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The best I can come up with to describe it is: it's bitter in the way that toast is bitter, kinda earthy, but bitter not in an overpowering way.
It was a moment of "Oh, so that's why people were willing to eat bread before the advent of white flours."
Having a hard time getting back into War and Peace. Haven't gotten reinvested in the lives of characters, which is a problem since that's the crux of the book.
Instead I've started into Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. I tried reading it ages ago, but couldn't get into it. This (Penguin Classics) translation is much better.
So. If I process in 2oz increments our miniblender can turn wheat berries into a rough approximation of flour. I did a 24 hour fridge ferment at 100% hydration (8oz 'flour', 8oz water, 0.15oz yeast, 0.15oz salt) and hot damn if I didn't get a loaf. Not a lofty loaf, to be sure, but still: a loaf. Not bad since I decided to try using soft wheat berries, which have less gluten than hard.
It made me realize I've never tasted fresh whole wheat flour before.
The next step is, I think, to try soaking the wheat before I blend it. It should result in more flavor (as the seed starts to wake up), and should make things easier on the blender as the bran softens.
I've officially given up on my playgroup ever getting back together in meatspace. If we do play, it'll have to be play by forum, as every day of the week sees someone working.
So, I'm taking some of the world building I had done for the microlite campaign I had started to run before things fell apart, and I'm taking the opportunity to rework it to (hopefully) be more hard/low fantasy. I want to keep the races close to what they were, but I'll probably toss out everything else. I'm kinda interested right now in recasting the world and magic system as pantheistic.
The plan is to release it as a CC0 setting on github.
I've talked about it a bit, but we've started eating a lot more organic recently, shopping from the coop grocery I have fond memories of going to as a kid. We're also trying to consume less processed foods. To the extent that I have some soft winter wheat setting in the pantry right now. I desperate want a mill, but the one I want is $500 so I'm going to try to diy one up for the time being.
Cheese and butter are the big processed gaps right now in our diet.
Doing this to produce nudged the budget up, we now budget $275 to $300 a month on groceries for the two of us, but we're still learning to shop seasonally. Milk and eggs cost more by a factor of 2x (milk) to 5x (eggs) and are the most expensive change, but cheap animal products are a new thing anyways.
Eating is complex. I've eaten more meat this year (read: any) than I'm really comfortable with, but Steph's family have given us a lot of deer. I impulse bought half a pound of local-pasture-raised sausage and half a pound of farmers-market-from-the-nice-lady-who-knits lard recently too. Shit, I've been kicking around the idea of smoking a butt for the grubski challenge.
There is apparently a point where if cows milk is local enough, I feel more comfortable with buying that than shipping almond milk in from a thousand miles away.
Sorry for the ramble, not awake yet to really string those thoughts together.
Being able to contain them in a run comes in handy if you use your yard at all for non chicken activities. Some people (kids) think chickens are pretty neat, but others find 'em unnerving.
Especially when they mob you because they're out of food. I quite like the chickens, but my sister hates being around them.
Making it an L will make the coop harder to drag to new places. Leave it in one place, and they'll kill the grass in their run pretty quickly.
This is my Dad's coop:
Houses anywhere from 10 to 18 birds in a 70'x100' area. Flock size depending on how effective the dog has been at keeping the foxes out, how many random birds have joined the flock (happens from time to time in the country) and how the hens feel on nesting vs eating their eggs.
The run is also home to two rabbits!
They weren't invited, but have set up shop anyways.
I've got, like, maybe 10 pages left in The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley. I agree with mk: I also waited too long to read this. After I finish it, I'm going back to War and Peace for the second part, and then... not sure yet. I'm trying only read one or two books at a time, where as my inclination is to have three or four going and jump back and forth between them. My list of books to read is ever expanding faster than I slurp off of it.
Steph and I are halfway through Cooked by Micheal Pollan. It's interesting. At this point I suspect I'm just a fan of his, although both audiobooks of his that I've heard have landed on the reading list above. Audiobooks are great for getting the gist, but I'm terrible at noticing the details: quotes, recurring figures, remembering mentioned works..
Cooked has made me realize that there is a lot of types of cooking that I rarely turn to. I bake. I fry. I boil. I turn things in a skillet. That's mostly it.
I want to learn more slow cooking. Braises and smoking. I want to learn to pickle. To make my own sauces. To cook closer to from scratch, and to do a better job of doing it seasonally.
I've started making more of a point of checking out all the stickers and fliers stuck up downtown. There's always something interesting.
- Of course, if you are poor, a woman, or a minority, in the US, the deck is stacked against you. It is significantly more difficult for you to 'get to the top'. Unfortunately, because we invest so little in the education of our poor, by the time they grow to become their own advocates, they are often so far behind that there is little hope of ever catching up.
I read this passage last night, from the close of Malcolm's portion of The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley:
- My greatest lack has been, I believe, that I don't have the kind of academic education I wish I had been able to get -- to have been a lawyer, perhaps. I do believe that I might have made a good lawyer. I have always loved verbal battle, and challenge. You can believe me that if I had the time right now, I would not be one bit ashamed to go back into any New York City public school and start where I left off at the ninth grade, and go on through a degree. Because I don't begin to be academically equipped for so many of the interests that I have.
Unfortunately, I'm a ridiculously sweaty person backpack or no. :(
I will say, though, that while I was relying solely on my backpack I was surprised at how nice the suspended mesh back on my osprey really was.
A few years ago we went back and started watching at the season where Kevin joins them. It's fun to watch them slowly gain confidence in him and allow him to actually do stuff.
We have been skipping the seasons without Tommy, though.
Also got the first season of No Reservations checked out from the library.