Thursday, 8 October 2009

I'm in Love! I'm in Love!

Now that I've got your attention ...

Okay, that was somewhat mean of me, wasn't it? I'll get back to the love thing in a bit.

Did you mark yesterday on your calendar? Wednesday, October 7, 2009? I did. Wanna know why? Cuz I wore SOCKS for the first time since last May.

I hate socks. No, let me rephrase that: I like knitting socks, but I hate WEARING socks. My tootsies screamed "NO! DON'T MAKE US GO IN THERE!" as I donned said socks yesterday morning, and I could hear their sad muffled pleas of "LET US OUT! IT'S STUFFY IN HERE! WE WANT TO BE NEKKID AGAIN! LET US OUT OF HERE!" all day long. It was very depressing. I do not enjoy the first sock day of autumn!

But back to the LOVE thing ... I borrowed this book ...... from the Public Library because I've been reading various blogs with posts about yummy artisan breads attributed to this book. The bloggers all RAVED about how easy yet fabulous these breads are. I've been baking my own bread in my electric bread machine, and as convenient as that is, I have to tell you that after awhile, every loaf comes out the same.

B O R I N G .

Well! This book gives you a basic recipe that includes flour, water, salt and yeast which you beat together once, let rise, then refrigerate until you're ready to bake. The recipe results in a very WET gooey dough ...... that really had me doubtful. And when I did get ready to bake the first bit of it, I was quite alarmed at how wet and sloppy the dough was ... even though the book warned I wouldn't be able to form perfect balls. This is what the dough looked like after 45 minutes rising in a toasty warm kitchen ...... rather flat and insipid. BUT, 35 minutes in a hot oven and ...... MAGIC! Crusty, yeasty, and fabulously mouth-watering! Cutting into one revealed a dense bread ...... very much like papasecos, those wonderful chewy Portuguese buns that I haven't enjoyed since moving up here (and away from that yummy Portuguese bakery two blocks down Columbia Street). One bite and ...
... NOM! YUM! I'M IN LOVE!!! Absolutely NO kneading, and these little darlings are the PERFECT slightly sour, kinda yeasty, dense and chewy bread goodness that makes me drool for more in my dreams! (I ate TWO buns straight out of the oven ... burned my tongue, and I didn't care!)
If you like great bread, GO GET THIS BOOK and try some!

Another book had hold of my life this past week ...
... The Birth House by Ami McKay ... my book club's latest assignment. It's a really good read, especially if you like to read about strong and resourceful women. I got to one paragraph about a group of feisty women knitting together, and one of them was making THRUMMED SOCKS. The author described her turning her sock inside out, and all the little tufts of wool standing up likes rows of little soldiers. It was a lovely visual.

As Elizabeth Zimmerman said, "what's a woman to do with that piece of information?"

Thrum something, of course!

What is thrumming? Twisting little tufts of wool fleece around your yarn as you knit so that the fleece bits form a lining in the sock or mitten or whatever.

Here's the inside of a pair of mittens I knit this past week ...
... my little soldiers, the tufts of combed wool, are rather disorderly little soldiers, but with a bit of wear, these little troopers will felt together and form a wonderful warm and almost waterproof lining inside the mittens. Here's the outside view of the other mitten ...
... sans thumb (it had not yet been knitted at that point). I love the speckled design that happens as you thrum. And here's the pair of completed thrummed mittens complete with a twisted cord tie at the wrists ...
... ready for winter!

If only my toes weren't so darned unhappy about being cooped up in socks for the next six or seven months ...


Anonymous said...

Send bread! Send mittens! Please! {o)

sheri said...

You had me at "Im in love"
If making bread is that easy, I think I can do it..and they look delicious.
I don't think I'm up to the mittens and
Have a great week-end,