Our next episode is right around the corner, so it’s time for a little update on what Adri finally got around to since the last one.
Adventures in baking
Oh man. I really like making bread and always have a list of recipes I mean to try, but I just haven’t gotten around to much of it until recently. It started with some English muffin bread I made a month or so ago. Then I got it into my head to finally make bagels. Most of the bagels I have access to are pretty unimpressive, and since I’ve made pretzels on multiple occasions, this seemed like it would be an easy thing to learn. Joke’s on me! I messed with the recipe too much (foolish mistake), and definitely deflated them when I boiled them. The bagels came out pretty flat and not too pretty, but they still make a great breakfast sandwich.
A while ago, I picked up a book on cooking with spelt, something inspired by an old D&D character of mine. (A halfling from a long line of bakers. Spelt loaves were the family specialty.) It’s been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. I managed to find a natural market that carried spelt flour, and I picked up some rye while I was at it. I made a spelt-rye loaf from the book, with some adjustments since I didn’t have white spelt flour. (King Arthur bread flour to the rescue.) Whoo-wee! What a delicious loaf of bread. My partner and I slathered on some garlic butter and gobbled up too many slices of this sucker in one sitting.
The bagels and spelt loaf are in the freezer now, because otherwise I’d be in a major carb coma right now. With the new season of British Bake Off on Netflix, I’m sure there will be more baking to come.
Bought myself a ukulele
I started playing violin in elementary school; in middle school, I was second-to-last chair of second violin. For those who don’t know, that means I wasn’t the worst violin player in the group. I was the second worst. It also meant I sat near the viola and cello players who were undoubtedly cool as far as orchestra kids go.
My musical skills never really got past second-to-last chair. Granted, a lot of that was due to lack of practice. I was embarrassed about sounding bad. Who knows where I’d be if I hadn’t let that stop me. Could I have been third-to-last chair of second violin? What! A! Dream!
Over the years I tried some other instruments, but was always held back by the anxiety of having to practice. Best I ever did was learn the bass lines for “Rebel Rebel” and “Welcome to Paradise”. I’ve been meaning to try again, but didn’t want to make as a huge of an investment in case it went the same way as before. A ukulele has been in the back of my mind as a good way to dip my toes in.
Look, I know that ukulele has been the go-to instrument for every aging white hipster for the better part of a decade. For that very reason I resisted the urge to get one. Luckily, I no longer give a shit about whether or not what I like makes me seem like a hipster or whatever. I also no longer give a shit about sounding bad, so I’ve actually been practicing. A great resource has been Cynthia Lin’s Youtube channel.
I’ve gone off on my own a bit, picking up chords here and there. So far I’ve learned “Heart-Shaped Guitar” by Masked Intruder, the Jeopardy theme song, and “Jolene” because who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? I’ve been on a bit of a break since I got a tattoo on the arm that holds up the ukulele’s body, but it’s healed up and I’m ready to get back to it.
My sincerest apologies to the neighbors. It’s gonna get annoying.