Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We're back!

Hello friends. Its been a while since I posted. Here's a brief recap: I've been building a chicken coop (all done but the roof), I'm starting work on building a brick oven in my basement (hope to finish by Feb.) and the publisher dropped my manuscript.

Yeah, it was disappointing, it set me back, I crawled into a lonely hole and stopped blogging. They sat on it for more than a year before deciding this. The editor-in-chief was very kind and encouraging, but the acquisitions board didn't have the same vision. So now the manuscript is at another publisher, who said they'd let me know by Christmas if they were going to publish, and of course the holidays got the better of that one. Still waiting to hear.

So you may remember my styrofoam proofing box that I made last fall? One of my facebook friends asked, "but what did the pioneers do, not having styrofoam or an incandescent light?" They set it next to the hearth. But this got me thinking about how we might let our lack of understanding push us to take cheater steps. I've been baking larger volumes of bread lately (25 lbs. of dough at a crack) and in the course of wondering if I might need a 20 quart mixer or bigger, I came across a short French video. The guy mixes up 50 lbs. of dough by hand in a wooden trough in a matter of minutes without breaking a sweat. And then bakes it off in a wood-fired oven. This made me think that we've really missed the boat. Let's see if the link works... ">here.

The video is long (and all in French), and they make you wade through about 45 seconds of advertising before the good stuff. The relevant section starts at about 7:15 on the counter. I found the video through another fantastic website called "The Fresh Loaf" which is a great site for helping serious home bakers hone their game.

So... are you all great fans of technology? Zealous luddites? I guess we're all here online, but what about pioneer endeavors?