Domesticity Regained…

…at least, as much as it’s ever going to be.

Remember my descent into a feral state, chronicled here and here? Turns out it was just a brief visit, although I may return mid-semester and look at summer homes.

Not only have I knitted and quilted over break, often with other women and for charity (how “sewing bee” of us), but I’ve actually sewn clothing. Well, one piece of clothing, a corduroy wrap skirt, with another item, a vest, cut out and started (and another vest planned, if the first one works out*).

And if sewing and crafting isn’t domestic enough for you, how about bread baking? That’s right, I made a loaf of bread and when I say “bread,” I really mean something more akin to manna or Lembas** — in short, a foodstuff for which “carbohydrate” is too, too pedestrian a term.

And I can’t even take much credit. It’s all in the recipe. I about a year late coming to the NY Times No-Knead bread craze, but now that I’m here, I’m staying. How simple is this: Friday night about 9 p.m., I mixed together some flour, salt, yeast, and water, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside. Took less than 10 minutes, and that includes sweeping up some renegade flour and wrestling with the saranwrap box. At three p.m. on Saturday, taking countless bloggers at their word that this recipe cannot be messed up, I dumped the dough onto a floured towel and kneaded in 3/4 cup feta cheese with garlic and peppers and 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives. And when I say “kneaded,” I mean folded the dough about 4 times. Took another 10 minutes and that included pitting the olives and running them and the cheese through a food processor. Two hours later, I dumped the dough into a pre-heated, lidded casserole dish, put it in the oven, uncovered it at 30 minutes, and 15 minutes later took this out of the oven: (click to embiggen)

bread.jpg

Okay, it didn’t come out with 3 slices already hacked off, but I had two with my dinner and one for lunch. And just in case you don’t believe I really made bread, get a load of that messy kitchen table — yeah, that’s mine.

This bread is — oh yeah. Moist inside, crunchy, flaky crust — I’ve bought fancy bakery bread that isn’t this good. Of course, if I’m going to be making (and thus, devouring) bread on a regular or semi-regular basis, I’m going to have to increase the length of the dogs’ walks by a factor of, um, well, that would be math, but I will have to wear their little legs down to nubbins.

So yes, I’m all domesticky again. Emphasis on the sticky.

Speaking of the dogs, here’s a recent shot of Ricky with his latest beloved squeaky toy. After an hour or so of strenuous play-killing, you gotta take a nap:

ricky.jpg

And here’s Violet with a rawhide bone. See that worried, yet shifty, look in her eyes? Violet’s a possessive little thing — give her a treat and she’ll spend hours defending it from Ricky, from the cats, from me, from passersby outside the window (grrrrrrooowwwwwwllll) before actually settling down to eat it:

violet.jpg

*That’s the problem with sewing — no matter how much fitting I do as I sew, I never know until I’ve finished if I’ve made a chic (or at least, recognizable) item of clothing or a labor-intensive and pricey feed sack.

**Yes, I’m a hopeless LOTR dork.

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