Friday, October 30, 2009

Potato Bread

Heavily adapted from "Sister Jennie's Potato Bread" in Bernard Clayton, Jr.'s The Complete Book of Breads

For the sponge:
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c potato flakes
  • 1 c whole wheat
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
Should make a thick batter, allow to rise until doubled in bulk: about an hour.

Stir in
  • 1 softened stick of butter
  • enough all-purpose flour to make kneadable
Knead 8 minutes, allow to rise until doubled in bulk: about an hour.

Shape into two loaves, allow to rise until about an inch above the edge of the loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then cover with foil. Bake for 25-30 more minutes.

It is very prone to burning, so don't forget the foil.

Monday, October 26, 2009

collection of updates

The leak was the overflow drain from the tub. So incredibly glad we found it before we patched the ceiling. We (really, my lovely husband) replaced the gasket and applied some caulk and soon we'll test it. THEN we'll buy a green board and fix the ceiling.

I DO really love judo tournaments. It's the exhilarating combination of "I never would have guessed I can do this" with "I am getting better and better at this." Sadly, N is bored to tears by them. (I can't blame him - we were stuck in a high school gym for 4.5 hours for me to get 3 fights. None of them lasted the whole time, so that's less than 9 minutes on the mat? less than 15? (Not sure how long our rounds were.)) I like having him there, but not enough to ruin his whole day again.

I have now given a talk at a real conference, like with grownups, not just students. It was terrifying, but I think it went well, and if it didn't I'll never know because the attendees at the Army Conference on Applied Statistics are the nicest bunch of people I could hope to meet in such a short time frame. Lots of interesting talks, lots of interesting conversations. (Example - have now chatted with someone who actually worked at Rand. EEEEE.)

My potato bread recipe has emerged out the side of my tinkering and tastes great. I'll have to type it up soon. (It's chicken scratch on the back of my flu shot info sheet right now. )

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Also worth noting...

In both the spirit of documenting home improvement, and "we love you, but.. now's not a good time to visit."

We're down a bathroom. The ceiling of the spare bathroom had water damage. So we got to take it apart (not all of it thank god) and look for the leak. The scary (but sorta good) part is we see no leak. I'm hopeful that this is somehow from replacing the upstairs toilet last summer, and we just never noticed. (It wasn't too obvious, just that droopiness in the paint. Not even any discoloration.)

But at the moment, there's a 2' x (length of the room) strip of ceiling missing, and the rest of the room is dropclothed and covered with ceiling bits. We need to buy a green board, and go through the whole patching, taping, mudding and painting rigamaroll. Once we've convinced ourselves thoroughly that this is not an ongoing leak so we won't have to do it all over again in a few months.

As usual, we're in no huge hurry to get it fixed. My hard deadline is next fall in time to try to talk some of you into coming up for Beerfest. :)

Ah, the things you learn as a homeowner.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Plague House

I just slept almost 12 hours. N is still sleeping. I don't think it's a flu since a) we got flu shots Sunday and b) I seem to be on the mend already and never had much of a fever, and most of my misery was snot related. It was a real triumph to sleep through the night without medical support.

I do seem to get sick right after judo tournaments though. (Yeah, there was one last Saturday. I met new people... and got beat up by them. I got one lucky round, earning me 3rd place.)

Anecdote: Vlad is the finickiest dog ever.
Gustav has special "limited ingredient diet" food. Vlad ate it for months, and then suddenly refused to, choosing instead to steal what human food he could, dig in the compost, and eat used tissues. So we moved Vlad back to the food they were both on before, which Gustav is definitely allergic to. All was well for months, despite having to protect Vlad's bowl at all times from his voracious brother.
We got a new flavor of special diet food, duck and potato, and tried it on both dogs. Gustav is fine with it. Vlad... started crying and backing away from his food bowl as if it were the scariest thing ever. In retaliation for trying to feed him duck, he now hates his old food as well. Just totally ignores it. After two days of not seeing him eat anything, we gave him one of the emergency cans of wet food. That's apparently ok.
Any thoughts on how to find kibble Vlad will eat? Or what to do with 30+ lbs of expensive dog food that he's now bored with?

(UPDATE: We won. He's decided kibble isn't THAT bad and has grudgingly gone back to eating. )

I'm spending most of next week at a conference. I'll be presenting, which of course scares the beejeebus out of me. But I'm late in the week, first in my session. Combination of time to prepare and getting it over with. It's a small conference, but there are two tracks, so I am weirdly comforted that if I am too boring everyone can go listen to someone else.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's officially fall

first pumpkin burps of the season.

For N's work retreat, we spent last weekend at a dude ranch. In the mountains. Yeah. Driving in them scares me less when there isn't snow on the ground (though it was a close call, luckily it stopped snowing and warmed up for the weekend.) But I am not a fan of "Beware of Falling Rocks" signs. Especially the one that looked like it got hit by one. Unsurprisingly, I'm not really a dude ranch kind of person. But the people were nice and it was hard to be stressed about all my lowlander stuff. N rode a horse for the first time and enjoyed it, and unsurprisingly also enjoys shooting skeet.

This weekend some friends had a joint birthday party and I made cake: Sour Cream Chocolate Layer Cake from Baking Illustrated (store chocolate frosting that doesn't go bad when warm), and Pumpkin Gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for the chocolate haters. Good party, met some new people and got to see some people I don't see often enough.

I finally feel like I'm starting to get a handle on research, which is good, because I need to present some results in the next couple of weeks. EEP. I'm pretty sure it's going to be ok.