Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Some bread and lots of dumbass dogpoop

So the yeast relationship is developing well.  Yesterday, I produced my first wild-yeast sourdough bread after 14 hours of courting.  There was the kneading and the waiting, the cooling off period and the time it played hard to get (when I tried to put it in the oven without a baker's peel to move it from the counter to the hot baking stone without losing its shape, I used an old co-op preschool placemat which was laminated over the 3 year old faces.)

My bread came out bloody delicious.  It has a lovely hollow ring to it, a great crust, moist and even centre and a slight sourdough tang.  It is perfect with salted butter, wickeder than perfect with camembert and homemade cherry preserve.

RECIPE:  From Macrina Bakery Cookbook

My yeast friends!

Due to beginner's mis-timing, the bread came out of the oven at 10.45pm and so it wasn't really ideal for breakfast.  I am still pleased and forcing it on everyone.  I say "isn't my bread delicious?"

Wren says "did you kill the yeast pet?"  I have been calling my yeast culture a "pet" as I feed it daily with some enthusiasm.

I say "no, I picked some of its apples" although that is not a realistic analogy for the biology involved.  It was easier to explain than "it had 100 000 brothers and I only killed half of them."

Frost said "when I ate your bread for lunch I thought is this bread from a store?  It is SO DELICIOUS.  Your bread is now my favorite snack!"

Frost has always been a charmer.  He knows how to please.

Before you read the next section you have to see
our dog Beezle so you know how cute he was an how we
let him be such a crappy crapper.
The Thief
The thief has nothing to do with me.  Its Joshua's dog.  [Ever notice how beloved things become someone else's problem when they are one?  Well, I think that its Joshua's part of Beezle that is now a troubled child.]

Beezle continues to have problems understanding where we want him to poop and pee.  Our plan is that he poops and pees outside on the grass 90% of the time and if he cannot get out in time (due to being left inside overnight or while we are out) he can pee on the thoughtfully placed piddle pads in the bathroom.

Beezle believes that we want him to pee and poop outside first thing in the morning, in the bathroom (whether or not a piddle pad is thoughtfully provided) and on plush surfaces (preferably around tables) if one is available any time.

Tonight, Josh stood in a poop in the den downstairs and walked it around the carpet a bit.  I discovered a crop of pee in the living room after Frost asked why the room "smells spicy and fruity."  He also pee-ed on the bathroom floor but missed the mat nearby.

On Sunday, I took him to University Village - the high end shopping precinct which is pretty dog friendly (to cater to the eccentricity of the affluent) and we went to Storables.  As soon as we crossed from the wooden floor to the carpet, Beezle squatted to poop!

I was mortified.

I carried him in the store for 10 minutes, unwilling to check if poop was hanging out or I had caught it in time.  Wren kept opining to all staff and other customers who caught his eye:


Today, he added:

"WHEN HE IS PARALYZED he can't POOP or PEE anymore.  It won't come out so you have to SQUEEZE HIS SIDES to make the POOP come out."

Nobody at Daly's Home Decoration knew what to make of this pronouncement although the shop assistant kindly mouthed reassuring things at me.

This addendum came from us giving Wren dire explanations of what could happen to a dachshund if its back was broken due to careless handling.  He seemed fascinated, not unduly disturbed.

Anyway, the thief part doesn't come from a reference to Beezle stealing my sanity with his dumbass toileting but due to his obsession with chicken poop.

Wren's preschool has free-range chickens.  Beezle loves to eat chicken poop!  For god's sake where is Natural Selection when you need it?   He doesn't get sick, we all just get grossed out.

Well, over the weekend I fertilized our lawn with natural organic fertilizer with a chicken poop ingredient. In Beezle's mind it is as if I sprinkled the entire lawn with bacon bits.  He can't go and "do it" or "hurry up" (our euphemisms for toilet behaviours) out there anymore.  It would be like 'going' on a pizza.  Instead of peeing he just walks around with his nose in the grass trying to shovel up granules of organic fertilizer.

And he won't eat the gourmet raw diet I bought him for $17.99 a bag.

So, that's my complaint of the day. But the yeast worked.  My advice is if you are considering getting a pet, get a sourdough culture.  It froths kindly at you, eats only a bit of flour daily and if you want to go on holiday you can eat your pet before you leave.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A date with my yeast

You know how us mothers always do things for the kids?  Well, its screwing with my mind.  I am starting to have flashbacks of singlehood in which I have the luxury of melancholy, keep quiet for hours and I listen to music of my own choice
.....[without explaining "What is major Tom DOING?" ]

....[without anyone asking if it is a Dance Party / saying you are giving me a HEADACHE / or doing crazy and barking or hiding]

and I think about actually doing something I want to do in spare time rather than just consume entertainment to chill out. 

I have been trying to draw and paint but while I have been able to do technical practice drawings with Wren, its hard to connect with yourself and CREATE while having a loud and demanding relationship with a persistent and intense 4 year old.  When I try and connect with my inner image all I see is myself vanishing into a dark wood transforming into a wolf and leaving them all behind.  I think this is the middle-class equivalent of a child raised by wolves - a mother lost to the wolves in the throes of a vision quest.

So, tomorrow I am doing something for myself, with my yeast, the wild yeast I enticed to grow in a rather disgusting looking culture that has sat on our countertop for the best part of 3 weeks being fed every day or so and frothing productively.

I have a baking stone and am planning on trying to make the sourdough loaf from the Macrina Cookbook. 

As with all blind dates, this might end badly but so what?  Hey?  I have been so busy that I haven't even been mushrooming in the mountains yet and its almost the second week of October.  What is that about?  

Anyway, this morning Wren was thrilled to find a packet of Frosted Flakes that had been overlooked after a summer camping trip.  He had the bowl in front of him but no spoon and demanded one.  I gave him a clean spoon and in his joy he sang:

“I got a beautiful new shiny spoon that glimmers in the sunshine!”

I hope he feels a similar rapture at my yeast-risen bread.

Beezle is chewing on the furniture "TSSST" says Josh.  "Don't eat this desk! Don't do it."  Beezle stares at him lovingly until his attention wavers and he starts to chew the desk again.