It's bread baking day. I am awake early. The headache I have been fighting all week has me up at 7am, working hard to get rid of it. I use all the tricks I know, including acupressure, Myoflex, and Tim Horton's English Toffee Cappuccino mix - with a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee to boost the caffeine content - and finally after 2 hours, the headache eases. I hate resorting to drugs to get rid of my headache, so consequently I usually end up with a bad one because I delay the inevitable. This time I was lucky.
I have been out picking up windfall apples with the dogs when Kate comes outdoors with her morning coffee. "Need to get some things from the Dollar Store" she says. Those are magic words to me, I LOVE the Dollar Store.
As we finish up at the Dollar Store, she suggests getting an A&W burger and eating down at Victoria Quay, while watching the scenery. Two Sirloin Uncle Burgers with Cheese, extra pickles, later and we are enjoying the close-up view of the Alberni Inlet. Suddenly I spy what looks like a Harbor Seal in the water in front of us. This is not an unusual sight, the Inlet being salt water. Then Kate points and we see two large marine mammals frolicking in the middle of the water. "Are those Steller Sea Lions?" she asks.
We watch for a while and are convinced that they are in fact Stellers, Harbor Seals are smaller and have a much shorter muzzle. I have never known of Stellers so far up the Inlet. Finally I remember I have my camera with me, but by the time I get out to the edge of the water, the show is over and I only get glimpses of a face one or two times. Sigh, there I go with the camera thing again. In the two photo's above, the one on the left has the White Submarine Pipe sign with a seagull flying immediately to the left of it and directly down from it is a Sea Lion face. The other one has a face directly in the middle of the photo.
Back home, and with a bit of direction from me, Kate sets to work organizing herself to bake her bread and soon has Pumpernickel rising on the table. I meanwhile am going to BBQ some pork baby back ribs and bake some potatoes for our dinner tonight. We check on the ribs a half hour after they begin to grill, on our way to pick all the tomatoes in the Garden Boat. They look and smell divine. A while later, as we pass my Outdoor Gas Oven on our way in the house with the picked tomatoes, I discover it has run out of propane, which means I have to rescue the ribs and put them in the oven to finish. AAAARRRGGH!
Finally dinner has finished cooking and Kate's Pumpernickel is in the oven baking as we eat. The ribs were delish, as was the potatoes, fresh picked tomatoes and corn on the cob. Her bread of course turned out wonderful. It is the first bread photo at the top of the page. As it set cooling on the cupboard, she began to gather her ingredients for her next loaves of bread, the Cheesey Cheese. With a tip here and there from me, it too is soon rising on the table.
The scent of her Cheesey Cheese bread baking is mouth watering. The air is redolent with the Tex/Mex cheese, onions and parsley. I definitely will be making this one tomorrow. The photo's of this bread are the rising dough in the bread machine and then the baked dough, with the cheese melted on top of one of the loaves.
It's been a long day, and for once Kate doesn't have to leave as soon as she gets up in the morning. She still has one more batch of bread to make before going home. We're off to bed.
At least I don't wake up with a headache on Thursday. Kate is up and is starting to mix up the Brioche dough she wants to bake. This is one of my favorite recipes, one that I found online. While only using 2 cups of flour, you still end up with two lovely loaves of bread from the recipe because of the eggs and yeast. It is rich and buttery and is the last photo in the bread series above. Soon she has them cooling on the cupboard as she prepares to load up her RAV 4 prior to heading home.
Hugs all around and she is off to the farm at Sidney, the dogs giving her a farewell howl. It is going to be too quiet here now that she has gone home. Can't wait for next time, and our ABM Chef Bakeoffs.
Hmmmmm, maybe I'll start a cooking blog, encourage family members to bake/cook and post to it. Sounds like a plan. If I can get anyone other than Kate and me to do it, that is. Hey Kel, how about you, Mr. Baker Man. You willing to give it a try?
Oh, and my Cheesey Cheese Bread is unbelievably delicious. You must try it, make it at home. I am hooked and so glad she decided to alter the recipe. Kate's Tex/Mex Cheese Bread it is.