Well, let’s see.
I’ve been busy lately – nothing too crazy to report, but having a good time. A couple of weeks ago I took a breadmaking class that came at the perfect time for me. I had been baking bread on and off mostly using the no-knead recipe provided by Pátzcuaro resident Tancho at Rancho Canyon Cookbook. My results were usually edible but I didn’t feel I had the kind of control I wanted, so I knew I wanted to learn more about the topic. I’d had a couple of conversations, too, about the difficulties people had with the low gluten flour that is the only kind available here in Mazatlán.
Low gluten flour is a challenge for bread bakers because the gluten is what gives bread the elasticity it needs to be able to rise properly. Before I had gone to San Francisco in April I had mail ordered sourdough starter, wanting to see what I could do with sourdough, too. I also bought some semolina and wheat gluten flour to bring home, the semolina as an additive to my pizza dough and the wheat gluten flour to be used in some vegetarian sausages I intend to make. (Yes, I also mail-ordered vegetarian sausage casings, and bought a quantity of fennel seeds, too)
The bread making class was great – it was taught by Hector of Molika. We made starter using red grapes. We made many loaves of bread, regular white bread, multi-grain, rolls, and sourdough. We learned how it should look and feel at various stages, and basically learned to relax and enjoy the process. We learned to become good breadmakers we need to practice, and pay attention, and probably make a lot of mediocre bread before we can reliably make great bread.
I’ve been pretty successful… my best was a lovely whole wheat, but the cranberry-raisin-cinnamon was delicious and made wonderful French toast last weekend. I have been keeping my starter alive just fine, and am having a lot of fun baking – and then eating my beautiful bread.
I brought back some yarn from my trip to the US in April, and I didn’t waste any time getting busy with it. The first thing I started was a jacket-vest for our granddaughter, Consuelo. It is so fun to make things for a little one – the projects go quickly because they are small! The front and then back are below:
Then I decided to start a new shawl. I could hardly resist, once I saw this pattern on Knitty. It’s a pattern that has a lot going on but once you’ve gone through it a few times it is pretty easy. I am loving it so far.
The yarn is a beautiful silk-bamboo-linen blend
Maybe I am saving the best news for last! I got a bike! Isn’t it great? I just love it. Disk brakes, shocks on the front, 27 speeds! Why didn’t I get a bike when we first moved here? It is a blast to explore the city on a sleepy Sunday morning and the rest of the week get some endorphins going zooming up and down the malecón every day. I am having an absolute blast. I have always enjoyed walking on the malecón, the 7 mile long path that follows the shore from Olas Altas to the Golden Zone, but the fun of riding up and down is even better!
I’ll have fun outfitting it, too. I think I need a basket on the front and a water bottle thing. Gotta run now, just looking at that picture makes me want to go for a ride. See ya!