Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Faith in Baking and Baking Soda

The goats are tired of rain and so am I. Thought I heard Wallace quack this morning when I was leaning out the bathroom window. It's hard to get into the whole creative process when you're straining your neck muscles to keep your head above water. Okay....I exaggerate somewhat. Still, it's hard to work outside when the ground is squishy, and let's face it - I'm not six years old anymore - that squishy stuff is no longer appealing. My to-do list for the inside is long enough to keep me busy for quite some time so I guess I really shouldn't complain. Top of the list today is bread - specifically - Struan. I haven't attempted Struan in many years, my first attempt being somewhat off-putting. I've decided that for some reason I need to make a bread with some real meaning behind it. (Of course, all my bread really has meaning behind it - it means we'll have something to eat!) Okay - get a hold of yourself. Seriously, Struan has a long story behind it - it was a harvest bread that was usually made by the oldest daughter of the house. From what I can determine, it was a tradition that came from an area in Hebrides known as Struanmoor. You can read more about Hebrides here. You can read more about Struan from Brother Juniper's Bread Book by Br.Peter Reinhart ( who is an amazing baker, but that's a whole nother story). Get it here. Brother Juniper's Bread Book has some fabulous recipes, but I have to admit that the method requires (perhaps not coincidentally) a leap of faith for someone used to doing things a little differently. Much of my bread baking education has been self- taught, from this book and that, but I have to admit that when I made the white bread out of Brother Juniper's Bread Book, my eyes were opened. I'm not even a white bread kind of gal - I just wanted to make something that seemed simple, but it turned out two absolutely amazing loaves of bread. Now I am very inspired to try the Struan again, so here's to faith in baking and in all things.
Cleaning the house. Eeeep! No longer one of my favorite things since somewhere along the way, I lost of control of my house and now it controls me. Being controlled by a house is just not a good thing, let me tell you. It's very hard to regain control because once it's gone, you just want to bury your head in something that isn't too dusty and forget about it. I lie awake in bed in the early hours some mornings and angst about it. (Today was my day for lying in bed angsting about the goat house - tomorrow will probably be the day for angsting about house cleaning - I usually fall back asleep before I can fret about more than one thing. ) I am a baking soda/vinegar/essential oil kind of girl since I became unable to tolerate chemical/toxic waste smells. I absolutely cannot tolerate any of these perfumes that people bathe in before they go to work, or wherever it is that they're going. Candles, air fresheners, cleaners - it's all toxic. I know I am so far from being the only one terribly disturbed by this stuff that it's not even funny. I think laws should be passed against this kind of pollution - I really do. I read about one lady who couldn't even leave her house because she developed such a sensitivity.
And this is not getting my house clean. (sadly....though heaven knows if surfing the Internet could push the broom and move the dust rag, my house would be spotless!) It's time to get out the vinegar, baking soda and rosemary oil and swab the decks.

But first, I'm going to start some Struan. I'll let you know how it goes.

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