I’m Sorry, But, We’re Done

That’s right, Sourdough.  You and me? We’re done. Finito. Kaput.  No matter how much love I give you, you refuse to do your thing.  I had to bring in Janet into the situation for one-on-one consultations and STILL, you gave me grief.  Janet asked me what I had named you and I apologise; I had no idea.  So I gave you my favourite name:  Charlotte.  And what did you do? NOTHING.

But let me go to the beginning.  When I first decided to try my hand at sourdough – yeast having become more impossible to get than toilet paper – (and like every other Tom, Dick and Harry during the great Sit-In – so unoriginal and such a follower, am I) I followed Janet’s instructions to the letter. 50g flour, 50 g water (filtered), mix, set aside, covered, room temp. Days 5, 7, 9, I did the 50g sour, 50g flour, 50g water – keeping the discard for future waffles (which were rather good, I might add).

Days 10, 11, 12, I left you alone.  When I uncovered you, your stink made me recoil.  “It should smell pleasantly like cheesy beer.”  Ummmm. No… this was closer to vomit.  I threw you out.  Oh wait… this would not be YOU, you.  But let’s call him/her your late cousin, who shall remain nameless as well, I didn’t know.  Plus there was an orange tint to it so, I took no chances. Of course, once I posted my failure on FB, everyone who could chimed in with a NOOO don’t chuck it!  Too late. NEXT!

We decide, Janet and I, to start fresh and do a double-feed per day for three days and then bake.  Let’s see…  You looked nice

So I did my kneading (stretch, pull over, eight “corners”) every half-hour for three hours.  Followed the video, EXACTLY, the bowls, the cloth, the flour.  I was not impressed with the rise at all. But I went with it anyhoo. My boules looked nice though not huge. (Haha! I wish!)  Used my special Dutch oven, preheated, baked and… phooey.

“Looks acidified,” says Janet.  Well hell and damnation.  The crust was nice, as you can see but the crumb?  To the bin with ya.

We start over.

We do the double feed, for three days to speed up the process with the intention of trying just one loaf.  At one point Janet said you looked cold, Charlotte,

so I gave you the oven with the light on.  Barely a bubble.  We tried all sorts of feedings. Nothing.  I left you alone for a few days, figuring you were in a mood.  All you gave me was a thin crust of hardened – something.  I think my oven lights are too hot.  Skimmed off the goo. Oh! But you did smell wonderful and guess what?  Yeah. You made FABULOUS pancakes.

Will I ever try this sourdough thing again?  Maybe. I dunno that I have the patience for this type of endeavour, to tell the truth.  Ironically, I was on Twitter when I caught Lesley Chesterman’s tweet (she was a food critic for the Montreal Gazette):  “I think I’m ready to break up with my sourdough starter. Too moody, too needy, too high-maintenance, sure to let me down in the end. And a bit stinky.”  Yep. Pretty much covers my feelings.

Nota bene (or post scriptum):  Since last Monday… I have yeast, so…

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Running Diary

For those of you who ready my post where I shared my new “love” of running… ok, ok… I don’t love it. Yet. I thought I’d bring you up to date on the last two.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and there were way too many people out.  Some were being good, some, not so much but all of them I kept my distance from. That said, off I went, enthusiastically, for my 10 X 2/2.   I made it all the way to the park where I discovered a beautiful field of flowers last year. By the looks of it, there will be more this year – Yay! Plus I ran into a couple from the golf club – chit chatted for 30 seconds, luckily during my walk part. Soon as the bell rang, I was off.

On my way back I was feeling like there was no way in hell I would complete my ten sets.  I fudged a little on the times, cutting the run parts twice by 10-15 seconds in an attempt to catch my breath.  By the time I was just past my Willow the guilt set in so I added a rep and a half to make up.  I was glad it was over.

Today was another story. Like a recalcitrant child who doesn’t want to go to bed, I dug my heels into the entry rug.  It was cold outside with a light wind and rain was threatening. Really? Do I have to? I don’t know what force pushed me out the door but it worked.  And you are right, B… nothing more satisfactory than pushing yourself to do that thing you don’t feel like.  Not only did I do my ten sets, but after the first two, I felt I could actually control my breath.  And then, after walking for four minutes, I thought… why not? And I added three more!  Woot!  My knee felt a slight twinge just as I finished the third so I made sure my stretching session was properly done.  Extremely pleased with myself today.  Oh, and, following a discussion with Monika over at Tails Around the Ranch, about her lack of belief there is anything good about running (my former belief, as well), and did I ever notice that runners never smile?  Well, guess what Monika!  I kept thinking about you and put a smile on my face every time I heard the alarm that yet another set was completed 😀

Itty-bitty magnolia

 

 

 

The Project – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #61

I have done something completely unorthodox and I hope Crispina forgives me for it. Rather than start with her fabulous image, I started with my own so I could work my way up to hers.  I’m truly hoping it will fly (though, generous soul that she is, I feel I’m safe). I would not have known what to do with it if her image had not been titled “Winter Gardens”. So… this led me to, well, to here.

 

The Project

I have a project for you.

Oh, you do, do you?

Yes, you remember that abandoned greenhouse you transformed?

Oh yes, I do. It had good bones and I was able to really make it swell.

You made it more than swell.  You turned it into a work of art!

Oh come now…

Seriously. The way you fixed the outside and the inside, oh my!

It did turn out rather grand, now that you mention it. So, where are you going with this? I feel you’re trying to butter me up.

Me? Butter you up? Never. However—

However, nothing. Spit it out.

I found us a great project. I think it has great bones and when we are done with it, it will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

Oh, hell. Your enthusiasm is making me nervous.

Come, let’s go check it out!

Have you completely lost your mind?

 

Word count: 150

This Way – Crimon’s Creative Challenge #46

Crispina‘s image reminded of me of a great trail we used to take up to the water tower near my mother’s former home. It was in St-Rémi d’Amherst, in Quebec. The trail was built, handrails added here and there but over time, the maintenance stopped and it became quite the challenge. Every time we went up north, we tried to fit in a walk up to the top. Fun times.

This is quite the trek you are taking me on. I hope it’s worth it at the end!

Stop your moaning!  Look at how far we have come.  We have done the easy bit, by the way.

What? It gets worse than what we have already done? We seem to have gone up and up and up for miles!

We have gone up and up and up for miles.  However, the next bit is more challenging. There are no more handrails.

Oh for heaven’s sake! Are you trying to kill me?

Don’t be silly. It’s a great workout and once we get to the very top the view is amazing.

It better be.

Trust me. Only the ones who don’t give up are blessed with a view they will never forget.

Okay then. Gimme another sip of water and let’s go.

There’s my girl…

View from the top

word count: 148 (including the added intro to the last photo)

Steps – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #40

Good Thursday night… for twenty minutes, anyway!  I wasn’t sure I would participate in Crispina‘s challenge this week and then, I thought I would just supply a “reply photo” but then found two and couldn’t decide on which one to use and decided to use both, then thought: “I can’t just plop two photos!” So I thought I’d write a little story but then nothing came to me and, driving home from work, a haiku came to mind. Only to promptly disappear as I parked my car.  Sigh.  As I played with my pictures, other words came to mind so. Well. This is what you get!

Where do these steps go?

In the middle of no where

How can I resist?

Do I see a light?

This is an invitation

I cannot resist

More steps up ahead

A neverending journey

Makes life worth living

3-2-1 Quote Me Challenge – Expression

“Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it, or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.”
Sylvia Plath

 

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
Martha Graham

 

This post is in an answer to 3-2-1 Quote Me Challenge which was started at  TeleportingWeena. I was then tagged by Crispina to take part in this challenge.

So here’s how it works:

Thank the selector: “Thanks, Crispina, you knew I’d be willing to play.”

Post 2 quotes for the challenge of the day, which is Expression.

Select three bloggers to take part in this challenge.

My three choices are as follows and please note, there is never any obligation; only those who desire to play, should.

Willow

Janet

Monika

Weekend Writing Prompt #107 – Spin

I cannot resist this challenge even when it is a “long” one of 92 words 😉 Thank you, Sammi, for offering up this weekly word challenge!

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Spin

Challenge

As a child, she loved to spin.

Arms wide, head thrown back

Feet turning in one direction

As the surrounding scenery blurred

She did her best to remain upright

 

As a teen, she chose to spin

Going on amusement rides that spun her around

Dating guys who left her dizzy

A mix of confidence and uncertainty

Tried her best to remain upright

 

As an adult, she’d rather not spin

But life has other plans

Tossing challenges her way

Till she feels loss of control

Still, she does her best to remain upright

Not Just My Verse, Your Two Two, Too! – Bucket List

Thank you ? To Willow for challenging me to play.

Roy, over at A Guy Named Bloke, created this super cool challenge!

Rory’s Instructions:
I will choose a topic, write four lines of Rhyming Verse then l will tag one of my readers who will in turn add four lines of Rhyming Verse to my mine and Tag one of their own readers, and then it is a case of wash rinse repeat and let’s see how far our topic goes in so far as a Rhyme?…

The Perfectly Crazy Bucket List!

 

Rory Starts us off:

So, so much to do, and with so little time,
I want to do everything, nothing to be missed,
But how do l plan it all, how do l define,
The perfectly crazy bucket list?

Paula adds:
First up is a lush tropical jungle,
Jaguars and waterfalls… all quite insane;
I do hope my parachute isn’t all bungled,
When I jump from the doorway of this airplane!

Fandango Continues:
I want to take a rocket into space,
Or maybe a submarine ride deep in the sea.
I sure hope they will save me a place,
Because that’s where I really want to be!

Cheryl Contributes:
A trip to the mountains is what l’d choose,
I’ll make sure to wear climbing shoes,
Rocks are high and edges slippery,
Wouldn’t want to fall off the perifery,

Kristian’s Contribution:
I’d like see the world, visit the sands of Abu Dhabi
take a cruise down the Golden Gate Bridge in my Maserati
head to New England and catch a game at old Fenway Park,
then board a ship to Costa Rica where I can swim with a shark.

Nova’s Addition
I’d travel to the desert in Egypt
And photograph the pyramids
Then board the Ciaro railway,
To the Chocolateria in Madrid.

Ritu’s Addition
Swimming with dolphins in the ocean deep
A worldwide cruise, though it won’t be cheap
I want to write a novel, and hope it’s a best seller
To see my book upon a shelf, wouldn’t that be stellar?

Willow’s Addition
I’d love to ride a zipwire high up in the trees
And to do so fearlessly as often as I please.
A Starfighter pilot I’d dearly love to be
I smash the evil aliens and set the good world’s free.

Dale’s Two Cents’

For the longest time I have dreamt of Tuscany
Not merely to visit, but to eat, live, and dine
Vacation in ’16, felt like my destiny
I’m ever so convinced, I will fit in just fine

***

I challenge Christine to play along!