Thanks to Food&Wine’s November issue and Miss Elmlid’s sourdough exchange blog, I’ve decided to jump on the naturally-leavened bandwagon. I recently discovered this lovely online community of (mostly Australian) sourdough bakers and have been studying up on sourdough theory for weeks now. It’s part addict support group, part training ground for those of us not used to keeping magical baking pets alive in jars.
I baked up my first two loaves last night with mixed results, but man is it fun! Kneading dough is one of the most satisfying (and exfoliating!) things I’ve done in a while, and I’ve already been known to liken yeast and bacteria collection/cultivation to a kind of manky and exciting game of Pokemon.
We christened my yeast products over a bottle of wine last night, and my coworkers finished off one of the loaves in the blink of an eye today. The second loaf seems destined for both some hungry college girls in town and some gamer dudes at DnD game tonight.
PS. Did I mention I bought myself this flame red vintage Descoware cast iron pot for my birthday? I’m so excited! Descoware is a brand that was bought out by LeCreuset in the 70′s and is therefore… kind of the same :p Anyway, stew!
Today Heidi took me to Ginger Elizabeth for some really guilty lunchtime chocolate snacking. I of course forgot to bring my camera… iphone will have to do today. :/
I love finding great craftspeople still exist in the world… things made with care just make me ridiculously pleased. Not to mention the chocolate.
On another note–wow! I had 121 hits on my last post on Tuesday! :o that is a lot for my little blog for those of you who might not guess… thank you DwellingGawker! I even took this little iphone snapshot to commemorate the moment <3
I haven’t really told you what’s going on in my life recently, in case you care, here’s the update:
I now live mostly alone, my mother having moved to Fresno for her new job. Living alone is really boring so far. I pulled my groin muscle doing yoga like a frickin’ month ago, and now it hurts to run, so I’ve been trying to compensate by biking and swimming and everything in-between… but apparently that is still keeping the muscle from healing, so I’m taking 10 days off until my birthday to let it heal. And I am going insane. I haven’t taken a whole week off of workouts since like 2009. My sweetie is being a trooper pretending I’m not a crazy person as I try to compensate with random baking projects (super into the Elmlid sourdough idea today), woodworking classes, patio reconstruction, spoon carving, fire pit hunting, canning, insane photo projects, shit tons of Jamie Oliver cooking shows, wine shopping and in general just running in 10 directions at once. Damn I need a workout, this can’t be healthy.
Everyone has been talking about the mooncake (fall?) festival this past week and curiosity got the best of me, my friend Suzanne indulged me by bringing me my first taste of mooncakes to the office! I’m surprised by how much they taste like Japanese manju, delicious.
I got a few curious stares as I geeked out and did a little photo session out in the office courtyard.
My pop and I went on a little wine and photography excursion to Sonoma and Napa yesterday. It was supposed to be somewhat of a goodbye family/friends affair since my dad will leave next week (I’ll explain later), but following yet another falling out/feud situation and some unfortunate scheduling mishaps, it ended up being just the two of us.
We ran about the countryside gabbing in Finnish and snapping photos of everything wonderfully mundane. I’m usually mortified if anyone takes me for a tourist (even when I am), but it’s infinitely less embarrassing to pretend to be a foreign visitor in your neighborhood than some tipsy geek taking photos of their wine glass heheh.
Have I introduced you to the French Laundry chicken coop? Well this is it. They have really cute fat little healthy chickens. It’s about as close to eating at the French Laundry as I’ve come (since the last time I went snooping through their garden anyway). As a joke we decided we had the gall to pull off at Yountville, walk right in and ask the Maitre d’ for a table. The look on his face was rather priceless as he tried to politely explain to us that A.) it was currently in-between lunch and dinner service, and B.) they book weeks and months in advance, and that even if they did have an opening, it would be filled from a wait list. Hahah, at least I can say I’ve seen their door.
I’m taking a mental health day for the first time in my life today, not exactly as relaxing as I’d thought previously…
I canned some tomato sauce last night using Marcella Hazan’s recipe… not quite sure who Marcella is, but damn does she know tomato sauce. After four hours of work I produced 4.5 jars of heaven. I was a little disappointed by the work-to-yield ratio, but this is the kind of recipe I’m going to scrawl in my notebook and someday try to pass off as my own to some snot-nosed grandchildren so they’ll think I’m an amazing cook. Yep, I’m going to be a crafty old witch.
In other news, don’t you wish you were here? I’m told that’s Gijon on the northern coast of Spain, it’s where a friend of mine is visiting his family for the summer. Sure looks appealing compared to my ice box of a cubicle today.
Chantarelles are pretty much the mushroom of choice in most of Scandinavia. Maybe it has something to do with their scarcity, or the fact that most of the other bountiful mushrooms are rather sour and usually worm-riddled to the core… whatever it is, I’m not arguing. Continue reading