Sunday, April 26, 2009

Told You It Was Cold...

Apparently, it was a 'student-free' day at school today. That doesn't actually mean 'students get in free'. Nor does it mean you get a free student if you show up. No, it means the teachers are there suckin' back the coffee and downing the iced vo-vos without the interference of the little grubs who make the whole 'school' gig such a pain in the arse.

I wish somebody had bothered to tell me, is all. Then I might not have gone through the routine of rounding up the boys, organising lunches, prodding them into dressing for school, etc. Of course, I'd have driven down to the school anyhow. Monday is the day the Mau-Mau and her best friend, whom I shall dub the Microblonde, go to day-care at the school based facility.

Happily, the day-care facility wasn't having a kid-free day. But I did have to turn around with two boys in the car. Mind you, once we turned for home, we noticed that the cold snap and the rain had resulted in a decent snowfall atop Mount Barrow.

Student-free day. Free snow on the mountaintop. Well, what else can you do? We fired up the Trusty Earth King, put on our warmest snuggies, and headed for the hills.

There wasn't a vast pile of snow or anything, but it's always nice. And from the snowy peak we had a hell of a view. More snow on distant mountains. Green lowlands beneath. The Bass Strait glittering like hammered brass in the distance.

We froze our arses off, of course. But then, that's the point, isn't it? Then we came home, and made hot bread. How good is that?

I'm going to make mulled wine tonight. Ha! Take that, you Saxon dogs!


  1. can you get true light bread? heavy dense bread is OK, but sometimes i just want nice fluffy bread.......

  2. ooops, lost the post. Thats whats cool, being in the snow, wet and hearing kids laughing..alls good, then home for some Red wine, in front of THAT FUCKING OPEN FIRE i know you have..not bad at all.

  3. *Gasps* - look at that stunning scenery (the little people look quite happy too). And snooooow. I'm beyond envious.

  4. Beeso: nope. Short of buying 'bread mix', that is. I hate that, so I looked at the ingredients list on the side of a packet of bread mix, and it gave me some inkling of what goes into the stuff you buy from the big bakeries... ain't just flour, water and yeast.

    I have found that you can lift your game, though.

    1) Make sure there's plenty of gluten. Gluten provides the fibres that trap the co2 gas from the yeast, which lifts your bread and makes it fluffy and bubbly. You can either add a good solid dose of "bread improver" (gluten powder), or you can start your initial sponge with semolina, which is the gluten-heavy heart of (high-gluten) durum wheat

    2) Obey The Rules: get all that kneading in, yes. Definitely. And make sure you let it rise until it's doubled, then knock it back properly, and repeat.

    3)try letting the dough rise in the fridge overnight. That helps too.

    I'm sure there's a lot more that can be done. I gotta go hang out with a baker, when I can.

  5. Wow, that's more snow than I've seen in 11 years in Atlanta combined. Cool that the kids got to play in that.

  6. Yeah... it happens on our nearby (half-hour drive) mountain top maybe a half-dozen times a year. Always a good excuse!

  7. Mr. Flinthart:

    I just finished reading, Angel Rising. It was excellent and I enjoyed it very much. My only compliant is that it was only 51 pages in length.

    However, I now know that I can stay awake and concentrate long enough to begin reading books again. I thank you for that, as my reading table is full and I have yet to read, JB's, WW.

    My congratulations on a very fine piece of writing, Sir.

    Best wishes,

  8. It snapped cold here overnight as well...but I figure you'd only think that was mild!

  9. Tim: thank you for the kind words! As for the 51 pages... novella-length material is a lot of fun, both for reader and writer. It's just long enough to develop a bit of complexity and allow for real character growth, but it doesn't involve the hellwork of a full length novel. I think it's a pity there's not a lot more stuff at this length out there.

    The main problem is printing costs, of course... economy of scale being on the side of the Big Fat F--king Fantasy novel.

    NatV: cold, you say? Does your brass monkey still retain the shiny, round tokens of his masculinity? If so, then I can't really accept it as 'cold' -- for I assure you, there wasn't a brass monkey to be seen on that mountaintop. They fled in terror.