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Listening to the live stream of the Newport Folk Festival today, as bread baking is happening in the kitchen for the first time in a long, long time. I stopped trying to knead bread a long time ago, but I did discover that my old bread machine does a decent job of mixing, kneading, and sending the dough through the first rise, which is basically all I need. I put the ingredients in, set it on dough cycle, then take it out, put it in a oiled bowl, let it rise again, then put it either in pans or on a baking sheet, let it rise again, and then bake it in the oven. For a little while I baked directly on some thin brick tiles I lined the oven rack with, but I got fussed at about the possibility of chemicals in the bricks, so I don’t do that any more.

What I am miffed at myself about is that I put in a good bit of effort in grating apples and carrots for some quick breads to bake while the yeast bread is doing its thang. At some point I turned the oven off when I realized it was taking me longer than I figured to make up the dough. Then I put the loaves in the oven without turning the oven back on. So now it’s rather tricky. I put them in for 30 minutes more with the oven turned back on, and I hope for the best because these loaves are for the reception at Elements Gallery next Friday night. I am NOT grating apples and carrots again.

We are hoping to get some rain today, but so far it seems to be going around us. I picked lots of figs yesterday. Early in the morning I covered my body as much as I could and pulled as many weeds as I could before the sweating started and attracted the mosquitoes to my face and hands. It is a downward cycle in the summer. The more mosquitoes, the harder it is to keep the weeds and vines down. The more weeds and vines, the more mosquitoes. It is much worse this year because I was not able to do the mulching and clipping that I normally do in the spring.

Right now, I’m just stitching back the seams of the old patchwork squares, with the idea of cutting them into strips and either weaving them or doing a striped square with some solid color stripes in there to offset the multicolor stripes. Not ready to photo and post for a while.

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