Casa Soutowood pool is officially open for the summer. We had a party on Saturday to celebrate a bunch of men in wigs signing a piece of parchment. We celebrated by grilling meats and consuming beer and soda. This is the American way! Many of our guests took to the water, and the pool felt perfect on a 85-degree sunny San Diego day. Baby Harbat was more excited about sitting on the edge of the pool and taking her Crocs off, then putting them back on, than she was about getting in the water. One of our guests also got to dive into the hot tub, fully clothed, after his 2-year old daughter fell in. His clothes and daughter dried out and were fine. His cell phone is still unresponsive.
Amidst all the swimming and food consumption, we managed to get the bottom rails of the fence installed. I attached chicken wire from the bottom rail down to the ground, which will keep Baby Harbat penned in while we work out there, and will act as a trellis for any plants and vines to grow up at the base of the fence. Overall, the fence looks pretty good considering this is only our second fence we’ve built, and it’s about 100 feet longer than the last one. Pictures tomorrow, I promise.
My weekend bread experiments included hamburger buns, ciabatta, and plain rustic bread. The buns and ciabatta were as I’ve made them before. With the ciabatta I think I need to raise up the oven rack closer to the top, so it gets more evenly browned. I’ve been cheating and putting on the broiler for the last five minutes, but I think moving the rack should have roughly the same effect. With the rustic bread, I retarded it overnight and gave it a really long time the next morning to warm up before I formed it. Then I let it sit again until it was almost doubled. This, I think, is part of my problem. I usually can’t wait to get my bread into the oven, so I don’t let it double. I found it was much easier to score when it was truly doubled, and there was a bit more ear formation. I’ll be cutting into that bread today so we’ll see how the flavor and structure turned out.
Working outside, swimming, and gorging on food had me struggling to stay awake by 9 last night, so I had a long enjoyable sleep where I dreamt of a gigantic indoor swimming complex, and I was embarrassed to swim with all my friends because I was wearing a flannel nightshirt instead of a suit. Let me tell you, those things really weight you down when they’re wet, and you have to do a Marilyn Monroe pose to keep it from flying up when you jump off the diving board. Or so I’ve heard.