Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sand storm

I'm all sad and lonely, missing my extended family. One of my nieces convocated on the week-end and I was just looking at the pictures and wishing I could have been there. I spoke to one of my uncles on the phone a few minutes ago and his daughter (my cousin) is convocating next month. I won't be there for that either. I spent the first six years of my life with this (uncle) and another uncle always around. After that, I've never really spent much time with them, don't actually have many memories of either of them, just that warm comfortable feeling of always having loved them and knowing they loved me. It's that weird bond you make in childhood that doesn't really go away, no matter how much time you spend apart. The other uncle passed away last year and talking to this one reminded me of that again. So now I'm sad.Living in Toronto I don't have much in the way of extended family. My parents were never too keen on my having friends, "If you want to go out, go out with your cousins". Except I don't have any here. Last year I got to spend an expended period of time with my cousins and I found that I just didn't like some of them. Which surprised me though it shouldn't have. I mean there's no reason I should like someone just because we're related. On the other hand, I found that I got along really well with some of the others. I think part of it was that the cousins I didn't mesh with, teen-aged girls, had certain expectations of me that I just didn't meet. I was supposed to be all glamourous and foreign and instead I was the embarrassing country cousin. Having a contrary streak a mile wide, being told to wear more make up and jewellery just got my back up and I ended up dressing down more than I normally do. I got along much better with the kids and the guys, which is weird because I'm not too fond of children and have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about guys and the vastly superior treatment they get from the "adults". Now I'm trying to stay in touch with everyone long distance, which, although much easier with the internet, is still not the same as regularly hanging out. That said, this is still home and it would be really hard to leave here even though at one point, not so long ago, there was nothing I wanted more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's better than crack since it's both cheaper and easier to obtain

I am still enamoured of Richard Bertinet's Dough, enough so that I've decided to get my own copy instead of repeatedly renewing the library's. I still haven't quite got the hang of kneading the dough French-style but it's coming along. My baguettes got a little misshapen when I transferred them to the preheated sheet in the oven but I'm quite happy with my fougasse, (though I admit it doesn't look as pretty as the one on the cover of the cookbook). They're made out of baguette dough but you don't let them rise after shaping and just bake them immediately. The one in the picture is from my second batch to which I added roasted garlic which was mild and slightly caramelized, almost sweet. And notice my attempt at artsy food food photography? That is early morning sunlight coming in through the blinds since I baked these for breakfast from dough I left to rise overnight. I think half the fun of fougasse is the shape. Of course nothing beats the smell of fresh bread in the morning either. I have such trouble inserting photos in here though, blogger messes up all the formatting. Highly annoying.

Speaking of high.... Yaser may mock my twenty-five dollar espresso machine but it's enough to meet my needs. I acknowledge that what it makes isn't of the same quality of some fancy Yorkville cafe or perhaps even Second Cup but my standards are low and it's certainly superior to the instant freeze-dried coffee I normally drink. Which brings me to my problem. I'm drinking espresso in the same quantities I drink regular coffee. Which is bad. Very bad. I'm starting to realize that there might be some sort of equivalency between shots of espresso and shots of tequila. I don't know what the exact ratio might be, never having tried tequila, but perhaps something along the lines of 5x=2y where x=espresso and y is tequila? All I know is after a mug of espresso I start acting a bit crazy, get a bit twitchy and giggly. And then there's the 'hangover'. Brutal stomach ache from the dehydration, the headache indicating that I'd better take another hit of caffeine soon, the ability to taste sounds and touch colour (okay, that last bit I made up). So, as soon as I finish the iced coffee I'm sipping right now (three shots of espresso and a cup of milk over ice), I'm going to start weaning myself off my drug of choice.