Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Potato Buttermilk bread: how 2 make

Put a half cup warm water in a large bowl with one T yeast, 1 T sugar, and 1 T salt. Allow the yeast to ferment for about fifteen minutes. Peel two potatoes and grate them. Add them to 3 cups buttermilk, and heat the mixture until it is slightly warm. Add to yeast in bowl. Then add 7 cups of flour or so and knead for at least ten minutes. The dough should look like this:

Clean bowl and put some oil in the bowl, roll the dough in it and cover the dough in the bowl with saran wrap. Let it rise for a couple hours until doubled in size. Then reknead it for five minutes and separate in two loaves and put on a pan:

Allow the bread to rise in the oven until almost double. Then bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees.
Final result:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Metterling Lists

Venal & Sons has at last published the long-awaited first volume of Metterling's laundry lists (The Collected Laundry Lists of Hans Metterling, Vol. I, 437 pp., plus XXXII-page introduction;indexed; $18.75), with an erudite commentary by the noted Metterling scholar Gunther Eisenbud. The decision to publish this work separately, before the completion of the immense four-volume oeuvre, is both welcome and intelligent, for this obdurate and sparkling book will instantly lay to rest the unpleasant rumors that Venal & Sons, having reaped rich rewards from the Metterling novels, play, and notebooks, diaries, and letters, was merely in search of continued profits from the same lode. How wrong the whisperers have been! Indeed, the very first Metterling laundry list

List No. 1
6 prs. shorts
4 undershirts
6 prs. blue socks
4 blue shirts
2 white shirts
6 handkerchiefs
No Starch

serves as a perfect, near-total introduction to this troubled genius, known to his contemporaries as the "Prague Weirdo." The list was dashed off while Metterling was writing Confessions of a Monstrous Cheese, that work of stunning philosophical import in which he proved not only that Kant was wrong about the universe but that he never picked up a check. Metterling's dislike of starch is typical of the period, and when this particular bundle came back too stiff Metterling became moody and depressed. His landlady, Frau Weiser, reported to friends that "Herr Metterling keeps to his room for days, weeping over the fact that they have starched his shorts." Of course, Breuer has already pointed out the relation between stiff underwear and Metterling's constant feeling that he was being whispered about by men with jowls (Metterling: Paranoid-Depressive Psychosis and the Early Lists, Zeiss Press). This theme of a failure to follow instructions appears in Metterling's only play, Asthma, when Needleman brings the cursed tennis ball to Valhalla by mistake.
The obvious enigma of the second list

List No. 2
7 prs. shorts
5 undershirts
7 prs. black socks
6 blue shirts
6 handkerchiefs
No Starch

is the seven pairs of black socks, since it has been long known that Metterling was deeply fond of blue. Indeed, for years the mention of any other color could send him into a rage, and he once pushed Rilke down into some honey because the poet said he preferred brown-eyed women. According to Anna Freud ("Metterling's Socks as an Expression of the Phallic Mother," Journal of Psychoanalysis, Nov., 1935), his sudden shift to the more sombre legwear is related to his unhappiness over the "Bayreuth Incident." It was there, during the first act of Tristan, that he sneezed, blowing the toupee off one of the opera's wealthiest patrons. The audience became convulsed, but Wagner defended him with his now classic remark, "Everybody sneezes."
-from Woody Allen, "Getting Even"

First it it was dumping down rain, then it stopped, then it dumped down some more rain. The rain can't tell what it wants to do today.
Things are starting to come out of the ground, like flowers, for example, and the bushes and trees are about ready to bloom. This is a time of year when spring hasn't got here yet, but you know it will be here in not too long.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


think of the sense of things
removed from all of the talk and conversation
the shape of squares or geometry or physical form
equations, formulas, questions, puzzles, which seem
so confusing, but the sense of things is for difference
of the totality and sweetness, energetic, heatedly mysterious
beyond all the talk of all the mortals of all times
or physical and mental well-being or construction
because what are they? What are you?
How much more than a bit of dust or the earth?
The idea of focality, swift wit, declines, dissolves
"you give me an idea," a frame of mind, a picture.
A game of positively pie-in-the-face dimensions.

Monday, February 19, 2007

on the prowl

drizzly and peaceful day. I was walking home along 12th street and the cars sounded like the roar of the surf in the background. There were many things that looked a bit photogenic, like an old stump surrounded by grass. Next time I'll bring my camera.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

last job and bread

Apparently I can't enter data as fast as they would have liked at the job I started, so I would say that I got layed off, but since I was a temp anyway, they just "ended my assignment." I thought I could have gotten up to speed in not too long, but I guess they thought it wasn't worth their time. Whatever. Entering data is not exactly the greatest job in the world anyway.
It was raining out and I was out and thinking of taking some pictures, but nothing came up that looked particularly worthy, so here is a picture of the loaf of bread I made two days ago: white bread with buttermilk. Some grated potato is a good ingredient too, I have found. Be sure to put in some salt. As far as wheat bread goes, I pretty much gave up on that. I know it is healthy and better for you and all that, but I just don't like it as well as white bread.
I also made some spinach soup that turned out okay, although it is better with sour cream. Most soup is better with sour cream.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

my pathetic life

I don't believe it. I got a job. Who would think that such a pathetic person as me could actually go out and convince somebody that I was worth hiring? I would say where I was working, but then I would probably end up being one of those bloggers that gets fired for blogging about the company where they work. Anyway, now I'm just one of the many 9-5 M-F type of people, except getting paid a whole lot less than what I imagined I would be earning by the time I got to this advanced age. It's really hard to believe I am old as I am. I guess you get up, go down to the beanery or whatever coffee shop is in the area where you are currently living, come home, read the paper, go to bed, repeat thousands and thousands of times, and you end up my age.
"Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself."