Thursday, January 22, 2009

gimme the rye, you old bag!

I made marble rye today--well, one marble rye and one spiral rye. Do they both count as marble? And I don't have caraway seeds on hand, so I guess I really made bicolor wheatish bread. You know I've been looking for a good bread book, and my sister-in-law Emily, who is craftier and cleverer than I, had checked out Peter Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb" from her embarassingly well-stocked library. I have such library envy of her. The children's section there stretches as far as the eye can see. Anyway, she reminded me that there is a thing called "nonfiction," and that most libraries even stock some of this curious beast, even mine! I ventured back upstairs for the first time since we moved back, and passed by my old friend James Herriot to find an anemic little cooking section. However, they did have Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," and I love it a little bit. It's fun. I don't know if it will stand up to scrutiny, because I've only made the rye, but so far I love how it's organized and how the recipes are written out and explained. It makes me feel like shmancy bread is totally within my grasp. I'm sorry to disappoint you, Tipsy, but that Hensperger book is a little dear for me--$88 used on Amazon! I would love to try it, and since the challah recipe is on the google I'ma make it next time.

I enlisted The Hulk to help me egg wash the rye, since he is my picky eater (read: he eats so little and so seldom that he looks like a mantis), and I've read that involving the stick-in-the-mud in the food prep can help him be more willing to take chances on unfamiliar food. Whatever. I had him help me cut and saute the mushrooms last week and he was having no part of the result, even though he told me they smelled delicious. (Another lousy and often-parroted parenting tip? To "distract" a young child from misbehavior, rather than discipline. I'd really like to meet one single person that has worked for, because my kids are like little Staffordshire terriers who will seek out and destroy everything, valuable or no, with unwavering determination. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these children from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.)

But back to my maddening son. Sometimes I wish, though I do sin in my wish, that he could have a bout with starvation and want, so he would learn to be grateful. Oh, for a time machine to the Great Depression. Anyway, I anticipated him looking at the two doughs living in sin within the loaf and decrying it as an affront to nature. But he loved the bread, since it tends to be a safe object. Too bad, one less thing to fight about at dinner.

This is your fault, Greatest Generation! If you hadn't sacrificed your all to provide a better future for us, we'd all be happily grubbing around in the dirt for taters, gathering windfall apples, milking surly cows and riding swaybacked nags, living in sod houses and being thankful for the centipedes that fell from the roof. And we'd all be speaking German if it weren't for you!


tipsybaker said...

If I ever find a cheaper copy of Bread Bible, I will buy it and send it to you.
My son is also a disappointment as an eater. What is a son good for if not to eat and appreciate huge quantities of mama's cooking?

Jill said...

Ok, I do have a sucsess story to share about myself. When i was a wee one,I use to HATE meat loaf. I would have sworn on my Grand Mothers grave that my Mom used rubber as one of the main ingredients. Once she had me make it with her. I saw first hand everything that had gone into it. She had to go Visiting teaching before the meat loaf was done, but she told me to call her when I had tried it. I remember calling her and telling her "I ate it all gone!"...what a proud day. Now I call my Mom and say, "Make me a loaf you old bag!!"
And she says, "why don't you have Sigorni Weaver make you a meat loaf"

( I hope you know why I wrote that...)


dad said that if it wasn't for him and guys like him we would be hoeing rice for Japan and that he had been places where the weaklings dropped like flies