Monday, July 20, 2009

A very pleasant day

I had planned to go to the swim club today since it is both warm and sunny, but not going to bed until 4:00 a.m. has put me in kind of a drowsy, dreamy sort of mood and I decided that since this was my week to decide, I wasn't going to pack the cooler and my swim bag and the towels and the blue burrito and lug it all over there.

Instead, I've stayed home and puttered around the house. This is the kind of thing that drives me insane when the girls are home, mostly because they're cluttering up the floor under my feet with their pressing need to DO SOMETHING LET'S EVEN GO TO WAL-MART, ANYTHING, whereas I have no pressing desire to do much more than read my book and maybe take a little nap.

I've not been totally idle, considering that I've also done the laundry, cleaned the bathroom sinks and toilets upstairs and down and vacuumed all the downstairs rooms. Right now, I'm in the midst of baking the Casatiello bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which is proving to be a very absorbing project. Casatiello is an Italian bread that has little chunks of salami and melty pockets of provolone baked into a rich milk-and-egg dough. I just finished sautéeing the diced salami, and oh my gosh, it smells so incredibly good. The aroma brought Hershey to the kitchen from his snoozy place snuggled into the sofa cushions at a brisk trot. Wimzie followed him, trying to be all nonchalant, as if she was just coming to the kitchen for a drink and not because of that tantalizing odor wafting through the house.

"By any chance would the salami in that skillet be intended for me, the best and most loyal dog you've ever known?" he indicated with bright eyes and pricked up ears.

"Oh, you're cooking?" Wimzie's over-the-shoulder look communicated. "Salami. Hmmm. I was hoping for prosciutto. I guess I can take some off your hands. If I must. Since there's nothing better to do around this dump."

As soon as the dough comes off this first rising, I need to incorporate the salami and the provolone into it and set it up for another rising. Then a punch down and the final proofing, and it will be ready to go into the oven.

Kayte says that this bread is addictive, perhaps even dangerous. My husband and I will be finding out at dinner tonight. I'll write about making the Casatiello and that dumb brioche that I've been putting off for, like, three weeks now, tomorrow. I hope.

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