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July 28, 2018


I'm glad you're keeping this going.

I'm almost unique in my generation in having grown up without white bread. And I've never understood how anyone could stand it. I can still make my own, but it's great how much easier it is to find whole grain varieties now.

All that bread looks seriously delicious. I'd be interested to hear from anyone with wheat intolerance (which my sister suffers from badly) as to whether the old, less hybridised strains trigger wheat intolerance at all, or maybe less? My sister is fine with spelt.

p.s. Just finished Tepper Isn't Going Out as recommended here by Janie and others (maybe byomtov?). Very offbeat, funny and charming - thanks for the reommendation!

On the book topic (we can treat this as an open thread...then again, when do we not?)...

Two other books come to mind as funny, charming, a little offbeat -- I don't remember whether I included them in my post on rererereading, but whether or not, here they are [maybe again]:

1. The One in a Million Boy, by Monica Wood. It made me laugh and cry at the same time, a quirky story with very lovable characters. Set in Maine, which is also very lovable. ;-) (Warning: unlike Tepper, this story does have a tragedy in it. But the context, the aftermath, and the characters make it...well, not exactly okay, but not depressing somehow. I've read it three times and listened to it out loud on one of my Ohio trips.)

2. Horse Heaven, by Jane Smiley. Some authors write more or less the same book over and over, and you either like them or you don't. Smiley writes quite different books, so it's hard to generalize. They range from A Thousand Acres, a King Lear knockoff which is one of the more depressing books I've ever read, to Moo, which is mixed but includes some great laugh out loud scenes, to Horse Heaven, which is a sprawling novel composed of six or eight intertwined stories set in the world of thoroughbred horse racing. I know. But it's a great read regardless of, or maybe because of, the setting. I would never have dreamed of wanting to go to the racetrack ever in my life, but because of Horse Heaven, I'd kind of like to go -- just the once.

Well, okay, why not 3?

3. Nobody's Fool, by Richard Russo. I would put Russo in the "writes more or less the same book every time" category, and I haven't in fact read his entire oeuvre because it got a little old after a while. But Nobody's Fool is a cut above the others, IMO. Funny, sweet, lovable, even that cranky old conman Sully.

and here i sit, munching on some of my freshly baked ciabatta. mmm.

I loved NObody's Fool. I agree, he writes about the same kind of people and setting, so his books are similar. Still, it's fertile ground.

Didn't read the book, but the movie with Paul Newman is quite good.

That's Russo's Nobody's Fool.

Agree about the fertile ground, wonkie. I enjoyed the two that came before Nobody's Fool (The Risk Pool and Mohawk IIRC), and Straight Man was really funny. I didn't like Empire Falls at all, not least because I thought he tried to write a book about Maine and just really ended up with the same setting as the earlier ones...rusting upstate New York, basically. Other people, including some far less well regarded writers, have captured Maine much better IMHO.

I don't want to knock Russo -- Noboby's Fool is really good, and I also like the many-years-later follow-up: Everybody's Fool.

lj -- I enjoyed the movie, but I'm not much of a movie person so it didn't make as much of an impact as the book. Newman also made a movie [okay, 2-part HBO mini-series] of Empire Falls, shot in Maine. It was a *huge* deal in this little backwater of a state to have him and his all-star cast shooting a film here. (Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Aidan Quinn, Joanne Woodward.....)

Nobody's Fool sounds like a (current) possibility - thanks!

Is the “Sirvinta” variety better than the one you have brought, I have never know there is so much to know about flour.

Anyone have a pizza dough recipe that’s foolproof? I’ve been trying for years - different flours, proof times, etc.

I always end up with hard-as-rock and/or much too elastic (gluten?)

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