Saturday, April 21, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ben has a health issue...

I recently discovered that Ben is exhibiting signs of rectal prolapse - not uncommon in cattle.  My friend Terry Burger (Ben's godmother - she has known him since he was a pup) sent me some medicine.  Her husband Paul is a veterinarian and they are both well versed in large livestock care.  Never thought I would be applying Preperation H to a longhorn's butt hole.  She also sent some Panalog that I have to inject into his rectum with a large plastic syringe.  This should be interesting.  Ben is about to take trust to a whole new level.  I will spare you a photo of his infirmity,  but there might be a video coming soon...  78,85,53,0,W

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

cross county

Had a traveler camp at TFL Sunday night.  Tobias Foglia was looking for a rustic campground out my way and ended tenting it right behind my house.  He was pretty beat having just peddled 65 miles from Alpine.  The perfect overnight guest - he brought his own food, cookware, stove, and bedroom.  He has been cycling cross country since he left Boston last September...on his way to San Diego.  After his night here, he was planning on a couple of nights down in the national park before continuing his journey west.  89,97,56,0,B

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hidden in my heart...

Psalm 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.  11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

a little life...

At least something is still alive in the greenhouse...  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

business is picking up...

Baked nine loaves for two clients today and just got a double order of croissants for Monday.  Finally gave in and started an Instagram account for my bread photos.  89,97,49,0,B

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

the shower is occupied...

Just discovered this nest in my solar shower a couple of days ago.  Looks like I am back to sponge baths for at least the next month.  Would hate to disrupt this family as the nest is right next to my pump and one of the parents is always on the nest.  I will be live streaming video on my YouTube channel every afternoon til they hatch and leave the nest.  This is a Eurasian Collared Dove.  Since I have been watching them, the father tends the nest during the day from about 10 AM to 6 PM and the mother takes the night shift.  71,79,53,0,B

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018


Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

they grow up so fast...

Happy Hatchday Chupa!  Four years old today.  67,93,44,0,B

Friday, April 6, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

FedEx snafu...

FedEx was supposed to deliver my hard white wheat 2 days ago.  I got an email that said it was delivered but I was here all day and they never came to my house.  I filed a claim with FedEx and contacted customer support at Walmart.  Walmart was very accommodating and sent out another shipment free of charge right away.  FedEx finally called me this morning to say my shipment was left outside by a gate a mile away from my house - a gate that has no name or address but plenty of no trespassing warnings.  I told them where I was in relation to where they left my order.  I found my boxes there right after they called.  FedEx bites the bullet on this one for not delivering to the address on the shipping label and just leaving my order by the road - and I get a double order for the price of one.  That is of course if they actually deliver here tomorrow...  79,92,53,0,B 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What's in your multigrain bread?

Store bought multigrain bread
Field Lab Solar Oven Seven Grain

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Easter has nothing to do with bunnies and eggs and everything to do with the unimaginable suffering Christ endured to wash you from earthly sin.  FYI - it only applies if you ask Him into your life and accept Him as your savior.  Bunnies and eggs alone won't play well for you when you leave this earth.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

not bad for a first try...

81 layers of dough and butter.  Video coming Monday.  85,92,46,0,B

Friday, March 30, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

gift from a bearded brother...

A visitor showed up today bearing gifts.  Craig Smith has been out to visit once before and showed up today with something special for TFL.  He has been following my blog for a couple of years and has been keeping up with my recent baking escapades.  It just so happened he had a KitchenAid stand mixer collecting dust in his garage so he brought it out today.  He also brought some real prosciutto to put in my next loaf of Chupa bread.  Craig just got upgraded to premium visitor class!  (Craig - if you see this before you leave the area - I need your home address so I can send you some Field Lab merchandise)  76,83,40,0,B 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

not just for preppers...

A couple of years ago I was contacted by the producers of Doomsday Preppers about being featured in an episode.  (It should be noted that I have turned down over 20 reality TV offers in the past 10 years)  I told them I was not interested because: 1.  I don't do reality TV  2.  I'm not a prepper.  3.  I am not expecting doomsday in my lifetime.  4.  If I was a prepper - why would I want to be on national television?  That being said...I just ordered some "prepper" hard white wheat to experiment with once my grain mill arrives.  Free shipping and a little extra discount for waiting an extra day for delivery and it works out to unadulterated flour at 52 cents/pound.  69,75,46,0,B

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

taking the next step...

I made an executive decision and decided to take the plunge in regard to milling my own flour.  I was leaning toward going this route and just got pushed over the edge when Ginger Hillery contacted me today about a really good deal on 50 pounds of a whole 7 grain mix she had available for me from her supplier - hard red wheat, oats, triticale, rye, barley, soft white wheat, spelt.  Looks like I am going to have to stop giving away my bread (except for any visitors that show up wearing a BE LIKE CHUPA tshirt)... 62,70,60,T,W

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

beware of evil concupiscence...

Colossians 3 

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:  For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Taste and See

Had a nice visit with Ginger Hillery yesterday - owner of Taste and See bakery in Alpine.  She gave me a thumbs up on my bread flavors..."Amazing bread! I love it! Great crumb, terrific taste, and yes, goes well with butter. I liked the honey wheat with oats, but must say the Chupa was delicious and a favorite with my employees. Actually I enjoyed every loaf and am thinking that you folks down south are gonna be lining up to buy his bread!!"   She uses only fresh milled flour in her baked goods and gave me 4 cups of her Montana Prairie Gold to experiment with.  Prepped two batches this afternoon to compare them when they get baked tomorrow - one with my Blue Bird flour and one with her fresh milled hard white wheat flour.  Since I first contacted her last week, I have been researching milling my own flour.  If I decide to make the switch - I need some of my loyal followers to order Chupa mugs and tshirts so I can buy a grain mill. (free loaf of Field Lab Solar Oven Bread to any visitors that show up wearing a Be Like Chupa tshirt!)  77,91,51,0,B

Friday, March 23, 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018

a load of bread

Baked 14 test loaves over the last two days.  Taking some to Alpine tomorrow to get a critique from a local bakery.  87,94,46,0,B

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Star Power

How do you know you have a genuine loaf of Field Lab Solar Oven Bread?  Look for the star on the bottom.  79,87,47,0,B

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018


From The Bread Lab:  Altered the chemistry and cooking technique and finally got a "perky" loaf on the third test batch.  Field Lab Solar Oven Honey Oat Wheat has been perfected.  71,83,51,0,W

Friday, March 16, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Honey Oat Wheat

First test batch of the last Field Lab Solar Oven bread offering to go into production...Honey Oat Wheat. Needs a little more "spring". Second test batch prepped for baking tomorrow. Not only do I have to get the taste, texture, and look just right - but I also have to tweak the recipes for each batch to fit "X" amount of one quart dutch ovens. I probably would have done better in high school chemistry had they included bread baking. The ancient tradition of bread depends on a cascade of complex chemical reactions.  70,79,50,0,B  

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Three loaves more to go.  63,69,48,0,B

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

a new void...

Finally found a new home for all that insulation that was gifted to me six years ago.  I kinda miss those piles already.  62,69,48.0.B

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

for conscience sake...

Romans 13  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.       

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Bread Lab

Two recipes taste perfected (Artisan White and Chupa Bread).  Now going for "the look".  78,87,53,0,B

Friday, March 9, 2018

Thursday, March 8, 2018

cryptantha crassipes under glass...

Day long visit from a professor and 2 grad students from the University of Idaho here to study the Terlingua Creek Cat's Eye plants.  It was kind of like an episode of CSI Texas.  Dr. Mark Schwarzl√§nder and Masters degree student Karuna Nepal and PhD student Jessica Fung were here to extract volatiles from the leaves and flowers of some select plants.  They did this by isolating plant parts with little bags and setting up pumps that would pull air through them to be collected in tiny chambers.  Each collection lasted 6 hours.  They have to FedEx the samples to their lab tomorrow to be deep frozen and run through a GC-MS instrument (gas chromatography - mass spectrometry) to reveal the organic compounds in the plants.  Chupa helped.  66,76,41,0,B

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

cleaning and baking...

The west side of the greenhouse finally reached a tipping point as far as the mess is concerned.  Another big load headed to the landfill soon.  Video coming Friday. 

Baked another test batch then headed down to Study Butte to visit my bread mentor India Wilson.  She is partly responsible for my latest bread efforts ever since she had a sample years ago of some of my first experiments.  Seems that every time our paths crossed,  she she would ask me when am I going to bake more bread in my solar oven.  She gracefully gave me some samples of a few of her latest efforts.  63,74,45,0,B 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

fans from the UK

It just so happens that a new fan from England was already planning a trip to Terlingua when the new Ben Fogle episode on The Field Lab aired in the UK.  She connected with me on Facebook and stopped by for a visit today - and brought me some English snacks and a set of tea towels for my bread baking experiments.  She was out with one of her sons to track down a piece of property she bought out here 14 years ago (sight unseen off the internet).  Turns out her 20 acres is land locked on a section of the ranch that has no direct road access...but at least she owns a little chunk of Texas.  Ben approved of their visit.  64,75,34,0,B

Monday, March 5, 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018

back to manual

Well...that Cheftronic stand mixer shit the bed on the sixth batch of dough.  Thanks to Amazon Prime, I am sending it back for a full refund.  Going to stick to hand mixing for now...but I have my eye on this one.  I think I will wait until I see some return on this venture before I invest in any more equipment.  I also need to refurbish my old large solar oven which can handle 18 one quart dutch ovens at a time.  74,90,44,0,B

Friday, March 2, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

another bread test...

Not a good solar oven day, so I baked these in the gas grill.  59,69,39,0,W

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Texas Cottage Food Law

While I am toying with the idea of selling Field Lab Solar Oven Bread...I decided I should look into the legalities.  Prior to 2011, in Texas, selling any food from a home kitchen made you an illegal "food establishment" in the eyes of the Texas Department of State Health Services, even if you operated on a very small scale selling low-risk foods like baked goods.  You could legally not sell homemade food.  A group of dedicated home bakers changed that.  SB 81 was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on June 17, 2011, and the law was expanded in 2013 by HB 970.  Texas continues to be one of the friendliest states for small business startups.  A number of foods covered by these laws includes - baked goods that do not require refrigeration, such as cakes, cookies, breads, and pastries.  To start a cottage food business, there are no permits, inspections, fees, or licenses required beyond a basic food handler's license.  I got my Texas Food Handler's License by taking an online course and passing the online exam (it took 45 minutes and cost $7.99).  And if I end up selling to the public, I will have to add a label such as this.  72,83,58, .03",W

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Prosciutto Bread

Back in my NYC days ,I would pick up a couple of  prosciutto rings for my weekend breakfasts.  I used to buy them from D&G Italian Bakery at 45 Spring Street in Little Italy - a couple blocks away from where I used to live.  The store is now owned by my croissant friend Maury Rubin of City Bakery fame.  I found a recipe on YouTube that just about nails it.  I cooked up a test batch of loaves (not rings) and it tasted pretty much exactly how I remembered them.  Big chunks of prosciutto to dice up are cost prohibitive to buy in Texas (or even online) so I substituted summer sausage and it worked out pretty well.  Since it isn't truly authentic prosciutto bread, I think I will call it Chupa Bread instead - since they are the same color.  74,86,43,0,W 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

the bread of life...

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

a surface for dough

Sanded and conditioned the old butcher block cart top I've had for 15 years.  Almost ready to start prepping some dough.  Video of the effort coming Monday.  72,80,40,0,B

Friday, February 23, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

a surface...

Was about to buy some kind of large surface for dough prep when I remembered I already have just what I need.  Unearthed one of my butcher block topped carts from the bowels of a shipping container yesterday.  I bought two of these (from Ikea) about 15 years ago for my kitchen in upstate NY.  I have been using one of them as a tool bench out here and have pretty much destroyed the top.  The other is still in pretty good condition and I am about to sand it down and condition/seal it for a second life.  The butcher block top is 24" x 38".  Video tomorrow...  58,66,32,0,B