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The thing about big sacks of lumpwood charcoal, which I infinitely prefer over briquettes, is that all the small pieces that I want to fill the chimney and start the blaze inevitably - because of science! - fall to the bottom. There may be a fix for this that does not involve groping up to the elbow in carbonised wood, but if there is I do not know it.

Filthy was I, ere I saw fire.

But I have a big hunk of pork, which will shortly be smoking over slow mesquite. I may well repeat the Moroccan potatoes to go with, because they were good; and I want to make a salsa of hotness, just because.

There may also be bread; it's in the oven, but more in the interests of science than appetite. I was wrong before, overconfident in that way I can be before I am blasted back into a proper sense of inferiority: my sourdough can be left too long, worked too often, kept too warm. Something. I shoulda baked it when we got in last night, or else fridged it till this morning. I don't like chill doughs, though; it's such a poor conductor, they take forever to come back up to a working temperature.

However: when I came to give it one last knead this morning before I shaped it for its final rise, it collapsed on me altogether. Went from the firm coherent dough it had been last night to a sticky mess with no structure and no resilience. I floured the cloth and set it to rise in a basket anyway, and I am baking it anyway, and we shall see what we shall see - but it may be beyond hope. I'll let you know.

EtA: as I foretold thee, really. It hath no sense of structure. Oven spread, rather than oven spring; it didn't so much rise as broaden. It's not heavy and it doesn't taste awful, but that's ... not really enough, y'know? I hope we all learned something today; I know I did.

EtA2: M'wife has called me a loafist. That may be a first.

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desperance

June 2017

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