Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Imminence of Frost

Some of the counties to the west and northwest of Kansas City experienced their first frost this morning. I can expect to see the annual flowers decimated by tomorrow morning. I've spent some time cleaning up my garden with the good intention of preparing a bed for next years garlic. A trip to the local Home Depot included purchase of some mushroom compost and composted cow manure to revive the soil after this year's less than optimum gardening season. They also have started to display this year's models of snow shovels. That produced a kind of grim desire to upgrade my snow fighting armaments. I know I have to shovel snow and no one can make me enjoy it so there may be a new device to make the misery more brief than years past.

I was surprised to find some jalapeno peppers worth picking on the last hot pepper plant left standing. I had picked the plant before we left for New England and thought that there'd be nothing of note when we returned. Now I have a surplus of the charming little pods. They may not have the layered flavor profiles of New Mexico chile peppers but their exuberant, grassy flavored heat has earned a place in the freezer and in my kitchen for winter consumption.

The rosemary plant is still alive after I dug it up and transplanted it into a flower pot. With a little bit of luck and TLC, it may survive the winter on the table next to this keyboard.

Whether you have romantic notions about New York City or not, I certainly don't- I'll take the Hub of the Universe any day, "The Bridge" by David McCullough is a worthy read. The central character is the Brooklyn Bridge and its story is filled with adventurous engineers, a noble wife, scoundrels, corrupt politicians, a morally confused preacher, and immigrant masses yearning to be free and make a dollar. I couldn't help  myself from enjoying the story.

Fans of baseball and American cinema will find a good story well told in "Moneyball". Brad Pitt has a role that doesn't call for a portrayal of someone heroic or a smoldering hunk for women in the audience. At age 44, it's a little bit difficult to set the hearts of all women a flutter. Anyways, this is a case where he's cast as a regular guy willing to shed his safety net for to innovate a sport that revels in its traditions. "Moneyball" is going to be around for a while because it's about baseball, not the actors.

There's a change in the weather and a change in my starter. It seems to be slowing down so it's time to work on energizing it without a lot of discarded starter. I'm thinking about using a series of 70% hydration builds kept in the cellar to use the cool temperatures to increase some of the flavor bacteria as well. Using chile de arbol peppers may energize me but they won't do much here. I have a recipe proofing as I type that may assume the cheap novelty name of "Turkey on Rye". I'm using both bolted Turkey Red flour and a medium rye flour, hence the deplorable attempt at humor. Bad taste in humor aside, the starter will survive and so will the blogosphere after this post.  There's no guarantee of a glory shot or two of this loaf coming due after this evening's planned bake but there will be an assessment and possibly more feeble humor.

Click on the post and take your chances.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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