Over the weekend, my children and I drove from San Francisco to Seattle and I won't mince words: It was miserable -- wet, monotonous, endless. Next time, we're flying. If not for audiobooks, I think we would have turned around at Eugene. Old Man and the Sea -- huge hit. My Antonia -- less of a hit, but tolerated. It's not really a boy book. Here's a passage in which the narrator recalls the bread Antonia's immigrant mother baked:
I remember how horrified we were at the sour, ashy-grey bread she gave her family to eat. She mixed her dough, we discovered, in an old tin peck measure that Krajek had used about the barn. When she took the paste out to bake it she left smears of dough sticking to the sides of the measure on the shelf behind the stove, and let this residue ferment. The next time she made bread, she scraped the sour stuff down into the fresh dough to serve as yeast.
Today, of course, we call this a starter, and "sour, ashy-grey" bread is very fancy.
We love Seattle. In addition to touring the Ballard Locks with cousins and watching GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra with friends, we've eaten much delicious food. Highlights: The chicken liver and kimchi fried rice at Joule, and Tilth's butterscotch pudding, which actually tasted of Scotch.
Today, unfortunately, we have to get back in the car.