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loaves and fishes

Well folks, the home-brewed yeast experiments aren’t looking great. Turns out, you need to really focus and follow specific directions, which might be my biggest downfall. I hate being told what to do, down to directions on a recipe. This is why I would be a great contestant for that show Nailed It on Netflix. All the confidence in the world that I could make a teddy bear cake from scratch and what you’d see in two hours would look closer to iced roadkill, (but probably still taste good).

Now, I am well aware, here at the end of my life, that this is a horrific character flaw and in the few times I have followed directions to the letter, the results have been magnificent. But honestly, it always felt like selling out. Anyone could make that sweater if they followed that pattern. Anyone could bake that angel food cake if they learned the difference between hard and soft peaks, ANYONE could pull bread-yeast out of the air if they could make it to the end of a Youtube Tutorial...

But I am built exhaustingly different, and while it has kept me stubborn enough to run and manage my own farm full-time for over a decade, it also means bad bread yeast until I suck it up and take some notes and actually listen.

In my defense, I watched a far too elaborate and wordy video on YouTube in which the creator wanted that sweet 8-minute length to mean they get a mid-roll ad (more money) and so I lost interest by minute three. But I found this link, which is more my speed.

So, I’ll report back after I do that. Right now the mass of potatoes bread “dough” (that’s been left to rise for 18+ hours) looks more like a blobfish on land than a future BLT ingredient. So today I’ll wash, peel, and cube another potato and start again with the old “vodka” method of bread/brewing yeast collecting, and I’ll probably still bake the blobfish dough just to see what happens. If it becomes a hard rock, the pigs will still love it. There is that. Nothing baked here ever goes to waste. Let’s hope for the sake of my own personal growth the bread I winged is horrible and I’m forced to listen to reason if I actually want to learn this skill, which I do.

(The link to make the yeast I am making is up above in those links. It's so easy. If anyone else wants to try this and report back, let's share notes!)

Yesterday I visited a falconer friend, had coffee and talked birds. We talked about new species I might want to fly, how everyone's birds are doing. Mostly I was there to check in on the bird that hangs out around his mews I want to trap, but no sign of that king at all...

I did some more trapping (no luck, didn’t even throw the trap once) and since I got my client work and post-office-run done early, I decided to go fishing. Being on the river or stream is the only time I am not worrying about love, death, or money - in that order.

(Cancer Sun, Sag Rising, Pisces moon)

It’s remarkable how much the river’s changed. How the fall turns it into something darker, more mysteriously wild. There weren’t fish rising on sun-dappled water, ospreys soaring above, laughing swimmers and dogs barking upstream. I didn’t see a single kayaker, drift boat, or swimmer. It was just me and the yellow lingering leaves of the old Sycamores, the swirling water that felt like it had secrets now, not treasure.

I had a little Tenkara rod in the car, it’s always in there and I fished the stream on the mountain earlier on my walk - pulling up a nice brook trout on a Japanese fly, but lost it before I could net it. Still a thrill! And while out on the banks of the Battenkill (I don’t hav/ nor am I going to splurge on waders) I didn’t get a single bite with my trusty Orvis fly rod. I even went to my favorite little casting rock at the Georgi, where I almost always catch a trout, and didn’t get a bite. Now, I was only there for my lunch break, but usually within an hour or so of casting you at least get a bite or see a fish. Not today.

Not a great day for loaves and fishes, eh? That’s okay, I was never a big fan of that mythology. Tonight I’ll make chicken.

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