Got the idea here, though I didn't follow the specific recipe. Haven't tasted it yet, because it's for dinner tonight, but it looks and smells tasty! Almost can't resist digging in early!
While taking a break from my couch-based movie-watching second day of extreme laziness to make some coffee, I heard the ringtone indicating a call from my husband. I nearly broke my leg tripping over cats to get to the living room to grab the phone. When I picked it up, I noticed it looked like the front-facing camera was on. What the hell? OMG! My husband is using FaceTime! My first video call!
It took a while to connect, because he is officially out in the middle of nowhere, but when it finally did, wow … so cool to see Lin and to see where he is. He's on the side of a cliff … in the middle of nowhere … in northeastern New Mexico. It was awesome to see him and totally cool to see the scenery.
I'm never going to video chat as a regular thing with just everyone. I don't especially like talking on the phone without being seen, and doing it with a camera in my face is even less fun for me. But my husband knows what I look like when I've just crawled out of bed after a twelve hour Torchwood marathon and little sleep and before my first cup of coffee, so if he wants to FaceTime, I'll answer his calls … no matter how unkempt I am. The rest of you lot will have to attempt to schedule appointments with me, if you ever want to video chat though, so I have time to make myself presentable!
Or, just forget about it. I really hate video chat. Except when it's my husband, because I love him enough to counter the loathing of being seen while on the phone. LOL!
The husband is out of town, and boredom and hunger lead me to deciding to bake bread tonight. Some of you may recall I used to bake all our bread products all the time, but a few months ago, I got so tired of doing it, I started buying bakery bread. I felt bad about that, but seriously, baking all the various bread products my household eats had become something of a chore. But … I've been missing my bread. So tonight seemed like a good night to see if I still knew how to make bread, what with there being no witnesses but myself and the cats should I produce an inedible brick.
And because I was so excessively bored, I decided to up the ante and braid the bread, which is something I have never done before. I think I was trying to fail! But my seemingly innate ability to produce edible bread no matter what I do holds firm, and I didn't produce a finely braided brick! Beautiful and edible!
Sad fact is I no longer have my usual “daily bread” recipe memorized. I had to search my own web site for the recipe. But the first recipe I found was this one. I don't even remember ever making bread with a food processor or using this recipe. Obviously, I did. There's a blog post and photographic proof! I skipped using the food processor, because I didn't feel like cleaning it afterward, and since 2007, I have learned that hands are really great tools for making bread. The recipe is so simple and makes a nice dough, but I remember why I forgot about it and moved on to other recipes. The lack of salt tastes weird to me. It's a nice fluffy bread with a mild yeasty flavor and chewy crust, but my taste buds can tell there isn't any salt, and they want some salt in the bread. Just feels bland without it.
But … making bread tonight kept me from being bored (and from worrying about my husband while he was on the road), and now I have bread to eat for a few days, so mission accomplished! It also relit the pilot light on my bread making passion, so I think I'll be baking all our bread again going forward. Even my worst loaves are better than the store bought stuff, and it's much cheaper for me to make it than to pay a baker to make it (and, quite frankly, my bread is better than most bakery bread too).
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go eat some more warm bread!
It occurred to me last night that my last post may have left some people with a question or two … like what's happening on Saturday that has lead to me needing to have all my art crap “out of the way”. People who follow me on Facebook and Twitter have been hearing about it for a few weeks, but I completely forgot that the rest of the universe has no idea why this Saturday is a big deal. Duh.
We're getting a new fridge. Not for any joyous “we wanted a new fridge” reason either. No, we're getting a new fridge because our old fridge flooded the kitchen three times in three days and considering its age and general state of brokenness, it seemed like the time had come to replace rather than repair it. Had it been something other than the icemaker that broke, I'd have probably just pressed on and squeezed another year or two out of the thing, but I have to have ice for my beverages at all times, and there is no way in hell I can ever go back to using ice cube trays. I am spoiled. I must have crushed ice on demand at all hours of the day and night, and —as I have learned the last two weeks of using bagged ice— I need four or five pounds of it a day. Yes, I am an ice addict.
The fridge will be arriving on Saturday, and it is LARGE. Larger than the one we have now, because in the intervening years, fridges have seemingly gotten even larger than they used to be. Not that our current fridge is small, but when we had it delivered, the only real logistical problem was getting it through the narrow internal doors in my old house. The house itself was still empty, so there wasn't any furniture or say, boxes of art supplies and a worktable in the way. In order to get the new behemoth into the spot in the kitchen where a fridge can exist, my worktable, supply storage, and kitchen food prep table have to be moved elsewhere.
This is the sort of logistical problem I personally describe as a bloody nightmare. The worktable couldn't be moved without my tools and other junk being off it, and the pile of supplies (junk … let's be honest, I collect junk to make art with) couldn't be moved until it was put into more storage boxes, and I would rather die than do any of that, but we do what we have to do. So … I avoided doing those tasks by doing all the other things on my to-do list first, like deep cleaning the stove so it wouldn't look sad and old sitting in the same room as a new fridge and deep cleaning the bathroom (because it really needed it). But eventually, the only thing left to do was pack up my studio and stash it in the bedroom and den. The experience was as awful as I expected it to be, but I got it done.
The kitchen feels huge without all my art stuff taking up space. It's so empty right now I've been having thoughts about painting it next week before I move my studio back to its rightful place (and out of the bedroom and den where the storage boxes are making my life a living hell). I suspect the urge to paint an entire room will pass shortly after the new fridge is in place and churning out crushed ice on demand. Did I mention I'm tired? I'm really, really tired. I've been running on coffee and willpower for days, and I don't know if there's enough coffee and willpower in the world to get me through a project as large as painting an entire room next week. I think I'd rather slowly set up my art space anew and … sleep … and watch some movies.
So, that's what's happening tomorrow. I am completely stressed out about it, because I hate when my “nest” is disturbed, and I hate, hate, hate having strangers in the inner sanctum known as my kitchen/studio. I don't even like it when people I love go in there. But I'll just have to deal with the intrusion, and the husband will be here to make the delivery and installation as painless as possible for everyone while I panic in a corner somewhere. Hopefully, when this is all over, I'll love my new fridge and my studio space will be better organized and cleansed of debris. Perhaps the combination of a functioning fridge and freshly arranged supplies will pop me out of the uncreative pit I have been in for a few months. I've had reasons for the low creativity, but if I start babbling about them right now, we'll be here for the rest of the day. Let's just say my life has been full of stress lately and leave it at that for now.
Perhaps not seeing any art supplies at all for a few days is just what I need to get my mojo back. Or maybe having properly crushed ice on demand at the touch of a button will help! As much as the delivery of this beast is being a huge thorn in my side, I am quite excited about getting a new fridge. Getting new appliances is fun! And now I need to go do the last few things necessary to facilitate its arrival, and then I think I'll have a long nap. I did mention I'm tired, didn't I? Well, I am. I'm really, really, really tired (and just want all this to-doing over so life can return to normal).
One of the reasons I've been hesitant to dig into my storage boxes is that I knew the top one was where I tossed two bags of stuff my mom gave me that I knew contained some of my dad's things. I've been missing him a lot lately. Missing his listening skills and good advice. I just didn't feel up to being confronted by unknown fatherly artifacts. But I really need to get my crap together so it's out of the way by Saturday, so I jumped in and started. Just yank the bandaid off, right?
The bags contained the contents of his worktable drawer. I recognized the stuff immediately, because I raided that drawer on a regular basis as a child. The air wafting out of the bag smelled exactly the way my dad's worktable always smelled. Pencil lead, India ink, and dried out Sharpies with a hint of tobacco smoke. That's the way my dad smelled too, with the addition of Old Spice cologne.
I separated out the good art pencils from the nubby 2B cruft, tossed the dried out Sharpies, and then I found the thing that made me cry. My dad's pen nib handles. So well-used and worn … and covered in ink as they always were.
I don't have any more use for these than I do for the huge stack of super sharp hard leaded pencils my father loved to use, but I'll be keeping them all carefully packed away until my brain comes up with some creative use for them. And that won't happen until I can look at them without getting a lump in my throat, so maybe they'll just sit in a box for the rest of my life. I can't get rid of them though. So much of my father's soul passed through those nib handles. They were a part of him.
Now they are mine, and oh, how they remind me how much I miss my dad.