The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Back to school, or let the baking begin!

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Floydm's picture
Floydm

Back to school, or let the baking begin!

After two months of almost constant sun, rain showers and grey skies have returned to southern BC.  It is still lush and beautiful, and most every day we are still getting some lovely breaks in the clouds, but it is quite apparent that we'll be seeing less and less of Mr. Sun for a good long while.  

And the kids go back to school tomorrow.  The long evenings outside riding bikes or playing with friends are soon to be replaced with more studying, reading, cooking, and baking.  Sad to see summer go, but those are all good things too, in my book. :)

* * *

I biked around town today and found a shop that carries a bunch of fancy flours including Anita's Organic Mills products, which I've heard good things about from other BC bakers, so I picked as much as I could lug back.  And I fed my starter today for the first time in weeks.  Let the baking commence in 5... 4... 3...

* * *

A funny story from a week or so ago.  We found ourselves in one of those interchangeable suburbs found anywhere in the US doing some back to school shopping (yes, we're becoming those kinds of Canadians now).  We got hungry and looked around while standing in a parking lot near a Best Buy and a Kohl's and all the other big box stores.  The nearest restaurant was a well-known chain restaurant with many of the trappings of an artisan bakery and which has a fairly safe sounding soup, salad, and sandwich kind of menu which I'd actually never eaten at. Truthfully, I was actually a bit curious to see how it was and whether what they sold might at least provide a hint of artisan bakery food (par-baked, of course) the way, say, Starbucks actually serves a decent enough cup of coffee that in many places it was a pretty big step up from what you could find there before they came to town.  Besides, greasy fast food is one thing, but how bad can a sandwich be, right?

The sandwiches we got? They were bad. I mean really, really bad, like "I've gotten better sandwiches in hospital cafeterias and in those little triangular plastic boxes sold at grocery stores and gas stations" bad. I was ... actually awed by how bad they were, considering the price and the description on the menu.  I've gone to computer conferences where they cater box lunches containing sandwiches for 5,000+ attendees and never gotten anything as bad.  How could our made-to-order sandwiches be so nasty?

It made me a bit sad to think there may be some folks out there who associate what they serve at this chain with artisan bread and reminded me of certain "factories" or "gardens" I've been to that serve ersatz Italian fare. While the joints do have red checked tablecloths and play Dean Martin on the stereo, if that is one's experience of Italian food then you really have no idea what Italian food is like. 

Fair to say I won't be eating there again.

* * * 

Aside from that disappointment, our cross border run went well.  Among other things accomplished was picking up a parcel delivered to my parent's house on that side of the border (save money on shipping).  Here's a little snippet from  the box:

Some of you, I'm sure, can figure out what I picked up from that.  I am very excited and looking forward to putting it to heavy use this winter, and the next... and the next... and the next!  Much more to come about it as I start putting it to use. 

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

we used to go out for breakfast lunch and dinner way way more than we do now.  The reason is simple.  The food is terrible on the whole and  way overpriced when even just average fare.  We eat way better at home and save a fortune to boot.

Happy mixing Floyd :-)

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Floyd,

Hope you like you new 'toy' as much as I like mine.  It is at work right now on today's loaf while I take a little break to catch up on reading here….

I look forward to hear about what comes out of yours.

Take Care,

Janet

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Floyd,

Yes, why does the food industry persist in offering this nonsense peddled as "food"?   Mediocrity, and cheap to produce; think it's easy to mould people like they do their sandwiches..into little plastic boxes?

Enjoy your baking in the cooler times; we look forward to reading about and seeing the results here

All good wishes

Andy

SCChris's picture
SCChris

Just wondering?

Thanks

Chris

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Heh, nothing is cheaper in BC, except maybe sushi.  

SCChris's picture
SCChris

Thanks

C

varda's picture
varda

Hi Floyd.   I just got back from a non-bread vacation and boy is the bread bad out there.   So bad.   Worst culprits are the bakery departments in supermarkets.   Ptui!   A chemical stew.   And yet people buy and eat this crap.   Why?   So happy to be able to get back to baking.    Sure you are too.   Enjoy your new Asssistent!  -Varda

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Floyd,

Ya, we got smacked with a thunder storm last night that gave us our first power outage of the season, but I'm hoping it'll be a nice long Indian Summer on the South Coast this Fall and that we don't have to hunker down too soon. I'd still like to get in a few more rounds of golf before I put the clubs away for another year and my grapes need more ripening time before they can be harvested for wine making. Your new equipment sounds exciting, and looking forward to seeing the results that come from it.

Here's to a dry-ish Autumn and a short, mild Winter!

Cheers,

Franko 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi Floyd.  Good to see you got some Anita's flour.  I am sure it was more expensive at retail, but you will be real happy with the results.

I am glad to see you are experiencing what our city has to offer, but please do use me as a guide when it comes to restaurants, etc.  I wouldn't steer you in a wrong direction!  You are correct...it is an expensive place to live.  Hopefully our sights and way of life will outweigh the cost of living for you.

Don't be too quick to say the weather has gone to worse to stay...we surprisingly have hot and dry weather well into 2nd week of October.  I hope this year is the same.

Been looking for some new bakes from you.  Get baking daddy!

John

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I realize we are still in for a bit more sun.  I really love the spring and fall in the NW, since you get time to do both some outdoor activities and indoor days as well.

I'll absolutely get in touch if we start dining out.  We eat out quite a bit, but it is much more the "grab a bite while we are walking around a new neighborhood" than going out with any particular destination in mind.