The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Still Alive

proth5's picture

Still Alive

We've seen it before - a person goes "missing" on TFL.

But I'm still out here and kicking. Just not baking.

My time in Okinawa "morphed" just a bit and I'm still commuting across the Pacific.  I've already survived earthquakes and tsunamis and now am looking forward (not) to typhoon season.  It's a beautiful place, but it has a lot of ways to kill you (won't even mention the snakes, spiders, and cone shells -oops, I did...)

I managed to ship quite a bit of Okinawan flour to that property that I own in the US, but alas, have not managed to pack it up and ship it to the lab for testing.  My theory is that the ash content is lacking, thus these beautiful but bland breads.  Really, I will get to it soon... Inquiring minds want to know.

To all of you who are baking beautiful breads, I say "Nice breads!" but understand that even when I get home time is so short (and stuff to do so much!) that baking is difficult and the baking deprivation is hitting me hard.

I did go to an upscale department store on Kokusai street where one of my colleagues had to pull me away from watching the baker slash breads  (with the very same tool I use...) and use a very ingeneous folding loader to load them in the oven.  I'm sure he was quite alarmed by the big blonde woman who practically walked into the tiny space near the oven, but was too polite to give any clear indication of it.  We did try the bread there which had the most taste of any I have tried in Okinawa.

I am no stranger to being set down in places where the culture is different and I don't speak the language, but this has been quite an adventure.  They tell me I'll be back in the US for good - soon.  Although I've heard that before :>)  When the time comes for the summing up, I feel that I will never be quite the same.  Some things I will be able to talk about then - others not.

So, best wishes to Norm and his test bakers (I knew I wasn't going to be able to do that...), happy milling to all you new (and old) home millers, and don't worry - although breadless, I am happily nourished on Okinawan soba and sticky rice!

Oh, and - I'll be back!



LindyD's picture

I was beginning to wonder of your whereabouts, Pat.  Wow, you sure have been away from home for a long time!

Having recently returned from a road trip, I now better understand your longing to return to baking.  It's not just the doing, but more importantly, the eating.  Not all that pleasant to eat bread that's so substandard to what one is accustomed to.

I took your advice and joined the BBGA.  The Heartland Mills Tour is featured in the most recent issue of Bread Lines, but I couldn't find a tall blonde woman in the photo (everyone was wearing a hair net anyway).

I imagine your mail isn't being forwarded, but know that you can read Bread Lines online and wonder if you've looked at Craig Ponsford's article about whole grain milled flour.  If so, have you any idea of what flour he was working with?  His comment about the whole milled flour he was using being shelf stable is intriguing. 

Hope you get home soon - and that the balance of your work there is safe from typhoons and crawly things that want to bite.

proth5's picture

Only in Okinawa.  Big is a whole different thing.

Thanks for reminding me to check for Breadlines.  I've been a bit pre occupied.

I don't know what variety of flour Mr Ponsford uses, but I believe there is some kind of yahoo group for the BBGA where I'm sure you could ask. Or just email the info email.  There are real live nice people who answer the emails (and sometimes monitor TFL) and I'm sure they will find out for you.

Breadlines keeps getting better and better.  I'll wait to really read it until I can get home to pick up my copy, since I spend a great deal of time in airplanes and reading is my big escape.

But my picture did make the article - but I can't tell you which is me.  Best to preserve the mystery

Hope to se you at IBIE! And thanks for the good wishes.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to suddenly appear!   Don't let the island get too small!

proth5's picture

...I could probably bake it directly on the sidewalk - if the Japanese authorities wouldn't make a fuss.

Actually I mailed all of my "try to bake" equipment home in anticipation of leaving (in the  past...I was supposed to leave...)so I'm back at zero.

Yesterday I did some touring about the island - and took the freeway.  I was able to get up to the screamingly fast speed of 80 km/hr (that's 50 mph for folks like me).  I realized constantly how much slower the pace is here.  On my trip to Kansas 80 mph was more like it.

Although it seems like it would be nice to spend my weekends lounging about on the beach, I have no talent for that.  I really miss being a creative force.  Although I would not trade this experience for the all the loaves of bread in Vermont. 

Take Care!