I met an old friend for a late breakfast yesterday. I've known Renee since I was mmmmm...maybe 19 years old. She is married to one of the men who owned Record Service. Back in the 90's when I worked in the office at Record Service I answered the office line. Renee would call for her husband but I would answer and sometimes we'd chat, chat, chat until she had to go. Michael's voice would drift wearily into my office...."uhhh....was that for me?" "Oh, she had to go, she'll call back" I would tell him cheerily.
That was a long time ago and we don't see each other as often as we'd like but it's a friendship which isn't affected by that whatsoever. We sat across the table yesterday and I admired her beautiful eyes as I ate my standard two eggs over easy, hash browns, sausage and rye toast. In some ways we're very different but in others we are alike and we have enough experiences, both good and bad, that bring us even closer. We talked about our husbands and our kids. We talked about love and big love. We talked about how fortunate we are. God I love her.
It was drizzling when I drove home and when I got here I saw that the boys had helped pick up the dining room and living room. It felt so good to come home. We'd tossed around the idea of going to the Engineering Open House but between the gray skies, the clean living room and the fact that my big headed sweet pea hates crowds....we decided to stay home. Owen hung out with a friend, Leo happily skyped and minecrafted away with friends and Ernie and I curled up....he with his crossword puzzle, me with my ipad and we listened to some old Thin White Rope.
We, or shall I say Ernie...o.k. Ernie has been baking bread lately. He's using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipe and it has been pretty amazing. You mix up the dough, it's quite wet and doesn't require kneading, and put in in the refrigerator. Then you just pull out what you need and bake it. It can be in the refrigerator for I forget how long....but over a week if it lasts that long. Ernie has made some AMAZING bread with this....so that's what we used for the slices of bread under the chicken last night. We had leftover bread because on Friday night when we got home after meeting our friend Teri for some Friday evening drinks at Fries and Peanuts we didn't feel like cooking. So we pulled some of the dough out of the refrigerator and baked it. We sliced it up while warm and just ate it with slices of cheddar cheese and leftover asparagus. Heavenly.
Simple Crusty Bread
New York Times, November 21, 2007
Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007) N
Time: About 45 minutes plus about 3 hours’ resting and rising
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
1. In a large bowl or
plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100
degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be
quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room
temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.
3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.
4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.
Yield: Four loaves