Hello everyone and welcome to the first post of the second decade of the third millennium. Sounds more dramatic that way, no?
My Christmas break was an equal mix of sickness, snow, family time, relaxation, baking, eating, and sitting by a warm woodstove. I must’ve jinxed myself because I got a sinus infection and cold that lasted the entire vacation. However I still managed to get outside for some of this:
Baby Harbat was quite happy to nap in the sled, spill bread and butter over herself, and yell “Faster!” at whoever was towing her. If I lived in a snowy climate, I’d buy one of these things in a second. It was fantastic to get out on the trails and ski under sapphire skies and on freshly-groomed trails.
Baking at high altitude was a non-issue. Over the holidays I was at around 5500 feet, and made two loaves of sourdough, a dozen dinner rolls, one massive Scottish oat bread, and some pizza dough, and it all turned out fine and performed just as it does here at sea level. The responsibility for the traditional family Christmas bread fell to me this year. No problem, I think, I can crank this sucker out easy. But we all know one of my aliases is Uncle F#$k-Up, and it turned out he was the one baking the bread. At one point I dropped the bread and parchment onto a hot oven element and the parchment caught on fire after a nice ‘S’ was branded on the bottom of the loaf. I spent part of Christmas Eve slicing charred crusts off the bread and cursing. Happy holidaze!
Baby Harbat performed admirably on the trip, snoozing and relaxing on both flights, and charming the pants off everyone she met on vacation. She was in high spirits and spread her magnanimity to all. One day she told everyone in the car, “I love you guys!” The only trouble is that from the X-Treem excitement and unfamiliar sleeping environment, she decided to give up on naps. Since we got back she’s only taken one nap. We are hoping that a week back at daycare with its strict schedules and pro-nap environment will cure her of her newfound Super Energy.
My New Year’s resolution has been to bake more quickbreads and sweet things. These sell much better than the regular breads, and are much faster and easier to make. I am inspired by my sister who can crank out muffins and cookies in a matter of minutes, while my bread tends to confound every attempt at timeliness. Last night I made a batch of cream scones which turned out extra delicious despite a mistake in the recipe. Yes, you read it right, it wasn’t operator error this time. Good thing my baking ninja skills detected that the cream amount was about half what it needed to be. Hee-yah!
Yesterday I guess I had some extra energy, or maybe wanted to start the year off with at least one mistake-free project, so I built some shelving for the garage. We now have a six-foot high by eight-foot wide heavy duty wood shelving unit in the garage that is already completely filled up with plastic tubs of miscellanea. If I just build two more of these we might actually be able to see the floor of the garage again. And I guess Uncle F%$k-Up was still on vacation, because I built the shelves with no cursing, mistakes, or disasters. Which makes me wonder when the thing is going to collapse on me.