|Living to Tell the Story|
Yay! So happy to be back to Susanne's friday's fave five. I'm slowly but surely making my way back into the blogging world.
In no particular order, five of my favorite things from the past week:
1. I think she is my hero. I, too, am overweight, obese. There are so many things that percolate around in my head that I'd like to say about that, things I'd like you to know, and maybe one day a post will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, this says a lot, and says it well.
2. Cloth napkins. I know, not exactly ground breaking, right? Also, give me a month, they make my most-despised list, but for right now, I'm loving them! I'm not a particularly "green" person.
I'll whisper here that I like my bleach, and commercial laundry detergent, and fabric softener! I like paper towels (though I have tried to give them up). I do the things I can, I bought awesome silverware for my kid's lunchboxes (and so far they haven't lost them! [Update: wrote this post ahead, yup, I jinxed myself, Jacob lost the fork yesterday, you have to laugh.]), we use reusable lunchboxes, and I've always wanted cloth napkins. This weekend, we saw some beautiful ones that go nicely with our dishes and were reasonably priced, so I took the plunge. So far, so good. It's not much, but every little bit helps, right?
3. Bread baking.
Look at that crust! The texture is light and airy, I'm having fun with it. This is my first foray into the no-knead phenomenon (yes, I have owned the cookbooks for years, do you not do that?), I've been playing around a bit with Jim Lahey's recipe (if you follow it, up the salt, Lahey himself recommends that down the road, I suggest 1 3/4 tsp.) Williams-Sonoma has a great riff on it, a lemon rosemary version, that's actually what's pictured here. A couple of tips, though this bread is super, super easy, there are a couple of things that can make it go easier: plan ahead! Your autolyse needs to develop for 12-18 hours. Then, you have to let it rise another two hours before baking, so timing is important with this bread. Next time, I'll start my process at 7:00 PM. That will allow the dough to develop 18 hours. At 1:00, I'll proceed with folding and resting the dough for 20 minutes. Then, shaping and final rise. Around 3:30 I'll be ready to bake, which takes approximately 45 minutes. That will give the bread time to cool sufficiently before dinner, if you cut into a hot loaf you'll end up with a gummy mess, but allow me to avoid having it done hours in advance. Hours in advance is not necessarily bad, but you do lose a lot of that wonderfully crisp, crackling crust. Oops! One final tip, this bread bakes at 450 degrees in a cast iron dutch oven. I had better results using my 4 quart than my bigger pans. Le Creuset says their plastic handles are only oven safe to 375, I believe, so I've wrapped my lids in aluminum foil and, knocking on wood, so far so good. No guarantees, but I think that will prevent anything bad from happening to them. Should the worst happen, I've heard that Le Creuset provides free replacement knobs.
4. Pansies! Love them. They may be my favorite flower.
So pretty. So cheerful. I think it's impossible to be down when looking at a beautiful pot full of pansies. (Or, in this case, a cheap plastic container filled with beautiful pansies.)
5. My chalkboard wall.
We use it all the time. To-do lists, menus, notes, you name it. It's so convenient and I love it. I'm so happy that we took the plunge and did it. It may not be for everyone, but for us, it's perfect. (Maybe a little too perfect, I'm hoping Mark gets the time this weekend, or me, to put another coat on.)
That's it! Five of my favorite things from the past week. Hope you have time this week to look around and find the goodness too.
Check out Susanne's for more Fav Fives.