Archive for April, 2009

Random Placements

A few days ago, Bad Astronomer Phil Plait posted on pareidolia, which is the fancy name for how our brains like to find patterns in all manner of things. Like seeing Jesus in a waffle.

Anyway, I was reminded of the image he used to demonstrate random and non-random placement of dots in a field as I rolled out the lemon poppy seed shortbread this morning.

I’m going to think of that blog entry every time I make something like this, aren’t I?

Random poppy seeds with non-random lines of shortbread.

More non-random placement. Some of the lemon poppy seed shortbread with the remaining lavender from yesterday.


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Upon further consideration, I’ve removed shortbread from the “I Hate Baking Cookies” list.

I like shortbread.

These were inspired by K. Last night I was looking at this recipe, which is waiting to go in the oven right now, and when I asked if she had any herbes de provence K was thrown back into a memory of some lovely lavender shortbread she used to get at a tea shop in Seattle. Wow, that’s a long sentence. Anyway, since she’s had a hard go of it on and off the past few weeks, I thought I’d make a surprise for her while she was out and about.

Turns out that Merz Apothecary has all sorts of dried herbs, including this large cardboard bin of lavender. So I was able to make my own herbes de provence as well. This also allowed me to do some more community building, as the guy working there said that the rule was I had to bring some of the shortbread back after it was made. Now I’ve got a whole new shop of taste testers, judging from their reaction when I brought them the finished product — they were very surprised that I actually did bring them some. Well they did say it was a rule right? Since they also have a shitload of tea, someone went off to make a pot of tea right away to have with the shortbread.

Oh did I mention that yesterday I went back to the wineshop with some scones and through some very persistent nagging briberynegotiation with said scones have now established that they will be serving my bread at every Saturday’s wine tasting? Yes. I did. And once I get a good baguette formula going, I will also be providing fresh baguettes for them, paid (unlike bread for the wine tastings, that’s just to get my name out there), to sell on Fridays and Saturdays.

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It’s a Wash

Why I’m coming to love washes.

These are loaves of Beth Hensperger’s Milk Bread, from K’s copy of Bread Made Easy. The left has a milk and egg wash on it, the one on the right has no wash. A wash can take a loaf from lovely to gorgeous.

Ooooh, and a taste test reveals that they taste like soft chewy dinner rolls.

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