Tuesday, February 10, 2015

If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention.

he's so adorable and awkward I love him




Binge-watching Game of Thrones because there is feckall else on TV. Anyone have any suggestions for something to watch? At this point I have memorized every episode of GoT, Defiance, Justified, and True Detective, so I'm getting desperate...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair.


Winter has finally started to act like winter. We got snowed in yesterday, so naturally I consumed everything in the house.

It's been a strange few days...

You know how sometimes when you're slowly returning to consciousness after a bad dream, it takes your brain more time than normal to process things? And in that mental state, sometimes the things you can see in your room look very different than how they actually look.

Sunday morning, as my brain very slowly dragged itself out of a very scary nightmare (I only have nightmares now, it sucks), I opened my eyes and saw this across the room:


I sh*t you not guys, for I moment I actually thought it was a dementor.

It's not a dementor. It's my coat hanging on the door.


Pretty sure I almost wet the bed. Anyways, moving on......

We got quite a bit of snow over the weekend. Yesterday morning, when I woke up and looked outside my door, I noticed that there were footprints outside. For some reason this did not register as being at all strange or alarming (probably because I just woke up?). Not until Mumsy mentioned it later, after going downstairs to check on Daisy, did I notice that it was in fact strange and possibly alarming.

There are footprints outside of my door. They are human footprints. They are not mine. They were not there when I had my last cigarette on Sunday night.


I feel like I should be more worried about this? Idk. I feel kind of weird and surreal about it.

I went outside to investigate the footprints. It looks like the person was also looking into the back doors of the houses on either side of mine before they crossed the condo property and then followed the fence all the way to the end. I didn't walk that far, as it was kind of blizzarding out, so I don't know where the footprints ended or began. The person followed the exact same route both to and from mine and my neighbours' houses

I forgot about it later and made more bread. It turns out I am pretty good at making bread.

The first loaf that I made Saturday turned out a bit wonky:




It was a teensy bit too bland and it didn't rise quite like it should have, so I consulted the Bible.

(passed down from stepgrandma to stepmom to me, held together with tape)
Yesterday's bread turned out PERFECT.

(and there in a the background you can see a burnt ovenglove)
 As promised, here is the recipe for one loaf of bread:

You will need:
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ~2 cups water
- 4 - 5 tablespoons buttermilk powder (a truly wonderful thing to keep in the fridge, because it lasts forever, so you don't have to waste $ on a carton of buttermilk when you only need 1 cup)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ~1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
 also:
- ~2 tbsp. butter melted
- Flour for kneading, just keep the bag handy
- at least 4 hours of free time


To make it:
-  In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk powder, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Melt 1 1/2 tbsp. butter and pour that in as well, but don't mix it yet. Have the rest of the flour  (in a small bowl makes it easier) and a measuring jug of about 2 cups lukewarm water ready within easy reaching distance (I discovered this the hard way and made a giant mess of my kitchen).

- To activate the yeast, you will need a thermometer, as you MUST have your water at between 110 and 115 degrees F (43 - 46 C). Put 1 tbsp. of the yeast and 1 tbsp. of the flour into a small bowl. When the water is at the correct temperature, pour about 1/2 cup of water into the bowl. Stir everything gently to make sure all the yeast gets evenly mixed with the water. Let the yeast sit for 5 - 10 minutes. If nothing interesting is happening in the bowl in 5 minutes, give the bowl a gentle shake, or a couple taps on the side. If nothing interesting at all happens in 10 minutes, throw it all in the bin and start over. It should basically look like bacteria in a petri dish growing rapidly before your eyes.
I didn't fully succeed with this step until my fourth attempt, on the second loaf, so don't get frustrated.

-  When the yeast is done activating, add it to the large mixing bowl. Mix everything together until it starts getting kind of gluey. Then add the remaining flour a little at a time, dribbling in some water whenever the mix gets too dry. You will most likely not need all of the water in your measuring jug.

- Once the dough is fairly solid, prepare yourself for the longest 8 minutes of your life.

- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and knead it for 8 minutes. The Bible says not too hard and not too gently. Here is a picture of how the Bible suggests you knead:


Roll it like up towards yourself, flatten it, turn the dough about 90 degrees, repeat. For 8 - 10 minutes. 

Add more flour to the surface as needed.

- When you have finished torturing yourself, let the dough hang out for a minute while you melt some butter and use it to coat the inside of a mixing bowl. Plop the ball of dough into the bowl and turn it around until it is evenly coated with the butter. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set it somewhere relatively warm, away from any drafts. Do not remove the cloth, let the dough rise for at least one hour. (I did roughly an hour and 15 minutes for the loaf that came out perfect.)

- After the hour, remove the cloth and head back to your kneading surface. Punch the dough down from the center (like a gentle punch, not like you're punching someone in the face). Put the dough back on the floured surface and knead it a bit (I only kneaded for less than a minute, just to make it into a nice loaf shape.

- Using more of the melted butter, grease the inside of a 5" x 9" bread pan. Place the dough in the pan. Cover with the damp cloth and let it rise again, for 45 minutes to one hour.

- Heat the oven to 450 degrees F (like 230 C). Gently brush melted butter over the top surface of the bread. Bake it for 10 minutes at 450, then reduce the heat to 350 F (like 175 C). Cook the bread for 20 - 30 minutes, until it is nicely browned and sounds hollow when you tap on it, and comes easily away from the sides of the pan.

- Take the bread out of the pan right away and let it cool on a wire rack. I recommend not slicing the entire thing at once, just cut slices as you need them. 

- Enjoy! Your house will smell glorious for the rest of the day.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I'm the damn mayor; play Shiny Happy People or you're fired.

Accidentally sliced my hand open with a kitchen knife this week. Again.

Is anyone else this accident-prone in the kitchen? I mean I know I'm ridiculous, but it's a combo of a total lack of coordination, dysfunctional spatial relationships, and the fact that I have sustained so many cuts and burns on my hands that I can't really feel anything anymore.

Fire is a frightening thing. Particularly because of how easy it is to start one. Heating oil scares me the most. My cousins used to have a chip fryer in the kitchen, and we all thought it was the greatest thing ever. That is until my one cousin managed to set it on fire and more or less burned down the kitchen.

We go through a lot of oven gloves in my house because very often an oven glove will be left a little bit too close to an open flame.



Also, until I had an electric stove in college, I never knew those hot coils could set things on fire.

Ever seen a toaster or a toaster oven burst into flames? It's really important to clean those bread crumbs out every once in a while. My old roommates learned this the hard way with my first toaster oven. I was only gone for two days (normally I cooked everything and didn't allow them to touch the kitchen appliances). I came home to this:


And somehow I still do not know how to use a fire extinguisher.

This weekend's cooking adventure: I am going to attempt to bake a loaf of bread. Recipe and photos may or may not be forthcoming.