Monday, November 26, 2012

SSOC: I'm annoyed by...

Another night of being unable to fall asleep so I thought I'd tackle the Sunday Stream of Consciousness prompt from Jana's Thinking Place.

I'm annoyed by:

  • my inability to fall asleep some nights. 
  • people who make grand assumptions without knowing the facts or by simply ignoring what is presented before them. 
  • men who do not take no for an answer.
  • people who think breastfeeding in public is a crime against humanity. 
  • my inability to form meaningful relationship.s 
  • my inability to talk to the people around me about the life altering things going on in my life right now. 
  • Violet Turner on Private Practice - why is she sleeping with every guy. 
  • Addison Forbes Montgomery on Private Practice - who has slept with more men Addison or Violet? I think Addison. Addison makes some decisions that drive me nuts. (Currently watching a Private Practice marathon - see my last entry.)
  • myself. I annoy me. A LOT. 
  • by the fact that there must be several real things annoying me but I can't seem to think of them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm addicted to TV

It's 4 am and I can't fall asleep. My anxiety is at an all time high and I just don't feel like forcing myself. I have lots of sleeping pills but they're usually useless so I don't bother to take them unless I'm desperate. I just finished watching last Sunday's episode of Homeland and thought I'd ramble on here about what I'm watching this fall.

I am addicted to TV. I used to spend several hours watching TV and thought I had kicked the habit when I got rid of my cable subscription. It turns out that I should have also gotten rid of my internet subscription too.  No cable? No problem - I just watch everything online. This season I am following so many shows that I have actually created a Springpad notebook to keep track of them. Yes, I have issues.

Here's a quick summary of what I'm currently watching.

The Walking Dead - I actually started season 1 of this show a week ago and spent my entire week catching up so that I am now on track. That means I watched 25 episodes in a week. If I was in the kitchen, the laptop was with me. Folding laundry? Eating? I lived and breathed The Walking Dead last week. It consumed my entire Saturday. Insomnia creeping in? Oh not to worry, I have The Walking Dead. It's exactly what it sounds like - a show about zombies and obviously, I am hooked.

Dexter - I love, love, love Dexter. My friends and I actually schedule a Google Plus Hangout to watch Dexter each week. We can't miss our favourite serial killer. Things started off a bit slow this season but it's finally picking up.

666 Park Avenue - This is a new one. I like it so far. It's about a haunted (?) apartment building. It's a bit more than haunted though. It seems that the owner of the building may be the devil himself.

Homeland - Homeland is best watched in bulk. Waiting one week for the next episode will drive you crazy. The protagonist, Carrie, will make you scream at the screen every single week. I love that while watching tonight, I could feel my anxiety building but  I wasn't sure if it was just because I was already high-strung. While reading a review, I realised that many others felt the same way. It's a great show about the CIA - just prepare to be frustrated as you simply cannot predict what the writers will do next.

Parenthood - This show is in its fourth season and apparently the writers have been on a mission to make me cry in every single episode this season. I didn't cry last week though -take that writers! They have dealt with some great issues this season. I really love the family dynamic here.

Covert Affairs - Honestly, Covert Affairs isn't the best drama out there. I watched a random episode once, liked what I saw and then went back and watched the previous seasons. (Yes, watching all previous episodes is something  I do a lot which is why I try to avoid watching new (as in, new to me but have been on for a while) shows. I have ZERO self control so it's easier to just not start.) I think I keep watching now just so that I can talk about it with a friend of mine.

NCIS & NCIS LA - I am getting a bit bored with these two shows. They're solid dramas but I am just not feeling it anymore. I still watch them though. Both are available on the app on my phone so if I'm unable to sleep, it's pretty easy to watch an episode or two until I feel sleepy without having to turn on my laptop. In fact, I think I may do that now. Although, I'm caught up on both shows so I may play some other random show like CSI:NY, CSI or Undercover Boss.

This list takes us to Tuesday. I'm going to try to fall asleep and maybe later today or tomorrow, I'll write about the shows that are on on Wednesday and Thursday nights..

Friday, November 2, 2012

My First Commercial Yeast Bread

I have baked a lot of sourdough loaves over the last year and a half but I have never made a loaf of bread with commercial yeast. I had two packets of yeast left from making guava and cream cheese rolls for the Willow Bird Baking Challenge and wondered what I'd make with them. I thought it would be donuts until on Sunday my friend sent me a panicked message asking for help with her No Knead Bread. Yes, that famous New York Times No Knead Bread. She said it was watery but she followed all the instructions.

There are several reasons why her dough could have been watery. Maybe she accidentally added too little flour or too much water. I have found that different brands of flours absorb water differently too. Humidity could also play a role. Too many variables to diagnose. I decided that since I had some commercial yeast, I'd try this famous loaf.

It's hard for me to go back to baking bread using volume measurements since I am so used to weighing my ingredients but I decided to stop being picky. I made two changes. The original recipe called for 1 5/8 cup of water and I ditched that additional 1/8 cup. When stirring together, I could see that my dough could have used those additional two tablespoons and it would not have made a difference. I also replaced 1/4 cup of the water with beer.

I mixed it up and it definitely was not watery -sticky but not watery. In fact, I have made loaves with a higher hydration. She said she added more flour but after the bulk ferment, it went back to watery. I waited 18 hours but mine did not get watery. It smelled wonderful though. Love that beer smell.

I just took it out the oven and  I can hear it crackling behind me as it cools down. I can't wait to slice it. It's a beautiful loaf. I think I'm in love!