Yesterday may have been the perfect day. I went trail running with some friends in the morning and didn’t blow out my ACL’s leaping through rocks. Then I devoured some French toast (made with my multigrain bread) for breakfast, followed by reckless rally driving (a la Colin McRae 2005). For lunch we all went out for seafood with my wife’s mother, who’s in town for the week and has been overjoyed to hear Baby Harbat say, ”I luv you Gamma.” In the afternoon the girls went shopping while I baked bread. Then I got a nap, an hour-long full face-down collapse diagonally across the bed. When the gals came back, we went swimming and Baby Harbat tried out her new PFD integral bathing suit. Back in the kitchen for dinner, I made beef chipotle chili served with fresh bread, then a little TV before bed.
In my never-ending quest for good rustic bread, this weekend I made Peter’s Reinhart’s BBA ciabatta. This is different from the Team USA ciabatta. I had high hopes. I also wanted to make the Cook’s Illustrated dark rustic bread again, which I modified with a little less rye and whole wheat flour. The ciabatta rose well but didn’t have much oven spring. It tried to handle it with kid gloves, to keep the structure intact. For dinner, I cut it open to find a tight crumb. [insert curse word here] The taste was good and the crust had excellent chew, but the crumb was like sandwich bread.
I am more optimistic about the dark rustic. For one, I left the poolish out overnight with this, as opposed to the ciabatta poolish which gets refrigerated after a few hours. Does it make a difference? I have no idea! I’ll report on the crumb when I open it for lunch today. Also I found out the potholder mitten I’ve been using has split open at the thumb/forefinger joint. I discovered this by grabbing the cast iron skillet that had been in the 500-degree oven for two hours and hearing my thumb sizzle like steak on the grill. Aloe was applied, potholder was shunted to the trashcan.
All weekend my wife has been battling a dry cough, picked up third-hand after BH and I got through with it. I offered to make an old family cough remedy: single-malt scotch, honey, and lemon juice. The benefits of this were touted by my grandmother, who perhaps liked leaving out the honey and lemon periodically. To my shock, my wife asked me to make it! I ask you, what more could you need in healthcare than what’s pictured here?
Finally, here is little Miss Harbat showing off her new dress that was made by Nona and Tia Samantha. She loved it and somehow kept it clean all afternoon, despite an incident at the store with an open container of talcum powder. This week I’ll be attempting to install the safety valve on the O&M to get the second oven working. Not to worry, Uncle F%$#-Up is on the job!