Friday Yeast Fail

I banked my evening post on some cast iron skillet focaccia bread. The plan was to bake a zesty round of generously seasoned pan bread, a twelve inch disc of leavened goodness, baked to perfection in the oven and sliced up for some Friday night snacking.

I followed a simple recipe: some flour, yeast, olive oil, spices, salt, water… you know how this goes.

Mixed, I set it all aside to rise.

I waited.

I watched.

I put it into the proofing drawer of my oven.

I waited some more.

I think my failing was relying on store bought yeast. I would have gone the sourdough starter route, but I dreamed up this plan in the afternoon and was hoping for a Friday treat.

The darned thing never rose.

I turned into a cold, wet, oily ball of dough with so little going for it that six hours later I’m pretty much resigned to cooking it up and seeing what happens.

And whatever happens will definitely not be focaccia.

Apple Harvest

The local radio (yes, I still listen to the radio) was discussing apples this afternoon.

The public broadcaster hosts an afternoon general interest show where a pair or trio of hosts chatter about local news topics, update on weather and traffic, interview local businesses, and generally have a daily topic encouraging people to engage and discuss and drop comments onto their feeds to participate in said chatter.

Today the topic was apples.

I don’t know how it goes in your part of the world, but around here almost everyone has or knows someone who has an apple tree.

Mine is a magnificent fifteen year old baking variety apple. She stands nearly as tall as my two-storey house, and this year dropped roughly two thousand greenish-red orbs of tartly sweet goodness into bowls, pails, dirt, grass, the neighbour’s yard, and even quite nearly onto the dog’s head.

We made some pies.

We froze some sliced samples.

But in reality we just couldn’t keep up.

I posted online with pleas for friends to come pick… but again, everyone has or knows someone who has an apple tree, so no takers.

Next year will likely be a quieter year for fruit in our yard, the tree seeming to be a biannual giver of bounty.

I didn’t call in or participate in the radio program, not by tweet or by text, but I did pause to listen, aligning my own experience participating in the growing of the local crop right in my backyard with countless neighbours around the city. It was a moment almost as sweet as a fresh backyard apple.

Equinox

four hundred and sixty
meters per second
tracking a prograde elliptical orbit
an average of nearly
one hundred and fifty million kilometers
around a nuclear fireball
immense
seven hundred thousand kilometers wide
a wet ball of rock
barely sixty three hundred kilometers thick
askew on her axis
twenty-three degrees
touches a mathematical moment
briefly marking the progress through
cold space against
ever-shifting durations of light upon
her surface
nudging atmospheric variations
triggering biological changes
bridging annual manipulations
of air and water and life
marked by words we simply call
seasons

– bardo

I have reserved some space on this blog each week to be creative, and to post some fiction, poetry, art or prose. Writing a daily blog could easily get repetitive and turn into driveling updates. Instead, Wordy Wednesdays give me a bit of a creative nudge when inspiration strikes.

Last Day of Summer

And just like that the leaves turned yellow, the air felt crisper, and another summer drifted into memory.

In three short months we managed to squeeze in quite a lot of action, particularlly considering that the world was still fairly locked down with this pandemic.

We visited the mountains for two weeks across two separate trips, completed a modest list of hikes, kayaked on a couple mountain lakes, photographed glaciers, and enjoyed the wilderness.

We cooked outdoors on our new backyard fire pit, roasting a crazy variety of meats, a garden’s worth of vegetables, and too many marshmallows to count.

We hosted friends in our backyard, spending lovely afternoons or evenings with (on different occasions) family for elaborate meals, co-workers for beers, friends for campfires, and my running crew for a brithday party.

We met our neighbours in the park, new friendly relationships spurred on by the magnetic conversation starting magic of a cute puppy who makes pals with anyone and drags me into it at the other end of a leash.

We ran as I hosted at least a dozen weeks of adventure runs around and just outside the city, encouraging a dozen (give or take) of my running crew to join me in exploring new trails and unfamiliar routes, often with an ice cream or beer at the end of it.

We enjoyed our own backyard.

We toured our own city.

We lived in our space, not always by choice, but making the best of the situation.

The summer of 2021 ends in a couple short hours and it may not have been perfect, but it certainly was not wasted.