Bread and Granola

 Sourdoughs and SCOBYs  Comments Off on Bread and Granola
Oct 262015

IMG_1611In the foreground a sunflower boule made with King Arthur Special Bread flour.  I stumbled across King Arthur Special Bread flour when I ran out of my standby white bread flour and the great thing is it really is Special.  The couple of times I’ve used K.A. Special Bread flour, my breads have been lighter, risen more quickly and obediently, and tasted better.  My order of a fifty pound bag should arrive at the Erie Whole Foods coop.

In the background are two trays of granola with grated organic carrots, ginger, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, peanuts, walnuts, flax, and, of course raisins and oats.

Oct 212015

goldMatthew Hart purports to answer all your questions about gold.  Why does it have value?  How is it mined?  What is the historical significance of gold?  Why should anyone own any?  After dispensing with theft from contemporary South African mines and the history of gold rather briefly, the book devolves into two rather dense sections.  First, is a jargon-rich explanation, best understood by fellow economists, for the gold standard that backed much of the world’s currencies until the 1970s.  Second, is a tedious description of how a few ounces of gold are chemically extracted from tons of useless rock.  Interspersed are some not very compelling travelogues to some of the world’s most interesting gold mines.  Though it is presented only as a passing thought the inevitable conclusion is that gold’s value is currently no different than the value of a famous painting.  It is worth only as much as someone who collects such things is willing to pay.

Vulture Peak by John Burdett *** (of 5)

 Asia, Book Reviews, FICTION, Mystery, Suspense  Comments Off on Vulture Peak by John Burdett *** (of 5)
Oct 212015

vultureThe fifth in the series for Royal Thai Police Detective, Sonchai Jitpleecheep.  The crime this time takes place on the exclusively wealthy hilltop above Bangkok of the title’s name, Vulture Peak, where three bodies are discovered missing their salable organs.  While the crime is being unraveled we learn about the global trade in kidneys, livers, corneas, and so forth, some of it legal, and much of it less so apparently driven by the amount of money people with failing organs are willing to pay for replacement parts.  Unfortunately, the criminals in this book, a pair of psychopathic Hong Kong twins, a faceless (really, faceless) rapist, and a bipolar Hong Kong cop chasing them all are so over the top they strain credulity.  Burdett is also trying to say something about the difference between Thai prostitutes that sell their whole bodies, but do so fully aware of the business they are in, and the poor and beleaguered of the world who sell parts of their bodies for cash out of true desperation.

10th Annual World Bread Day!

 Sourdoughs and SCOBYs  Comments Off on 10th Annual World Bread Day!
Oct 142015

IMG_1296To celebrate the 10th Annual World Bread Day I baked a sourdough buckwheat boule.  Buckwheat is hard to work with because it has no gluten, is very heavy, and tends to turn doughs a little blue.  Since World Bread Day is hosted in Germany, it seemed fitting to bake a German style loaf.  The upside to buckwheat is it gives bread a wild earthy taste.

If you go to the World Bread Day webpage in about a month you will see breads from all over the world with links to a global panoply of bread blogs.  Or you could just go to the bakery and buy yourself a really good loaf.