No Knead Pizza Dough

Y’all, I really want to make my own bread. I have tried and failed more times than I care to admit. I can make a mean pizza dough but an actual loaf of bread? Not so much…

A few years ago, I came across the all new rage! No Knead Bread. Put the ingredients together and let it sit for umpty kabillion hours and it will knead itself! Just pop it in the oven and it will walk out, cut itself in slices and melt in your mouth! Okay, so I’m exaggerating a wee bit but not by much.

My first attempt at no knead bread looked like this:

It smelled incredible and look at the inside! So pretty!

It tasted like pure ass. Doughy and completely unflavorful. Taking a bite of it felt like eating pre-chewed food. I followed the directions to a ‘t’ and even let it overcook but was not successful.

The second time I tried a slightly different take on recipe. I used a dutch oven, followed the recipe and after baking, the loaf had a beautiful baked hue but it was stuck to the pot. it almost like a tasty blond charcoal briquette.  Delicious yet hard as rock. Great, another failure.

I had given up until a few weeks ago, I saw this recipe at Serious Eats. No knead pizza dough for some sort of vegetable-topped pizza? Don’t mind if I do!  Since the recipe was from Jim LaHey himself, the guru of the no knead bread revolution, I figured, okay, let’s try this failure again!

My No Knead Pizza Dough. Isn't it lovely?

Y’all, it totally worked. The dough was chewy but crisp and had an amazing char. I, again, followed the directions, which included letting the dough rise for 18 hours. I did not knead even once. I also used a piping hot pizza stone to get the char. I sliced up some asparagus as a topping and it was really, really good. The boy even liked it!

Not a great picture but you get the idea.

I think I might even be willing to try my hand at his bread recipe. Will it be three times a charm or three strikes you’re out? With my luck, let’s hope I don’t burn up the oven. LOL.

Things I Like/Things I Don’t Like 4/6/12

Painted Staples! Hells yeah! I paint staples when I’m bored at work. I saw a tutorial for that a million years ago and thought it was cute and super easy.  You just take a colored Sharpie and color your staples. The light colored Sharpies don’t work as well, so stick to the really deep colors. And that’s it. Frivolous and pointless? Yep! does it make people freak out when they notice? Yep! Does it make me happy to see a little bit of color on a serious document? Oh yes, yes and yes!

Now it’s time for TIL/TIDL! I haven’t done one in a while.

Things I like:

  • What’s that? Could it be the sun shining outside? We’ll have a sunny day for the Easter egg hunt tomorrow? Sweet!
  • Maxi dresses and maxi skirts. I simply can’t get enough of them.
  • Making my own Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwiches using a muffin tin! Instructions to follow soon.
  • And of course, colored staples!

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Saying tennies, sunnies, bennies, vacay. I don’t know why it’s becoming popular to say those words instead of tennis shoes, sunglasses, benefits and vacation. It just sounds weird.
  • Feeling weepy. Cried at the movies. Cried while writing last night’s post. Cried while reading something online. Cried when a friend gave me a thank you note today.  And no, I’m not pregnant. WTF?

Humble Reader, I hope you have a splendid weekend and if you celebrate Easter, Happy Easter to you, too!

 

The Stuff of Nightmares

I’m not going to talk about Trayvon Martin today. Maybe another day. While it has been deep and recurring in my thoughts, I feel too close to tears and too close to fear to talk about him. This child who had hopes and dreams, this child who could be my own son or nephew or cousin. I just… I just can’t. I look at my beautiful brown boy whose hair is soft and brown like his father and whose skin looks nothing like mine, so light it is, so light. And I think how do I teach him to be safe in this town, this country, this world? How do I teach him to be safe while being black/half-black in this world? My heart is in my throat right now, I need to talk about something else…

When I worked at the mega-bookstore chain that no longer exists I had this couple that would come into the store every Sunday morning. We all LOVED them. I can’t remember their names but they were one of the sweetest couples. They would sometimes bring their kids into the store. I remember that it was close to the start of the school year and the woman of the couple came up to my register and we started chatting. She mentioned that her daughter, who was twelve, had to read The Lord of the Flies as part of her summer reading list. She said her daughter had had terrible nightmares and had been sleeping in her bed with her and her husband. She was kind of annoyed that her daughter but didn’t know what to do.

I remember mulling over the situation, and I said to her, “Well, maybe it’s a good thing that she’s having nightmares.” She looked at me like I was crazy. I said, “Well, think about it. This world around us is crazy. Maybe it’s good that she can read that novel and be scared. Maybe it means that she’s not another jaded teenager who doesn’t care about the world around her.” She thought about my comments and said that was a different way of thinking about it. I told her to maybe think about some outside advice if she was still frightened after a few weeks but this too shall pass. She was raising a conscientious kid and should be proud. She and her husband continued to come in and I eventually asked how her daughter was doing and she said that all had passed. She appreciated my comments and thanked me.

Cue many, many years later and the Boy is playing on the computer. We let him play on the computer (mostly) unsupervised as we have a computer with a password protected profile for the Husband and child-friendly profile with fairly good child safeguards. He knows that he can’t watch anything violent or anything that we find questionable. For a six-year-old, he is really good about self-monitoring. But a few weeks ago, I hear a bloodcurdling scream and a flurry of movement that’s him fleeing from the computer. I ran from another room and caught him in my arms. He was half-screaming/half-crying in my arms and I could barely understand what he’s saying. Something about the bunny! And the bunny!  The bunnnnnyyyyyyy! I told him to sit on the stairs while I turn off the computer. The image on the screen was of a bunny with red glowing eyes and…that’s it. A bunny with red glowing eyes–although it did kind of look like a zombie bunny.

I went back to him and calmed him down and wiped his tears and promised him that the evil bunny was gone. I finally got him to smile and we both agreed that he didn’t need any more computer time and he promised not to visit that site again, which he hasn’t. (This site is generally kid-friendly!) Afterwards, I thought about my comments to the wife of that couple, all those years ago and I thought to myself, am I raising a child with the gift of fear? Will he be a conscientious child and adult? Will he know to be afraid of the right things? Will it matter if he is living while black in this world when he’ll be judged by the color of his skin and not by his character?

At The Movies

Image from rogerebert.com

Sorry, y’all! That was a longer than expected break! Work suddenly got really busy and we had spring break so I’ve been both busy and lazy.

During this weird time period, I been trying to get into the habit of watching movies again. I used to be quite a movie buff but over the years, I just stopped going to movies. A lot of it had to do with being in grad school and having neither the time or money to spend in a theater then having a child and a fulltime job. Another part was my increasing annoyance of crowds. And another part was there was rarely a movie that stirred my interest enough to even want to go to the movies. For a period of about five years, I simply stopped going to the movies. Only in the last two years have I slowly made my way back to the theatre.

Recently, the little movie theatre in St. Johns has been offering a family movie pass. For the princely sum of $9.00, you get to watch a family movie every weekend for about ten weeks. Some of them, I will admit, are abominations. But sometimes, you get a little gem of a movie and it just makes your heart swoon. We watched the Muppet movie (again) and Hugo. Excellent, the both of them. I’m not gonna lie, I actually cried at the end of Hugo. Yes, I cried. Not because it was a sad movie or that it had a sad ending. No, I cried because it was just that damned good! I don’t think I’ve ever done that before: cried because it was good.

I’ve also been checking out foreign movies from our public library. I saw this list at theDen of Geek with the top fifty foreign language movies in the last ten years. I’ve checked out  around seven and have watched out five. A few others on the list, I’ve either read the book it’s based on or already own it. Right now, I would say, of the ones I watched, I loved Etre Et Avoir and The Lives of Others.  Really liked City of God and A Prophet. Least favorite: Audition and Oldboy. Audition was gross and boring– how is that even possible? Oldboy, I won’t even go into all the reasons I hated it. Just, ugh.

I’ll probably add some more movies to my list but Humble Reader, have you seen anything good worth seeing?