Proof of life
It's been two months since I last posted and I've scarcely gotten past the lurking stage here at TFL in that time. The new project has kept me very busy at work, with more overtime than I care for. The good news is that if the project progresses past the current stage, I'll get to work even more overtime for the next three years! Yippee! It's kind of like the airlines; if you fly with them often enough, they reward you by - wait for it - letting you fly even more! I really can't complain too much, though, having learned that being underworked is a lot less satisfying than being overloaded.
Nevertheless, I have managed to fit a bit of life in and around the work schedule. In one 7-day period in mid-February, I taught a sandwich breads class (Portugese Sweet Bread and Ciabattini) and a sourdough class (a light wheat sourdough and wheat/rye sourdough crackers) at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. In between those two classes, there was a King Cake class for the Slow Food Kansas City organization. It was cool to get acquainted with Chef Jasper Mirabile and have 20 or so people up to their elbows in flour. This weekend, I taught an artisanal breads class (a French country boule and a variation on Pain a l'Ancienne) at CCKC.
You never know what will resonate with the students. This last time around, while discussing measuring ingredients by weight instead of by volume, one exclaimed "Why hasn't anyone ever told us about this before? Learning that alone is worth the price of the class." For others, learning techniques for handling high-hydration doughs was a big benefit.
Besides baking all of the breads for the classes (anywhere from 2-4 times each), other baking has included Mini's Favorite 100% Rye (absolutely delicious), as well as some lavender lemon scones that I've been testing for an upcoming class (my neighbors are really happy).
So, even though I may not show up around here as often as I have previously, I'm still having fun with bread.