Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Geoff (DH), Lori (studio associate), and I went to an ice sculpture exhibit and contest in a nearby town.

What fun! It was only 15 degrees and I can’t imagine how the artists could stand being out in the cold for hours on end, but the work was captivating.

Having never seen anyone sculpt ice, I was surprised to see chain saws, power sanders, and blow torches (really). Who knew?

When the cuts were made with the chain saw, the ice was frosty white, but the addition of a coat of water or the application of a blow torch caused the surface to melt slightly and the ice turned glassy.

Not a scrap of thread was visible, but it sure was fun to see and appreciate the artwork—however temporary it may be.

Have you discovered this new cookbook yet? It is absolutely amazing!

I love to cook and bake, especially bread. However, the time it takes to make a loaf of bread by conventional methods is prohibitive. Who is at home long enough to time and watch two or three rising times? And my results have been disappointing, to say the least (my water was too hot and killed the yeast).

This new book uses a revolutionary technique that significantly reduces kneading and rising time. You mix enough dough for four loaves at a time and refrigerate it until needed. Then, cut a chunk off, let it rest, and pop in the oven.

The loaf above looks like a loaf from a bakery, doesn’t it? A pizza baking stone and a pan of water on the shelf below it makes all the difference.

Yum! My husband’s favorite: crusty on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside. I love a winter dinner of a bowl of soup and a piece of home baked bread.

Friday I made a batch of pecan sticky rolls, but they didn’t last long enough for me to take a photo! Monday will be a rustic loaf with rosemary. Who knows what it will be on Tuesday!