Musings on Sourdough Starters

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For many, many years, I owned and maintained my own, private zoo.* I fed and watered the creatures in it, occasionally neglected them, moved them from place to place, and when their population threatened to explode, I took out a large quantity and killed them. That’s what, in a nutshell, every baker does with their sourdough starter. A sourdough starter is a SCOBY: a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast; a complex colony of living creatures. It’s also what bakers … click below for more!

Musings on Haiku

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I can’t recall just when I first encountered haiku, that subtle, concise and often baffling Japanese poetry, but I suspect it was sometime in the late 1960s, not long after I was first introduced to Buddhism. I recall having the four-volume set of seasonal haiku by Blyth back in those days, but long since gone from my library for reasons I can no longer fathom. I’ve had several other books of haiku on my shelves since then, and turn to … click below for more!

Potato-Onion-Tarragon Bread

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I recently hunted through my cookbooks and online for a simple recipe to make a potato-onion bread in my breadmaker machine. While I found quite a few recipes for potato bread, and others for onion bread, I didn’t find any that merged the two. I collected a lot of recipes and got some good ideas for loaves, but nothing was exactly what I wanted to make. So I decided to tweak a recipe from the 300 Best Canadian Bread Machine … click below for more!

Musing on Universal Monsters

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I can’t recall exactly when I watched each of the great original monster films (the classic “Universal Monster” films) — Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, The Mummy, and the rest — some I saw before my teens, others in my very early teens and others throughout the ’60s. And I’ve seen them, their sequels, and many of their knockoffs since, often several times. I have numerous of the films on DVD and Blu-Ray; I sometimes watch them in the late afternoons, while … click below for more!

Breadmaker Tales: Blueberry Jam

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Longtime readers here know that baking bread is one of my passions (Susan might call it an obsession, one of my many), but I’m also I’m a reasonably competent cook (not as good as Susan, but I try…); I make my own fresh pasta and my own pizza, among other dishes. Of late, I have been branching out into new areas. None of them are terribly challenging, but they are new things for me to learn. And being retired, keeping … click below for more!

Bread Machine Cookbooks

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Among my shelves of books on baking bread by hand, is a smaller selection of books about using a bread machine to craft loaves and other items. I admit I’ve been somewhat lax in my creative uses of the bread machine, using it only to bake somewhat plain, whole loaves when I wasn’t up to or able to bake one entirely by hand. The results, I also admit, have been somewhat mixed, in large part because I tend to experiment … click below for more!

Yesterday’s Laughs

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It may be a small conceit to say I was brought up watching the Marx Brothers movies on TV, but there’s some truth in that claim. I remember seeing them on our small, B&W TV set on weekends when my brother and I were allowed to watch the programs of our choice. I also recall seeing the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and others between the cartoons and kids’ shows in the 1950s and ’60s. The Marx … click below for more!

I have filed my papers

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As of today, I am running for a seat on Collingwood Council, in 2022. I will use my new campaign website at www.chadwickforcouncil.ca to publish updates, comments on current issues, policy and position statements, pictures, upcoming events, and other relevant material. As many of you are aware, I served on Collingwood’s council previously, from 2003 to 2014. I would like to contribute my experience and understanding to a collaborative, cooperative council that focuses on the needs of the community first. … click below for more!

The Book of Knowledge: 1

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When I was growing up in the Fifties and Sixties, having an encyclopedia in your home was the bee’s knees, to use my grandmother’s phrase. It was a sign of sophistication and learning, of culture and wisdom. And being reasonably well-off, because encyclopedias were not inexpensive. I can still hear Jimminy Cricket singing the song (it’s how I learned to spell encyclopedia). Many school libraries had them, although usually only one set and not always the most current or the … click below for more!

Godaddy Broke My Blog 2

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Prelude: For several years, I received emails from Godaddy – the company that hosts my online material — announcing my websites and blogs (then hosted on a Linux server) would be migrated to a newer server with a cPanel administration system. Allegedly this move would prove more efficient and offer faster access to my site (access has long been dismally slow). I wouldn’t have to do anything, just let Godaddy work. However, despite numerous emails promising the migration, nothing was … click below for more!

The Cancer Diaries, Part 30

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The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together… (Shakespeare: All’s Well That Ends Well, Act IV, Sc II.) Elumbated.* It’s an archaic word meaning “weakened in the loins” according to the OED. It apparently derives from the Latin elumbis “having a dislocated hip (from e out + lumbus loin).” I thought that the word itself might be well resurrected to describe someone who had had a radical prostatectomy. Like me: If the cancer is tangled … click below for more!

Montaigne on Ice Cream

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No, Michel de Montaigne did not write about ice cream. I just used his name to entice you into this musing. But given the wide variety of topics he did write about, you’d think he might have at least penned a few words on it. Had it been available in his time, that is. It would suit his style to muse on its flavours, texture, ingredients, and digestibility.  Unfortunately, while Montaigne does mention food and eating several times, he really didn’t … click below for more!

Is Bigger Better? In TVs, Maybe Not.

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I read on several websites that for a distance of about 3.6 m (12 ft) from the screen to the viewer, the optimum size of a television should be 85 inches (220 cm, measured on the diagonal). That’s also the distance between someone sitting on our couch and our current (much smaller) TV screen. The mind boggles. A TV set that large (74 by 43 inches, or 190 by 109 cm, or 3,225 sq. in./ 20,710 sq. cm) would occlude … click below for more!

The Cancer Diaries, Part 29

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I began to write this post on the anniversary of my prostate surgery, July 8. Anniversaries are a time to reflect on the past and look to the future, even for events that are not always the happiest to recall. I took some time for such reflection and contemplation this week, and here are some of my thoughts. Twenty twenty was a tough year for everyone, what with the pandemic spreading, the lockdowns that shut businesses and services often for … click below for more!

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