Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bread time

I stopped by the grocery store today to get some chicken for dinner. Of course, I had to go to the back of the store for the chicken, and I returned to the front via the baking aisle.

Bernie and Sand have been carrying on for awhile now about Bernie's new-found bread baking skills, and that, plus the drizzly, foggy weather today, gave me a hankering for home-baked bread. I haven't seen the magazine that is fanning B's bakerman flames, but I was a 4-H-er, and I know a few things about bread.
  1. You can make bread with just yeast, sugar, flour, and water.
  2. And heat.
  3. Yeast packets have recipes on the back.
  4. Each box of yeast packets will have a variety of recipes, not the same one on every packet.
So since I was already in the baking aisle, I started flipping over packets, and  before long I found Whole Wheat Batter Bread. It uses whole wheat flour only, and T and I both like our whole grain bread on the chewy side. It is completely prepared in a mixing bowl - no need for kneading, which I usually find tedious. It sounded easy to prepare, and indeed it was.

I ended up with a nice, dense loaf. I think a little kneading might have lightened it up a bit, but it is good and edible just the way it is. I can't wait to slap some butter and jam on it tomorrow morning.

Also at the grocery store, I saw Girl Scouts selling cookies. Girl Scout cookies in January. What is the world coming to?

Off the top of my head, I don't know any songs about baking, but I do know one about someone named Bernie. The video doesn't really have anything to do with the song. Just close your eyes and enjoy the genius that is Dave Frishberg.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The best kind of Saturday

T and I were both off work today, and we had no particular plans. It warmed up enough that I could chip the icy gunk off the steps. And yes, today, January 14, is the first time I've had the snow shovel out this winter. I used it for about two minutes, and put it back in the garage. Weird winter we're having.

I messed around with some artsy stuff, including these two pastel faces. No great shakes, but I have another class coming up next week, and I may as well refresh myself on the "outside of your comfort zone" feeling.

Two faces

Our chanson du jour was brought to mind by tonight's Lawrence Welk Show on my local PBS station. (Yes, I sometimes watch Lawrence Welk. Shut up.) The theme was songs from Broadway, and Norma sang "Till There Was You" from The Music Man. Considering how much I love old movie musicals, I did not manage to see this one until I was grown. I was surprised to learn that this lovely song was from a musical, because as far as I knew, it was just one of the filler songs on my brother's Beatles album.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

This week in faces

This week, I took Carla Sonheim's online art class, Faces 101. Carla is the author of Drawing Lab, and the class utilized several of the projects from the book, with the goal of getting you to draw 101 faces during the week, using different media and techniques, before you realized that you had done something you were sure you could not do. (That's my interpretation of the goal, not her words. She says it is about trying lots of things and discovering your own personal style. But chacun son goût, and YMMV.)

On the Tuesday, I was tooling around the web, looking for interesting portraits I could used as inspiration for that day's project, and ran across a lovely picture of Sarah Bernhardt. From that, I created this:


When I saw that finished picture, I was completely hooked. I'm still sort of stunned to realize, "I did that myself!" I've been drawing and painting and pastel-ing every spare moment since then. Some stuff came out well, some not so much, but it has been fun trying new things. You can see more of my creations here.

I've already signed up for the Imaginary Creatures class, coming up in a couple of weeks. Until then, faces, faces, and more faces.

Speaking of being amazed with myself, and of faces... Anyone remember the group that Rod Stewart was with in the early 70s, before he went solo? Here are the Faces, covering "Maybe I'm Amazed". (See what I did there? Oh, yeah.)