Updates

Thought I’d update you on a few things!  First, I mentioned that Thom and I are both charter members of the Dr. Oparaocha fan club (the veterinarian who met Buddy at the airplane and hand-carried him to us).  Here she is getting ready to give a vaccination to the puppy Coco:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of Coco, it’s hard to tell in the photo below but she’s now about twice the size of Buddy.  She’s gaining an average of 4 lbs a week.  While at the vet last week someone came in with two full-size Boerboels and they are the scariest looking dogs ever!  Their heads are the size of beachballs.  I kept asking Dr. Oparaocha and the owner of the Boerboels, will she grow up and look like that?  Will she really grow up to be that?  They said yes.  Yikes!  Hard to believe such a cute puppy will grow up to be so ugly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of dogs, we got another update on Ozzie from my dad (if you remember, my brother saved the day by adopting Ozzie when they refused him entry on the airplane half an hour before take-off).

I think Poor Ozzie has probably forgotten all about his mommy Kimmy and dad Thom and his brother Buddy.
He now resides in a bed with a thermostatically controlled heating blanket and eats canned food goodies that are all thoroughly researched on the Internet as far as content . You cannot even see his ribs any more. His new parents are now researching to get him a special therapeutic bed such as a temperpedic as they have discovered in their research that great Danes need special sleeping accommodations.
He may recognize you when he sees you, but I would not be too sure.
Love,
Dad

I’ve been watching the weather activity in the midwest with a little bit of envy — I love to settle in with a roaring fire while there’s howling snowstorm outside.  But, I have to say we’re enjoying the monotonous weather here — high 70s daytime/low 60s nighttime.  Last week we planted cucumbers, celery, spinach, more lettuce, carrots, sunflowers, zinnias and sweet peas.  Our current crop of lettuce is still about a month away from harvest.

When we moved in we cut down several trees to give the fruit trees more light.  We’ve recycled that cut wood into a pretty garden fence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love how it looks and now need to figure out how I want to build the gate — or, do I want to create an arbor instead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the bread-making experiments are going well.  The head baker/owner of Zingerman’s bakery in Ann Arbor was kind enough to share his recipe for their pecan-raisin bread.  I couldn’t find any raisins here but found a close approximation in a package marked cake mix sweets. It looked like it just contained regular and golden raisins so I bought it.  Here is the dough below:

This amount of dough made two loaves.  The first loaf tasted pretty close to Zingerman’s but didn’t have the hard crispy crust I like.  Also, there was some sort of weird fruitcake taste to the bread.  I dug the “cake mix sweets” container out of the trash and read the ingredients — one of them was dried candied orange peel.  Well, that explained the different flavor.   The second loaf I baked for about 7 minutes longer, until it was dark brown, and aside from the candied orange peels in it (which I picked out of my slices) it tasted just like Zingerman’s!!!  Thanks Frank!

In a continuation of my obsession with good bread, I then turned to making the perfect sourdough.  Before I had left the states I came across this “no-knead” method using a clay pot or dutch oven to create “Old World” bread (like the kind we would get daily in Italy).    (See http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU)   I ordered the requisite clay pot (a la cloche) and baked my first loaf in it day before yesterday.

 

OMG!@!  It was so good.  Another reason for ya’ll to come out and visit.  To taste my country sourdough bread.

 

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About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3794765860/
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7 Responses to Updates

  1. Lisa Murray-Johnson says:

    Okay, you have the Zingerman’s recipe!!! That is top secret–no one gets that recipe!!! Who in the universe did you have to bribe to make that happen. What a lucky woman you are! Oh Frank, I’m appreciative too on your behalf! Kimm when I come out there, you’re going to need to triple that batch, its my favorite and Jeff loves it too. Maren is a bread queen so, that might be all she eats! And coco! Growing so fast too. He must be swiping some of that bread, I just know it.
    Love to you both!

  2. maureen Witte says:

    Once you get used to eating REAL bread in Europe, nothing else ever satisfies. So good for you for learning to do-it-yourself!

  3. Suzanne Sullivan says:

    It is good to see that you have your priorities firmly in place. Your bread sounds heavenly. Kudos to you for solving your problem! Can I go live with your brother? I would love a tempur-pedic bed. The weather here is brutal- wind chills in the 0’s and below. Enjoy your place. Awesome fence, by the way.

  4. Mikey says:

    The dough looks interesting, but that sourdough really makes me hot. Such is the effect of middle age!…

  5. Marge says:

    I gained weight in 3 weeks when eating sour dough bread and real butter in Jamaica…but it was heaven. And I guarantee you would be over the thrill of winter in a day. But we did get a day off when MSU closed…only 4th time in its history. Love the pics and the blog!

  6. Kimm X Jayne says:

    yes, good bread makes everyone happy (and hot!).

    Suzanne — I was thinking of you when doing this fence, wishing I had some of those willows for an arbor!

  7. Sandy Firestone says:

    Kim, your garden looks awesome. I vote for the Arbor and your bread looks great!

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