(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)
Bread this week
Whole Wheat – Made with a portion of the flour and water fermented overnight, then mixed with more bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and some honey for sweetness. Full of whole grain goodness this bread has great flavor -$5/loaf
Flax Seed Currant Ciabatta – This bread has a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye flours and then loaded up with flax seeds and currants for flavor. Ciabatta is known as a high hydration dough, which means it has a lot of water which makes for a very slack dough which doesn’t allow for loaves to be shaped. The dough is simply spread out evenly and then cut into pieces- $5/piece
You gotta WORK for pastry this week! Come to the Annual Roadside Cleanup on Saturday morning and enjoy fresh pastry as you head out to give the island a good spring cleaning!
Celler Can Blau
We have been buying and enjoying wines from Celler Can Blau for many years now, as they set a high standard for great wines at very reasonable prices. So, when we visited Spain a few years ago, tracking down the Can Blau winery for a visit was something of a priority. And since we were spending a week in the Montsant wine region where the grapes are grown, we expended some effort in tracking it down. As it turned out, it wasn’t that easy, and we stumbled upon it quite by accident while visiting a wine Cooperativa not far from our lodging in Capcanes called Mas Roig. (“mahss roych”)
It turned out that the Can Blau Main Offices are located elsewhere in Spain, but in order to market the wines as from the Denominacion of Montsant, it is not enough that the grapes are grown in Montsant– no, no, no, Senor-– the wine must also be made in Montsant! And guess what, the wines were made in the very winery we were visiting, i.e., Mas Roig, which we discovered when the winemaker (Nuria Sarroca), imminently with child as I recall, breezed past us to check something in her part of the winery.
All you need to know is that we are restocked with Can Blau “Can Blau,” at 91pts a slight nod ahead of the Can Blau “Blau,’ at 90pts, but a few bucks more expensive. A blend of 50% Cariñena, 25% Syrah and 25% Garnacha, it’s a nice wine to tide you over in this strange nether-weather we have been experiencing that is not, let’s face it, Spring As We Know It.
Our new pup is now 14 weeks old, and has been with us for a month now. His weigh-in three weeks ago for his first shots was 11#. Yesterday his weigh-in for second shots was 19#. A generic growth chart suggests this “mini-Aussie” will fill out slightly under 40#. Not exactly “mini,” if you know what I mean…!
At this age, in people years he is about a two-year old, and so it is natural that he oscillates wildly between calm, sweet, and inquisitive closer to what one owner of a different, particularly energetic breed referred to as “a two-year-old with a chain saw,” Ulee’s first puppy classes start in a week or so; he is a bright, inquisitive, entertaining little being that we are growing very fond of very fast. Training is coming along, with increasingly frequent opportunities for affection, and decreasingly frequent — but unpredictable — manic episodes of unfocused high energy and Lots of Very Agile little Razor Teeth as he explores His New World. And yes, we both find ourselves calling him “Cooper” from time to time, which is even more Evidence that The One Dog has Many Comforting Faces.
The Dumb Cycle
We are all prisoners of a sort in our own psyches. We all have various ways in which we either fail to take in information, or fail to interpret it correctly, or fail to act on it appropriately, or fail to enjoy it when it comes. Each of these failures is a sort of internal psychological Boundary that at some early age we decided never to cross, essentially because it promised to be too painful. A more or less Healthy Person with a need for social approval is like a bee going from flower to flower, getting some nourishment here, some there, taking it in and enjoying it when available, and learning to search more effectively when it isn’t. Problems arise for each of us, however, when we get stuck at some point in the cycle, as most of us do.
One current example is our current Acting President. Here is a person who is almost Entirely Driven by a need for Social Approval. But evidence suggests that no amount of Social Approval will ever be Satisfying, because the Need for it is So Deep and So Intense, and the ability to take it in is so Vestigial. There is an Insatiable Need for Approval right alongside a Deep Core Belief that it will never be there. How else can we explain behavior which consistently moves in the direction of alienation:
takes a bold stand –> reaps disapproval –> blames others –> takes a bolder stand –> reaps more disapproval –> blames others –> etc.
How low will his approval ratings have to go before he a) responds to what people really want, or b) implodes? Stay tuned.
This week’s wine tasting
Coopers Creek Gisborne Albarino ’14 New Zealand $15
All free-run juice from a great harvest; Crisp, dry and zesty, showing pure white peach and lemon flavours; round and creamy with decent weight in the mouth. Excellent varietal character with intense flavour concentration indicative of low yields. Deee-licious.
Jean-Luc Colombo Rosé Cape Bleue ’15 France $11
Soft, delicate pink bouquet with subtle hints of peach, rose petal and pepper on the nose; complex flavors with intriguing notes of raspberry, cherry and black olive.
Can Blau Blau ’14 Spain 90pts $12
50% Cariñena, 25% Syrah and 25% Garnacha. Spice-accented black & blue fruit aromas with notes of violets and woodsmoke. Round and seamless with juicy blackberry and cassis flavors lifted by zesty acidity; finishes with gentle, harmonious tannins and good persistence.
Liberty School Cabernet ’13 California $14
Dark berry and peppery spice scents and flavors deepened by notes of licorice and mocha. Broad, warm and fleshy with a hint of cracked pepper; finishes with a touch of blackberry liqueur.
Tenuta Rubino Oltreme Susamaniello ’14 Italy $14
Fresh, fragrant notes of cherries, pomegranate, raspberries and hints of ripe plum; fruity, minerally, and round on the palate with soft, pleasant tannins, a versatile and seductive pairing with richer dishes.