Day 315: Now Artisan Baker

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10 November 2012

I am an avid baker & recipe risk-taker. And I am no stranger to baking up a warm loaf of bread. But today I tried my hand at making a “sophisticated” loaf of artisan style bread.

I tracked down our bakestone (aka pizza stone), gave it a nice wash, and got to work. What’s really wonderful is that I made my dough a couple days ago, so all I had to do was pluck a bit from my large batch in my fridge, form a lovely ball, & let it rise for 40 minutes. Dusted it with flour, slashed it, & into the oven for 30 minutes.

This was a simple wheat dough with some wheat bran tossed in for extra goodness, but it was still delicious. Especially before it cooled completely with a swipe of butter on it. Mm. I’m definitely excited to incorporate some different spices & herbs with my next loaf in the coming days.

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Writing on the Wall

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It is clear to see that this project was a failure.

I’m still taking photos. But the writing has completely ceased. The drive behind the writing ceased. Honestly, I never felt any need – any reason beyond myself to write day after day. And I denied myself the truth. I deleted words I didn’t want to be on a public forum. Words I wanted to say but chose to keep inside in fear of offending some random, faceless person who might stumble upon a post.

I’ve always felt that as artists, of any medium, when we fail we simply start from scratch and try again. And again. And again. Until we are satisfied. Until we look at the end result & are like what we see.

I am not certain that will ever happen for me.

It is a waste of time to write superficially. So I can either change or quit.

Neither are appealing. But some form of action must be taken.

Most of my days are quiet & mediocre. A select few have real depth, emotion, & excitement. When I want to share, I shall go into depth & write paragraphs. But most days a few quick notes are all I find sufficient.

Perhaps it is an easier path. But I find it to be a more truthful one.

A project that is dishonest is not a project I will be satisfied with. And when this year is done, when in a few years I contemplate going for a third round, I will read this post & honestly ask myself if I’m going to do it correctly.

Day 225: Best Friend

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August 12, 2012

The most patient man in the world, ladies & gentlemen. I try not to ask too often for him to participate in taking photos with me, but with our time together being few & far between these days I want to make the most of it. Taking pictures with him make those precious hours last days beyond our goodbyes. Today was my last day in Eugene, so it was now or never to venture out & snap some photos.

It’s much more difficult to take photos with someone than to just take photos alone. I feel pressured to know exactly what I want to do & worry that I take too long, take too many shots in basically the same pose. It’s times like these when I look forward to the day of finally earning a new camera…and a remote. But he is a good man – better than I deserve, honestly. He’s always patient, always understanding. I kinda like him. Just a little bit.

Day 191: Rise & Shine

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Day 191. July 09, 2012

For the last week my body has decided that the time between 5:30 and 6:00 AM is the perfect time to wake up. And I quite like it. Simply because I don’t have to up, no alarm clock, no pressing schedule to follow. The dogs are still asleep, so it’s quiet. The birds chirp, the rooster crows, the cars pass by like waves crashing in the ocean – almost rhythmically. Oddly soothing. This morning I woke up to see the sun just beginning to peak above our backyard fence. It called to me in a way.

What a way to begin the day. With capturing the morning light, the brilliant colors of the sky. I love cool summer mornings, not a cloud in the sky. Sometimes I wish I could climb on top of our house, to sit up there with my camera in hand and experience the morning from a whole new vantage point.

Day 190: Dash of Vanilla

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Day 190. July 08, 2012

Pancakes. Pancakes taste terrible. I think they make them that way so that we’ll smother them in sugary syrups. How is this a “good” breakfast? I always add in spices to my pancake mix to give it some sort of life. And my favorite topping, after grandma’s syrup, is mama’s applesauce. A refreshing mix to the dull, sometimes dry pancake texture. There have got to be better pancake recipes out there. I hate using boxed ingredients, especially when I know a scratch version would be just as easy to put together. It’s more a matter of trial and error that I don’t want to go through, especially when I’m cooking for five or six people. Tiny batches will have to be made and my official taster must be present. To the search engine I go!

Day 189: Special Delivery

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Day 189. July 07, 2012

“Make me this sign.” Aaron ordered me a few days ago. Those of you who have seen Die Hard understand the reference, those who don’t will just have to watch the film.

I had been meaning to since then, but in true character I kept putting it off. I remembered this morning when my body woke me up at 6:00 AM that Aaron leaves before 7:00 for work. I hurried to create a replica sign, though not exact it’s pretty good for having been completed in twenty-ish minutes. It wouldn’t be until 14 hours later that I learned of how useful it turned out to be.

Adam returned today from his four week stay in Germany “training” for his job. Not so much training happened, I’ve been told. But lots of photos were taken, a special screening of them is to come in the near future. And lots of alcohol & chocolate to share with the family.

I was excited to hear what Adam thought of our clever sign.

Aaron left it in the front seat.

All my hard work.

For nothing.

Puh.

I had imagined the looks of people walking past in the airport, those who comprehended the reference and enjoyed the lightheartedness of the joke. Didn’t happen.

But. Sigh. But then this happened. Violet squirmed & cried for joy when she saw her boy come home. And the sign didn’t matter so much anymore.

Day 188: Affectionate Noodles

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Day 188. July 06, 2012

One of the few pasta dishes that I love is homemade mac and cheese. It’s easy to guess that the reason for loving mac and cheese has to do with the latter partner in the title. Seriously, the possibilities of the different cheese combinations is quite possibly endless. Tonight, however I kept it simple with a colby, cheddar mix – there are a few select men in the family who don’t care for experimental food but instead cling to what they grew up with. I can respect that and often times I try to make dishes that I hope they’ll at least try without immediately turning their noses away.

I think it was a success. Grandpa even asked for me to e-mail him the recipe. I think the winning attribute was the crushed up homemade garlic croutons as the bread crumb topping. It added a little extra…pizazz.