Friday, January 04, 2013

I loaded the little test kiln yesterday and turned it on at 5:30 this morning. The original plan was to fire yesterday, but our son and daughter in law invited us over for another great dinner with some more wonderful l wines from their cellar. The holidays are over but we're still partying! The family leaves Sunday, so I'm planning on a bit more studio time and a little less wine than I've had the past few weeks.

Since the studio was still too cool after breakfast, even after 4 hours with the heat on, I put off slip making and instead, went through 3 days worth of newspapers, and all but one of the library books which I'm still copying recipes from so Jim can return them for me tomorrow.

I have no idea where I'm going to put all these new recipes but I'm eager to explore the chemistry and new recipes for artisan breads this winter.  One of the library books I was perusing this morning was Peter Reinharts's "Artisan Breads for EveryDay". I have his "The Bread Baker's Apprentice", but this newer one incorporates some of his new short cut methods. After looking through it I realized it filled in some of the cracks for me, so I ordered it as well as a couple of bread baking must haves, or at least I think I must have them - a non stick baguette pan with lots of holes for equal browning, a couche - a French linen, flax cloth that is heavy enough to manipulate without other support, to whatever width you want to rise your dough, and a brioche pan.

Making potato salad to go with some smoked trout that I brought back from Dean and DeLuca in Napa, as well as a green salad with the last of the lettuce from our raised bed, pretty well topped off the day.  I was more than surprised that the heavy remay covering the beds, kept that lettuce from freezing in these below freezing (mid 20's) nights. I think I harvested all the tender lettuce that was left; but there's still arugula for another day and some other winter veggies like broccoli hiding in there.

As for now, it's time to turn up the kiln one last time and finish the last of the currents batch of library books - Eric Ripert's "A Return to Cooking", which actually has some recipes with readily available local ingredients that I don't have to mortgage the house for and, that don't look like they require an entire day in the kitchen!

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