To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time Robert Herrick, 1591-1674
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he’s a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry; For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry.
While I disagree that virgins have anything they need to rush into (nobody’s prime is based on their appearance or their sexual value, and it’s not as if sex is the pinnacle of human experience,) I do feel like the overall feeling of the poem is relevant right now. One thing that quarantine has driven home to me in a way that I didn’t expect is my experience of the changing of the seasons. Being limited to my home and its surroundings, I’ve paid attention to how subtly the outdoors changes day by day more than I ever have before.
I make no secret that summer is my least favorite season. Doubly so right now, when the central air in our home is broken, the air conditioning in my ancient minivan is broken and I’m quarantining at home thanks to COVID-19. My world has rather suddenly contracted into a 10′ x 14′ room: my home office. Fortunately (?), I’m an introvert, so I’m not quite as completely mad as I might be otherwise, but I do miss the world, if not the people in it.
Lammas blessings to those who are celebrating (and Imbolc blessings to my lovelies in the southern hemisphere!) Also often called Lughnasadh, Lammas is a holiday for harvest and bread-making; of appreciating the bounty before us. I’ve already got a sponge rising for some brioche loaves, because why not?
Here is a link for some history on the holiday if you are interested, including some Old English poetry because who doesn’t love that?
When I moved out of my parents’ house, my mother gave me a set of Pyrex nesting mixing bowls that she had, and that I used frequently for cooking. I love these bowls. They’re a hideous 1970s avocado green and they’re one of my favorite things ever.
I’ve been unemployed for about a month now, and have been keeping busy applying for jobs and all of that fun stuff, but I’ve also been trying to switch up our dinners as well. Yesterday, I made some meat and veg pasties (pronounced PAST-ees, not PASTE-ees) with stuff we had on hand, and realized quickly it would be a pretty customizable recipe. Writing it down here to save and share. Continue reading →
I’m always on the search for new baking techniques to master. One time it was madeleines, next it was macarons. I mastered Swiss buttercream after that. Now I’m on puff pastry, with the eventual goal of reliably and proficiently turning out homemade croissants.
I decided to ease myself into this, since while I was fairly sure I could manage it, pride goeth before a fall and the slow approach is usually the right one. The first step in this saga, then, was rough puff pastry. Specifically, sausage rolls.
I used a reverse-engineered recipe from a carbonized loaf of bread from Herculaneum to make a loaf of bread. It’s so interesting to see what bread was like 2000 years ago! It turns out it was extremely heavy and a bit sour-tasting (no doubt from the bigaacida). My husband and sons love it, but it’s a bit much for me for everyday.
This is a pretty accurate image of the crumb. It’s very dense!
I’m taking a food history class right now (five weeks, just for funsies) and this week’s assignment was Tarte Owt of Lente from Gentyllmanly Cokere (c.1500). This is the first self-standing pie/tart I’ve ever made! My only complaint is that the vent I cut in the lid sealed, so it puffed a bit.
I need to up my self-standing pie game. Think I need to learn hot water crust, because shortcrust really was not firm enough for this.