On Thursday I’m off to New York to see my friend Susie . I’ll be back for the 5 p.m. boat on Monday. Getting ready to take a trip always throws me into a flurry of activity as I try to get everything done in two days before I go. I like to leave with my studio tidy, checkbooks balanced, bills paid, house clean, refrigerator clean, laundry done (and put away), and cupboards full for Bruce while I’m gone. Heading a little bit south, where the weather might actually feel warm and there might even be leaves on the trees means I need to dig out some clothes that are not geared for cold weather. Which means I’ll try to clean out my closets and drawers before I go too. Of course there is no way to get all this done in two days, but I still think I’m going to accomplish everything when it is the day before the day before I leave.
I worked in the studio today, stringing some necklaces that I hope to photograph tomorrow, and send to Red Dot Gallery on Deer Isle. It wasn’t until dinner time that I tried to address the rest of my list. I made dough for oatmeal bread so it could rise while we ate. After I cleaned up the kitchen I mixed up a triple batch of granola. (Triple because if I have to sit around for an hour stirring one batch every 10 minutes, I might as well have three batches in the oven. Easy enough to do with a convection oven.) While the granola cooked I picked out crabmeat to take to Susie and to have for crab cakes tomorrow night.
This is the first time in a while that I’ve made a yeast bread. I wanted to see if it would cook as well in the dutch oven as the sourdough bread does. I decided to add in some odd ingredients like millet, dried cherries, molasses, and pumpkin seeds. As I did, Bruce commented that he doesn’t really like “that kind of bread.” Well, maybe for toast, he admitted. So, I also mixed up dough to ferment overnight for sourdough bread. It’s okay. Bruce is not a demanding guy, and I really like making bread.
There is one thing I used to hate about making bread until I learned one of the best little tricks ever. When it comes to wiping up flour from the counter, my sponges used to get like this:
You know those nasty bits of flour and water that are impossible to rinse out of the sponge after you’ve wiped flour off your counter? There is an easy solution to this problem. Salt! Sprinkle salt over the flour on your counter and then wipe it with the sponge. The salt even works as an abrasive to get stubborn bits off the counter and when you rinse it under the faucet, all the flour rinses away. I learned this handy trick so long ago that I don’t even remember who told me or where I read it. It is a little trick you will like even more than Bruce like bread with millet.