Sunday, May 3, 2009

Long time, no update

I guess I was feeling more uninspired than I was letting on. I'm too bored to even make boring posts about the boring things I'm doing. So, here's a big one.


Fail. I degassed the dough too much in the final shaping. I knew I had. The crumb had very tiny holes. I cannot properly shape a baguette to save my life, even with a new baguette pan. It's unrealistic to think I'm going to make a beautiful baguette my first time out, but a girl can hope. They tasted great and like a french bread should. The crust was lovely. Try, try again. Next week I'll attempt a sprouted multi-grain and use my new banneton. Ooo la la!

I start my 1st sourdough starter this week.

I'm also hoping my cheese press comes in this week or next so I can start making harder cheeses. I'll start with a farmhouse cheddar this month. I'm thinking 1-2 cheeses a month until I figure out what is going on. It all takes 3-9 months as it is. I don't think the back room of the basement is going to be adequate for my needs in summer. I don't think I'll have enough humidity for the cheese. But, if it looks like this is something I'm seriously into, I can easily justify picking up a used dorm fridge on Craigslist.

All I need now is some skills in aging meats and I'm golden. For what, I'm not sure--but I'm delightfully self-sufficient.

I ripped out the front yard today. It's time. I've been hemming and hawing for almost 2 years about that stupid area near the sidewalk and under the maple tree. It looks completley ghetto-tastic with weeds and grass and absolutely unkempt. I still don't know what to do with it so said, "Fuck this" and just put wood mulch on the top part of the front yard.

Spent hours digging up an enormous iris bed. Some nosey neighbor from a block away walked by and chastised me for digging it up. I almost punched her, but I think she's half crazy.

I put down 3 hebes and 3 heather plants. It looks a TON better. Unfortunately, the maple tree isn't looking so hot. It looks like half of it is dead and I don't know why. My neighbor said that it happened about 7 years ago as well. I wonder if it just is in the wrong spot and is getting too much sun. I can't yank it up without talking to my father-in-law/landlord. I'd love to have that space available as it's basically unplantable.

Some days I wished we owned the house. I'd yank up that tree, the other horrible tree out front, and those nasty bushes out front. I hate those things.

Planted 19 strawberry plants...9 in the windowsill boxes and 10 in a little patch at the side of the house. Got the oregano, cilantro, parsley, chives, and tarragon in. I only bought 1 tarragon plant but I actually think I need 3 more plants. I felt like I barely had enough with 2 plants last year. It might be a good idea to get a bay plant that I keep in a pot.

Also got broccoli and leeks in. I bought 5 (!!) varieties of tomatoes that I'm keeping downstairs in the window box for 2 more weeks. One sauce plant, one paste plant, 1 cherry tomato, and 2 container plants that make marble sized tomatoes.

I'm going to pick up another sauce plant, eggplant, bok choy (later in summer), scallions, and some different hot and sweet peppers. Those will all go in a bit later.

My attempts at seed starting failed miserably. I killed off everything by not watering it. :( I had even transplanted some things to bigger pots, but then forgot all about them for a few days. I'm trying again. This time with just the eggplant, hot pepper, and baby sweet pepper.

Anyway, needless to say that I'm totally exhausted. I was outside digging and planting for 6 hours today. I really hope it is all worth it. It's hard to see it now before I have any bounty, but I'm sure I'll be glad in July and August.

There is other stuff about knitting and what not, but I'll save that for later. It's way past my bedtime and I've got a lot of biking to do tomorrow.

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-E.B. White

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