Summer is here.  Well, in Southern California at least.  I went in the pool yesterday after very…slowly…lowering myself in.  Men know there’s a border line when wading into water where things suddenly get serious.  It only took about twenty minutes, but I made it past the shrivel zone.  Baby Harbat sat on the edge and splashed her feet, but was more reticent about standing up on the second step in the pool.  The idea of walking AND being in the water was totally confounding.  I suppose it’s the same feeling I had when first snorkeling.  Breathing AND being underwater?  Uh uh.


I picked up a copy of Beard on Bread at the library.  No, it’s not a cautionary tale of facial hair that curls into your mouth, it’s James Beard’s 1973 foray into the world of homemade bread.  So far it’s got some great recipes and an informative if basic introduction to bread mechanics.  I found out I’ve actually picked up a lot of good technique and know-how in my own stumblings, so I think I’m ready to move on to intermediate bread-baking.


This weekend’s bread count was two rushed loaves of Irish soda bread.  It’s so damn good.  I plan to try out a cinnamon bread recipe sometime this week.  My wife was astonished that I was thinking of throwing out two old jars of cinnamon and buying something new.  One jar was dated 1992, the other said to use by 2003.  They still smelled like cinnamon, but I’m sure the gauze crumblings from Ramses II’s mummy did too.  I’m not putting either in my bread.  New cinnamon from the bulk spice area at our local market set me back around 67 cents.  Now we can keep that cinnamon until Baby Harbat is Senior Harbat.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Writer, architect, father, husband.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,
2 comments on “Summer!
  1. SRWood says:

    I am disinclined to entertain complaints from Southern California about the lack of warm weather. Cry me a river, palm tree boy!On the east coast this weekend we had a flag-snapping sailing breeze and 75 degrees of bright sun and dry air. Now, then. Isn't a warm day better when it's preceded by months of soul-clogging rain and the cold grimy fug of wet newspaper?Is there any more apt image of the 70s than bearded guys making homemade bread?

  2. psoutowood says:

    You forgot to add that bearded bread makers would pause in kneading to tap their cigarette ashes into a amber glass ashtray, while their caftan-clad wives massaged their shoulders and said, "C'mon honey-bear, you've been at it for three days now, this just isn't your scene.""Yes…it…is! Now flip that Mangione album to side B and just keep it cool."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: