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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

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bread

Good and Bad Stuff

I haven’t been posting much the last few days. Lots going on around here. Where to start? Well, HiJinx finally left me. She has been GREAT since my last posting. Full of20141201_201838 energy, happy and content. When she went down she went down fast. Dr. Donna came to the house and helped her over the Bridge. She is such a wonderful veterinarian, so kind and caring about all of “her” babies. Jinx will be back with me in a few days, her ashes to join the others on my mantelpiece. I miss her terribly, but she went calmly, and I couldn’t stand to see her fall further until she was in too much pain. Isn’t it odd, how it is perfectly fine to put down a pet, but your family members? They are forced to suffer horribly just to make us feel better. Sigh.

Colorado May Snow StormLet’s see. I had to replant my seeds because of a snowstorm last month. They were coming up well – – until I went to bed on Friday and woke up Saturday to four inches of snow and the flats buried. Gag. Well well well. So much for a garden this year, I suppose. I have been building the beds up, however. My neighbor, Ruth, came down and helped me get it started. We aren’t just throwing in purchased dirt. Instead, I laid cardboard in layers on the bottom. When you review products for Amazon there are a lot of cardboard boxes. So, layers! The next layer is tree cuttings, including big chunks of wood, limbs, and the layers of bark that have built up under the stacks of tree cuttings. The method is called Sheet Mulching or Lasagna Gardening. You layer in the “big stuff” then compost, horse manure, straw, weeds (yes weeds! Pull them up and toss them in, as long as they haven’t gone to seed) whatever you have on hand. I have two compost piles that were here even before I moved in (wow. 2007.) that I have continuously added stuff to. Grass cutting, food wastes, even paper towels go in there. Needless to say, opening up the cages left me with GREAT compost! I will be opening and using both of them, and I started a new one off to the side, so free soil! I need more horse manure – there is a stables just around the block, so I am going to try emailing them and see if I can come get some. Of course, I will have to walk over with my wheelbarrow… LOL. Maybe I can rent a pickup from U-Haul and fill it up? My back is feeling better and I have been doing my exercises – OH! And I have lost ten pounds, so that helps as well. Go, Me. Still have quite a ways to go, but hey, not bad huh?

I also cleaned house (not bad, huh?) so that helps with the feeling down over losing my baby girl. Pft. I am a horrible cook, and a terrible housekeeper – I accept that about me – hee hee! Oh, but I did make bread! I used to cook, really well, but it isn’t like riding a bicycle – you do forget how. I dug in my cookbook collection (yes, I have Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breadsone, even though I no longer cook) and pulled out Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. I used to use the book all the time – baking bread was my stress relief during a very difficult time in my life. Pfeffernus Brot, Coconut Banana Bread, Galette de Gannat, and Brioche. Those were my favorites judging from the stains on the pages! This time I used a recipe called Pain Battu Au Fromage, or Cheese Batter Bread. Batter bread means that it is really easy to do, even though it uses yeast (my long-time enemy!) and it is great to use for a base for other breads. I made the batter without the cheese, then made two different ones – one with sharp cheddar cheese, bacon and sun-dried tomato (Great sandwich bread!) and another with dried apricot, dried Cranberry Nut Bread (recipe from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's Joy of ...cranberry and pecans. That one I poured chocolate chips on top of… umm. I didn’t add any sugar, so it isn’t sweet at all, but the fruit flavours come through.

So, I have edits to do so I better get back to work. Michael Angel’s next Dayna Chrissie book is on my desk (Woo Hoo!) and I am completely enjoying it!

Have a lovely rest of the week everyone.

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Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day by Donna Currie

20578283OK. Can I just say this? Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Loaf. Pile on the thick sliced pepper bacon, heirloom tomato and crispy romaine lettuce. Now THAT is what I am talking about! French toast with the Rich Egg and Butter Loaf, served hot and steaming with real maple syrup and hand churned butter makes a wonderful breakfast or brunch. Of course, there are the Chocolate Croissants!!!! Made with single-origin deeply dark chocolate, hot and buttery, with a rich Earl Grey tea . . .  Ohhhh. Yum!

Each of these bread recipes are not only simple to make, you can make up the doughs and refrigerate, the on a Sunday morning slip the dough into a preheated oven to bake. Brew a pot of tea, pull out your favorite book and quilt, slice up your bread and serve with one of the simple handmade butters and jams in the book. What could be better?! Well, a little Satie or Bach on the stereo . . .

I used to love making bread – especially when my insomnia was really bad, or I needed to think. I don’t know how I got away from that habit – but this book is encouraging me to start the habit again.

Make Ahead Bread was a gift from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Enjoy!

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