Sunday, December 27, 2009


In my life I have had several best friends. Each holds a special place in my heart but none of them are really in my life anymore. None of them were there when my daughter was born. None of them were there when my dad died. None of them were there when my cat, Napoleon died at the age of twenty. None of them even called. I miss that feeling of knowing there is a person out there who will stop what they are doing to share sorrows and joys with matter what. I miss having that person to call every day just because that is what best friends do...It's rather lonley without a girlfriend...a best friend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

erata or eratum?

Yes, this is the question....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Soy Nog

Typically I would never intentionally advertise a product, mostly because humongous mega-corporations do that all by themselves, and also because endorsing a product, one might believe I believe in the entire mission statement of that humongous mega-corporation. I usually do not.
I avoid dairy products as much as possible. I believe once we are weaned from the breast it is time to move on. Cows and goats don't continue to drink their mother's milk once they reach a certain age and I for one, do not want to force an innocent animal to lactate for me to enjoy the creamy, viscous liquid we call milk.
Each year I look forward to certain seasonal treats like pumpkin pie, chestnuts, fruitcake (yes, I really do like it) and egg nog.
There are a few varieties of soy nog available but in my neck of the woods, Silk is the only one readily available, probably because I am the only person who actually purchases it.

Salted Onion Loaf

I used my traditional boule dough for this recipe...

6 1/2 c flour
3 c warm water
1 1/2 Tbs yeast
1 1/2 Tbs kosher salt

Seriously, that's it. Put it all in a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer, mine is a Kitchen Aid, with a dough hook for about three minutes. Cover the bowl with something, not air tight and let it rise in a warm spot. My house, especially the kitchen, is a little on the chilly side so I let it rise under the halogen lamp on my counter top. It is ready to use when it falls naturally, usually two hours.

Pull off a one pound chunk and form it into a ball. Place on a whole wheat covered peel or baking sheet. Sprinkle it with dehydrated onion and a generous amount of kosher salt. Let it rise again for 20 minutes. Make a few slashes across it before baking at 475 degrees for 30-35 minutes. I use a baking stone in the oven but it is not required.

I bought a new kind of flour, I love trying different flours. White, all purpose works best with this recipe. I tend to only use organic flour but it is not required. Today I used a higher gluten flour. The results were spectacular.

Refrigerate the rest of the dough and use within two weeks. Refrigerated dough will take longer on the second rise for obvious's cold.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Custom Piece

I recently made a custom light box for my friend Trish. Her parents have been married for 61 years and coincidentally live just up the street from me. She wanted to give them a special gift for Christmas and thought original art might be nice. Her dad loves to paint and likes art in general. She emailed me a photo taken on their wedding day. This is what I came up with. Trish loved it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tour of Homes

Yesterday we let 200 (mostly) strangers into our home for The Tuscarawas County Heritage Home Association Christmas Tour of Homes. Most of the guests made comments about the unusual amount of original art in our home...unusual to them, I suppose but not to us. One of the guests was the paper boy in our neighborhood 40 years ago. He said the house had changed but it was still like he remembered it, big and warm. The guests were asked to remove their shoes or wear booties. It seemed odd to see so many people with blue booties on their feet. One guest was dismayed that we did not have a real Christmas tree. I tried to explain to her we didn't like cutting trees down and a tree that could be planted would seem too small in our high-ceiling library. Francesca impressed the guests with her knowledge of the history of our plaqued heritage home. One guest attempted to remove a piece of my art from the wall so she could see how I had made it. I stopped her before she could actually take the art off the wall. I was a bit shocked she would do such a thing. This morning our driveway is nothing but mud due to the number of cars in and out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Something from Nothing

Last night we attended a fantastic exhibit Something from Nothing at The Canton Museum of Art. The show was curated by Patrick Buckohr, a painter I have worked with in the past. The show consisted of works by thirteen artists living and working in The Rustbelt, a region that stretches from Minnesota to New Jersey. The art was made from salvaged materials like metal, fabric and wood. My friend, Daniel Horne (pictured with me) had three pieces in the show. He makes kinetic sculpture using metal he finds at scrap yards and various other places metal tends to collect.
You can see Daniels work at his web site
Paul Werner, another artist whom I know had the piece pictured above in the show.
In addition to the great art, Rust Belt Brewery of Youngstown was on hand offering samples of their micro-brewed beer. I tried the stout and enjoyed it very much. It had hints of licorice and Earth, two of my favorite things.
The show hangs until March 7, 2009. Please take the time to see it.