November 8, 2007

Past and Present



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

A rare event occurred yesterday. New experiences are still out there for us, no matter how old we get. I had one of them yesterday.

Hands-on projects usually provide me with a sense of comfort and personal industry, nothing more, nothing less.

I have mentioned my attempts to get a sourdough starter going, and to bake bread using the starter. The second attempt at creating a sourdough starter included a 1/2 teaspoon of commercial yeast, and from this a yeast colony was founded and evolved. After a week I used half the starter to bake a loaf of bread, including some commercial yeast with my recipe. The loaf rose as expected. Soon afterward I baked another loaf, using no commerical yeast whatsoever, the resulting loaf did not rise on the hearth, but did rise a bit in the oven. A compact, dense loaf resulted. The taste was very good, and the texture, although dense, was soft and chewy. That loaf inspired me to keep going.

Yesterday I decided to gather more information. I found inspiration in the description of Zuurdesem Brood, and altered my rising technique based on the information I read there. I prepared my bread dough by substituting the water called for in my tried-and-true bread recipe with an equal amount of starter, plus additional water to make a soft dough. The dough was prepared as usual in my bread machine, then it was left in the machine to extend the first rise by 1 1/2 hours. After the first rise I punched down the dough, kneaded it, formed a loaf, placed it in a greased loaf pan, oiled the top, placed a towel over the whole thing and set it on the hearth for 5 hours. It did nothing for the first few hours, and then slowly began to rise. It was baked at 400”F for 25 minutes, and smelled so good that I found myself waiting for it to come out of the oven.

As I removed this loaf from the pan, my nose caught a whiff of the wonderful fragrance. I found myself going back to the kitchen counter repeatedly to lift the loaf to my nose, to inhale that aroma. Not able to wait until the loaf was completely cooled, I cut a thin slice from the end of the loaf. A little bit of margarine and a little bit of peach butter were slathered over the soft hot bread.

From the first bite it was mesmerizing. “I think I’m in love,” I thought to myself, “how could I ever eat a slice of any other bread but this”!

This experience was magical, delightful and has given me a profound sense of connectedness.

There is much love at our house. The three sentient beings that reside inside these walls, Attila, Mist and myself, love each other peacefully and respectfully. The atmosphere we create within these walls is something we take from and give to with each word, each movement, and each breath. It is from this air that the natural yeasts in the starter have come.

My bread tastes like love.

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Worldly Distractions

Intact metal roof of collapsed building.
Ghost of my past. Familiar building slowly falling into the arms of time.

By the Easy Chair
by Michael Ondaatje

" A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety."

"Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new."
Attibuted to both Ursula Leguin and Og Mandino

Mainly Sunny
Temp 3.3°C
Press 102.0 kPa / falling
Visibility 15 km
Humidity 58%
Dew Point -4.1°C
Wind SSE 17 km/h

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

Copyright 1999 - Today Maggie Turner
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