Yesterday I sent myself to my room for a time out.
You heard me.
I thought I needed some time away from all the holiday STUFF, so I grounded myself. I says, “Bad Mama Genny, go to your room!” that’s what I says.
Now, as a kid, getting sent to my room was The Worst Thing Ever. And by the way, The Family, just because I tried to convince The Brother that The Mother had adopted him from a band of ruffians, and that he couldn’t trust her when she said I was lying because OH HEY NOW would The Mother REALLY tell you the truth about this and like MAYBE I’m the only one in this family you can trust and then The Brother became paranoid and nobody was able to convince him that I wasn’t telling the truth and he was inconsolable and looked at everybody all shifty-eyed and I was all, what, WHAT, I’m just being honest with The Brother ABOUT HIS ORIGINS… well, none of that justifies my RECEIVING A PUNISHMENT of sorts.
I mean, can’t we all just sit down and talk about this like human beings? Have a calm, rational discussion about how I’m the only real kid in this family, and how The Brother isn’t so perfect and well-behaved after all, and how maybe we should put him out in the rain for his real family to collect?
We can all see the reason there, can’t we?
Anyway, but now that I’m an adult, sending myself to my room isn’t so bad. I mean, all my toys are there. And I can just sit there and…entertain myself…all alone…just kinda…well, I guess I could journal…sit in front of my new humidifier and…humidify myself…fold my just-laundered underwear…alphabetize my tutu collection…iron my fishnets…stare for a while…
FUCK, I STILL HATE GETTING SENT TO MY ROOM!
Bad Mama Genny is never grounding herself again. It blew when I was seven, and it still blows now. So I’m done. If I get sent to my room again, it’ll have to be The Boy doing the sending.
And THAT, misfits. Would be a different story entirely.
**P.S. The Brother, if you are reading this, the much more mature and wisened Bad Mama Genny just wants to take this hindsighty opportunity to say…
No-Knead, 100% Honey Nut Whole Wheat Sourdough Loaf
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup sourdough starter (don’t bother proofing it first)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups flour
3 Tablespoons wheat germ (I think this adds depth and rusticity and makes a more old-fashioned tasting loaf, but you can leave it out without a problem)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tablespoon oil or melted butter
2 Tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Mix the sourdough starter with water and honey, then beat in half the flour. Now add the rest of the flour with the salt, wheat germ, oil/butter, and walnuts.
The dough should hold together in a lump, but be looser than the bread doughs you’re used to. It needs to be loose enough that you can lump it up and put it in the bowl and it will gradually lose its shape to conform to the sides of the bowl.
Now cover your dough and put it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, or up to 4 or 5 days. The dough will take on a more sour flavor as it ages, and you’ll come to learn how long it takes to get it right where you want it. During the aging process, your bread will also develop its gluten structure and ferment away the grains’ outer coating, rendering your bread more nutritious and easier to digest.
When you’re ready for bread, put a pizza stone on the oven’s center rack, and a small-ish, heat-proof dish or bowl on a lower rack. Pizza stones yield a crisper crust and heat food more evenly–The Boy and I leave ours in the oven all the time. If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an overturned cookie sheet. The small dish or bowl will be used to hold water and generate steam, which makes for a chewier crust. Now preheat the oven to 375.
Meanwhile, liberally sprinkle your work surface with flour. Plop the dough out onto it, sprinkle a little more flour on top, and gently start to shape the dough by folding the outside edges over and under the bread, forming a tight-ish ball. You can also divide the dough into smaller pieces and make small balls for individual rolls.
100% whole wheat doesn’t rise as much as the breads you might be used to, so if you’re planning to make sandwiches or need the height, you might consider using a loaf pan here.
When the bread is shaped the way you like it, liberally sprinkle a wooden cutting board or pizza peel with cornmeal. Put the loaf on top, and set a timer for 40 minutes.
When 40 minutes have elapsed, it’s time to bake. Right before putting the loaf in the oven, pour a cupful of water into the dish that’s waiting in the oven and quickly shut the door. Brush the top of your loaf with the beaten egg yolk, sprinkle on the oats, and use a sharp knife to slash a few vent holes in the top.
Then quickly open the oven door, use a swift, jerking motion to slide the loaf onto the center of the pizza stone, then quickly shut the door and walk away. Resist the urge to peek too soon, because you want to keep the steam trapped in there.
Errant cornmeal will make it smell like your house is burning down. Ignore this. Bake until the loaf is a deep golden color (for me, about 55minutes), but don’t be afraid to let it take on some intense color. Carefully remove it to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing it open (do this too soon and the loaf may not finish cooking on the inside).
© 2011, Genevieve P. Charet. All rights reserved.