We're in what could best be called the swinging of the seasons. One day - in the forties, an imaginable spring seeping up from the ground and making a nice early mud season squish. That night - a few snow flakes, a big drop in temperature, a lot of snow flakes, a lot more snow flakes, six inches of snow flakes.
In the north east, we can't really bemoan this. This is really a normal part of our year. If the weather stays doing something for more than a few days, that fact alone becomes a topic of weather conversation. Whatever else is going on, the march towards spring continues, even as we are about to leave March and go boldly into April.
I had hoped to be in the sewing room, cutting and moving around fabric tonight but instead I opted for a quick trip to the market, an extremely nice dinner of chops and cauliflower and a big dish wash up. Not so exciting except that now the dishes are done. I also started the preferment for a new batch of bread so we can have fresh baked bread with dinner on Sunday. Wednesday night I stopped at Borders and looked at two other bread books that I often hear about from other bread bakers. They were both similar to the book I'm working from in that the recipes aren't really recipes, but formula - geared towards getting the baker/reader to think in terms of relative proportions. Both had some information on things like 'what IS autolyse" and why it's a very good thing. I couldn't really justify two more books when I've just begun to make a dent in what my book offers, but I did very much enjoy looking at the big difference between my book and the others: pictures! Ah HA! So that's what you would consider a (medium dough consistency)(shaggy dough)(strong dough). Ah HA! Oh - before autolyse and after. (just like mine!) Before and after folding! (just like mine!) Oh!
So someday perhaps I'll spring for these other books, but in the meantime, I am grateful that I was able to get some reassurance that I'm doing ok.
I have made a little progress on the new quilt, but I'm needing to work on how to get some lightness in the center and am thinking about how many colors I want to involve. Sometimes too many colors is just too many. Sometimes you need more to make it all happen. I may end up trying more and less and seeing which one makes it work.
The whole bread-making thing is a good sort of connection. Takes some commitment of time, although you could talk on the phone or watch TV inbetween times that you need to be attentive. Has positive results in the world, making the baker and the baker's co-workers quite happy and the baker's house quite good smelling. Apparently makes the yeastie boyz quite happy too as evidenced in this photo taken 12 hours after starting the pre-ferment (a la St. H). They are so happy they no longer seem to care about ambient temperature. I'm happy about that too!
As a society, we need to approach our personal technologies with a greater awareness of how the pursuit of personal convenience can contribute to collective ills. When it comes to abortion or Social Security, we avidly debate the claims of individual freedom against other goods. Why shouldn't we do the same with our private technologies? In the end, it does matter if we watch six more hours of television every week, and it does affect our broader quality of life if hollering into our cellphones makes our daily commute a living hell for our fellow citizens on the bus or a danger to other drivers on the road. Rather than turning on, tuning in and dropping out, we might perhaps do better, individually and socially, to occasionally simply turn our machines off.
Sometimes it just means deciding - what am I doing now -- shopping or talking on the phone? Just make up your mind and try to hold that thought for a few minutes.