My folks and I had a very nice day together -- opening presents in a very relaxed quiet and enjoyable way. No rush, easy to share the opening and not miss the reactions. And of course we had a whole day to play with the new toys! Lots of fun there. One of my aunts made a surprise visit and brought with her a new fruitcake recipe to try - now that's just a wonderful thing. Since we'd already done present exchanging with my brother and his family, there were fewer packages under the tree but a good time was had by all, and it all ended with our traditional holiday dinner of filet mignon, mashed potatoes etc. Mmmmm good.
Yeasty boyz update:
The little aquarium set up is working out quite well. Only one problem so far with a container tipping over. No problem - just restarted the little buggers and the new bowl perked away quite happily.
I used some of the liquid rye sourdough to start a pre-ferment for basic bread out of St. H's book. That perked away VERY happily and I thought -- this is going to be a dream. Well, maybe a nightmare.
First I screwed up the recipe. ooops, you meant I should add water! Ah. Just a "brain fart" as they say. No problem. I'd made a double batch of starter since I'd hoped to make more loaves. So I started again. This dough turned out ok but incredibly sticky. So sticky that at times I thought my bleached bones would be found cemented to a bowl in the kitchen... But I endeavored on. Shaped the loaves, placed them on the prepared peel. Heated the oven. Came the moment and I slid - I said SLID - C'Mon now SLIDE already - the first loaf was of course stuck to the peel. The moment I tried to slide them, the second stuck to the first leaving me with a big butterfly shaped dual loaf thing. There was no way to separate the two things what with the superhot oven etc, so I moved them apart as far as I could, steamed the oven three times and let it go. Smelled good. Looked good, but I knew the chances of baking this odd-shaped thing were zilch.
And indeed - doughy in the center. What was cooked tasted great, had a nicely aerated interior and had GREAT crust - initially very crispy and later with great character.
So bloody but unbowed, I'll keep on feeding the little yeasties and try again....