Tag Archives: baking

Computer woes, hard as rock shortbread cookies, and grammar sticklers

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Hmm, computer problems tonight. Would have posted this over an hour ago, if not for ongoing issues. So, will have to be brief.

Today, stocked up on groceries. Bought some almond meal at Trader Joe’s (which was cheaper than a bag of almonds). Used ½ cup in tonight’s bread dough, so we’ll see how that turns out tomorrow. I also made some shortbread cookies with it, which tasted great warm, but immediately turned into rocks (I think I baked them way too long because they didn’t seem to be browning up.)

Tonight I’m reading You are What You Speak, an interesting book about the English language, and those “sticklers” who refuse to understand that language is not in decline, but rather, is ever evolving.

The simple things: a new baking stone

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Lately, it seems like each day slips through my fingers with long work days that start too early and are too intense, then jump immediately into radio show prep in the evenings, and then end with me trying to eke out a little time to blog, often staying up too late in the process. Hopefully I’ll get back on track as soon as the next show is done. Or I’ll just learn to live with the craziness.

Tonight, I get to use my new baking stone that I picked up at Bob’s Red Mill last Friday. First I was going to be super practical and buy a 25# bag of hard white wheat flour; it was a good price, I can’t get that quantity in Bend, and since I’ve been baking bread nearly every day for months, we would use it up quickly. But then I decided on the baking stone; it was a great deal and I’ve had my eye out for a replacement for a while since my first cheapy stone didn’t last long at all, cracking about a month into using it. {I’d been using the old stone anyway for the last month or so, pushing the pieces together, thinking it was better than nothing. But let’s face it, it was a pain.} This new “Best” stone is 14 x 16 x 5/8 ” and is almost twice as thick as the old round stone. And it was made in Portland. And it will always remind me of our somewhat surreal trip to Bob’s Red Mill and Vida Vegan Con.

Time to put in the bread!

My next culinary attempt: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Wow, phenomenally bad day. Work related. Ranks up there in the lifetime list of bad days, let me tell you.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a DaySo, since I’m not interested in talking about that, I will conveniently change the subject. This book, or one with a similar title, was mentioned on a recent podcast (which one?). Anyway, got it at the library and can’t wait to try some of the recipes—too bad it’s the middle of summer. Hubby should get on that solar-oven-building-project with the kids that I’ve mentioned to him several times.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day; The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Herzberg and Zoë François.

Apparently, I may need an oven thermometer and a baking stone. But since the kids can easily go through a loaf of bread in a day, this might quickly save us money…

Good Saturday

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Good Saturday. Spent most of the day away from the computer (except for looking at a few cooking tips, and then watching Hulu while baking). Slept way in, hung out with my Dad a little. (We went garage saling and found a great white elephant for the family Xmas get together—and we spent less than $1 total, since we’re both broke).

Finally finished Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey and finished mowing the lawns (first mow of the year, was very long and thick and had to be done in batches over a few days). Since it has basically just turned summer-ish here after a very long winter and then a very long snowy/rainy spring, and is not even very warm yet, and since I wasn’t feeling very good over the last few months, my garden beds are in a state of serious neglect. But I got a good chunk weeded, and if I do a little every day I should be able to buy some starts after the next paycheck and hopefully still plant a few things from seed that we can harvest in the fall like carrots, squash, beans, peas, etc. Even though I intended to start way earlier this year, I think I probably got started this late last year, and I was still able to grow quite a few veggies. I also turned on and tested the sprinklers. They survived yet another winter and are in about the same shape as last year—they need adjusting as always, but do an adequate job.

After the yard work, I turned to some baking. Made some Blueberry Lemon Millet Corn Muffins from Scatter Vegan Sweets, and Molasses Cake Bars from 500 Vegan Recipes. I got to use the Vitamix to make millet flour and oat flour, which is fun. The muffins (well, I made a pan) turned out yummy in spite of being made from bird seed (millet)—I don’t think they would have been nearly as good without the blueberries. The bars (which I made in a loaf pan), turned out a little strange—they are very molasses-y and cake-like, but not at all bar-like. But I like molasses, and I’m sure I’ll eat them all eventually.