Wednesday, March 10, 2021

A Pullman Bread Loaf Pan

Well, the never ending Covid-19 quarantine is still in effect. I think I have a handle on making French bread so I ordered a nifty 'Pullma' loaf pan I found online. Tried it out and it made the cutest sandwich square loaf. And it tasted pretty good too!

French bread

Dough for the Pullman loaf

Greased and rising for two hours

Rising in a warm place (my kitchen's cold)

Fresh out of the oven

Cooling on a rack

Ready to toast!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Set off the smoke detector!

So, having retired early right into a pandemic has left me with plenty of home-alone time. There was a long 'recovery' time for purging work trauma out of my system and then a release of the guilt of 'not doing something constructive' every single day to erase. A lot of my time now is seeing just how many 'Nailed It' moments I could create in an oven that has a mind of its own when it comes to following recipe set temperatures and a smoke detector with an itchy trigger finger! I'm running out of nerves to fray. I'm still working on bread. And pastries and muffins and cup cakes. Hell, I'm always crossing my fingers when I get that blast of hot air when I open the squeaky oven door and slide in that first batch.

Today's attempt was a Pinterest recipe my wee sister and  I agreed to try. She can tell her own story. I have one solitary photo of the original attempt that luckily didn't deter me from trying again - with the right dough this time!

So, I think I've just started a routine of documenting some (if I remember the camera) of my steps from failure or success. Hopefully more successes than failures although they can be entertaining in their own right.  So first. The first attempt then a few of the 'steps' of today's go at it.

Above is the original attempt - before I realized there is a big difference between Philo Pastry and Puff Pastry. These were a crumpled mess in my compost bag when I remembered I was supposed to show my sister how successful I was. I had to dig them out, flatten out the parchment (that I actually used) and half-assedly re-assemble them in order to shoot them.

Armed with the correct dough I began again. But was unable to 'unfold' the bloody dough despite every attempt. So, I McGuyvered it and just rolled out this lump until it reached the 13" measurement with as much sugar to press into it as I could (as per instructions?). 

Got it folded up, cut into sections. How big is 3/8"s? Not what I cut, that's for sure!

Got them to stand on the 'edge', sort of, where all the sugar immediately sloughed off and pooled around their ankles. *sigh* Not letting that deter me, I slid the pan (parchment paper? who needs that...) in the 450 degree oven and walked away. About 7 minutes later the smoke detector is shooting off its gun like there's an inferno in the kitchen instead of just a little smoking sugar. My heart is going off like a drumline drum-off in my throat!

Having gotten the screaming claxon siren under control with the kitchen hair dryer that is always plugged in at the ready just for this kind of scenario, I, with shaking hands pulled these beauties out of the bastard oven I hate. 

The recipe says I should yield between 18 and 22 'cookies'. I managed to make 9. Nine! All that anxiety and near-death experience for nine pastries??? I think I need to figure out how big 3/8" is - pretty sure it's three times thinner than what I cut.

Will I try making these again? Does anyone know how to disconnect a smoke detector? 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Beautiful Birthday Bouquet

A Beautiful Birthday Bouquet sent from my wee sister who lives too far away to see as often as I would like. I wonder if the rest of her family would notice if I suddenly just started living there with them. I hope we can see one another once the isolation orders are relaxed across the country. Soon.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

A tomato, gumballs, kernels and an Anglican Church

I really should download images after every photoshoot. There are a couple of shoots posted here. One a safety conscious stay inside/macro attempts. The other a drive out to have a look at an old church in Surrey. I guess the indoors shots are self explanatory; food stuff. The church has a bit more of a history than a field tomato. The St Helen's Anglican Church in Surrey was built in 1911 and has been holding services ever since and has a tiny cemetery on its property. The interior is off limits until further notice due to COVID-19.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Shadows, Light and Rust

 Oh COVID-19. Will we ever see the end of you? Spending more time alone in the apartment than normal. Quarantine is making me notice all sorts of random things around the dusty house that I haven't in ages. Things that I find interesting and artistic. Oh man, when did I become a dust and grime collector? I'll ignore it and look for other interesting things to shoot in my limited square footage.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Lights on a little Boxing Day evening drive

We hopped into the trusty old buggy tonight and took a little spin around our neighbourhood to check out the fancy houses all decked out in Christmas lights. We were lucky that the rain took a break for the evening and the temperature was nearly tepid. 

These are the result of hand-held shooting at ASA 1600 to 3200, from inside a idling (sometimes moving) vehicle. They are definitely NOT the greatest of shots but I thought lovely reminders that in these frustrating times people will find joy.