings to the surface and allows a chance to reach light and grow, and the soil organisms and structure it disrupts. The back to eden, or deep mulch, method of layering on top of the ground is simply copying Gods way of adding organic materials and feeding/nurturing the ground. Paul Gautschi is the man who has coined the “Back to Eden Garden” term and has an amazing documentary film about his own inspirational garden. It’s free to watch here, which I highly recommend! You can use any kind of mulch you have that’s free or cheap, hay, straw, rocks…Paul uses wood chips and that’s also what I am using here on the Meyerstead. They are typically easy to find, just contact a local arborist and tell them they can unload the chips from their tree work at your location. They should be more than happy to do so!

This fall, I will put chicken manure, straw with goat poop, and rabbit poop on top of the wood chips I have laid down to fertilize. Resist the urge to till it in or disturb the ground!!! Below is a basic layering outline for setting up this type of garden area.

Back to Eden.png

Now that I had my methods decided, I got to work getting the beds and swales dug out. This was a long miserable process…in fact I’m having some PTSD just looking at the pictures here…

Dug out hugelkulture bedTrench surrounding entire garden

I used brown contractor paper from Lowes, instead of newspaper, to lay down in order to kill current and prevent future weeds. It’s not free, but it is very affordable ($10 a roll).


Once the paper was down, I filled the dug out bed with lots of small logs and sticks. Next, I put a mixture of compost, top soil, and aged horse manure on top, roughly 4 inches deep. On top of that goes the wood chips. The compost/soil layer is only necessary if you’re going to use your garden right away. If you have a few seasons to wait, just put the wood chips on top of the paper and let them do their thing. You will have beautiful soil to plant your seeds and plants into when you move the chips back after several months of sitting. Obviously, I am not that patient so I had to “fake it” this first year.

Hugelkulture filled with sticksSticks covered with paper and compost mixSoil topped off with a thick layer of wood chip mulch

Here are both hugelkulture beds completed. I stacked wooden sticks and logs around the edges to help hold in the soil and wood chips. It is also a fun way to identify these as hugelkulture beds in the future.


Finally my back to eden bed to round out my experimental first year garden! Nice thick compost mix on top of brown paper and ready to be topped of with a rich wood chip mulch covering.


I got everything covered and moved wood chips aside where I planned to plant, exposing the soil underneath. Side note: you have to move the chips aside when planting. As soon as the plants are up and established, you can side dress with the wood chips. I planted bush beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, pumpkins, peppers, beets, and turnips!


Here is how everything looks at present (Late August) after roughly 10 weeks of growth. The bare open spaces are where I’ve planted for Fall/Winter. The red posts are where we are putting up our permanent fence! I’ll be doing a separate post on that once we’re done! I’m pretty excited about it 🙂


For a garden that initially wasn’t to be, and then one I was sure would be nibbled to non existence, I am pretty thrilled with how well it’s doing! Especially considering I did not get one seed in the ground until almost July! And I am also notoriously easy to please 😉 Hoping to harvest at least 3 watermelons, 2 cantaloupe’s, at least 2-3 quarts of bush beans, several large zucchini, we’ve been eating beet and turnip greens all Summer and will harvest full beats and turnips in the Spring, after eating them all Winter. We have already had a decent pepper harvest and looks like another one is on the horizon with the number of new flowers on our plants. There are a few squash and pumpkins growing, but not sure they will have enough time to mature before our first frost hits. So far, looks like we will be riding this heat wave well into September, so I am still hopeful there will be time! Is Thanksgiving pumpkin pie made from fresh home grown pumpkin, sitting next to our home grown turkey, so much to ask?

Well that’s a wrap for our first years Summer garden! Not too shabby, eh? Looking forward to my 2017/2018 Winter garden already!!