It’s all about the dough, stupid!

I grew up in the South. More often than not, my mother whipped up a batch of biscuits for dinner and she alway managed to time them just perfect so they came straight from the oven onto the plates… where we would immediately pile on the butter as if the boat-load of shortening in them wasn’t quite enough to meet our daily requirement of fat. And for dessert? Another biscuit with butter and strawberry preserves, of course.

I learned from my mother that a meal without bread and butter… well… it usually isn’t worth eating and never, ever as satisfying, and now I’m paying for it. I weigh 110 pounds, don’t have an ounce of fat on me, I have to take medication for high cholesterol and I still can’t give up that daily bread and butter.

But now I know the secret and I’m going to share my seven easy steps to bread heaven:

  1. Go buy a bread machine. I have a Zojirushi and absolutely love it.
  2. Go buy a copy of Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine.
  3. Make up a batch of poolish (page 57), pour it in a large-mouth glass jar and put it in a place of honor on your kitchen counter to sit over night.
  4. After the poolish has been doing its thing for at least 12-14 hours, dump it back in the bread machine and make up a batch of pain au levain (page 94). Put one cup of dough back in your poolish jar and bake the rest according to the recipe.
  5. As soon as you take it out of the oven, cut a nice thick slice and chew off a healthy bite without stopping to butter it — it doesn’t need any. In between bites, pat yourself on the back for making the best darn loaf of bread you’ve ever tasted without a single drop of fat or grain of sugar.
  6. Have another slice. It’s like potato chips — you can’t have just one.
  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 daily.

IQ Check: At 95, Harold B. Estes still gets it!

I won’t quote the entire letter — you can read it for yourself at Snopes… but I thought this part speaks volumes:

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts who was putting up a fight ? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

Did the media not catch this? Or did they just choose to ignore it?

IQ Check: Fox News is well-informed

More to the point, they want us to be well-informed.

I’m always amazed at the number of people who are quick to quote some out-of-context news snippet as a complete, unadulterated truth… placing 100% faith in their favorite news source without ever questioning whether they’re getting complete and unbiased information.

If you point your browser to Fox News Tools, you’ll be able to download a desktop video player for Fox News Live. In addition to a live feed for Fox News Radio, there are other live video feeds for important happenings like the commissioning ceremony for the USS New York and the floor proceedings for the health care debates that have been going on for most of the day.

These feeds are not limited to what Fox News wants you to see… they’re live feeds from some video camera that simply streams what’s going on straight to your computer without commentator interruptions. To use a cliche for which Fox is often criticized, I’d call that pretty fair and balanced.

So now you have a choice. You can continue to be ignorant and refuse to watch just because it’s big, bad Fox News who’s only goal is to undermine the Obama administration or you can grow up and start acting like a responsible adult by reaching out to get the information you need to make better informed decisions.

The City Slicker

Ok… more like the Burb Slicker.

The first thing you need to understand is that we live at the end of a dirt road in a tiny New Hampshire town surrounded by acres of ponds, woods and fields. Mice are a fact of life. They’ve trashed our phone wires, destroyed everything in the attic that wasn’t sealed, leave droppings and seeds in every corner and basically wreak havoc on the walls, siding and crawl spaces. But, they’re like family — they’re just sort of there and you take them for granted, like your eccentric aunt or mad, mad uncle.

So now we have a dear family member staying with us for a while whom we’ll just call T. T is from the burbs and he’s on a mission. He’s helping us clean out the garage and attic, and seems to be a little overwhelmed by our, uh… unwavering supply of critters. So yesterday, he hit Edmund’s and stocked up on mouse traps — nothing fancy — just the normal wood things with the little copper-colored trigger. Then he hit the Harvester Market and stocked up on peanut butter (yes, peanut butter… catches way more mice than cheese or any other treat).

Last night, T says with a grin “I have to go set my traps“. Tonight we go out to dinner and he says with a grin “I caught three“. After we get home, he says with a grin “I have to go set my traps.“.

I have never in my life been so grateful… for the long overdue cleaning in the garage and attic… for helping keep the outside mice outside (the indoor mice belong to the two cats)… and for the constant chuckle I get from the cartoon in my head — the one where a guy’s setting a few traps and there’s one mouse peering in the window and relaying the trap location to the thousands of mice behind him.

Democratic Math

We’ve been there before… liberals have no math skills: If all the stimulus packages created jobs, how come unemployment just climbed to 10.2%?