Thursday, August 14, 2014

August Days

There are some things that are posted on the internet that annoy the crap out of me.  Especially Facebook.  The most annoying are political in nature.  I think of myself as a middle-of-the-road kind of person.  Traditional, but not close-minded, values; socially open-minded, if you will.  I also believe that we need smaller government and lower taxes, but also feel that there are people who are falling through the cracks in terms of care of the mentally ill and need assistance to keep themselves and society safe.  I also believe in relying on the generosity of others for some things, but the government can sometimes help by providing people a hand up, not a hand out--like skills training to get something better than a minimum wage job.

I have carefully stopped following the Facebook feeds of people when I just can't stomach their political vomit anymore.  A lot of those memes that are passed around are filled with inaccurate or misleading information; it's all about interpretation and filtering of data.  And that pisses me off.

Sometimes, it's not politics, but something very different in nature.  I got a strange one.  One of the people who I have not yet omitted from my feed is a lady who LOVES her cats.  She has a silly name for the herd of cats--the Furry Rebellion--and has unusual names for all of them.  I don't know how many she has, exactly, but it must be a lot.  I've seen names like the Agent of Chaos, the Assassin, Lord Wiggle, Lady Daring, and the Heinous Overlord (presumably the alpha cat).  OK, it's cute, but I usually just skip over those posts because, quite honestly, I don't care about the interactions between her furry creatures.  Maybe it's because I don't know her well enough to care (unlike very close friends whose critters I actually know), but she posted a message that said something like, "Of all my furry critters, which one is your favorite?"  Really? comment.

Cammie has spent the last few days with her cousin at her aunt & uncle's house.  They've been besties since they were very little and we try to get them together at least once a summer to spend time together.  Aunt N & Uncle K have been very gracious about hosting her every year.  I think it helps them out as well since the cousin is an only child, so it gives them a bit of a break.  She's been away for three days and she hasn't called to check in.  She must be having a blast!

A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to make another go at making sourdough bread.  I bought a bag of unbleached Bob Mills flour, and it sat on the counter.  Kelly knew that I was in the process of gearing up for this project, and as a fun gift, he bought me a pair of cool jars with blue glass lids, perfect for keeping the sour mix in to keep the bugs out.  Fruit flies love this stuff.  Unfortunately, when I unwrapped one of the jars, it slipped from my hand, dropped a mere 12" onto the carpet and broke.  Gah!!  The second one is still whole, at least.

He also got a packet of sourdough starter and taped it onto the bag of flour, which I found after returning from a weekend camping trip with Cammie in July.  So a few days ago, I started the mix with the starter, a bit of water and flour.  It looked so pitiful at the bottom of the jar.


After a couple more feedings, it started to look nice and frothy.

After about a week of daily feedings, I decided to make some bread.  The difference between making bread with yeast and making it with sponge is that it takes two to four times as long for everything to happen.

You have to mix flour into a cup of the starter...although I doubled this recipe, so it was 2 cups of starter and six cups of flour.

When it's mixed in really well, you cover it with cling film and let it sit to rise and bubble a bunch.

After a few hours (up to 24), you then add more flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, and keep adding flour until you can knead it.  You grease the bowl lightly, turn it over to grease it completely, and let it rise a bunch more.

Then punch it down....

Divide into loaves and let them rise...

After it has risen for a while longer, you slice the tops, and I sprinkled mine with rosemary and salt and lightly brushed with olive oil.

I baked it in the oven, according to the directions, which turns out to be too long or too hot an oven.  I'll have to experiment a bit more.  I also think I'll make smaller loaves.

The second loaf I baked for about 5 minutes less and it came out *perfect*.  And it was *delicious*!

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day--doc appointment with my foot doc, going to pick up Cammie from her visit, and go to a Munzee event.  It'll be fun!