Wow it is cold, several days of it so far. I talked to my Dad last night and he cheerfully told me that we were expecting snow 6 days out of 8, not a cheerful though for me, just a lot of plowing. The wind was quite strong on Friday, I wasn't really thinking about it or I would have left the kitchen sink dripping when I left to go to Millinocket for a few hours. The cold water was frozen when I got home, probably the hot didn't freeze because the dishwasher was running. It took a while to defrost it so I was late doing chores.
My trip to Millinocket was to do the payoff on my house, the people at the bank were all smiles and congratulations, the other tellers all clapped lol. I decided I deserved a bunch of flowers and a lobster for supper, so I stopped at the grocery store before coming home. I called my Dad and told him the house was all paid for, and I was excited. This morning my mood flipped 180 degrees, I thought about Gordon, and when we bought the farm, how happy we were here, and how much I still miss him. It is sad to celebrate such a thing without the partner of your soul.
The hay loft got me a good one today, or two I guess. Parts of the loft are just logs, two sections are boarded in, but two are random boards not particularly nailed down. The hay usually keeps you from going down, but today I misstepped and my right leg went right down a narrow hole, OUCH!!!! Not only was my leg sore it was still down the hole up to my crotch, that took some getting out of, I always am very careful stepping on that section of the loft and that is the first time I have gone through. I minced over to get another small bale of hay and much to my dismay, my left leg went down through a different hole, what the heck??? This time I hit my knee on the side, it was harder to get out of that one. I am going to have two huge bruises, the one on the hip is a winner. I never had that happen before, never want it to happen again! I decided that all those boards I took off the fence last year are going to have a new loft home, so I don't have to worry about the holes in the floor, a good summer project.
The bread project is going well, I tried a different oatmeal recipe, I like how much easier it is to make, the first one I tried was very long and complicated, not something you want to make often. The second recipe was quick, easy, and rounded up nice in rising. I loved the taste, and made a BLT using it, yum. I have been thinking about how to make a half loaf, I think I will experiment with making the dough and only cooking half, then freezing the other half. I have made freezer dough before and it worked well. My pans that I think will work are both 3" tall, one is 4x4 and one 5x5. I read a really good article on the King Arthur site about pan size and it compared loaves made in the two standard pans 8.5x4.5 and 9x5. They pointed out that if your recipe calls for the smaller one and you use the bigger one your loaf will look like it doesn't rise properly, and not look so good. The difference doesn't seem to be a lot but it is a volume of 15%. The loaves side by side really called attention to the differences. Having said that I do note that my pans are approximately 11% different then half of the standard pans, one 11% smaller and one 11% bigger. The simple way to use them is to just add or subtract 11% to the recipe ingredients, but I think I will try them both out first, cutting the dough in half and baking half in each. I have chosen recipes for rye, pumpernickel, and whole wheat breads to try out.
Today instead of a picture of one of the critters I took a picture of Mount Katahdin while I was cleaning out the barn. It is somewhat amusing that one of the best places to take a picture of the mountain is from the top of the manure pile! The picture shows a close line of trees, on the other side of the lower orchard, beyond them are my hay fields. Lots of snow on the mountain now!