Monday, May 17, 2010

Baking bread, buying house

I baked ciabatta from a recipe in this book of bread recipes. It tasted good, and was great for some picnic sandwiches we lugged (in the most idyllic little wicker picnic basket*) on a recent daytrip to a charming little town that I'll just call CLT for now, but the bread wasn't really ciabatta-y. Despite taking all day to make, there was little chewiness payoff. The crust was nice and crisp and the inside good'n'bready, but that's not ciabatta, know what I mean? Oh well. Ben thinks the starter needs to ferment longer than the four hours prescribed by the recipe. He's probably right, but tell that to Paul Hollywood!

We were in CLT for the day because we were looking at houses. We're seriously considering moving to a small Minnesota town surrounded by countryside! CLT is a pretty special community. It's in the midst of the rural midwest, but for some reason has two prestigious liberal arts colleges (one of which Ben attended for undergrad**). I can totally live with an intellectual community surrounded by countryside; in fact, it sounds darn near perfect right about now. Ben and I have always valued the great things that cities usually offer (for example, diversity, arts, music, restaurants, job opportunities,*** and liberals). But every city has its disadvantages, too. Like, if we moved back to Seattle, we wouldn't be able to buy a decent house. Crime, too, has become an increasing stressor to me. Since we moved to Minneapolis less than three years ago, we've already had a couple of things stolen, including our car from in front of our apartment. Then there's the traffic, the vast number of rude city-dwellers (yes, even in Minnesota) and, you know, not being able to walk around outdoors alone after dusk if you're female.

Don't get me wrong, I've read Sinclair Lewis and know all about the potential defects of small-town life: neighbors knowing your bidness, nobody around who isn't white, not as much to do as in the big city. But there's something so peaceful about our potential new town, and we're having a baby soon, so, frankly, don't really plan on "doing" much anyway. We like the town, so the pros have started to roundly outweigh the cons: we'll be able to afford a lovely house, send our forthcoming child to a good school, attend tons of great local concerts and intellectually stimulating lectures, and probably even be able to afford the extras we've given up in the last five years, like going to the movies more than once every sixteen months or (and, like some of you, we have forgotten what this is like) going on a vacation! (I can hear you playing your tiny invisible violin right now.)

If we do move, I'd like to do it soon. This baby is coming in November whether we've settled in or not, and I'm ready to be where we're going to be. I want to see CLT's reknowned baby-havin' center,**** meet our new obstetrician, and just, you know, get ready. It's probably because of this.

* I made pink walnut pâté as a spread for the faux-ciabatta sandwiches, with carmelized onions and some spinach and tomatoes. We also had jelly doughnut cupcakes from the world's most formidable vegan cookbook, Veganomicon. We enjoyed our picnic on a riverbank. Keep in mind that I'm on vacation right now, so I have time to do this sort of ridiculously cute thing.
** And if you'd told him he'd someday be moving back to CLT with his pregnant wife, I doubt he would have believed it.
*** If we make this move, Ben will commute to the Cities (we'll have to start calling them "the Cities"!) for work. As a freelance illustrator, I can work from anywhere.
**** Affiliated with the Mayo Clinic!

1 comment:

  1. So excited for your family and new home/town Aimee! The bread looks great too, no easy feat.