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Archive for November, 2013

Preparing for Next Week

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Beautiful Saturday morning.  Two (three) illegal dogs.  Figure eights in parking lot.  Cars speeding up and down Roan.

No patrols whatsoever.  Sheriff’s vehicles up and down Hwy 74.

Lots of action in the park.  Lots of people.  No ranger.  No police

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November 9th, 2013 at 2:27 pm

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Finally, Perfected

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11-5-13 053

2 1/2 cups flour (20-30% whole wheat; rest unbleached; many experts recommend fancy brands but I use generic)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
About 12 ounces water (I use cold from refrigerator; cold slows the rising process, which is preferred)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  • I use my breadmaker on the dough setting.  You could use a doughmaker/hook if you have it.  It could be mixed by hand but it would be a mess/pain.
  • Put 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour in the basin (I include one scoop/half cup whole wheat here).  Put the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bin (I have read that if they mix the salt could harm the yeast).
  • Turn the machine on and immediately pour a splash of water in.  Add two quick “pours” (maybe two teaspoons each) olive oil.  Keep adding small splashes of water as it mixes.  Then add another half cup flour while still adding small splashes of water.  Add final half cup of flour, all the while adding small bits of water.  Let it mix, adding small bits of water and/or flour until it creates a dry dough ball.  (My breadmaker doesn’t mix perfectly–flour may stick to the sides or edges of the bottom; use fingers or a spatula to get it all to mix thoroughly; if it is not mixing well take the ball out and massage the ball by hand).  Do this until it is mixed well–not sure, it may take about ten minutes.
  • Turn the bread machine off and unplug it.  Close it.  Simply let it sit until the dough rises for about two hours, depending on the activity of the yeast used (many pizza recipes will say let it double in size).
  • After it has risen turn the breadmaker on again on the dough setting.  Let the dough kneed for a few minutes (about 3-4 minutes).
  • THIS IS THE KEY STAGE for fluffy and crispy dough.  I use four 8″x8″ aluminum pans.  Grease the pans with olive oil.  Cut the dough into quarters.  Holding the dough gently form into an approximate square and place into each pan.  Go back to the first pan you filled–after it sits for a couple of minutes it will be soft again.  Gently form into the entire pan.   Do this for all four pans/doughs.  Place them on racks in a turned-off oven and let them rise.  To speed the process the oven can be turned-on very briefly to create warmth.
  • Bake each at 350 degrees for 9 minutes (it is not necessary to pre-heat the oven).  (I open the oven door frequently and rotate them; I don’t want it to be too hot or uneven).
  • After baking let each one cool for a couple of minutes and then remove them by turning the pan over and pulling the edges of the pan until the dough falls out onto a rack.
  • To make pizza preheat oven (my convection oven only goes to 450 degrees).  Place the pre-cooked dough on a black cookie sheet.
  • Dress the pizza and cook for 12 minutes (turn halfway through).
  • I believe the pizza is best “upside down,” i.e., toppings on bottom (if meat), then cheese, then sprinkled pizza sauce and spices.  Vegetables (e.g., green peppers and onions) typically cook better if placed on top.
  • Final words:  If the dough is really good relatively few toppings, and not a whole lot of sauce and cheese is necessary or even desirable.
  • Quickie:  Sauce is 1/2 generic/cheap pasta sauce, 1/2 crushed tomato; add oregano/Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, olive oil, garlic.

For alternate dough-making method click here. Read the rest of this entry »

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November 5th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

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The Bard

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Oxfordian Theory (Wiki); Last Will & Testament (IMDB); Last Will & Testament.

Recently PBS has been showing an edited version of the documentary Last Will & Testament.  I had previously heard of the debate as to who William Shakespeare really was, but this program really clarifies it.  There is little doubt that the person generally thought to be The Bard is not him.

Probably the strongest individual piece of evidence that William Shakspere was not Shakespeare is that no original writings by him have ever been found.  He was a businessman–a trader, a middleman–of  limited literacy.  No record of his education exists (i.e., he did not attend higher education).  Half of his plays were not published until after his death, yet they are not mentioned in his will or contained in his possessions.  No contemporary has ever mentioned that he was a writer; his plays were performed and his name was known while he lived but he was never personally–live–associated with them.  There was simply no record, no writings, indicating he was a writer.  Such a great writer must have written other things.

A likely “real” Shakespeare is Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

This inquiry helped me understand Shakespeare and England four hundred years ago much better.  At the time it was common for writers to use pseudonyms and it was virtually guaranteed if the author was any form of royalty or had a noble birthright.  Such a person would also be far more likely to have higher education, be exposed to books and learned people, and to have traveled.  My personal belief is that Shakspere was a broker and a representative of the real William Shakespeare.


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November 3rd, 2013 at 6:40 pm

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