Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday night

I made a loaf of bread yesterday.  Buttermilk Honey Wheat Bread.  It looks o.k.

And it tasted fantastic.

But . . . the top kind of collapsed.  And the bread, while very tasty . . . was very light.  No body to it.  SWMBO said "look at the troubleshooting area of your bread machine manual."

So I did.  There wasn't really anything there.  But then . . I found a page in the very end of the book.  It was about baking at elevations higher than 3,000 feet.  Well!  We're at about 5,100 feet.  And one paragraph had SWMBO's very own asterisk (*) alongside it.  It said:  "The bread rises faster at higher elevations.  Increase the salt in your recipes by 25 percent!"  Well, hell!  I'd seen that before but had forgotten or ignored it.  So . . the next loaf will have more salt.  And we'll see what happens.

Stay tuned.


Now on to the serious stuff.  Sunday night is Oscar night.  SWMBO is always invited to a "girls only" party that night at the home of our longtime friend - DK - in Flagstaff.  I stay home, alone, bereft.  BUT I get a steak and a potato and enjoy myself.  Well, wouldn't you believe it?  Weather has taken a stand and a big snowstorm is moving into northern Arizona late Saturday and through Sunday.  The forecasters are backing off on the extent of it but still say Flagstaff could get a foot to two feet of snow.  Well, SWMBO stays overnight but that would mean struggling through more snow than is reasonable to get home Monday.  And she has to get home Monday because Monday evening is the BRD's dinner, which SWMBO promised her as a Christmas gift.  Totally prepared and delivered for four people - - Beef Bourguinon, egg noodles, green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, french bread, and for dessert chocolate mousse crepes with warm Creme Anglais sauce.  It's all delivered ahead of time.  All the BRD has to do is warm up the necessary stuff and serve it.  They have to provide their own wine.  The four guests can not include SWMBO or me.

She got the idea of the gift from the BRD remembering before Christmas some time that a similar dinner had been provided for her and a different boyfriend as a yuletide gift some 35 years ago and she still remembered it with joy and a bit of a tear in the eye.  She's looking forward to Monday night so you can see why SWMBO couldn't take a chance on the snow.

Now . . . to what I really set out to tell you about: my Oscar predictions.  They are as follows:

Best Movie - True Grit.  (I believe the Social Network and the King's Speech will knock each other out.)

Best Director - Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit.  (But I'm probably wrong about this.)

Best Actor - Colin Firth (He's a lock.)

Best Supporting Actor - Geoffrey Rush (I love him but Christian Bale in The Fighter is probably going to beat him.)

Best Actress - Natalie Portman (I haven't seen Black Swan but have heard great things about her and I've seen her in a couple of movies lately in which she is fantastic.)

Best Supporting Actress - Hailee Steinfeld (I thought she was fantastic in True Grit.  But I know Melissa Leo is a favorite for The Fighter.  I haven't seen the movie but would have picked her until she started getting bad publicity for campaigning hard for the award.)

That's as far as my predictions go.  Sunday night should be fun and I'll get to share it firsthand with my SWMBO, even if I don't get my steak.