It Has Arrived

Surprising me last night when I arrived home was my copy of “Artisan Bread” that I had ordered just days ago.  I immediately sat down and began reading, from front to back like a good girl. 

As many people do, I tend to read cookbooks like newspapers.  I look at the front pages, the index, and immediately go to the sections I like.  This time, however, I had looked at some websites which talked about the book and got the great advice to really read it, the introduction, the tips section, all of it.  Good thing I did because I found invaluable tips in places I wouldn’t have thought to look.  So I read all the way up through ingredients last night and tonight I will complete my read (except for the various recipes, which I’ll get to later).   

My experience with this book has been three-fold.  I am now completely excited about getting started, I am confused as to all the specialized utensils they say you need (or at least suggest firmly), and frustrated that I do not already possess them so I could start immediately.  My wife’s experience with the book is that she doesn’t want to hear about it because we’re dieting and she’s a carboholic.   The only reason I’m even being allowed to do this is that, well, there could be fresh baked bread involved, I’m apparently very cute when I’m inspired, and she’s hoping it will inspire her to follow her goals of perfecting her pastry skills (and she does have the mad pastry skills). 

Saturday we make a pilgrimage to a kitchen store 40 miles away to locate and procure the necessary items for my task.  I believe, thanks to our kitchen-heavy wedding registry, that we have most of what we need.  What we’ll be getting is a pizza peel (small one), a dough cutter, a new pastry brush because I was silly and thought it was dishwasher safe (it’s not), and food-safe containers to hold the dough.   If our pilgrimage is successful I will be mixing my first batch of dough Sunday and baking my first loaf on Sunday night.  Oh Joy!

Last night I also received a good omen.  My cats, Phoebe and Nemo, fell in love with the book as well.  Phoebe pushed her way onto my lap while reading and rubbed her nose all over the edges, nibbling her way around the cover and making it impossible for me to both keep a straight face while I shooed her away but also from returning it.  Cat slobber and nibble-marks are not things Amazon.com will overlook.  Once I put the book down on our coffee table Nemo decided there was no better spot in the apartment to sleep than on top of the book.  I have never seen this reaction to a book before.  It is now one with our family.  Slobbered on, bitten, and covered in fur, and I haven’t even made a single batch of dough.

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