Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not quite as planned


Sunday night. When the specter of the coming week floats through the wall and buggers you with images of traffic jams, printer jams, pointless meetings, laddered pantyhose, the impossible expectation of being in two places at once and a coffee stain on your right boob?

Last Sunday wasn't like that at all. Instead, I was giddily naming the things I would do with my last week of not working. I had plans.Writing. Reading. Finishing an editing job that I lost when I washed my jump drive. Lolling around, sleeping in, long afternoon naps in between watching Netflix and AcornTV until my eyeballs dried out.

And since my first week on the job means a week of member meetings where I'll be cloistered at a hotel and not be at the beck and call of the America aristocracy who've become all too accustomed to having an entire Downtown downstairs staff rolled into one woman, I'd planned to get things arranged so that MathMan, the kids and cats won't be reduced to making meals out of the remains at the bottom of a jar of olives and some three-year-old cookie mix*.

Then everything went all Robert Burns. Or Steinbeck, if you will. And no one even got laid.

I won't bore you with the details, but holy servants' bells, how did it get to be Friday Saturday already?

I decided there was no point in fighting it. It was best to keep calm and ...... bake challah?

Ingrediments. If you know Jack Benny, you get this joke.


Chloe doing the necessary kneading.

Sophie with her finished braid.

Chloe learning how to braid.

Egg washed, ready to go in the oven.

Fresh from the oven.

Enjoying the fruits of her labor.
What's new with you? What have you in the oven? Favorite bread recipes? Bets on how next week goes?


*Mostly a lie. They'd just eat fast food all week.

48 comments:

  1. hey i would take it...this week disappeared like a magic rabbit in a top hat...working on the car today, so hopefully baking a running vehicle, know what i am saying....

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    1. I hope your running vehicle came out of the oven perfectly. Otherwise, I suspect the coming week will be loaded with not fun.

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  2. Melodie Beattie says that patience is a very important quality because sometimes things are being worked out in us, in the universe or in others before we get where we want or need to be. So assume it's all been worked out!

    I too got addicted to Downton Abbey on Netflix and then nearly died waiting for season 2. I don't have cable anymore so I thought the wait would be endless until another blogger said season 2 was on pbs.org for a limited time. I watched and am now more hooked on Downton than before!

    Long live the internet, for all reasons jobs and TV!

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    1. Long live the internet, for all reasons job and TV

      Amen to that!

      Funny you should mention patience. Baking bread was definitely the perfect metaphor for patience, a great reminder that the payoff was worth it. Especially with blackberry jam.

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  3. Answers: can't tell you, ancient Ohiostan secret; is the microwave an acceptable substitute; whatever is crunchy on the outside and fluffy, almost gooey on the inside; your head, about to slip off your hand in conferencing boredom, is startled to see an extraterrestrial SWAT team barge through the windows but, thinking fast, you remember your training that aliens are allergic to bread and you throw challah you brought to snack on at them, and they melt like that witch in Oz, you are declared a hero, and are given a raise, the key to the city, and 2.5 extra hours of vacation time per year.

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    1. Randal, I love the idea of being a hero muchly rewarded for saving the planet. Or at least the meeting from bread-adverse aliens.

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  4. Lisa, I hate to admit that I haven't Bern reading That's Why lately so I was unaware that you had a new job. Congrats! (?)

    Meridith & I are in Charleston, SC this weekend for a 50 mile walk too benefit MS. By Sunday afternoon I'll probably be declared brain dead (or leg dead, if there is such a thing.)

    Steve

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    1. Steve, thank you. I hope the walk goes well. It's for a great cause!

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  5. Memory stick for Jack Benny seems to be lost, so joke not gotten. Sorry.

    Congrats on job, if I haven't already said.

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    1. Thanks, D! The Jack Benny joke was the one involving the cimmaron rolls with the special ingrediments. I think it was lines delivered first by Mel Blanc.

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  6. No one got laid? Say it isn't so.

    Good luck this week, jumping right in with both feed firmly ensconced in pantyhose and all.

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    1. It isn't so, Geoffrey. And thank you from the top of my head to the tips of the reinforced toes of my nylons.

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  7. Great shots of the baking process. A lovely post, Lisa. Those loaves are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Gina. It was our first batch of challah and I was thrilled that the braids came out so well.

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  8. MathMan, the kids and cats...

    = American Aristocracy

    I hope they're appreciative!
    ~

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    1. thunder, they better be appreciative because the dynamic is about to change for good.

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  9. Congratulations on the job! Maybe the economy _is_ coming back.

    The photo of Chloe reminded me of our daughters growing up.
    All of a sudden they had these long, graceful fingers.
    Oh, and nail polish.

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    1. Thanks, George! It's really something to see the transition from girl to woman. Now I ask Chloe for advice on how to dress, my hair, etc.

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  10. I've been baking crusty Italian type loaves and brewing beer. Thank Mother Nature for yeast farts.

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    1. Italian loaves AND beer! A wicked, but tasty combination.

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  11. Oooh, I'll take a piece!

    Me and time off are enemies. Oh, I think I want it, but I don't know how to use it. If I'm not multi-tasking, I stop moving all together, find myself open-mouthed on the couch, staring at the TV.

    Pearl

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    1. I would gladly share some challah with you, Pearl. I know what you mean about time off. My big plans to do a whole lotta nothing were derailed by me as much as by anyone.

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  12. Banana bread, right over here. It's what I think of as guilt baking, because I can't stand for three perfectly good though overripe bananas to get thrown away.

    Good luck with the new job!

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    1. Ooooh, banana bread. It's a favorite around here, too, but lately the bananas never last long enough to make it into the bread.

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  13. Yum!!!! I can taste that deliciousness from here. I love love love challah bread. And it makes awesome french toast.

    I got no recipes for you but rumor has it that this coming week is going to be spectacular.

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    1. I'm hoping for a spectacular week. Since I have no idea what to expect with the job, I'm assuming that it will still be easier than a week at home with that cats and the people.

      However, I've been wrong before.

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  14. I baked a Papa Murphy's pizza about an hour ago. That counts, right?

    Challah . . . I loves it.

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  15. A few thoughts before you head back out to the working world:

    Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties. ~Doug Larson

    The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office. ~Robert Frost

    Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. ~John G. Pollard

    Your Business clothes are naturally attracted to staining liquids. This attraction is strongest just before an important meeting. ~Scott Adams

    A baseball game is twice as much fun if you're seeing it on the company's time. ~William C. Feather

    To kill time, a committee meeting is the perfect weapon. ~Author Unknown

    Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. ~Douglas Adams

    Are you qualified to give a urine sample? ~me

    ps: The loaves are magnificent.

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    1. Thank you for these quotes, susan. I'll take them with me to help me keep perspective.

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  16. Good luck with the new job! I'm sure you'll be a hit.

    As for cooking, this week I have been the laziest hound in the province. Gnocchi from the supermarket, even meat balls from Ikea!!!!! Somebody punish me!

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    1. Thanks, Cat! I'm sure we could find a volunteer to punish you. ;-D

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  17. I'm not a challah fan, but that sure looks pretty! I really wish I responded like you. You're trying to get all kinds of cleaning done and cooking and very responsible adult mom stuff out of the way before you're no longer accessible to your progeny at all times. I, on the other hand, would be like, hmm, I'd better sit around while I can because shortly I won't be able to. And I do hope someone deals with the mess while I'm at work. See how not-productive?

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  18. Lord-a-mercy, I can practically smell that beautiful bread coming out of the oven. I'm so excited for you, Lisa --- a new chapter, about to begin! Out of the basement kitchen and into a hotel where your own servants await. Just think: you'll come back to your room late in the day and, like magic, your bed will be made!

    I'm just home from AWP and avoiding the unpacking, laundry, putting away stuff, process. I do have to go to the grocery store this instant because there is not an olive or even old cookie mix in this house and god knows I gotta eat.

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  19. The challah looks great. Make some tomato sauce and freeze it. You can make a pot with meatballs and then the frozen container can be used with pasta or for sandwiches. It's dead easy, you just need to let it cook for about four hours with the occasional stire (after you have already fried up the meatballs, of course). And good luck at your first week back to work. You will have the distinction of being one of a handful of people happy to be at work on Monday. Hope you feel that way as long as you are with them (not out of gratitude--that's bullshit--but because you actually like your work).

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  20. You are going to work tomorrow. I snuck out here to tell you to have a great first day of school, I mean work, I mean, oh hell! you know what I mean! :-)

    If I could put a love letter in your lunch bag it would look like this (but probably all crumpled up under your sandwich or something):

    Dear Lisa,

    Hope you're having a great day so far. Play nice with the other kids, don't run with the scissors unless they're pointy side out and don't eat the paste unless nobody's looking (remember what happened last time?). Actually, don't run with scissors at all. People get mad when you run into them with the scissors pointy side out. I forgot about that. Anyway, have a great week and I'll sneak back out here as soon as I can or I'll be back whenever the BestBuy Freaks fix my @#%@#$ hard drive.

    Love, Alecto the Terrible.

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  21. I have possessed an intense hatred of Sunday nights, going all the way back into my childhood. Although I hardly ever even turn on my television set, I still have nightmares about the deep depression that set upon me, every time I heard the "tick, tick, tick" of the opening bit of the clock on 60 Minutes. Always the signal that my weekend was over.

    Fingers are crossed for the first week--and all those that follow--of your new job.

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  22. Hey kiddo- Best wishes w the new job scenario.

    I've got *nothing* in my oven-- but I did manage to pull out the Forman grill & cook some already filleted salmon, and cut a fresh lemon. Steamed some Kale & made a salad. Woo Hoo!
    That's the extend of my culinary talents tonight.

    I've been off work since dec 29, when I had carpal tunnel surgery & a the 2nd wrist done 3 weeks later. The doc said part time for a few weeks.... so co workers are asking- where the hell have you been, I get to say happy new year in freaking March!

    My big happy news is they let me keep my job, because after 12 weeks, my job was officially no longer protected.

    So best wishes & hope all goes well.

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  23. Yum. I use a bread machine because I'd never make bread otherwise. But I do make my own pie crust.

    Good luck, Lisa!

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  24. How did I miss that you got a new job?? CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy for you - it much be such a relief after all this time!

    And holy shit, that bread looks gorgeous. Yum.

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  25. Welcome back to the happy world of wage-slavery. Hope you enjoy it :-)

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  26. And you know you're gonna have to post about your first day. We're all your eager parents running out to the school bus to hear how it went!

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  27. I've made corn bread, banana nut muffins and biscuits these past few weeks. I don't know what's gotten into me with this baking bit :)

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  28. Wow!!!!! Of course with my trip away for the girls' reading week, I not only missed lots of blog posts, but then had oodles to catch up with once I got home last week. So finally catching up on all my blog reading today. Was loving this post (as usual) -- and then and THEN got to the part about this being your last week of unemployment!!! I scrolled through the older posts until I got to the one with THE NEWS. And woot woot!!!! So excited and happy for you, I swear I'm all teary and verklempt. I knew it would happen -- just didn't imagine how and when. Just proves exactly what an accomplishment this blog is. CONGRATS!!!! And let us know how it goes. xoxo B

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  29. My daughter came home and insisted that I make lemon bars since we had lots of lemons on the tree. Then she promptly left a day early (the boyfriend called) and I am eating all of them - bad me.

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  30. I am totally-super-psyched about your new job! Now please send me some of that delicious challah!!

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  31. Man! Those Challah loaves look marvelous! :-)

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  32. Ingrediments! Oh how I miss baking Challah. I made it all of the time back when I was Jewish. The kids were just talking about that the other day. Your Challah looks luscious.

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