I came, I saw, I conquered
Well, maybe I came, I baked, I conquered.
I’ve been known to exaggerate or stretch the truth in the pages of this column, sometimes for comedic value and other times to make myself seem way cooler and more interesting than I actually am.
But last week when I bragged about having one of the best bread recipes in the history of civilization, I was apparently only partly joking.
I say that because I presently have a blue ribbon hanging on my refrigerator earned from a top prize in the “other bread” category in the open class from the Pierce County Fair.
It may have been that the competition wasn’t too stiff. Or maybe that it was just too dry and crumbly, but I managed to take first place as promised with my magical no-knead loaf.
Unfortunately, I didn’t even make the bread the way I was supposed to.
The key to the no-knead bread was that you let it sit for 12-16 hours with just a small amount of yeast in the dough, but that time would really allow the yeast to do its work.
The next step is that you fold it over onto itself once or twice and let it proof for another two hours, allowing it to double in size.
Unfortunately, I skipped that step.
I thought I had it all planned out. I made the loaf late Wednesday night and was going to bake it and let it cool after we got the paper out on Thursday.
Well I did just that, but when I took it out to bake it I realized that I would have to skip the final proof or I probably would miss the deadline for entry.
The loaf was much smaller than normal and it wasn’t quite as crispy on the outside or airy on the inside as it was supposed to be, but live and learn I guess.
In this case, I’m living and learning with a blue ribbon on my fridge door.
But the ecstasy of being a bread-baking champion was quickly erased when I made my biggest gardening blunder of my rookie year last weekend.
I was out trying to do some weeding, which I have come to find out is about as fun as getting a toenail pulled out.
Many of my pepper plants haven’t really taken off. One on the edge of the garden has got trampled a couple of times and the others and looking pretty meager.
But along my pepper rows, I noticed one magnificent growth that was more than triple the height of my other plants and spread out like a daddy long legs.
No wonder these peppers aren’t growing, I thought, look at the size of that weed.
So with a sense of emancipation, I ripped the “weed” out of the ground so that the pepper plants could prosper. I piled it next to a few of the other weeds I’d removed that hot afternoon.
And then I started inspecting it a little closer, noticing the little pepper pods that had sprouted all over what I now realized was a gigantic, healthy pepper plant.
I tried to replant it, but it appears as though the prize of my pepper patch is dead.
Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
It’s not always easy to weed your way through life.