crimson maple trees
blazing color in the rain
nature on fire
crimson maple trees
blazing color in the rain
nature on fire
Fall is here, and that means it’s time to get back into baking bread. I was looking at making a rye bread, but discovered that my favorite rye bread recipe (which I hadn’t made since last winter) would take a very long day.*
I didn’t have the time for that.
Instead, I found a stray ‘try me’ recipe I’ve had for awhile and decided to give it a shot: Rye Soda Bread.
What I got was a fairly light loaf with lovely chewiness. And it took all of an hour**.
Rye Soda Bread***
1 3/4 cups whole-grain flour, plus extra for dusting (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup rye flour (I used a dark rye flour)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt (I substituted 5/8 cup sour cream mixed with 5/8 cup of water****)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Mix both flours, the oats, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk (or yogurt or sour cream mixture) together, then use a fork to stir the egg mixture into the flour. Once it starts to come together, use your lightly floured clean hands to pat and bring the dough together.
Shape the dough into a round ball and place on a lightly floured baking sheet, dusting the top lightly with flour too. (I patted it into a loaf and placed it in a greased loaf pan.) Use your hands to flatten the dough into a disk, about 1/4 inch deep, then bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a firm crust has formed and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom (I use a thermopen and look for 190+ degrees and a clean probe.)
Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and serve slightly warm.
Upon writing out the recipe with my modifications, I realized that perhaps I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. Whoops. Well, give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments.
*Multiple proofs, and that is after having to boil a molasses mixture and then drop its temperature gently, which takes forever.
**Well, after the oven pre-heat.
***Unfortunately, I didn’t note where I found the recipe. I really need to write that down when I photocopy recipes from library books.
****Okay, so it wasn’t precisely 5/8 cup, but as close as I could eyeball it with the Pyrex measuring cup.
storm clouds approaching
peeks of blue in the distance
ducks huddle nearby
It’s a little late in the news department, but better late than never. Right?
Out now is A Kiss in Time, the latest story in my “Relics of a Future Past” series. It’s a story about a guy* who has been in love with his best friend since middle school, but he has never told her because he was afraid to upset their relationship.
However, when she gets her dream gig that will send her on a 5-year mission to Mars**, he struggles with wanting to confess his love to her (this might be his last chance!) and wanting to support her as a friend. So he does the good thing (the easy thing?) and doesn’t say anything. And kicks himself for it.
Until it looks like he just might have the opportunity to share his feelings to her, but it will mean crossing into an alternate universe using untested technology. And you never know how dropping a pebble in one alternate universe pond will affect other universes…
A Kiss in Time is an adventure-love story with theoretical physics, scotch, and Godzilla.*** If you like Star Trek, but want more heart and less scenery-chewing Canadian actors, this story may be for you.
Interested in a free taste of the Relics of a Future Past world? Sign up for my newsletter (over there on the right) and I’ll send you Doorway to Infinity, a story only available to subscribers. It’s a time travel tale with WWII, romance, and tacos.****
*Not a tech billionaire this time, but the opposite end of the spectrum: a struggling cartoonist.
**How cool is that?
***You probably won’t find that description in many book summaries.
****And another story description you probably won’t find anywhere else.
woke to drums pounding
lightning flashing in the sky
—a striking commute
—Very strange for the Portland area. Very very strange.
And yet I can’t not pun.
watching films outside
blockbusters of my childhood
nostalgia with beer
-ah, happy summer days
Well, if that isn’t a clickbait title….
For anniversary/birthday celebration, I experimented with a new recipe* for Chocolate Malt Layer Cake with Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting. Not only was the recipe new to me, but the technique was a new one, too: all cake ingredients layered into a food processor and set to frappe.
I’m not sure the food processor really did anything different than my stand mixer, but it was a new method.
The cake was good: chocolate tasting without being chalky and overly sweet. Could have used more malt flavor, but it was fine.
The frosting was excellent, and that was even with not adding the 4-6 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Check this out:
Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting
Put 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, 1 stick room temperature unsalted butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in a food processor bowl. Cover and frappe until smooth “no more than a few seconds”**.
You could follow the original recipe and then add 4+ cups of confectioners’ sugar, but why would you? This frosting has a lovely sweetness that complements the tang of the cream cheese and sour cream. It’s perfect as is!***
And I’m pretty darned pleased with the results. I mean, look at that thin layer of frosting in the middle!
So this is one recipe that goes down in the “Win” column. Woo hoo!
*For the life of me, I cannot remember which cookbook I found the recipe in. I think it was a ‘fast/easy cooking’ book involving food processors, but that’s all I’ve got.
**It took me longer than ‘a few seconds’, unless the author defines ‘a few’ as nearing 60.
***Seriously. I could just eat that frosting straight out of the bowl and not get sick off it. Of course, I didn’t actually try that. Much.
each morning I check
birds’ nest on telephone pole—
two falcons? or three?
Man, it’s been a hell of a week. A screwball schedule combined with some of the strangest summer weather we’ve seen in the Portland area in years*, has me feeling all discombobulated.
So here’s what is helping me get through this week:
1. What I’m reading: First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. You know you’re reading a thorough biography when the author doesn’t get to the birth of the biographee until page 30. Seriously. Because we needed to go over the history of the Armstrong family name (it’s Scottish), and the history of Neil’s great-grandparents, and then his grandparents, and then his parents before they met each other. But I’m learning about Neil (can I call him that? I feel like I’m getting to know him pretty well), and I’m impressed. Getting your pilot’s license before your driving license? Getting into MIT, but choosing to go to Purdue? Playing in a ‘military’ band** to fulfill ‘military’ course credit for a Navy scholarship? Brilliant.
2. What I’m eating: Kettle Brand Kettle-style BBQ Potato Chips. I never liked BBQ chips before: they were too sweet and smoky and just plain funky.*** These are addictive. In fact, I just ate a whole bowl of them. I think. Or maybe the house elves were snacking on them as well when I wasn’t looking. Bad house elves.
3. What I’m drinking: Sunriver Brewing’s Fuzztail Hefeweizen. It reminds me of Rogue Ale’s Honey Orange Wheat, but with less orange (i.e. none)****. Honestly, it’s a perfect summer beer. And I must say, it goes very nicely with Kettle BBQ potato chips.
And now, back to enjoying a fine summer evening. At last.
*There was “Juneuary” a year or two back, which saw June all cool and rainy. Lately (by which I mean the past month and a half) it’s been again cool and rainy, to the point of seeming more like winter than proper summer. My basil plants are wilting in the overcast damp chill. Today was the first day in awhile that was actually sunny, and even somewhat warm. Huzzah!
**He played baritone horn—the same horn I played in college marching band. We’re kindred spirits!
***Funky in a bad way. Not funky in a good way, like Earth, Wind, and Fire.
****Sunriver describes it as having grapefruit and lemon notes, so there is a citrus commonality.
one day I’m moving
building shelves, tearing down walls
the next — unconscious
—on monthly energy swings