Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lost Days and Rusty Skills

If you have been following this blog regularly, you've noticed that the last couple of days went by without an entry. No excuses -- just busy doing other stuff, and catching up on rest when I wasn't.* On Thursday, sister Barb and the Bob-in-law headed back to the Inland Empire (sounds nicer than "Hell Mouth") and Josh flew in from Korea ("Boy! Are his arms tired!"). This, of course, meant two trips from Parker to the airport and back. I enjoy that drive, especially the view of the mountains from the 470, and I almost always have good company on one leg of the trip or the other; however, it ate about five hours of the day. Combine that with the emotional ups and downs of people coming and going, and I was a pretty tired cowgirl come Thursday night.

Yesterday, besides helping Josh find a car to carry him back and forth to his new job, I did some baking. It has been many years since I attempted real cooking from scratch, and these first attempts weren't anything I would even sneak into a church potluck dinner. Let me qualify everything I am about to say by clarifying: it was all edible and there was no cat food in any of it! The apple pie filling (Granny Smith) was awesome! I have that part mastered, I think. What I haven't mastered are things that involve dough and baking at altitude. My apple pie crust, besides being like a former coworker -- ugly and difficult to work with -- is too thick, too heavy, and too bad.** But I bought a big bag o'flour at Costco the other day and I have more apples, so I can practice until I get it right.

I also did a couple loaves of bread the other day. I used to bake bread all the time for the kids when they were small. I couldn't be the True Earth Mother that my sister was and maintain a security clearance, but I could bake me some damn bread! Hand mixed, hand kneaded and punched, drizzled with melted butter, baked until golden and the whole house oozes the aroma of fresh baked bread...

What a wonderful memory. The reality didn't even come close. I just fed the last of it to the dogs and the birds. As I said from the beginning: edible. Again, I blame the altitude, along with the loss of my Tassajara Bread Book. The latter I can fix with a visit to Amazon.com. I'll let you know if I ever master the former. I understand that there are people who never do.

NOTES

*For about 48 hours, I experienced a near narcolepsy which caused me to be drowsy and sleepy throughout the day. It was very inconvenient!

**Before ANY of my former coworkers start comparing themselves to this description and feeling hurt, let me stop you right there. This was clearly a cheap joke, and I had no particular person in mind at all. AT ALL! Quit it!

1 comment:

Mary H said...

I understand kneading bread dough is good for what ails you, even if the bread doesn't come out quite right!