Tuesday, September 26, 2006

'Round the Bend

This is where my husband thinks I've gone :) Yes, Sourdough Madness has taken hold. "Do you know how long this bread takes to make?" I ask my husband in what I admit may have been a scarily chipper voice. Matt: "Um, no." Me: "It has to rest between steps overnight TWICE! It's three-day bread! And that's after the starter is ready!" Matt: "Okay." Then I may have gone on a bit about how the people on the Oregon Trail made bread this way, since they only had sourdough starter, which was when he started inching out of the kitchen. "I'll just leave these dishes on the counter. I'll, uh, clean them later." I think baking bread has a lot in common with knitting. It's doing things the hard way, and ending up with exactly the product you hoped for. As with knitting, I'm both a process and product baker. And I think it's cool that I'm making bread (and a baby blanket) the same way people did a couple hundred years ago. But probably I could express that in a less scary enthusiastic way...

Knitting: A bit more on the scarf and the blanket. I also finished the ring finger of the Vintage Beaded Glove. I'm a bit concerned that these are going to be too small, which will break my heart and probably result in a permanent UFO. I chose the medium size and my gauge is right on, but when I tried them on they seemed really snug. It's hard to tell if the fingers are long enough when they're half-finished, but I suspect they might not be. Argh. I'm thinking I may just knock off the last two fingers plus thumb and try them on again. I wear a size medium in gloves, and I measured my hand to make sure of the size, so I dunno. I think my mother-in-law's hands are a bit smaller than mine, so I may be okay anyway. Perhaps I'll swipe one of her gloves next time we visit and I can compare.

Annie, I really couldn't knit through morning sickness. When I tried, it was on that blanket, and I would get really sick. But I felt really sick anyway, so it took me a bit before I realized knitting was making it worse. Then I just stopped for a month or so. Oh, I love Knitting for Two! I haven't seen the Louisa Harding, though--I will have to look for that. Thank you for the frogging support, everyone! It's hard to do, but sometimes you just have to just admit something's not working and move on. Anyone want some 4-Ply Cotton, gently used? :)

Reading: The seventh Stephanie Plum. So much fun.

Writing: Chapter Seven. I hear you, Tim :)

Cooking: I am making this recipe for Rosemary Almond Sourdough Gems, because I am impatient to use some of my sourdough starter to produce something NOW. I noticed that the recipe does not specify how many gems it makes, so that will be a nice surprise. It also says only to use one cup of sourdough starter, but since I assume that must mean proofed starter, I am proofing Ernie right now. I have also set into motion the three-day bread recipe, based on Bert. You may be reading all about my crushing defeat in sourdough attempts very soon. Bert proofed nicely overnight, and has a lovely yeasty smell, like a brewery (and I live in Wisconsin, so I know whereof I speak). Ernie smells a bit like very old cheese. Or possibly feet. I have read that smells can vary pretty widely (one blogger compared hers to the smell of vomit and her bread turned out fine), and there's no mold or other disturbing sign that it's gone off, so we'll see how the proofing goes.

Stefaneener, I have not come across the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book desem recipe, but after some googling, I'm intrigued (and want to buy the book, actually). The other nifty bread technique I might try next (assuming I don't fail miserably with sourdough and give up baking altogether) is bread made from fermented fruit. I found this recipe/technique for bread leavened with fermented apples, which I think would be very interesting.

General notes: I've made some changes to my links section. I decided to add a list of food blogs/recipe sites that I visit. I'm mostly a knitting blog, but I do talk about cooking enough that I thought I'd share these. Food blogs are loads of fun. I've thought about starting one of my own, but I really just sort of dabble, so I'm not sure it'd be all that interesting. (Although, then the knitters wouldn't have to read about my bread baking attempts and such.) I'd also have to get much better at food photography. The main draw would be participating in food blog events like Sugar High Friday. I do sort of like just having my one journal for all my activities, though. So, basically, this discussion had no point whatsoever :)


Stefaneener said...

I look forward to your Laurel's Bread Book review.

You're also making a baby the same way people did hundreds of years ago. . .

YarnThrower said...

I'm a passionate knitter, and not much of a bread baker, but I really do enjoy reading about your exploits in the kitchen, so my vote would be to continue on just as you are! (I'm a knitter, and I vote :-)

Rachel said...

I was looking at the Louisa Harding book in the bookstore the other day and I think I just might have to get it even though I have no babies to knit for. It has wonderful, classic designs. Definitely check it out.

I hope your gloves work out! I'm mired in a phase of sizing problems with all my knitted objects...it's no fun, is it?