Bread, Muffins, Mac & Cheese, Side Order of Crime and Knitting

Yesterday I opened my shipment from King Arthur, which included some Baker’s Special Dry Milk and a sandwich bread recipe. I didn’t have any instant yeast as called for,  but went ahead and made it with regular yeast. It came out quite lovely:

And also quite tasty. I had a couple of pieces with butter while it was still steaming hot (yes, I know you’re supposed to wait until it cools to cut it), and then had some with cream cheese for lunch.

This afternoon I was at Safeway and I grabbed some instant yeast. A guy in a quasi-Rasta hat behind me asked about it, whether you could just mix it in or had to proof it. He also said he’d buy jars and then forget about them until past their best-by date; I told him to put it in the freezer for extended storage.

I came home and made banana pecan muffins. Eh. It only called for one cup of brown sugar, so I find them a little less sweet than I would like. Also, they browned too much in my dark muffin tins. I often have this problem and am now a little bummed about the shallow square individual brownie pan I bought recently, which is Calphalon and also dark. I guess we’ll see. But I decided to get this tin to try out. Only one; I do have an antique light-colored tin I got for Christmas that I could use if I felt I had to make 24 muffins without waiting for the first pan to cool for some reason.

Tonight I’m trying some herb-garlic mac and cheese. I am tweaking the recipe slightly but I can’t see much going wrong with pasta, milk, cheddar, panko, herbs and garlic.

Soon the Criminal Minds marathon will start and I will have coffee and knit while crushing on Reid, as you do. Or as I do. I’m working on my impending grand-niece’s blanket. It’s about three times as big now as it is here:

It’s on my Denise needles with a connector, and last night the connector pulled apart, leaving me with about twenty live stitches hanging free. I froze; I really didn’t move for about a minute, just staring. Then I slowly put it down, got out my Addi lace interchangeables and, using a small needle, scooped up the renegades with the pointy lace tips. I had to sort of finagle my way back around, knitting off the Addis at the end. Whew.

I feel like this might take til she’s born in June! But it’s pretty yarn and I think will be nice and comfy after a wash and a beating in the dryer.

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Spring is Coming

Today was that day in January when I can feel spring. I only had a sweater on;  it was sunny and slightly breezy, and lovely.

I was running an errand around 4.30, and driving down the hill in the pretty light just made my mood lift. I was thinking about this feeling; it’s akin to the feeling I used to have as a teenager/young adult driving somewhere at night, with the sparkly lights. OK, I still sometimes have that feeling while driving somewhere at night.

Can’t put my finger on it, exactly, though. It’s a feeling of well-being, happiness, and — hope? Expectation? I don’t know. But that last part makes me want to do something, except I don’t know what that is. So I just enjoy it and try not to let the unknown bit bother me. I know when I was a teenager I always thought the nighttime happiness/expectation was guy-related, and if/when I had a boyfriend I wouldn’t feel that hitch anymore, but that turned out not to be true. I could be driving somewhere with my boyfriend and still feel it…what is the last piece of the puzzle that will click into place and make the enjoyment of the moment complete?

Thirty years later, I dunno.

But nonetheless, I enjoy the day in January when spring begins to waft in under the late-wintery air. I’m so glad I have tomorrow off.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Also glad that I have my autumn tickets to Paris and my hotel room booked. I’m staying across town from where I stayed before with my wasband; I’m near two train stations and several metro stops. And I’m paying only $900 for fourteen days!  I realize you get what you pay for in some senses, but I’m not there to have a romantic time. I need a room to put my bag, and to shower and sleep. If it’s got a door with a lock (and I have one of those wedges for inside), a bed and a bathroom, I’m good to go. I do arrive in the evening, though, so will probably take a taxi rather than the train, despite the proximity of the station. We’ll see.

Something to look forward to, in any case! And a few months to brush up on my French.

 

 

Why I Travel with a Bra in My Carry-On

This. And in my case, I can’t ever shop in person for a bra. All my bras have to come mail-order, because once you’re past a DDD cup size, you’re out of luck. I’m sure there must be a specialty retailer that carries them, but the one store in the area that did closed years ago.

Argh.