Staying Clean?

Okay, look.  If you have a toddler, your child will never stay clean.  If it’s your first child, you are working under the assumption that people wear clothes, wash their hands, and generally don’t eat sand.  Toddlers do what interests them, clean rules be damned.

Example:  yesterday we went to an outdoor festival down by the water.  We went to see live music and dancers, visit some booths, and enjoy ourselves.  Baby Harbat was happy to toddle along until she saw the beach.  There were young children splashing in the water and wading around.  ALERT!  ALERT!  She made a beeline for the sand, only stopping to tell me she had to take her shoes off.  Then it was across the minefield of razor-sharp broken shells and rusty nails, through the sand, and into the water.  This was in a protected harbor so there were no waves to speak of, but instead the wind blew the water up on shore in unpredictable surges.  She’d be walking through the sand one minute, then a gentle wash would come up to her knees.  There I was, looking the fool with my shoes on and dancing about the limit of the water while my daughter wandered into the depths like Ophelia.  If I took my shoes off, she’d be done with the water and ready to run across the hot concrete.  This is how it goes with toddlers.

In the afternoon we went to a neighborhood barbecue, and BH spent most of the time carrying around a little stepstool and setting it up in the middle of clusters of people having a conversation.  “Why yes, I’ll make myself comfortable.”  At one point she got a second stool, put her feet up, then pointed up at the drinks table.  “Water?”  When I laughed and said, “Yes, right away ma’am,” she sighed and said, “I get it,” then got up and took her stepstool with her. 

There was some great excitement when the fire department arrived to show off their new ladder truck, a gleaming red monstrosity with every geegaw and accessory imaginable.  Apparently community outreach is part of their gig.  Buying a new fire truck: $1,000,000.  Time spent by four firemen on a Sunday: $240.  Getting neighborhood kids the chance to ring the shiny bell on the truck’s bumper:  priceless.

Bread count this weekend was two.  On Friday night I made cinnamon raisin with some new Vietnamese cinnamon.  It is much darker than what I had before, with a heady spice/Atomic fireball kick to it.  I can confirm it makes fantastic bread.  Baby Harbat and I have had six slices since Sunday.

The second bread was another sourdough.  I’ve been using a plastic colander as a banneton, which is okay except it makes large boules with a flat top.  I’ll be putting oval and round bannetons on my Christmas wish list in the hopes I can bribe Santa with some fresh bread.

I’ve been reading through Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread, which has some intriguing new recipes I’m dying to try.  Maybe this week I’ll make his pain rustique.  Which is French for kick-ass delicious bread. 

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