Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here's my not so little anymore little bird petting Gunther gently.
Anton had the flu last week and then I had it Friday night and then Doug got it last night. It has been horrific. Glad I don't have any photos of THAT to share? Being sick is one thing, but taking care of 2 men at the same time is truly challenging. I wish I could recover by myself! How do other mothers do it?
Friday, April 25, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It's been a wonderful weekend of gardening and baking. For the past 2 weeks, I've been baking bread again. Three times a week! Feels great to know I can do this AND be a mommy to Anton. My favorite loaf is called Ciabatta. It's crisp and dark on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside with lots of holes for texture. I use it for everything from toast to sandwiches. And it's easy! There is very little shaping or proofing involved. You barley handle the dough at all.
I've just about memorized the recipe by now so have gotten over the psychological barrier of thinking I can't juggle breadmaking steps with everything else. If you make a schedule and make it habit - it's really easy.
So! I've also planted new flowers in our window boxes and got a couple of tomato plants in the ground. I'll post pictures soon.
Feeling the high of spring and the productivity it brings. Happy to be here. Happy to be alive.
1/2 t yeast
2/3 C water
1/4 t sugar
1 C flour
In a bowl, sprinkle yeast onto surface of lukewarm water. After 5 minutes, add milk, sugar and flour. Stir to dissolve. Cover with a damp dishtowel and leave overnight or 12 hours.
The next morning, make the dough.
1/2 t yeast
1 C water
1/2 T olive oil
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t salt
In a bowl, sprinkle yeast onto surface of lukewarm water. After 5 minutes, add olive oil, salt and flour. Add this mixture to the starter you made last night. Cover with a damp dishtowel and leave for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle baking stone heavily (yes - it's terrific for bread and cookies and pizza and much better than a baking sheet) with cornmeal. Scrape out dough with a rubber spatula or bowl scraper onto the stone. It will be very wet and sticky. Try to make a rectangle. Scoop up the sides of the dough as if you're trying to fold it from underneath its surface. Do this on all sides. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Handle the dough carefully so you don't break the air bubbles.
Bake for 30 minutes at 425° and enjoy your beautiful and tasty ciabatta loaf!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This was a birthday gift from Glo and Peter. THE coolest pencil designed by the Swiss Naturalist Conrad Gessner in 1565. You can read a review of it here. It's pretty wonderful to write with. I'm thinking of painting mine, though. I love the natural cherry, but my hands are crying out for color.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Well. It's been a beautiful day. Doug bought me donuts for breakfast, Mom and Dad came over first thing to give me my presents - one of which was a beautiful grandfather clock that's been in our family since my grandmother was 16 - a deep, deep family history - but that's a later post. This made me cry. The letter from Mom and her sweet sterling bell that HER grandmother gave her was also wonderful - as was Anton when he figured out how to make it ring. Doug got me a James Avery charm bracelet and Anton got me a charm that says Mommy.
Later at work, students bought me a cake and sang to me at PC. Then Doug took me out to dinner - oh, it was delish and luxurious.
This Saturday night we have a big party. I'll bake a cake and it'll be so much fun. I've got lots of things to celebrate and be thankful for.
The image you see here is Anton's big present to me. Mind you, this is a child whose gag reflex is very sensitive. The sandbox and yogurt just about do him in. So when Daddy sat him down to create this finger painting for me, it was not pretty. The painting turned out masterful, but I understand it was traumatic for him. Look at his chest and thighs! Oh, how the artist suffered!