Thursday, January 22, 2009
Refusing to say the "d" word
I woke up late today so this is going to be brief. I've been sleeping way more than normal lately, nine to ten hours a night, and I think it's the season, this gloomy, cold and never-stops-snowing winter we're having up here. I tried to make bread yesterday. I say tried because success was elusive. I don't think any rising occurred but I can't figure out why. I followed the instructions. Maybe I didn't talk nice enough to the dough. Then I played the lottery since the jackpot was 35 million. Not only did I lose, but not one of my numbers came up. At least nobody won so it will roll over for Saturday. I know it's a sucker's bet but it's fun to sit around dreaming about what you'd do if you won. In about 25 minutes I've got to be on the bus to go over and teach the level 0 student I have been teaching since before Christmas. He's actually making complete present tense sentences now which is good. But boy it's been tough on my patience as I've spent 35 hours with him with 10 to go. This is a student who never takes notes, never completes homework and is late to every class. I'll be glad when it's over next week.
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Did you know that bread, and the rising thereof, can depend on the weather? Also, check your yeast to make sure it's still alive.
word ver.: tamil. Political overtones?
The student is obviously serious about improving his skill - not. Well, at least you're making some money on it. (I would assume.)
Making bread can be tricky. Assuming yeast-based, maybe the yeast was "dead" or perhaps the environment was not warm enough to allow the yeast to "work".
Do something new: take a class one night a week, break up the routine. Winter always brings me down a bit and that's the only thing I've found that gets me out of the slumps. Quebec Writer's Federation has some classes that are pretty cheap and fun: magazine writing, nature writing, screenplays. Google them. :) (No, I don't work for them!)
About the bread, what Lemuel said. Yeast must be alive (if caked, dissolve in water warm to the touch but not hot, with some sugar, until foamy) and dough must rise in a very warm place. My place is so chilly that I have to rise dough inside a preheated oven in my range. Preheat briefly, so that the yeast doesn't die from the heat, but the air inside must be very warm. Try baking911 for advice, it used to be good.
Sorry about the lottery, what a surprise would that be.
I have been sleeping way more as well. The weather, I think, leads to uncontrollable snoozing.
I've heard that many people who win the lottery end up being far unhappier than they were before getting all that money.
I'd be willing to take that risk, though.
No rising generally indicates either that the yeast was dead to begin with or that you somehow managed to kill it. (Or that you forgot to add it.) You should try again: both the making and eating of fresh bread are sure mood elevators. Get some fresh yeast, and proof it next time.
Yes, what everyone else said about the bread is true, I've made enough loaves to know there is more than one way to kill bread.
I'm keeping the "D" at bay. I don't care this year, I'm not falling for it. Go get a haircut and a massage. It will make you feel like you won 35 million bucks.
And if the sun shines, go out there and soak it up, even if you have to wrap yourself in a snowsuit and a sleeping bag. Sun.
Your student sounds very frustrating. I say if he can't even take the time to try, then it's certainly no reflection on you.
I'm still trying to perfect breakmaking, too. I've yet to feel like a success but with enough butter fresh out of the oven, I'm willing to semi-enjoy even the mistakes.
By the "d" word, I presume you mean, "Darlin'"?
Come on over to my retarded blorg and you'll be cheered up immediately! According to Roxita's comment on your last post, I have already been president(?) but I don't remember that.
Do you have full spectrum lights available in your home? I live at the same latitude, but we don't usually have snow (despite what you saw in Kitsap). We've been in the fog for about four days straight. Many people also recommend vitamin D for these types of climates.
See to the lotto. Days of dreams and being wealthy are really cheap thrills for the price.
Students who don't do their work are a pain.
I've learned the hard way that it's really important to proof the yeast first and make sure it's still working. And in this cold weather, I like to warm the oven up to its lowest setting (170ºF for ours), then open the door to let a bit of the heat out before putting the bowl of dough in to rise. Our kitchen is the coldest room in our house (and the first on my list for a total remodel), so it takes a bit of attention. Still, I've managed to turn out some excellent loaves this winter.
Be happy that you're getting those extra hours. Your body is taking advantage becaue it may have been in need. You never know about that student...he may remember you someday as someone who made a huge impact on his life. ;-)
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