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April 4, 2005

Shelley's wheatberry breakfast

I do a double batch of the following recipe of an evening:

1 cup wheatberries (half soft, half hard)
4 cups water
1 t. salt

Wash wheat berries well. Place in large pot with water and salt. Bring to the boil, skimming off foam (!) that rises. When it starts to boil well, cover and lower heat to keep the mixture at a sturdy simmer. After 20 minutes, turn off heat, leave covered on the burner all night (Gallop transfers contents to a thermos: I haven't one of that capacity, and this method works just fine). In the morning, drain well. A serving is 3/4 cup.

I prepare my bowl of cereal as follows:

Put 3/4 cup in a bowl. Pour on skim milk to just below the surface of the berries. Microwave 2 minutes (you don't have a microwave: bring 3/4 cup wheatberries to a boil on stovetop with milk, let simmer uncovered till milk reduces a little). Meanwhile, chop 10-12 almonds and toast over medium heat (keep an eye on them: they burn easily). Slice or chop fruit ad lib. I have a cup or so of grapes in winter, berries in summer. When wheatberries are ready, add to bowl: 1-2 T. ground flaxseed, 1 good dollop low fat ricotta, mix well. Add fruit and almonds, mix well. (I like my porridge thick; you can thin it with skim milk ad lib.)

It's a bit of a patchke but it lasts you most of the morning, till you're ready for your yoghurt and rye cracker snack. And it provides bulk sans pareil. I have this before I go to bed, too.

Posted by BKG at 10:04 AM

April 3, 2005

Sourdough #8

sourdough_DSCN9287_t.jpgThis is a first! I seem to have gotten the dough to the right consistency, did not let it rise too long, scored the top more deeply, and am in better control of the oven. The result is better elasticity/extensibility as evidenced by excellent oven spring and a crust that is not cracking deeply all over the place. Of course, the test will be when the bread comes out of the oven. I'm hoping for a nice crisp crust, but not one that is so thick and hard that it requires a chain saw--I take the lid off after 15 minutes and actually, now that I looked again, it does seem it will be a very crusty loaf. I may need to lower the over temperature sooner. The dough will probably not be quite as sour as earlier batches, because the total process from the moment the starter left the refrigerator until the bread leaves the oven is about 36 hours. The starter, I might add, is mightly lively.

I'm pretty much following the recipe, but doubling the whole wheat flour, halving the white flour (I used white flour with germ this time), doubling the caraway to 1/2 cup, adding 1 dense cup of ground flax, 2 cups of sprouted wheat berries, and the althus.

Well, not quite following the recipe, but the foundation is there. I make one big round loaf (6.5 pounds this time), rather than two long loaves, as specified in the recipe, and I bake it in a cast iron pot (also not the recipe) and add sesame seeds to the bottom of the pot before tipping the dough in. Actually, that is the hardest part, getting the dough from the floured towel in the bowl into the 550F hot cast iron pan. I have to find a bowl that is taller and narrower and I have to develop a better technique.

Posted by BKG at 9:01 PM

April 1, 2005

The Banquet: PSi 2005

DSCN9251_t.jpg Richard Gough and Alicia Rios collaborated on the PSi banquet, which was held in the old Federal Reserve building in downtown Providence. Now a venue for wedding and bar mitzah receptions, it was choesn for the opening event of "Becoming Uncomfortable," the 11th PSi conference. The theme of money was carried through in all the foil, the Banana Republic appetizer table, the gratis martini in a test tube, with olive and paper umbrella, the fake million dollar notes, and a charming centerpiece on each table--a safety deposit box filled with a commodity of some kind (sugar, coffee, coconut, etc.) I saved as much of what was on the table as I could. I wanted a safety deposite box, but the boss said no.

Posted by BKG at 10:44 PM

Alan Dundes, 1934-2005


Posted by BKG at 10:29 PM

Favorite museums in London

Katy asked about my favorite museums in London. We will be there next week and she is planning a trip for May.

There are various lists of small and unusual museums, including Alternative Museums in London; LostAndFound.com; and Good Guide to London.

Posted by BKG at 9:31 PM