Doing it all the hard way...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You can do that ?

There have been a few times in my life when I have uttered these words in a tone of utter surprise. Other times, I’ve witnessed people saying it. At all times it evokes a smile.

This past week I had reason to remember my earliest recollection of saying it. I was at the house of my friend Scott Rosson. His mother was making pancakes for breakfast and she asked if I wanted chocolate chips in mine. “You can do that?” I said out loud. She did and I loved them. This past week I awoke with a serious hankering for some chocolate chip pancakes. They were great.

Our Sunday morning ride is pretty much a ritual. We ride the same course and we stop at the same places every week. One of our stops is just after we get onto Mercer Island. We regroup, shed layers and drink. There is nervousness at this stop because when we depart, the competitive part of our ride starts. One week I was feeling particularly spent and announced I was heading out on a solo break before the others, and asked the group to yell as they passed me. One of our slower riders sounded agitated and asked, “Hey, is that legal? I didn’t know you could do that” He quickly jumped on my wheel and we rode along for three our four minutes before the brown train swept pass us.

Murder's row preparing for the attack

Maybe you know this, maybe you don't. I bake. I bake some things very well. I am the Sconemaster. I’ll go toe to toe with anybody on scones. I have always struggled with bread. It goes flat. It starts out looking big and fluffy and collapses like a broken promise during the baking process.

Over the holidays I was making some Orange Knot Rolls and with everything else taking up oven space so I was forced to get creative. When it was time to put the dough in a warm place to rise I put the bowl of dough and a lit candle under a large pot. My son Zach commented, “you can do that?” The candle kept it warm and the rolls were a success. I tried bread one evening this week and used my candle trick and it worked. Good bread. I’m not the breadman yet, but it is a start.

A lit candle and covered bowl of dough

Then I cover it with a box to keep the heat in...

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