Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pumpkin and sourdough

So, there were rumors of a new member of the household -- a feline critter. Right? So you ask, where are the photos? The proof? Well, she's finally managed to hold still and stay out of hiding enough for me to actually take one.

Not the best of photos, but with such a wily critter, you take what you can get. This is the first morning that she's actually decided that it's safe to stay out in the open. Doesn't hurt that she was lobbying for a little more breakfast. But -- no more hiding under the bed or sofa during the day, or digging into the dark depths of a closet at night. She began emerging more and more yesterday, seemed to happily discover that sitting in my lap all on her own was not such a bad thing. Last night was the first night I've left the entire house available to her, and she only kept me awake for an hour or so after I went to bed, playing.

This morning I looked for her in her cozy bed in the closet but she wasn't there. Or under the bed. Found her on the sofa looking perfectly happy. Big milestones, people! Now she's playing with one of her little mousies. She's sassy as the day is long, now that she's decided this place isn't so bad after all and that I'm not out to get her. Has systematically chewed the tops off the newly-planted lemongrass in the living room over the past two nights, when she seems to know I don't know she's doing it. But the good news is that it's grass, and grass is meant to be mown or cut back and by nature, will regrow. The pot is large and heavy, much larger and heavier than the cat, so it seems unlikely she'll do more harm than that. I've found a water bottle with a long spray works wonders when she does something I don't like.

Name? Officially, it's Pumpkin. On her tags, her microchip, all records, etc. So I'm not inclined to make a formal change. The name that seems to be sticking is Stinky, because this cat at times has the worst halitosis I've ever, ever, encountered in a cat!

I have to say, for the first couple of days I was seriously thinking I'd made a big mistake. She's too young, too scared, etc. But then she started to mellow out, after exploring every inch of the place enough to feel safe, apparently. And now, she thinks she's boss -- and she probably is. She's made me laugh, and not much does that these days. And she's sweet, when not getting into something or other. She'll mature, with any luck.

My other project for today is some sourdough bread. I've been experimenting with a recipe from a baker/blogger in Paris for awhile, have forged it into something that seems to work better for me, though we'll know for sure later today. This will be the third time with it, and last week, when I first started toying with the recipe/proportions, I got a really yummy, deeply sour result. I didn't cook it long enough, for some reason. So this week I'm going to form different loaves and let it bake until very brown. It's been fermenting/rising since 7:30pm yesterday, is about ready to bake. Not a lot of bubbles on top, but there are plenty on the sides and bottom. What I love about the changes I've made to the recipe is the thickness of the dough -- alive and buoyant and holds a shape much better. Plus, it's made and kneaded with the mixer so it's easy. And no crazy efforts with the oven to create steam, or bake at really high heat as some recipes I've tried have required. Easy peasy. I'll try to remember to post a 'finished' photo later. And maybe the recipe along with it, for anyone who might stumble upon it and want to try it.

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