Sunday, February 07, 2010

Weekend Stuff

Finally cleared off and we are getting some sun today. The forecast is for rain to return by Tuesday. We really have had enough rain for a while. I need to get the garden dried out enough to till or I will be late with peas, potatoes, cabbage and broccoli. Just have to be patient.

For some reason I got it in my head to make salt rising bread this weekend. It's a long and unpredictable process  but I finally got two loaves baked late last night that turned out OK. There is just something about the smell and taste that I love and the only way to get it nowadays is to bake it yourself. You used to (many years ago) find a few bakeries that would still make it but I haven't seen it for years. Really brings back some memories as my grandmother would occasionally bake it. It's very a distinctive, almost cheeselike aroma, that puts some people off but it makes great toast. I was beginning to despair when my loaves hadn't doubled in 4 hours but after 6 they were ready and I managed to fill the house with the odor of baking salt rising bread. If you can imagine the smell of an old gym bag full of sweaty clothes you might get the idea. It tastes nothing like it smells gratefully.

Speaking of smelling up the house... I made a caramelized onion and sardine pizza last night which was not a big hit with Madam. Not something I would eat all the time but I enjoyed the change. Madam was mostly put off by the little silver bodies on it I think. She likes anchovies on pizza and I thought she would be ok. I didn't count on the visual aspect.

She is busy doing textile conservation today. An lady from one of the town's founding families is moving into a retirement home and donated a pile of historic dresses and other things. One came with a little note that said it was made from cotton grown right down the road on the Hembree farm, hand picked for seed(not ginned) and hand carded  and woven. The cloth was originally in a mattress tick but was later 'repurposed' into a skirt and jacket. Pretty cool. There are also nightgowns, aprons and dresses made from flour sacks that reminds you how resourceful our ancestors were. When you hold these things that are still here after a hundred or so years and then think about how wasteful and 'throwaway' we are today its kind of embarrassing .

Off to putter around and see what kind of trouble I can get into today. I promised Madam something 'non-pugent' and normal for dinner so she gets risotto for dinner tonight.

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