Hard labor outside then swimming in the pool with Baby Harbat. Date night on Saturday with my wife for the best burger I’ve ever had (shout out to Jayne’s Gastro Pub) followed by a hand-holding walk in the warm evening. Next day got to build a garden wagon (Uncle F#$k-Up only broke one cotter pin!) then tow Baby Harbat around the front yard while she laughed and mugged for the camera. Afternoon at the beach with wife, mother, and BH watching dogs run in the surf and watching BH trundle towards, then veer away from, foamy lines of surf. Last night got to make four loaves of bread (olive, two cinnamon swirl, and wheat sandwich) and watch Buffy do some slaying.
This weekend Baby Harbat began to string together words for compound phrases. I don’t know what kind of neural bridges got built, but I can tell you it blew MY mind to hear her say, “Tank you, Babbu.” My nickname is supposed to be Babbo (Italian for daddy, pronounced bah-bo), but she puts an Indian spin on it. If she could spice it up by calling me Sri Babu-ji, I’d be happy. Well, I’m happy anyway. My mother also taught her to blink like an owl, which she does with serious concentration and slow drama. She brings so much joy to everyone that I constantly wonder what I did to deserve her.
I retarded bread dough for the first time yesterday. I just put it on the couch and turned on Celebrity Apprentice. [wait for laughter] Okay. Actually I was just starting an afternoon of bread-making when we decided to go to the beach, so I got the olive bread ready for the first proof, then put it in the fridge for a few hours. When we got back, I got it out and let it come to room temperature, then gave it a quick fold and it happily went into second proof and sprung nicely in the oven. The more I work with bread, the more I learn that yeast needs to be happy, warm, and well-fed, and it will respond. All my breads turned out well yesterday despite overlapping schedules and a shortage of loaf pans. I just need to add a banneton to my wish list so I can get neater-looking boules. Free-form loaves are nice, but sometimes I want a more tailored look for my bread.
Today’s task is figuring out how to draw and operate a mouse with a palm full of blisters, worn away from afore-mentioned heavy labor. It was totally worth it.