Sunday, February 27, 2011

Give Us This Day...Whole Wheat Pitas

She came charging across the room last night, still breathless from the music she had just finished performing, words coming out of her mouth almost before she reached me, "So I'm looking forward to reading your blog post about bread tomorrow.  I'm not going to bake it, but I love reading about it."  Heh.  Well that's good.  I guess.

The man I love is her choral conductor.  A leader of singers and crafter of music.  People ask me all the time why I'm not in his choir.  I look forward to every concert.  The music transforms.  I'm not going to sing it, but I love listening to it.  Yes.  That's good.

She may never make the bread I write about.  For herself or anyone else.  But she's a fan and that feeds us both.  

I will probably never sing for him.  But I will always be a fan.  And that feeds us both.

Last night's concert was extraordinary.  Extraordinary.  Thank you all for that. 

Whole Wheat Pitas

If you've been following the posts under the heading Give Us This're beginning to see how the same simple ingredients can be transformed into many wonderful things.  For this recipe you'll need to expand your pantry staples with a few new types of flour.  The great thing about flour is you can store it in a zipper bag in your freezer, indefinitely, so go ahead and buy these two new types of flour and store them for when you need them.  This recipe, as written, makes 8 pitas about the size of your open hand.  I ALWAYS double this recipe because, in this case, 8 is NOT enough.  Allow yourself about an hour and a half to produce wonderful homemade pita rounds, hot from your oven.

1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of dry yeast (or 1 package)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour, divided
2 tablespoons plain yogurt, Greek style is best, any % will work
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
cooking spray

1.  In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water.  Let stand for 5 minutes or so until it gets foamy.  Whisk in the yogurt and oil.  Add all of the bread flour and the salt, stirring well to combine.  Mix it until it is smooth and then add about half of the whole wheat flour.  When it gets difficult to stir, turn the dough ball out onto a surface lightly sprinkled with some more whole wheat flour.  Scrape the dough bits from the inside of the bowl and gently knead the dough for about 10 minutes adding additional whole wheat flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough stops sticking to you and your counter.  You may need a bit more flour if your dough is sticky.  Don't panic!  Just keeping sprinkling it in until it behaves.  You should be able to work with the dough easily, pushing it hard into your surface.

2.  Place dough ball into a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning it once to coat all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for about an hour.  It will double in size.

3.  Move your oven rack to its lowest position and preheat to 500 degrees.

4.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Do not knead it.  Gently pull it into a rope and cut it into 8 portions.  Form each portion into a 6 inch round.  Don't mess with the dough too much here.  The less you handle it the more it will puff up when it cooks.  Heavily coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.  Place 4 dough rounds on each sheet and bake them one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes each until they are nicely puffed and slightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack if you can wait that long.  We love them with soup or with spicy Middle Easter fare that needs a little help being pushed onto the spoon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Give Us This Day...#@!*&...Pardon My French Bread

It all started so innocently.  Easy Saturday.  Nothing planned.  No commitments.  "Ok girls.  Mommy has to post about bread tomorrow so let's get cooking!"  They put on their aprons.  I changed my shirt...bread is messy business.  And we began to measure.  Bowls out.  Two cups of warm water.  "#@!*!  We don't have any yeast girls, let's go to the store."

We began again with a renewed spirit...and a new jar of yeast.  Reheated the 2 cups of water.  Yeast.  Sugar.  Salt.  Oil.  Taking turns dumping ingredients into the bowl.  So civilized.  I am such a good mother.  "Let's measure the flour and put it into a bowl for when we need it.  Perfect ladies.  Take turns dumping it in.  Nice work ladies."  I am such a good mother.  "Let me just turn around here for a second and wipe out this bowl and then we'll mix it all in."

"#@!&*!  No girls!  Not yet!"

"That's ok.  We'll just measure again.  No problem.  Just keep playing with that stuff.  I'll make a new bowl for the bread."  Such a good mother.

They had a ball playing with the flour.  I showed an uncharacteristic amount of patience letting them make a mess.  I finished kneading.  We cleaned up.  Nice.  The dough rose nicely in the sunny window.  It went into the oven with plenty of time for me to heat the soup for dinner.  Perfect timing. 

Beep!  Beep!  "#@*!&!  What the #@%& was that BEEP?  Why does the oven panel say ERROR?  What does that mean?"  Beep!  Beep!  Fast forward several minutes to the Father doing a frantic Google search for error codes and me trying to reprogram the oven repeatedly, to no avail, in an attempt to keep the ovens hot enough to finish french bread that had nearly 20 minutes left to bake.

It did not end as innocently as it began.  The new electronics panel that we will need for the oven is going to cost $150.  #@*!&!  The dog puked flour on the oriental rug.  #@*!&!  Bread was a bit doughy, but edible.  #@*!&!  I should have just bought a loaf when I went to the store to get the yeast.

Pardon My French Bread

Simple ingredients, provided you have them on hand, yield 4 french baguettes.  Watch your time planning.  You'll need 3 hours for these.  Eat two and freeze two for another night.  Wrap the cooled loaves in plastic.  Reheat bare loaves in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes to restore crispness.

2 cups warm water
5 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups of all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
cooking spray

1.  In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes, until it's foamy and creamy looking.  Add the salt and oil.  Stir in 5 cups of the flour.  Scrape dough bits from the bowl and turn dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead dough for at least 10 minutes adding additional flour by the handful until it stops sticking to you and the counter.  This dough is VERY soft and sticky when you begin kneading.  It will stiffen up a bit as you knead.  Don't stop after just a few minutes though.  You'll notice it get very smooth after about 6 minutes or so.  Keep adding the flour to your surface or your hands if it starts to stick to you again and work that dough for the full 10 minutes.  Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, turn dough to coat all sides with spray, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.

2.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into fourths.  Stretch and roll each section into a rectangle about 6 x 12 inches.  Roll it up as tightly as possible and fold the ends over.  Grease two baking sheets and place finished loaves on the sheets placed as far apart as possible.  Stretch the loaves as long as your baking sheets will allow, up to 16 inches.  Brush the tops with water and make a 1/4 inch slash down the center of each loaf.  Allow to rise uncovered in a warm place for another hour.

3.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven.  Use a lasagna pan or any other oven safe container like corningware or pyrex.  Do not skip this step.  Putting the water in the oven keeps these skinny loaves from turning into crusty cracker sticks.  Before placing the loaves in the oven, brush them one more time with water.  Bake them for 10 minutes, brush again with water and bake 20 minutes longer or until the loaves look lightly browned on the top.  Don't let them get too brown, they'll be hard as rocks.

Serve warm, right out of the oven.  With or without the oven manual...your choice.

Friday, February 18, 2011

RE: Mission

Regarding the information I was presented with on Sunday past...She wasn't given the quintessential "Your mission, should you choose to accept it."  How could she possibly accept another mission in the middle of everything else she needs to do? 

How could she not?  Accept it.  What's the alternative?

Regarding the mission.  The fight.  The effort.  The journey from staying alive to living again.  I am not the one doing the fighting and just knowing her heart fills me with immeasurable optimism.

Regarding the mission from here to there.  From healthy to cured.  Unaware to survivor.  She is already planning the retreat of her enemy.

Here is my response.  Her people are going to help her live.  Her people are the reason she is going to live.
Consider this response final and please don't burden me with further questions. 

RE: Mission. 

Author's note:  This one was for my friend, who is in the MiddleBit of the fight of her life.  I can't hug you, or come do your laundry, or make a Starbucks run for you, or drive you all over town and I don't even know what to say about that.  But, since I always have something to say about everything...stay tuned.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm Not In Love With You

Oh, to be in love.  In it.  Deep.

I was there once.  I was walking along one day and I just fell in.  Totally not watching where I was going.  Fell right in.  I was in over my head.  And he was in there with me.  The right one.  I'm pretty sure he fell before I did.  Fell in over his head and was just waiting there for me.  It was wonderful.  I was in Love.  Deep.

But I'm not anymore.  

I'm out of that gooey, enveloping, mind-numbing, keeps you from acting rationally, clouds your vision Love.  I used my muscles to climb out of that sweet muck awhile back and now I'm moving on to the -ing part of this Love I've chosen.  If it's love...and you've decided you're in it with the right person...then after awhile you quit floundering around together and get some skills.  Some skills that help you live together in places other than Love.  In places like Stressful.  And Parenthood.  And Tragedy.  And Joy.  And Out of Town on Business.  And Split Level Houses in The Middle with laundry to do and weeds to pull and dishes to wash and, and, and...the -ing of it is how you survive.

When you decide that it's forever, Love changes from this thing you're in, to this thing you do.  Loving.  Loving him means I'm doing something.  I'm giving back.  Shifting to compensate.  Celebrating the victories.  Towing the line.  Taking the time.  Telling him.  Showing him.  Needing him.  It's the doing that gives Love power.  Strength.  Makes it last.    

When you've been at it for awhile, you can't give Love anymore.  You can't be in Love.  You have to do Love.

My doing is my being.  My being is loving you.  Happy Valentine's Day Love.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Give Us This Day...Rosemary Loaves

I kill houseplants.  People who know me have all kinds of stories about my murdering ways.  My relationships with indoor foliage have been peppered with incidents of neglect, over watering, exposure and infestations.  One of my favorite stories that gives evidence of this behavior was when my mother came to my college apartment and questioned the health of a window plant she had purchased for me on her last visit.  She told me it looked a little pale and asked me, "When was the last time you fed it sweetheart?"  Um.  Never.  I didn't know you had to feed know, with that whole clorophyll thing.  I thought the sun did it all.  Every single way that a house plant can die, I have tried.  It's not because I want just happens...or at least that's what I used to think.

I spend a lot of time with my three small children in the car.  Out here in The Middle, our landscape is crisscrossed with ribbons of asphalt that deliver you from small town desolation to big city retail therapy.  I spend a lot of time with my three small children in the car.  Years ago when we were in the market for a minivan, I specifically asked the guy at the Nissan place if I could pay extra to have a limo-style privacy screen installed behind the drivers seat.  No joy. I spend a lot of time with my three small children in the car.  Sometimes they are loud.  Sometimes they are whiney.  Sometimes they beat on each other.  Sometimes I have the patience to distract them, or play a word game, or turn on their favorite song, or do some other fabulous parenting trick.  Sometimes that works.  Sometimes I scream back at them.  Sometimes that works.  Sometimes I am driving 75 miles per hour and there is nothing I can do about it...or at least that's what I used to think.

And then there's bread.  Fancy, shmancy artisan bread that comes from a bakery, costs tons of money, has a million complicated ingredients and simply cannot be baked by a commoner like myself...or at least that's what I used to think.

Rosemary Bread

This recipe was originally adapted from a Junior League cookbook.  With very simple ingredients it is a great partner to a bowl of soup, or toasted and smeared with apple butter.   Be warned, this one is a time commitment.  Allow yourself at least three hours and be rewarded for your efforts with two hearty loaves of crusty bread.

3 3/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk (any % will work)
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups all purpose flour, divded
1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary
4 teaspoons fine salt
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or any other coarse salt)

1.  In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast into the warm water.  Let it stand until foamy.  Stir in the milk and oil.  In a medium bowl combine 4 1/2 cups of flour with rosemary and fine salt.  Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and mix by hand.  Gradually add additional flour while you continue to mix until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead by hand for another 10 minutes adding additional flour as you go to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands or the counter.  The dough will be nice and moist, but it should not be sticky.  If it's difficult to work with just keep adding flour until it behaves.  Don't be afraid to add more than that extra 1/2 cup if you need it.  Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray turning it once to coat all sides with spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for at least 1 1/2 hours.  It will double in size and you'll know its ready when a dent remains in the dough after you poke it.

2.  Gently punch the dough down on a lightly floured surface.  DO NOT KNEAD IT.  Cut the dough in half and shape it into two rounds by tucking the sides under.  Put the loaves on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, or use a silicone mat, and lightly spray the tops with cooking spray.  These loaves grow when they bake so don't put them too close together.  If you have two smaller baking sheets that's even better.  You'll want to place them side by side on the same rack in your oven.  When you stack them they don't bake as evenly.  Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for another 45 minutes until they double in size.

3.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

4.  Just before you place the loaves in the oven, make shallow crisscross slashes in the top of each loaf.  These slashes serve no culinary purpose but make the bread look gorgeous, so if you are nervous about cutting to deep, just skip this part.  Sprinkle the top of each loaf with the coarse salt.

5.  Bake for 10 minutes.  During this first 10 minutes use a spray bottle to mist the inside of the oven with warm water.  Open up the door and really go crazy spraying all over the inside of the oven 8 or 10 squirts each time you do this.  I set my timer for three minutes intervals so I won't forget to spray.  This helps the bread get a really chewy crust.  Don't skip this part, you'll be sorry.

6.  After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.  Watch them carefully near the end so they don't get too brown.  Cool on wire racks before serving.

I chose this picture just in case you are under the mistaken impression that I have all these child free hours to spend blissfully making bread in my gourmet kitchen.  I want you to know that life, even in my house, does go on all around me while I'm constructing a loaf or two.

And the mysterious tool that links thriving houseplants, road weary travelers and rosemary bread?  The spray bottle.  I mist my ferns.  They love it.  I shoot my screaming children, they shut their mouths and the evidence dries before we get to our destination.  They hate it.  Really spraying that oven in step #5 makes a huge difference.  You'll love it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Daily Post

I will admit that I am a Facebooker.  I live here in The Middle where we go for months without a double digit temperature.  Today it is -14.  I am virtually a shut in.  I have three small children which equals exactly 6 gloves, 6 boots, 7 zippers, and 8 carseat buckles.  I have a husband who travels extensively during the cold winter leaves me home alone with a bunch of needy short people with whom it is difficult to engage in stimulating conversation.  I could pick up the phone and call someone for engaging  adult repartee were it not for the fact that even the possibility of me picking up the phone transforms a peaceful cooperative collection of children into a screaming, hitting, needy bunch of animals making it impossible to hear the person on the other end of the telephone line.  I could go out and meet friends for coffee...and I do, but not everyday.  Or 5 times a day, when I have a need to feel like an adult and there is nobody around over the age of 4.

I'm left with Facebook.  And all of its faults.  So in the spirit of highlighting the shortcomings of those things we depend on in life I have assembled a list of the types of Facebook posts I find the most ridiculous and annoying.  Note to self: figure out how to determine when you have been "un-friended" before publishing this blog post.

Ima Gud Muther is reading a book with her kids.  Or is having a great time with her kids at the zoo.  Or is sledding with her kids.  Um, no you're not! You're posting on Facebook. Don't ignore your children and then lie about the imagined quality time you're spending with them. 

Ivana B. Thinner just ran 12 miles in the snow.  Really?  Then go take a shower.  Have a glass of water.  Do something, but don't post an exaggerated jog on Facebook.  Are you trying to make us feel bad?  Those of us who have been sitting in front of the computer the whole time you were out improving your health.  If you're going to lie about your exercise, at least lie big!  Tell us you ran 30 miles!  We'll comment about how proud we are of you or how awesome you are, and then our lies will match your lies.  See, everyone's happy!

The lyrics to pretty much any song.  If you can't think of something of your own to say...don't say anything at all.  If I wanted to experience Pink's lyrics, or Katy Perry's lyrics or some profound reworking of The Grateful Dead, then I would turn on the radio and experience them in the way they were part of a song!  With music!  Not some attempt at highly evolved, meaningful, social network poetry. 

Weather reports.  I'm totally fine with laments, complaints, disastrous accounts of and explanations of mental conditions as a result of the weather...but do not give me the current conditions people!  If you live in my town, I can look out my own damn window and tell that it's snowing, raining, windy, a beautiful sunny day or really effing cold AND if I don't live in your town...I really don't care what the current conditions are.

The current score of the game!  Seriously people, don't you have a DVR?  Nobody watches TV in real time anymore.  You're spoiling it for those of us who do choose to be the masters of our own TV consumption and watch the game on our own schedule.  If you're watching the game, go watch the damn game and get off of Facebook! 

The ending of the TV show.  *see previous entry.

The situation with your Mafia hit, your Farm, your attempt at getting Fast Money or your stupid Duck.  I don't care.  Keep your games to yourself.  Ya wanna play with me?  Get out from behind your screen, pry your thumbs off your qwerty keyboard and drive over to my house.  I'd be happy to kick your ass at Scrabble anytime.  Ya know, Scrabble...the one with the little wooden tiles and the pencil and paper score pad? 

Any post that is followed by a See More at the bottom.  I can tell you straight away that when I notice your last sentence trailing off into blank space followed by the blue texted See More I immediately scroll past you.  If you can't say what you need to say in one or two fragmented, slightly strung out highly embroidered sentences then don't post it. If you really do want us to see more, know more or understand MORE, then get a blog people!  It's what all the cool kids are doing these days and you can always link it to Facebook!

Am I judging you if you post this junk?  Maybe.  Will I have any "friends" after this?  Maybe not.  Am I guilty of posting garbage on Facebook?  Certainly.  I'm just outing myself as a person who uses needs the social network to keep her sanity.

Now.  I've gotta link this post to Facebook.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Give Us This Day; The Purge, the Drip and the Country Loaf

A few weeks ago I was prowling the blogospere and landed myself smack in the middlebit of someone's post about the urge to organize their household.  Blah, blah, blah, visions of neatly stacked cabinets and efficient pantries purged of anything get the idea.  My point?  I was barely able to finish the article fast enough as I sat there quivering, half a cheek on my barstool, with the urge to make-over the space underneath my bathroom sink.  I know, I organizing project involving half empty bottles of lotion and more Clinique Bonus Time lipstick than any girl should admit to possessing is not the kind of thing that should send my body into shivers of excitement...but I digress.

Armed with a paper bag and a recycle bin, I firmly believe that the bathroom is the next frontier of recycling.  You would never think of tossing an empty ketchup bottle into the trash but shampoo bottles get trashed all the time.  Put a recycle bin in your bathroom people!...again, with the digression...I headed into the master bath to rid myself of some under cabinet clutter.

My first step was to remove everything from under the sink.  Not to glance over the collection and push aside the things I knew were staying like the hair dryer and the box of panty liners, but to actually take everything out of the cabinet and survey it in the light of the bathroom.   As I reached into the darkness of the "way back" my fingers closed around something cold and wet and the unmistakable odor of mildew stung my nostrils and my pride.  Thoroughly disgusted I discovered a small puddle, a pile of soaked tampons (absorbent little suckers), and determined that we had a drippy pipe under the sink. 

I immediately employed "the bucket technique" and moved forward with my organizing project.  This is where the organizing part of the story concludes.  Please note that I was able to reduce the contents of the cabinet by tossing recycling half empty bottles of stuff I don't use and freeing myself of several lipsticks that I could only imagine wearing to a Halloween party.  Very freeing.  And, if I had not taken on this project, who knows how long the drip drip drip of neglect would have continued, possibly causing expensive damage.

When the Father got home, I described our little issue in the bathroom.  Do not read my meaning to be "I described the sink problem to my extremely handy husband and was so glad when he came home so he could fix it in a jiffy," because that is not accurate.  My husband is extremely talented but not in the mysterious ways of the pipe and the wrench.  He can get 1,000 people to breathe in unison with a flick of his baton, but  he is dangerous with a hammer or a wrench.  My purpose for telling him was to rant about how the last time I called a plumber to fix the drippy spigot in the backyard, the butt crack displaying, late arriving, deodorant boycotting pipe doctor that showed up at my door replaced a 15 cent plastic washer and charged me $90!  And no, I'm not over it, thankyouverymuch!

My point in describing our plumbing predicament was to ask him if he minded me putting out a distress call on Facebook to see if one of our friends could come to my aid.  Intrigued by my plan to save us $90, he told me to go for it.  Almost immediately the offers of assistance started coming in...we have such wonderful friends...and within the week my friend brought her husband over to diagnose our drippy dillema.

What was supposed to be a little fix, in my ignorant assessment at least, turned into him making a trip to the local hardware store for a 15 cent washer which it turns out you can't buy separately from the entire drain housing, which he bought and offered to install for me.  So now I was into this guy sweet husband friend for his time and the money he spent on the parts I needed...sigh.  "Sure I'll install it for you, " he said cheerfully.  "Let me just get the sink taken apart."  Oh God, I've destroyed his Sunday afternoon and now he needs a simple wrench from the toolbox which I'm pretty sure we don't have, but I'll put on my slippers and go out to the arctic garage anyway just to make a show of effort.

So it turned out that we made a plan for him to return the following week and finish the job.  We continued to employ the highly effective "bucket technique" and he did restore complete function to our drain.  And before you even think it, the Country Loaf part of this story does NOT refer to my husband who grew up the sheltered son of a physician who very responsibly called a plumber when he discovered a drip and consequently did not prepare his boy for basic home maintenance of any kind.  The Country Loaf, or Loaves as the story more accurately goes, were the beginning of a long list of culinary reparations that I will be making to this man and his patient family as repayment for his prowess with a pipe and drain.  He came in the door with a wrench and I sent him out the door with three Moroccan Country Loaves.

Moroccan Country Bread 
(or Khubz Maghrebi, pronounced cubz ma-grebby, so you sound exotic and cheffy)

An impossibly short list of ingredients, adapted from Cooking Light, and a simple set of directions provides you with three loaves of simple, rustic bread.  No kneading in this one shortens the time commitment.

1 1/2  packages dry yeast or 1 tablespoon
2 1/2  cups warm water
7 cups all purpose flour
3  teaspoons  kosher salt (or sea salt, or regular salt.  Don't let the wrong salt be the reason you fear this recipe.)
Cooking spray
1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil

1.  In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.  In another bowl measure 7 cups of your flour and whisk the salt into the flour.  Gradually add the flour to the yeast mixture, stirring well with a wooden spoon, until the dough forms a ball.  It may get difficult to mix near the end but resist the temptation to knead the remaining flour into this dough ball.  You'll know you're done when you've got a nice ball of dough that's not sticking to the sides of the bowl.  If you've got some flour left over, just free yourself of the guilt, hide the evidence and toss it in the garbage.  Problem solved!

2.  Turn the dough ball out onto a floured surface, roll it into a log shape and divide it into three equal portions.  Again, resist the urge to knead and manipulate the dough here.  The less you play with it, the more crumbly it will be and for this bread, that's a good thing.  Shape each portion into a round by turning the edges under and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  The silicone baking mat works here too.  They will increase in size when baked but not too much, so it is possible to nestle them all together on the same baking sheet if you must.  Lightly coat the tops of the loaves with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place for an hour or until a dent remains when you poke your loaf.  Heh, heh.  Poke your loaf...sorry.

3.  Move your oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4.  Uncover your loaves, brush, or glop, the tops with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.  The loaves will not get brown but they should sound kind of hollow when you thump them.

This bread has a very mild, yeasty flavor.  Frankly, it's not great when eaten by itself.  Perfect for soaking up the juices from a spicy soup, or pushing bits of curry onto your fork, this bread is a wonderful compliment to Middle Eastern dishes.  Morocco, go figure!  Or, if you're pooped out from the effort of the bread, it is fantastic when accompanied by a can of Progresso!

If you're looking for the other bread recipes in this collection , go here, and here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Principle of Lift

Car-o-lyne rhymes with 'fine'.  Which is ironic.  Because I'm not fine.  I'm angry.  And tired.  And under-appreciated.  And bitter.  And 40 pounds over weight.  And alone.  Not alone alone.  I have kids and a husband, but sometimes I feel like I'm here all by myself.

My damn cellphone is a better speller than I am, that little red wavy line under my misspellings calls more attention to my inadequacy than to a potential word error.  My dryer has recently proclaimed itself more adept at determining how long something should tumble.  It actually overrode me the other day.  I set it for 15 minutes and the damn thing honked at me and informed me that was a waste of energy due to the moisture level of the clothing and I should set it for 10 minutes.  I'm angry.  Did I mention that one?

Car-o-lyne rhymes with 'fine'.  I'm not fine.  Right from the very beginning, when I got my name, I have not been fine.  She gave him one job.  My Father.  "Go with the nurse and fill out the paperwork," and he couldn't even spell my name correctly.  So instead of being just Carolyne, now I'm Carolyne rhymes with fine, and from the very start, people who think they know me have to be corrected.  I'm bitter.  Did I mention that one?

That's how I seem to start every relationship.  A tacet here's what you think you know about me from all the information you have.  But you're wrong.  I don't even know you and I know you're wrong. 

I want to be fine though. 

I think at this point I've been down for so long that I don't even know which direction is up anymore.  Or if I even need to go up.  Maybe just forward is the way I need to move.  Forward, quickly.  Like the lumbering 747 that moves forward so fast, strapped to the ground by gravity.  Gravity.  That twisted force that slams you back to the Earth.  That holds you down.  Keeps you down.  Gravity.  Like sick kids, or a husband who travels all the time, or a blizzard and a broken snow blower, or PMS.  Slams you back to the Earth.

Amazing though, that 747.  When it gets going fast enough it does go up. 

Up.  Yes.  But I'm going to start with forward.  Or maybe, Car-o-lyne, and yes, I'm fine.

Let me tell you about last week in the dressing room of Macy's.  So.  Not.  Fine.

to be continued...