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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
MAR
20

Make the Bread

Remember that book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter? Yeah, I never read it either. Supposedly it walks you through those things you're better off making yourself (nutrition-wise?, cost-wise?, complexity-wise?) and those you should just get at the store. Since I didn't read it, the only piece of advice I took away from it was what I gleaned from the title. Even that has taken years for me to implement, but among my list of culinary items to tackle in 2022 (including lasagna, bread pudding, homemade pasta, and a bakery-worthy layer cake) is to make bread.

So this brief post is really to chronicle that I'm at the point in my bread quest where I've moved from plain artisan loaves to a jalapeno cheddar variety that turned out fabulously. Looking forward to future varieties, and to hopefully getting the loaves to rise just a LITTLE higher. But really, I'm susprised how easy the bread is to make, and really from just 4 ingredients. I've heard certain ovens have a "proofing" setting to make bread-rising easier, but, come on, I'm a regular person. With a regular oven. I'll settle for a sunny spot on the dining room table.

Really I should be spending all this kitchen time writing, or at the very least reading, but I'm enjoying the change of scene. And the toasted cheese sandwiches.

SEP
30

Pining for Seasons

There's a framed picture on my bedroom wall of a group of people ice skating in Central Park. It's a print actually, a creative artist's depiction of a whimsical and vibrant city. The people are thin, colorful, their limbs like sticks that dangle in front of or behind them as they glide along the ice. They are bundled, wearing scarves and jackets, a cityscape of buildings towering behind them. 

I look at this picture often, as well as the two others in my room by the same artist, one of the Brooklyn Bridge and one of the Empire State building, but today it seemed to transport me back to winter in New York. I never did ice skate in Central Park while I lived there, but New York was the last place I lived where I experienced seasons. Not that there's much to complain about here in San Diego, with its nearly year-round temperatures in the seventies, but that doesn't leave much room for seasonality, so I end up manufacturing experiences to make myself FEEL the changes of the season.

Last weekend I drove to Julian, a darling little mountain town just over an hour away. They're known for their apples, most famously their apple pie (although the bread pudding pictured in this post is the town's best kept secret), and fall is often littered with various apple-themed festivals. And so I attended last weekend's Old Country Fair, filled with a charming collection of booths, food, a pumpkin patch, and hayrides. I even paid for a special ticket that let me press my own apples and drink the fresh cider, something I'd never done before. It was delicious. Despite the 90 degree weather (shouldn't it be cooler in the mountains?), I felt like I was making fall happen. And when you live in a state of permanent summer, these things are important. I doubt there will be any ice skating in my near future, or any pie baking, but I'm sure I'll continue to stare at the print on my bedroom wall, missing that sensation of wind against bundled ears and the need to zip up my jacket all way to the top. Or, you know, wear a jacket at all.

Happy Fall, readers!