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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Add a little something to the world


Risa likes to do four loaves when using the oven, and one when using the Dutch oven at the wood heat stove, but today she didn't feel up to stirring a big batch or lugging around the iron pot or watching the fire, so she punted and just made the amount of bread dictated by the stock/water from steaming a small Hubbard squash for the chickens, which came to two loaves.

This water, orange in color and quite aromatic, she poured off into the blender, added some home-dried veg flakes, a fresh leaf from a head of winter collard, some dried apple wedges, and brown sugar, whizzed it all together, and poured into the mixing bowl. As soon as the temperature of the liquid had fallen to suit her test finger, she stirred in some yeast, and let it sit for awhile.

When she came back, the cauldron was bubbling, so with eye of newt and leg of frog a small handful of sea salt and a cup of spelt flour, she began the long stir, adding more and more spelt till the lump of dough "rose off the bowl." She shaped two loaves on the spot, gave each three slices across the top, and plumped them down on a greased cookie sheet. One hour at 350F in the oven later, she pulled the sheet, set it on the open oven door, and tossed the loaves onto the edges of the sheet to cool.

Her view is that every day she should add a little something to the world. Create, construct, repair, scavenge, forage, plant, harvest, put by, feed. And then maybe a little rest, with tea.

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