Sunday, September 30, 2007

Baking Season

I'm tired of writing about cycling etc so I'll geek out about baking instead.

This time of year (autumn) always makes me feel like baking and making soup and watching the 1972 Canada-Russia series DVDs. I did all three this weekend.

I did quite a bit of baking. On Saturday I made raisin-bran muffins. As usual, I deviated from the recipe with at least one substitution. For these muffins I used oat bran instead of wheat bran. It didn't seem to make any difference. The end result was undeniably identifiable as a bran muffin. Freshly baked muffins with butter, along with a pot of tea made according to the ISO Standard. Mmmmm...

On Sunday morning I made a loaf of bread which was made up of half white flour and half whole-wheat flour. I have been trying to get a sour dough starter going but this may be the wrong time of year. So I used some of my current starter (which is probably insufficiently active to actually raise a loaf of bread) for flavour and used a small amunt of baker's yeast in the dough. I added some wheat gluten because the loaf I made last week was weak and was torn during rising. I also added some lemon juice as a "dough conditioner". I didn't want the bread to be too "cakey". This bread took two hours to rise before I punched it down. Then it took another two hours to rise in the loaf pan before baking. It had some nice oven spring and turned out pretty well.

For lunch on Sunday I made split-pea soup. I wanted some biscuits to go with it but I was nearly out of milk. I looked through the cookbook until I found a recipe for something biscuit-like that didn't require one cup or more of milk. I ended up with a scone recipe that called for one third of a cup of milk. I made strange scone-biscuit "fingers". They were pretty good.

While I ate the soup I watched game three of the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series, which took place in Winnipeg. Stan Mikita seemed to take another dive, and Gary Bergman continued to look useless out there. The game ended in a four-four tie.

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Down with Falcon and his gateway Down with Falcon and his gateway Down with Falcon and his gateway And up with democracy
I was at the rally yesterday down at the north end of Cardero street. There were quite a few people there even though the weather was not ideal: cold, rain, wind. I just listened to the news report on CBC radio, and the crowd was described as dozens. I always like to see the Raging Grannies.

Throughout the event I watched the auto traffic negotiate the corner. I guess I should not be surprised but many of the cars and SUVs were flying around the corner without regard to the wet road conditions or the people crowded on the sidewalks and occasionally spilling out onto the street. I also watched a car honk at and then closely pass a cyclist as the cyclist came down Cardero north-bound.

I'm afraid that the weather eventually defeated me and forced me to leave early -- I could not feel my hands. As I crossed the street heading south, an SUV came around the corner and reluctantly slowed down, but did not fully stop as I crossed.