Sour dough lessons, the end of tobacco & personal milestone achieved πŸŽ‰

in Natural Medicine β€’ 7 months ago

Hard to know which one of these three topics to talk about first, they are all so exciting! Let's start with bread and the 100 year old sourdough starter which flew all the way from Canada, compliments of @sauna. Thank you brother! We love you 😍

The baguettes you can see here are actually not made with this new starter. I included them because I mentioned in my last bread post I was going to buy a dedicated baking tray for baguettes and as you can see it is working like a dream! The one on the left was voted winner, due to the amazing flavour of the roasted seeds.


The Sourdough Starter

A sourdough starter is basically just a bigger, gloopier version of yeast. It is live bacteria living in flour and it is very much required to make your bread rise, giving it those lovely holes we expect. We had used artificial yeasts in the past, but those days are over and something tells me Esteban & Luna will be passing this same sourdough starter on to their children in years to come ;)

Here they are eating their breakfast yesterday.


The original dried sourdough starter can be seen in the jam jar.


I mixed some of the dried starter with flour and warm water to activate it. Almost immediately it began to make bubbles, which indicated to me it was still alive!


I bought this fancy wooden pot with a lid as the permanent home for our new member of the family, who just like the other members of this family requires feeding on a daily basis.


The kids enjoy helping me in the mornings, sprinkling seeds and making cuts in the dough. On this occasion I was trying out a new glass cooking pot as an alternative Dutch oven and more importantly I was trying out my new starter in place of the regular yeast.


I was unsure about this bit and added around half my starter to the flour, making the mistake of adding the salt too early, not giving the starter time to activate all the flour.


What this meant is that it didn't rise at all! Worse, it didn't want to come out of the pot without leaving half of it behind, stuck to the bottom.


I included this story to show you how it isn't perfect every time. Far from it, mistakes are an essential part of the learning process!


The bread was a total brick and once the seeds were picked off the top, the rest went in a bin.

I will show you what a successful sourdough loaf looks like soon enough...

No more tobacco

I have smoked tobacco for three decades so it is not so easy to suddenly stop. Having managed it in the past for short periods only I understood this time needed to be different if I wanted to remain a non smoker forever. Which I do!

If I'm going to be honest about this I am actually a weed smoker who has always mixed it with tobacco. A joint is a convenient delivery system but comes with the cost of an addiction to nicotine and the potential side effects of inhaling smoke. And let's face it... it makes us smell pretty horrible.

So, I bought a couple of machines to deal with the problem.


These are vaporisers. So, the weed is not burned but heated up to the point where the moisture comes off it.

I've tried these kind of things before but apparently one needs to spend the money to experience the effect fully. The mighty was around €300 so not cheap, but certainly one of the most effective machines I have tried.

Sabrina & I are now one week into our tobacco free lives and there can be no question, we have done it with the help of these little machines!

Highly recommend this method to anyone else looking to kick tobacco.

And obviously I highly recommend the daily inhalation of weed (or it's vapour) for anyone looking to expand their mind beyond its current limitations or simply just to breeze through our frankly quite depressing world with an authentic smile on their face.

sam woman! 2.jpg

@sebcam @samstonehill @kenistyles some time around 2012

In other news it is super cold at night, but nothing too unexpected there. The Grand Solar Minimum is upon us.

Bought this tent to look after the babies.


Despite the cold, the strawberries, herbs & baby fruit trees are all developing perfectly outside our home.


The kids are doing great. No school means more fun at home with Papa ;)


We built a BBQ in the garden and it has been great, but I fancied having something more professional at home, so bought this one a few days ago. Our courtyard is a very enjoyable place to spend the afternoons in the Summer so this new machine will help a lot ;)


By the way, today is Esteban's 6th birthday! And we will be having a BBQ lunch :)

I need to run out there in a minute to start that vine wood burning. Apparently this is the best kind of wood for the flavour. Which is great, coz there is loads of it around here!


Final thing I want to share is a long awaited personal milestone I hit this morning...

My net worth is now greater than $100k πŸŽ‰

Prior to 2020 the most money I ever had was 10k, so this feels really good. And not so hard to imagine myself a self-made millionaire by the end of this year, all because I was crazy enough to put everything I had on crypto.

Now get yourselves over to the South of France and join me in building a new world!

The good times never end here. Only now we have money to help us focus & materialise our desires much faster than normal ;)

Love & Light everyone 🌱


I managed a decent looking sourdough loaf for Esteban's birthday! And you know what? Even without the roasted seeds, it tastes amazing :)


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I’ve been tobacco free for almost 3 years myself, and I can not be any happier! No more being a slave to a stick that kills.

However I still smoke cannabis the old school way. I know it’s not the best way. That’s a nice vaporizer! I may have to switch one day

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Smoking (clean cannabis) isn't all that bad for ya! Vapour is probably best for health, but IMO cannabis smokers (who don't use govt weed or tobacco) tend to be pretty healthy! Puff puff pass....

I would go as far as to say it is good for you!

Saw a study years ago (long before the days of vaping) which compared the lungs of pure green smokers with joint smokers (green/tobacco mix) & non smokers. And it turned out the people who had the healthiest lungs were the pure green smokers! So... it pays to be a smoker if you're smoking the right thing ;)

Puff puff pass...

Well I honestly wouldn't know, I've never even tasted tobacco, not once. I don't know why, actually, it just never happened. Which is fine with me!
Puff puff and pass again...

Congratulations on the three years! Yes, it sure feels good to be free from it. Something else I feel today is that it wouldn't be a huge jump from here to say no to the weed some days. It feels strangely mild without the tobacco.

While I do think vapes are the way forward I still have a little pipe for those moments when I want the extra kick.

Can't hurt to have both ;)

Congrats on kicking tobacco. I have an assortment of vaporizers as well. I don't have the ones you have, but I have the S&B Plenty, which is a handheld-but-not-portable vaporizer that sort of looks like an electric stapler with a tube sticking out of it. It's powerful and useful, though. But we also got the S&B Volcano recently, and that sort of makes the Plenty less useful. I like being able to create custom vapor flows with the Volcano and an app on my phone. I find myself just smoking more often than vaping, though, despite having all of those fancy tools.

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Funny. I just learned about the Plenty yesterday and am intending to buy it immediately. With a bigger herb chamber & mains power I imagine this is a more effective delivery system. The volcano just seems a bit inappropriate for our small family home. Amazing though you are able to create custom vapour flows from an app! Had no idea.

Congratulations Sam on quitting tobacco, that is great news. Those vaps look great and I think they are the way forward if you wish to keep smoking green.
Lucky you getting a sourdough starter from Canada, I look forward to more Bread adventures from you. Much love from these Mountains to yours xxx
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Feels pretty definitive this time. No more tobacco. Feels great!

Had to happen eventually. Lucky it was the perfect moment for both Sabrina & I to tackle this one as a team.

Much love back!


Congratulations to you and Sabrina on the break from Tobacco. I found coffee the hardest for me. Really admire your consistency and all the great st uff I see here on your blog. Truly inspiring. The roasted seed baguettes look delicious. Very pragmatic on the sour dough. Your predictions on the grand solar minimum and what you delivered here to give it foundation is fascinating. I remember just feeling my flour sugar and a bit of water to make yeast for bread in india. once I had a culture that yeast got better. I just couldn't live on Indian toast bread. Specially when I used to get baked my self the previous nights and got the munchies.

Sipping at a coffee right now I do agree this one is tricky to say goodbye to! Especially when I don't have my normal tobacco routine in the morning. For now the only goal is to quit tobacco and here I am on day 9! Feels better and better as time goes on :)

I only realised a few days ago how simple it was to create the culture at home but I am guessing there is something about a culture which has lived for many years which makes it somehow better?

Never tried Indian toast bread but I can imagine ;) Flat?

Gotta give the munchies what they want!

All the best to you my friend.

Vapour is the way to go! No smoke for @MediKatie and I. Well, we're smoking right now, for the first time in a long time, but only because the lockdown prevents us from accessing the black (free) market, to find extracts. We could make our own, but the raw material is prohibited under "legalization". I grow my own as fast as I can, but I can only grow about 1% of our needs. I hope these lockdown ends soon because Katie is alive only because of cannabis extracts. We love vapour :)

Hello there! Happy to see you are both on this path already. Feels pretty strange after all the years of smoke, but with each passing day it becomes more normal. The main thing for me is simply re-gaining choice around the tobacco. We are actually growing it in the garden this year, so I do intend to have a little puff in around six months. For the most part it is the industrial processing of tobacco which makes it bad for us. This is why indigenous tribes who grow their own don't know what lung cancer is.

I think you would be prudent to prepare for a world in which lockdowns are a permanent feature of life. Certainly for those of us who don't want to be part of medical experiments.

If I ever have problems finding what I need, the dark web has it. And it can be delivered. While there seems to be a lot of fear around this route I have been using it for years and always found it to be excellent. My only advice would be not to use these kind of sites as long term wallets. They have a nasty habit of getting shut down and re-booting as something else.

Agreed that homegrown tobacco (when dried properly of course) is 1000x better for people than the crap they sell in legalized cigarettes. Same with legalized cannabis, I've found. Full of toxins, grown badly, fed chemicals, etc. They ruin every plant they legalize, IMO.

My hope to survive in a world of lockdowns is to build up my Hive income (although I have begun to distrust this platform again recently, due to some comments I got from busybody whales that are watching my conduct and downvoting anything they see as 'wrong'), and of course to grow and store as much food as I can. I have a small city plot here, soil isn't anything fancy, a pressure cooker, and some old shovels and seeds. I will do my best! I have about 30 minutes a day (unless I'm having a flare up) in which to do things other than taking care of myself, my disabled wife, and our toddler. I usually spend it battling weeds at this time of year :) Some days I've got an hour or even two, usually not all at once, in which to work outside. If the weather is good that day, and I'm not feeling like garbage, I can be found digging and mowing and planning and sowing :)

They ruin every plant they legalize

They have also ruined every plant we eat!

Hard to find unmodified veg these days.

Anyways, at least we have our little patch of earth to play with.

Wishing you all the best with your exploits!

Back at you buddy!
I hope you'll share some of your specific gardening hacks and tips. I'm sure I could learn a few things!
Have a great week.

Hey Sam, way to go. Happy to see you're off to a good start with that sourdough starter. You have a lovely family. M

Brother! Am so pleased you caught this one!

You don't post any more so I was starting to wonder if everything was okay?

Not sure why I waited so long to get started on this particular mission. Finding the perfect wooden bowl wasn't so easy! But now that it has begun, you can be sure it will continue.

The french folk sitting at our the table yesterday were seriously impressed by the bread, two of them asked how much I would charge to make sourdough loaves for them regularly! Haha. Not quite what I had in mind for my future, but I suppose with a bigger oven and more people around here to help me out, anything is possible...

Thanks again for your part in this :)

The baguettes look wonderful! Those roasted seeds are a personal favourite anyway.
Congrats on the personal milestone... :) and the latest sourdough loaf!

Hey there! Many thanks for the curation ;)

And yes, the sourdough loaf didn't last long. Need to make another one today...

I'll arrive on your doorstep one day, if things go south here! lol
...I'll keep the little buggers working, while you're out on your newly purchased yacht!

You don't post so much nowadays, uh?

The little buggers are getting better and better at helping out where they are needed but it can't hurt to have another set of eyes on them ;) Yes, you would be most welcome here. Though I doubt I will ever care about yachts!

I don't post as much these days, perhaps because I am busier living life? Or perhaps because I have some money now and don't feel the financial pressure to post as I did four years ago.

Am still investigating the things which interest me and doing my best to convert my findings into posts. Did you catch these?

Almost done putting part 3 together...

Β 7 months agoΒ (edited)

You are a good baker! I love it! I would like to try that one day! Is that your backyard? So nice!

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It is indeed our backyard. So much better now the warmer days are back!

NIce. Your backyard looks like a relaxing place. ^_^ Enough for the kids to move and they are safe in our time of pandemic!

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Hey cuddlekitten!

Sending hugs :)


Manually curated by ackhoo from the @qurator Team. Keep up the good work!


Congrats on all fronts! Kicking tobacco is no easy task.. I was a cigarette smoker for years until quitting for a couple years. But, I only "quit" cigarettes. Like you, I smoked a lot of spliffs so I never really quit. Recently I've taken a break from alcohol, and my weed tolerance has plummeted, and the combination of the two has gotten me back on cigarettes again. Not proud.

Your bread looks awesome. Baking is sooo cool; I just can't deal with the mess. And huge congrats on your financial milestone!! That's huge! I'm at about 1% of you but I'll catch up! hhahaha

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Those breads are incredible, save some for me. Do whatever you gotta do to quit smoking. I breathed through LifeSavers holes for a number of months, but that was before vapes could were small enough to hold in hands.

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