sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 6, 2005


achiness
posted by soe 1:10 pm

My back did something yesterday morning. I don’t know exactly what. It wasn’t like I was asking it to do anything out-of-the-ordinary. In fact, I think it was bending down to find shoes.

But apparently it didn’t care for that, because either a muscle pulled or a nerve tweaked because boy does my back hurt!

I have hopes that the popping and cracking that are going on today mean things are loosening up and that my back will be feeling much better tomorrow for our volunteer clean-up day at Spingarn High School in Northeast.

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a missed holiday
posted by soe 11:35 am

It could be because the only cartoonist’s blog (do other cartoonists have blogs?) didn’t mention it until 11:45 p.m. EDT. Or it could be because I didn’t see yesterday’s paper to see the fun gags they pulled in the comics (did they pull any?).

But either way, I managed to miss National Cartoonist’s Day on May 5, and I’d like to formally apologize here and now to my favorite cartoonists.

So, I include here links to some of them:

You might also find Lambiek’s Comiclopedia of Artists, Women’s Cartoon Index, and Online Comics interesting resources.

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yeasty goodness
posted by soe 12:07 am

Tuesday night, I decided I was finally going to try making bread.

I had bought bread flour. Karen had kindly supplied me a bevy of non-dried milk recipes. I checked the yeast I’d bought years ago. Oops. August ’04. Hmmm… And would this kind even work?

So a trip to Safeway for yeast. We bought two kinds — just to be on the safe side. And a can of pears.

Back home. Which recipe?

Rudi selects the pear-based recipe.

A phone call to Karen: Which yeast do I want? Either will probably be fine, she says. She is a calming voice to my inexperience. Even if it does not work out, it will be fine. She adds the sage (but not basil) warning that I should not yank the bread out of the machine as soon as it ends and slice into it. It won’t be done cooking. I won’t have to wait all 15 minutes, but 10 minutes would be smart.

I pull out the breadmaker bowl and follow directions. Mash pears, add liquids, add dry ingredients, add yeast (the active, not highly active, variety). Remember not to stir. Throw bowl back into machine.

The moment of truth — will the machine work?

Hooray! It’s making noises! (Jeremiah hopped up on the butcher block to investigate.)

Jeremiah views the breadmaker with suspicion.

Rudi and I watch the dough like anxious nesting sparrows. Will it become a ball? Will it rise? Will it brown?

It did all those things. Truly exciting.

And the smell wafted through the Burrow, keeping us up late enough to eat it.

The most effort I had to put in between pouring in the ingredients and slicing the bread was getting the loaf out of the pan. It stuck a little on the sides and a spatula was necessary to loosen it. But boy did it look pretty once it was cooling on the counter.

the inaugural loaf

After letting the bread cool precisely 10 minutes, I sliced it. A little butter and it was gone. Mmmmmmmmm…

my first slice -- yum!

We’ve had it toasted with jam for breakfast the last two days and enough remains for tomorrow’s breakfast. Then on to the next loaf. You don’t notice the pear, except when you open the paper bag, when the scent of ripe pear wafts out. Yum!

I have to admit: I experienced a surprising amount of pride for this little loaf. I didn’t do much. The breadmachine did most of it. But I suppose it wouldn’t make it without me, so I will consider it a successful working partnership.

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