📖 Read pages 40-57 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

📖 Read pages 40-57, Chapter 1. What is it About Bread: Classification of breads & beginning of 12 stages of bread, of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, , ISBN: 978-1-60774-865-6)

Lots of nice definitions and categorization, though I can already tell from other readings that some of the definitions, particularly for pre-ferments, aren’t always as solid as I’d like them to be. As if he were a mathematician, however, he seems to delineate a pretty tight set here that he indicates he’ll stick to throughout the book.

Four types of pre-fermented dough
Stiff/firm: pâte fermentée and biga (no salt)
Wet: poolish and sponge (or levain levure)

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📖 Read pages 29-44 of Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 29-44, Chapter 2: Mrs. Quimby’s Secret, of Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow and Company, , ISBN: 0-688-22015-0)

The girls bicker and are at each other’s throats until mom comes home to say they’re expanding the house and adding on an extra room. Ramona gets it first.

Today’s word of the day: varlet!

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📖 Read pages i-39 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

📖 Read pages i-39, Acknowledgements, Preface, Introduction, beginning of Chapter 1. What is it About Bread, of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, , ISBN: 978-1-60774-865-6)

The opening is perhaps overly romanticized, though still interesting. He does relatively quickly get into the good stuff though.

📖 Read pages 1-28 of Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 1-28, Chapter 1: Trouble in the Park, of Ramona The Brave by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow and Company, , ISBN: 0-688-22015-0)

Somehow this isn’t as entertaining as prior incarnations of Ramona, perhaps because it was written a few decades later? There’s still a kernel of Ramona, but something seems off.

Jesus, Beezus!

Highlight (yellow) – Chapter 1: Trouble in the Park > Page 16

📖 Read pages 168-192 of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 168-192, Chapter 7: The Boy Who Ate Dog Food, of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow & Company, , ISBN: 978-0062652362)

Again, some unnecessary anti-girl statements that really weren’t necessary. While somewhat funny, not quite as funny a chapter as Cleary’s usual work.

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📖 Read pages 195-244 of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

📖 Read pages 195-244, Part 5: The Custard Continuum, of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (Scribner, , ISBN: 978-1-4165-661-3)

The Custard Continuum may have been one of my favorite parts of the book. I particularly like that he includes a recipe for butterscotch, which he’s right in saying that there are so few.

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📖 Read pages 128-147 of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 128-147, Chapter 5: Beezus Makes a Bid, of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow & Company, , ISBN: 978-0062652362)

I am really struck by the dated anti-girl rhetoric in the story. The “you can’t take a girl anywhere” business is just a bit much in a more modern reading of this. While otherwise generally entertaining, I’m not sure I could recommend this to young boys or girls anymore without a touch of a rewrite to improve the gender equality in the piece.

I don’t mind that there’s a pointed difference in boy’s and girls’ bikes so much, but the ad hominem attack on Beezus “What could you expect when you went to an auction with a girl?” is just a bridge too far.

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📖 Read pages 163-194 of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

📖 Read pages 163-194, Part 4: Fat-Based Sauces, of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (Scribner, , ISBN: 978-1-4165-661-3)

Mayonnaise: 20 parts oil: 1 part liquid: 1 part yolk
Hollandaise: 5 parts butter: 1 part liquid: 1 part yolk
Vinaigrette: 3 parts oil: 1 part vinegar

Rule of thumb: You probably don’t need as much yolk as you thought you did.

I like that he provides the simple ratios with some general advice up front and then includes some ideas about variations before throwing in a smattering of specific recipes that one could use. For my own part, most of these chapters could be cut down to two pages and then perhaps even then cut the book down to a single sheet for actual use in the kitchen.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Part 4: Fat-Based Sauces

But what greatly helps the oil and water to remain separate is, among other things, a molecule in the yolk called lecithin, which, McGee explains, is part water soluble and part fat soluble.

Highlight (yellow) – Mayonnaise > Page 168

Added on Sunday, February 4, 2018

The traditional ratio, not by weight, is excellent and works beautifully: Hollandaise = 1 pound butter: 6 yolks. This ratio seems to have originated with Escoffier. Some cookbooks call for considerably less butter per yok, as little as 3 and some even closer to 2 to 1, but then you’re creeping into sabayon territory; whats more, I believe it’s a cook’s moral obligation to add more butter given the chance.

Highlight (yellow) – Hollandaise> Page 185

more butter given the chance! Reminiscent of the Paula Deen phrase: “Mo’e butta is mo’e betta.”
Added on Sunday, February 4, 2018

 

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📖 Read pages 75-103 of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 75-103, Chapter 3: The Untraining of Ribsy, of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow & Company, , ISBN: 978-0062652362)

In the days of home newspaper delivery this is just awesome. A dog so good at fetching newspapers, he collects them from the entire neighborhood! What a good belly laugh at the childishness of it all.

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📖 Read pages 127-162 of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

📖 Read pages 127-162, Part 3: Meat: Sausage, Mousseline, and Other Meat-Related Ratios, of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (Scribner, , ISBN: 978-1-4165-661-3)

I like the idea of considering the traditional American hamburger as a special kind of sausage. This general abstraction appeals to the mathematician in me. It also encourages one to be geared toward the closer end of 70/30 meat/fat ratio when making hamburgers! Too often I’ve had people’s homemade burgers made with 92/8 ratios and they’re just dreadful. However, he does stop short and doesn’t encourage one to use pork fat in their burgers…

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Part 3: Meat: Sausage, Mousseline, and Other Meat-Related Ratios

There is no such thing as a good, lean sausage.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 132

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

The fat of choice is pork back fat, […] it’s better for you than the more saturated fat from beef or lamb.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Indeed, the word sausage derives from the Latin for salt.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Never use iodized salt, which adds an acrid chemical flavor to food. Use kosher or sea salt only.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Morton’s kosher is the closest to an even volume-to-weight ratio (a cup of Morton’s weighs about 8 ounces).

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pork sausages should be cooked to 150 deg F before being removed from the heat, and poultry-based sausages should be cooked to 160 deg F.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 134

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

I make sausage in 5-pound batches, since that’s the maximum that will fit in the 5- or 6-quart mixing bowl standard for most standing mixers;

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 135

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

[When making] Fry a bit-sized portion of the sausage and taste…

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 136

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

One secondary and salutary effect of a brine is that it can actually carry flavors into muscle, …

Highlight (yellow) – Brine > Page 154

For those watching closely, he’s made a pun on the word salutary whose Latin root is also the word for salt.
Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sodium nitrite, often simply referred to as pink salt (it’s dyed pink), is a curing salt that’s inexpensive and available from www.butcher-packer.com, which sells pink salt under the name DQ Cure.

Highlight (yellow) – Brine > Page 158

Oddly this line is repeated twice in the footnotes on opposite pages, but provides a useful link for ordering supplies for making Canadian bacon and Corned Beef
Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dear Door Dash, refunding only a fraction of the cost for an undelivered item is a brilliant way to discourage people from becoming repeat customers. #badservicecompoundedbyworseservice

I had to dig through the app to find the way to register the issue and then got screwed on a refund that is really just a credit on my next order.

It should have been:

  • Easier to find the means to register the issue
  • Credited in full, including tax and a percentage of any tips, etc.
  • Credited back to me directly instead of a credit for next time, since there might not be a next time.
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📖 Read pages 39-74 of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

📖 Read pages 39-74, Chapter 2: Henry Gets Rich, of Henry and Beezus by Beverly Cleary (William Morrow & Company, , ISBN: 978-0062652362)

Henry could have done far better here, but apparently his business acumen and concept of economics was just dreadful. Still in all, an entertaining chapter where everything that could go wrong in selling found bubblegum does. As always, Ramona steals the show for laughs with the gum in her hair.