Monday, August 04, 2008

Channeling "Bulldog" Briscoe

I always liked Frasier, and one of the supporting characters was sports announcer "Bulldog" Briscoe, a loud, uncouth, unforgettable sports fan. He was always a fun counterpoint to Frasier's stuffiness. Anyway, he used to have a knee-jerk reaction every time he was unable to find something he needed: "Who stole my [whatever]? This stinks! This is total BS! Oh, here it is." Now Matt and I use "This stinks! This is total BS!" when we can't find something. Anyway, long story short (too late!)...I sat down with my new Cooking Light, always a treat, and got to the last page. "Where's my Inspired Vegetarian section? This stinks! This is total BS!" It appears they've eliminated it, which really ticked me off. I flipped to the index page and counted...eight main dishes under "vegetarian." Hmmm. I went back and checked a couple recent months' issues...four and six. So, they eliminated my section, but have more recipes for me? That sounds okay. I used to think that Inspired Vegetarian sometimes gave them an excuse to ignore vegetarian possibilities in other sections, so maybe it'll work out. It's kind of weird, though, because usually when they have a format change, they go on and on about why they changed it and how it's better. Aren't you glad you read that whole story? Matt's not home so I can't share it with him, so I get to bore you instead :)

In other news, I have been coloring under duress. Lilah is very into coloring ("ee-book-ah" is what she calls it) and likes it to be a group activity. Everything is a group activity with Lilah. She is clearly an extrovert. My mom says that she used to sit and read while I played happily by myself, but my little brother used to grab our faces and say "Listen" and often hid her books so he'd have everyone's full attention. Lilah and I used to sit and color on opposite pages of a coloring book, and that was fine. But that's not good enough anymore, so I have to use the color she chooses for me (and she'll rip it out of my hands and shove a new one in my hand when she wants me to change colors) and she actually holds my hand and moves it on the paper where she wants me to color. I can tell I need to start my yoga classes after Matt's back, or start going to my alumni knitting group or book club for some "me" time because I find myself resentful of her tyranny and actually thinking, "I don't get to do anything I want! I want to color the duck yellow, not the barn brown!" Whew. Talk about temporary insanity.

Knitting: This is probably the longest it's ever taken me to do a placket-neck pullover! It's not that I don't enjoy it, but Matt is in Scotland for a conference, so I'm on double parenting duty, and I haven't had any knitting time. That being the case, I might try to set aside a few minutes to finish the sock for the Knitting Olympics (not officially participating), but I'll decide tomorrow. My day right now goes Lilah-Lilah-Lilah-Yay, nap!-Clean-Clean-Clean-Lilah-Lilah-Lilah-Yay, bed!-Clean-Clean-Clean-Crash. Not much room for anything like knitting. Fortunately, my dad is coming for a few days to help me out.

Since knitting content is limited in today's post, I decided to finally get out and take a sock yarn photo. We had a nice sunny day, so the colors are great. (Lilah and I weathered a doozy of a storm Sunday night, losing power for about 5 hours, right at bedtime.)

Clockwise, from left: Lorna's Laces in Vera, Hill Country Yarns Instant Gratification Sock Yarn in Sandalwood, Noro Kureyon Sock in whatever number that is, Instant Gratification Sock Yarn in Mountain Laurel, Instant Gratification Sock Yarn in Indian Summer (yes, two skeins, no idea why--must be Turtlegirl's fault), Sunshine Yarns in Strawberry Banana (it's been so long I don't remember if it's superwash or not), Brown Sheep Wildefoote in Sonatina (almost identical to the Sunshine Yarns, oops), Lorna's Laces in Happy Valley.

Look at all those pretty socks-in-waiting! Since I have two of the Indian Summer, maybe it'll turn into something else. I really love those colors. I also can see that there's no reason for further yarn shopping, as the sock yarn alone should keep me occupied for a while!

Reading: Finished a very disappointing mystery novel (May Day by Jess Lourey--the first in a series. My review is on On My Bookshelf. I retreated back to my Joan Hess mysteries for a bit before starting something new.

Writing: You know the story. No time, no energy.

Cooking: I haven't made anything that interesting, but I did make bread. Not the time-consuming, relaxing, old-fashioned way (partly because it's too hot to use the oven), but in my bread machine. In many ways, I am a big cooking snob (and I do enjoy the full bread experience with the kneading and rising), but I love my bread machine. Just chuck in all the ingredients and wait a while. Bing! Fresh-baked bread. This recipe is adapted from one I randomly found on the internet when I wanted to use some rosemary (we have two bushes growing outside our house) and had it in my head that cornmeal would be a nice touch. You can cut the recipe in half for a smaller machine; just use 1 tsp salt and keep the rosemary the same. Halve all other ingredients.

Rosemary-Cornmeal Bread

1 3/4 cups warm water
2 TBL olive oil
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 TBL sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
5 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets; or use bread machine yeast)
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary

Add wet ingredients to bread machine. Add dry ingredients. Bake on white bread setting. Voila! (Note: I read somewhere that you shouldn't add fresh herbs until the beep because they can keep the bread from rising properly, but I've never had a problem with this with rosemary.) You may notice that I haven't "healthified" this recipe. I think it's because it's comfort food for me, and it's okay if comfort food isn't particularly healthy. I think about trying to sub white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose, but I've been afraid it'll be too dense. I have also thought about sauteeing rosemary in the olive oil to kind of infuse the flavor throughout the bread, but haven't taken the extra time. When I remember, I sprinkle the top with cornmeal after the final kneading and before it bakes for a pleasant outer crunch.


GBK Gwyneth said...

Oh my, that could be exhausting. Would she take a surrogate? I could send Camille or Chloe over there and let Lilah order them around so you could catch a break.

I think that a Pine Lake book club would be a nice idea, BTW.

Anonymous said...

In college one of my friends and I used to jab at each other with "You're a moron! You know squat! You know less than squat! You and Squat could go see a movie and Squat could wear an "I'm with Stupid" shirt!" I wish I could remember the context, but we used it too many times. Ah, Bulldog.

String Bean said...

Wow- I can't believe I missed two posts. Sorry! I love the paragraph about coloring with Lilah. What a demanding character she is!
Hooray for knitting more socks. I can't wait to see what you do with all that yummy sock yarn. I hope Lilah let's you use whatever colors you want to use. ;)

Anonymous said...

I just love your blog! You remind me of me - that must be why I love it.

Lilah sounds like my niece - sweet as pie, but she too is a Crayola nazi when it comes to controlling my crayon color.

Thanks for the bread recipe - will try - love the cornmeal.