The future is now

Eating the last ginger scone for breakfast and thinking it was pretty damned good. I cut them open, put a bit of butter on each side and spread on the mango curd. They’d better be good, a stick and a half of butter went into the scones and half a stick of butter went into the curd and still I am slathering butter on them. It’s a heart attack on a plate.

Talking on the phone the other day with my grandfather. He gave me some advice, told me to not grow old. Said it wasn’t worth it. So, there it is, I’m taking his advice to my little clogged up heart.

Later today I will make the heath chip scones and hopefully some cheddar sourdough crackers.

It’s about doing the thing that is made up of lots of things.

I like projects, I especially like projects that have me learn something new. But ‘projects’ is vague and could mean climbing all the way to the top of Windley Key (I drove by it once) or finding trash bags that fit in my kitchen garbage can (I’ve tried, I can’t). I’ve had projects where I dye up wool, spin it into yarn and crochet it into sweaters. That’s a good, solid project that lasts many months. I actually have a couple more of those projects in the queue, but the flyer on my spinning wheel is shot and needs to be replaced. Also, I will do a thing where I make every single part of dinner from scratch. Like making a falafel dinner where I grind the chick peas and make the falafel, make the pitas, the yogurt, the feta, the tabbouleh, the hummus and everything else from beginning to end. But those only take up a day or two of my time. After I pull my food coma’ed ass out of bed the only project I face is cleaning the kitchen and then I’m as directionless as a high school student who thinks he understands Camus (but Sarte is smartre).

Well, my next big project is bread. I’ve never particularly cared for baking. There’s a sort of precision that makes me shy away from it. But I love bread and I do really need to have a project, so what the hell. Did a little noodling, asked my friends for advice, got a hell of a lot of advice! I also got some sourdough starter from a friend. I think that’s my favorite part, using a starter from a friend who get hers from another mutual friend.

New Mega Project

I want to learn about bread in general and sourdough specifically, so that’s what I got. I literally read The Bread Bible from cover to cover. It sounds a bit tedious but all that repetition smashed all kinds of techniques right into my brain. This is a good project because I’m thinking it will be a solid 3 years from now until croissants. That’s the goal, croissants and I want to get there the long way around. I want to understand every damned aspect of what I’m doing.

How am I doing now after about 8 weeks? I am a bread weenus.

First sourdough

First sourdough

Well, there’s my first sourdough. I was so proud. And oh holy shit did it suck. It was terrible. It had a nice crust and the inside was a bit tight but mostly okay. But it was so sour. It was inedibly sour. It was as sour as your mom when your dad tries to use fart jokes to flirt with the waitress. My guess? I think at some point between making the starter sponge and one of the rises I ended up killing the yeast and the lactobacillis took over. It wasn’t even good for croutons. It sucked and it had to be tossed.

Soft white sandwich bread

Soft white sandwich bread

That’s the soft white sandwich loaf from The Bread Bible and it was awesome. It was so damned perfect and we made sandwiches on it. It was soft without being mushy, the crust to crumb was balanced just right. I loved it, David loved it, Ted, the guy that lives in my attic and spies on us, liked it! I think even Paul and Mary would have liked it.

Sour cream and ginger scones

Tonight it was sour cream and ginger scones with mango curd (seriously, make this. I make it all the time and use the leftover egg whites to make meringues but this time I didn’t feel like futzing with meringues so I gave the egg whites to Chester and made scones instead). They’re a tad dense but not too much and I could just keep eating them. To be fair, there’s a lot of stuff I could just keep eating including off brand cheesy poofs and Necco Canada wintergreen lozenges. I’m not picky.

A friend told me that my flour budget is going to go through the roof and she was right. I need a few different flours for different things and they get used up so damned quickly. But also my butter budget is creeping up there. Our new grocery store is 47 miles round trip (it’s a short, stupid story that isn’t at all interesting) so I end up having to buy a lot at once.

Next up, sourdough cheese crackers made with discard starter, popovers, brioche and another sourdough loaf. I will make a good sourdough loaf or die trying.

It’s good, I’m there. I’m making bread.

And a shout out to David. He made a new dog bed for Chester and it also doubles as a good backdrop for my pictures. Thanks David.


Other big projects on the horizon…..

Population small times

Oh small towns… they had fresh jalapenos at the market the other day, now there are none. Fine, we’ll use pickled jalapenos and see what that does. The bbq sauce from Pizza Luce had (still has? Did have? Haven’t been in years) pickled jalapenos in it and I loved their bbq sauce. My bbq sauce has almost a half pound of bacon in it.

The divorced parent kid exchange is happening across the street at town hall. I’m curious as to why this can’t happen at either of their houses but it’s none of my business and it seems to work out for them. Sadly, it seems that dad is not nearly as popular as step-dad. Maybe dad’s a dick, I don’t know. None of my business.

I’ve started buying beer in cans because it’s easier to carry home.

My notes for my bbq sauce list 1 big can tomato. I’m going to assume I meant crushed tomatoes.

I’m using the running dishwasher as my excuse to not do anything important for another hour. Maybe it’s time for some Katamari.

Our Guts

We have mice, you know this. There are mice, they are all named Howard. They haven’t been coming out into the open for the last few months and I don’t mean that we just haven’t seen them, I mean they aren’t coming out. Because, I’ll be honest, I am not a tidy person and sometimes in the kitchen I’ll find Cheerios that I must have spilled weeks earlier still there under the edge of the cabinet or behind the recycling, completely untouched. They haven’t been around the dog food and the peanut butter filled traps are untouched.

But we hear them in the walls. They scuttle around and gnaw and gnaw and gnaw and gnaw on everything. We hear them, we smack the wall, they stop, they start again, we smack the wall. We’re like a shitty modern art slooooooow percussion band enlightening no one.

And again, AGAIN, again, Chester is terrified. My rat terrier/beagle (RAT TERRIER AND BEAGLE FFS) is terrified of the noises in the walls and alternates between digging a hole in my abdomen and hiding in the bathroom. He doesn’t even want to investigate. It wouldn’t matter, I’ve seen him lay on the floor and just watch a mouse run back and forth from his own food bowl. Every instinct in that dog is so wrong. It’s like he got the stupidest features of both breeds and is completely useless.

Goodnight my sweet girl

My Maddie has passed away.


She beat auto-immune disorders and totally defeated bladder cancer. She was a tough little dog. In the end, though, she developed a brain tumor that we could not fix. She was old, she was 16 years old, she had a wonderful long life full of chicken dinner and dog ice cream.


She was sweet and almost entirely without guile. She just wanted people to love her, to tell her how sweet she was and then give her a peanut butter biscuit. She kept me safe, she comforted me, she listened to my stories and complaints, her fur could absorb an almost infinite number of tears.

She put up with me

She was an accomplished community college professor, a princess, a butt doctor and tax assessor. With Chester they ran their own action news network. We played Huffle Huffle Belly and Good Time Spin Around. She loved the dog park and when we moved to Vermont she loved Vermont. All those hiking trails and mysterious things to quickly chew and swallow before I could get to her and pull it out of her mouth.


She loved camping, protecting the campsite and snuggling with me in my sleeping bag, eating bits of marshmallows and hot dogs


I love her. I love every single sweet, snuggly, soft, puff snuzz part of her. I miss her and my heart aches when I reach over to pet her and she is not there anymore. I am so so sad and the worst part is that it is usually her who comforts me when I am so sad. She’s the one that leans into me, pushes her head under my chin, and makes her quiet sigh. I need her comfort so much right now and not having her comfort is exactly why I need it.

I miss her so much.

Snuggling by the fire

Chester misses her


David misses her

Maddie Snooch

Anyone who ever met her misses her.

My sweet and beautiful girl. She passed quietly and calmly and I held her throughout. I wrapped her in my Pantsghan, all of my friends were with us in spirit.

This pain in my heart, it hurts so much but every single second of it is worth it.