Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

because when i say "bunker's cabin", i want you to know what i'm talking about

summer, '09:

It's where John proposed to me. One of the tattered old log books still holds proof of that Labor Day weekend, 1995.

It's where I asked him, "If a bear came and attacked me, what would you do?" and he answered, "Run like hell!" Which at first I misunderstood entirely to mean he would run away, but after a thorough explanation from him, I learned that he meant that he would sacrifice his life for mine.

It's where we took my mom once when she came to visit Colorado. Before she got cancer. We cross country skied for several miles up Burnt Creek.

It's where I spent Thanksgiving, 1998, with friends I don't see much any more, but still hold close in my heart, because they are friends who have known my husband longer than I have.

It's where I baked a pumpkin pie from scratch when I was six months pregnant with my firstborn for previously mentioned Thanksgiving dinner.

It's where we passed the Summer Solstice of 2009, after I had just finished a year's worth of cancer hell. (pics above)

It's where the latest log book now holds entries from my sons.

It's where, during Spring Break of 2010, we froze our butts off at night, skied while the world was advesperating, and tried to forget (for a little while) about all the life changes coming our way very, very soon. (pics below)

spring break, '10:

It's where, next summer, we will return with fishing gear, and the boys will catch some trout while I rest on a log beside Cliff Lake and do nothing but watch and listen to them.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

live blogging of the irish soda bread

12:51: Oven preheating at 425. Cast iron skillet oiled and warming in oven.

12:55 pm: Assemble ingredients, mindfully recollecting the recipe from yesterday so I don't have to look it up. Three cups flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. That's it, really. The recipe is so simple even a home ec. teacher could teach adolescents to bake it.

Here's what I look at while getting everything ready:

I stare for awhile at the watercolor of our house that Cheryl painted, and I feel nostalgic for something I haven't even left yet.

12:56: Detect the odor of lightly burning oil. Take skillet out of oven and set on top of stove. Note that oven isn't yet preheated.

12:58: Dance a little in the kitchen to Blue Plate Special, which I normally don't like, but am kind of in the mood for right now. Plus, I do like the sound of Jeff Bieri's voice.

12:59: Wash hands. Dry them on a clean towel. Throw towel over right shoulder with left hand, and wish once again that I possessed an apron. Think once again about sewing one. Excited to bring out Grandma's sewing machine table once we move a bunch of stuff out of our house. Realize the moment I start typing this that I've gotten computer keyboard germs all over my hands. Shit! No more live blogging until bread is in the oven!

1:01: Wash hands again. Accidentally dry them on the old towels. Throw old towels in laundry. Wash hands again.

1:19: I look up at the digital clock to see what time it is, and it says 1:19. I realize that I failed to start the timer (after taking the picture of it), and instead, turned it off. Reset timer for 30 minutes, remembering that yesterday I cooked it a little less than the prescribed 35 minutes anyway.

Here's what happened between 1:01 and 1:19:

Measured flour carefully. Dismayed to find that I didn't have much Mountain Mama white pastry flour left, so it winds up being about a half white/half whole wheat mixture.

Added the teaspoon (plus a little extra 'cause I like it) salt. Marina turned me on to this gray sea salt:

Added the teaspoon (minus a little for high altitude) of baking soda.

Stirred it up and dug a hole in the center. Only had one cup of buttermilk; no worries-substituted a little plain yogurt and milk.

Poured buttermilk/yogurt/milk mixture into the flour/salt/soda crater. Mixed just until moist. Turned out onto floured board and kneaded gently a few times. Formed the dough into a ball in my hands, and placed it prayerfully in the receiving skillet. Pressed the dough ball into a giant, fat pancake.

Cut the pancake into quarters, and placed it into preheated oven.

Set timer for 35 minutes.

1:42: Waiting not-so-patiently, with butter and jam, and reading this. Then I start reading this, and begin to rethink my decision to take cooking out of my curriculum for next year. Cooking is science and history and math and a whole lot of other things, all in one.

Monday, March 1, 2010