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A Compelling Unknown Force

As aforementioned, New Year’s Day 2010 was most lovely. Here are photos to prove it. The second and third days of the year were also dandy. But our return to routine has been utterly graceless. We’ve managed to barrel through the week, despite circumstances beyond our control. Like the Monday morning closure of the High Bridge, which is our usual route over the Mississippi River and to the freeway on-ramp. And today’s inch or so of additional snow, on top of the ice that has cemented itself to roadways. That certainly gummed up the commute. I do, however, take the blame for our early morning alarm clock fails. I am no Time Lord. Lately I’ve spent my evenings staying up too late watching Doctor Who. Alas, I am powerless to resist Netflix Instant.

Five things from good to bad to worse:

One of this week’s big successes was bread-related. I baked my first loaf and it was fabulous. Now I want more! Totally going to try this no-knead loaf recipe. But which bread cookbook to purchase? So many highly recommended options out there like: My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method. And Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients or its predecessor Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. Anyone have these/have a preference?

I’ve also discovered this fabulous Food In Jars site. Oodles of fun food-related winter projects, and Spring/Summer gardening to plan for. And soon I’ll be installing the thermal curtains I finally ordered. And a friend just provided a good list of apocalyptic fiction to keep me occupied. Of course there’s also Survive the Apocalypse: The Last Guide You’ll Ever Need. I swear, I’ll become a survivalist yet!

Emily, getting punched


  1. josh wrote:

    let us know what bread book you choose. i’m in the market myself. i’m going to attempt the no-knead loaf method this weekend.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Sharyn wrote:

    So far I’ve got one vote for the Artisan Bread cookbook. Waiting for a little more feedback but I’ll let you know! Baking bread is surprisingly satisfying.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  3. Heather wrote:

    I watched Alma today and it was totally creepy! That story about the Russian hikers has totally creeped me out. I better not have nightmares tonight!

    I know someone who LOVES the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. I’ve always wanted to try making my own bread, but always feel way too intimidated to try!

    Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  4. Jim Falsehat wrote:

    No one can deny that bread making is not a messy procedure: mix the dough, let it rise, dump the dough on a work surface, use lots of flour on your hands to work the dough, let it rise, set aside for another rise, and finally bake. While you end up with grand tasting bread, you also have a grand mess to clean up.

    Nancy Baggett’s “Kneadlessly Simple” book is the way to make great tasting bread with no mess. Consider this: the dough is mixed in one bowl, and all rises are done without removing the dough from the bowl. Then the mess is simply dumped into the hot Dutch oven and baked. Once mixed in the bowl the dough is later stirred once in the bowl. There is one optional stirring of the dough (in the bowl) if you wish.

    That is it. The dough goes from the mixing bowl directly into the hot Dutch oven. There is no need for parchment paper, dusting flour, kneading, shaping, or cleaning up a mess. My favorite is “Crusty White Peasant-Style Pot Bread” (page 31) using only all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, table salt, instant yeast, and water.

    The book has copyright protection, so I am not prepared to give the actual quantities of the material used. Head to the library or buy a copy is all I can say

    The startling parts of the recipe is the use of ice-cold water, the first rise being in the refrigerator, and extended rise times. The extended rise times are very independently flexible enabling you to bake the bread around your schedule.

    Friday, January 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

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