Leaping Like a Geyser

As yesterday's post mentioned, it was a day to pick up eggs from our farmers followed by a trip to the grocery store. (Just now I typed "grouchery store." Freudian slip?) As I've said many times, the grouchery store takes the starch out of me, especially when I spend all of my time there trying not to bite off the heads of my fellow obstacles; I mean, "shoppers." Fellow shoppers. (I don't know what's gotten into my typing fingers today.) Anyway...by the time I got home and put things away, a very bad case of inertia set in and I spent the rest of the afternoon lazing on the couch, sleeping at times, petting cats all the while. And then...it hit me:

"Brainy," in case you were wondering. So, I did get a little more done on Wheel Estate...I added the stop border. About the time that was finished, Mike was home from work, and I had to quit for the day.

On the bread-baking front, we're down to our last bagel. I've been putting off baking the Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread because men and quilters do not live by bread alone...although they would dearly love to. Anyway...I wanted to mix it up last night because its first rise is a long 12 hours. It wasn't hard to mix up. It's one egg, some bread flour, some salt, some yeast, and then you blend together a little peanut butter and a lot of water, add some whole peanuts, and you have your dough. When it went into the proofing box for the night, it looked like this.

When the clock struck 12 hours this morning, it had risen nicely. The large clumps on the right side of the image below are the whole peanuts that were mixed into the dough.

It's baked up in a regular loaf pan, lightly sprayed with olive oil and with some chopped peanuts in the bottom of the pan.

Here's where things got pretty messy. I dumped the dough out onto a floured surface. It was a very wet sticky dough. I despaired of being able to roll it up jelly roll fashion, but forged ahead. Also, I thought there was some seedless raspberry jam, but seeded was all I had. (Just say "no" to seeds.) The only thing that was going to work were these cherry preserves...which, as it turns out, is my favorite. So I stretched the dough out into a rough rectangle. It was the consistency of pudding. Then, I carefully spread about a half cup of cherry preserves over the top and made a feeble attempt at shaping it.

The book makes it look easy, but it was nearly impossible. I was just grateful it didn't stick to the bread board and managed to plop it into the loaf pan in glop-like fashion. Then, it was sprinkled with some more peanuts. I wasn't feeling good about this at all, but I went ahead and let it proof for another couple of hours anyway.

Everything seems to take twice as long as recipes instruct, and so extra time is always needed when giving the various doughs time to rise. Thankfully, and despite its rather precipitous drop into the pan, it rose again nicely, although more slowly than the recipe suggested. When I put it into the oven, it looked like this:

It was supposed to bake for an hour and 15 minutes, but after just an hour, it started smelling burned. And it was. The entire top crust was charred black. I yanked it out of the oven and immediately removed it from the pan, only to find that the crusts were burned on all sides.

I have two ideas about this. First, possibly I was supposed to have turned down the temperature when I put the loaf into the oven. If I was, the recipe didn't say so. Second, the jam burned wherever it was exposed. As you can see, it doesn't look bad on the inside. I cut off the burned crusts and tasted the inside.

It actually tastes pretty good, but it was a disappointing outcome just the same. The dough was so hard to work with that I doubt I'll try this again. It has me curious though, and so I'll probably go in search of some recipes online to see if I can find something that might work better. This is why I'm tagging these posts "apprentice" bread baking. Emphasis on the "apprentice" part.

Okay. So finally, after requesting it four times, I received a map of Florida yesterday. It figures Florida would be the most difficult state, doesn't it? When I said, "Florida, don't make me come down there," it finally arrived in the mailbox. Only, here's the thing, Florida: I am coming down. Mark my words. Oh yes. It's happening. 

So there you go...a complete set of all the tour books and maps for the Canadian provinces and the lower 48 states.

And as long as we're talking about Canada, I need to pass along this bit of information from my friend, Beverly, who left this comment on yesterday's post:

I was wondering if you applied for the Parks Canada pass. It gives you free admission to all the national parks in Canada this year. . . Just an FYI. The pass is being offered to help celebrate our country's 150th birthday. 

Oh wow! Beverly, you're no-reply, and so I can't thank you personally. I'm hoping you'll see this little thank you note here. And don't you know I went directly to the Parks Canada website and ordered one up.

Cool! I'm not sure whether we'll actually do much traveling in Canada when we take our USA loop beginning this fall, but certainly, we might have some time to get up there this summer. Either way, we'll be set with our Discovery Pass, so thank you for the info, Beverly. And thank you, Canada! You know I love ya', Canada.

So it's time to get that last border put on the Wheel Estate quilt. This one is small enough to sandwich on the ping pong table in my sewing room. I might just get to work on that fairly soon. The new camper wall awaits. Also today, I'm going to get out there and do some measuring for various bins and baskets that might keep us better organized. Also, there is one more little quilt I want to make to hang on the wall. I need to get the parameters of the perimeter on that one too.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Debbie said...

The wall hanging is looking good. I think it will be very cute.
Some breads just don't work for me....but love to read of your real life experiments. Ah, Florida....grew up in Orlando, lived in Tampa a while. Enjoy the trek find the off the beaten path places and it will be good. Most today is very heavy on the tourist bits. But in Orlando, be sure to visit Gabriel's Sub Shop on Edgewater Drive. I sure miss that place.

Lana Ku said...

Thanks Barbara and Beverly. My sister and I are traveling to Canada later this year and will be visiting some parks. Just ordered my FREE Canada parks pass. Thanks for the info!

QuiltShopGal said...

Those lower 48 state maps are going to come in very handy. And I'm glad you have Florida on your list. It is one of many states that I'd like an extended period of time to explore. And, I do hope you can visit Canada too!


gpc said...

I applied for a Canada Pass, too, and hope I will get to use it, so add my thanks to the bunch! :) The bread innards look good!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Sorry the PBJ bread didn't work out. That is a lot 'textured' mediums that heat differently and might be the cause? We had a small window of time today of some 'decent' weather - horrid ice storm then a little warmer with drizzle, HA! And severe snow storms rolling in tonight and thru the next 2 days. I used that small window of time to gather a few supplies, so we are ready.

Beverly Wood said...

You are all welcome regarding the Parks Canada pass. I read your blog daily but don't often comment. I hope you get to use your pass. I plan to use mine for sure. I don't blog and don't know how to change settings so you see my email address. I'll see if I can figure it out.

crazy quilter said...

Oh so sorry the bread crust burned but it looks yummy, was it? I wonder why Florida was so slow to send your travel book? I would expect they get lots of request for those and maybe they were just back logged. Anyway I know you and Mike will enjoy your travels. The Canada park pass is the best! Congrats on snagging that one and kudo's to Beverly for sharing. Sure love how the campers are coming along, maybe I will get a start on my version soon, you have inspired me! Have a great day!

quiltzyx said...

"It was the consistency of pudding." I laughed so hard it set off a cough attack! Sheesh! Sorry it was not such a happy outcome, what with the charcoaled crusts and all. Good try though.

Oh how I do love maps too. I may even send for the Parks Pass. The 1/4 Canadian part of me is asking for it.

Brown Family said...

THe bread looks good on the inside. Don't judge the loaf by it's crust, or something like that!

Dana Gaffney said...

Well I wouldn't expect anything less from Florida, coming late to the party just to make a grand entrance, then slip and fall on it's face :) Down here we use the term "blow the bridges" which stands for cutting us off from the rest of the state and lately the whole U.S. LOL.

Wendy Tuma said...

Sorry your PBJ bread wasn't as great as you thought it would be. It's frustrating when you wonder if there were little tips left out of the recipe; just about as frustrating as finding a mistake in a quilt pattern! Hope you find another recipe so you can try it again. I'm going to look in my "go to" bread recipe book and see if it's in there. If so, I'll send it on to you.

Kate said...

The insides look pretty tasty, sorry the outside didn't turn out so well. Loving Wheel Estate. Hope you got some time to stitch today.

Nancy said...

I can't remember if you have to be 65 to get a lifelong discount pass to the National parks. It only cost $10 one time. Honored at all National Parks for half price camping. Check it out we picked ours up at the ZigZag Ranger Station.