In my last blog post, I describe steps to successfully making and keeping a gluten-free sourdough starter. In this post, I’m offering a recipe that transforms (or repurposes?) a failed sourdough bread dough into a triumph: a bread with such pleasing texture and amazing flavor that people will beg you to make it again and again, never suspecting that your pièce de résistance began as a culinary error. Although I hope that everyone who attempts to make a delicious boule of gluten-free sourdough bread does so successfully the very first time, the truth is that often that first loaf decides not to rise as it should. Hour after hour, you lift the cloth that covers the dough you so carefully nursed from its inception as just a mixture of gluten-free flour and water; hour after hour the dough seems to be the same size as when you last checked. Finally, after six hours or so, you realize that the dough is as tall as it’s going to grow, which is not tall at all. Continue reading
Every summer, Phillip and I choose an autumn race to run, somewhere North of Texas. With the exception of the Flagstaff Trail Marathon we ran in September 2013, we choose an October race. The October date serves the twin purpose of celebrating the month of our wedding anniversary, and motivates us to train through the wretchedly hot, humid S Texas climate that begins in April and lasts through October. This week we are traveling up to Bar Harbor, ME, to run the Mount Desert Island Marathon. In addition to enjoying more temperate running conditions when we make our fall race pilgrimage up North, we find that we get to enjoy autumn in more quaint manner than we can in S Texas. As we drive around such places as upstate New York (Mohawk-Hudson Marathon), Northern Arizona (Flagstaff Trail Marathon), and Eastern Kentucky (Cloudsplitter 50k), the dry, chilly air and multi-colored leaves on trees remind us of the time of year in a way we don’t always get to mark back home in Texas. Additionally, we pass in these places quaint cabins and Victorian-style homes with yards and porches decorated with signs of autumn and Halloween: bales of hay, scarecrows, ghosts hanging among bronze, red, and golden leaves on trees, and pumpkins. Always pumpkins: bright orange, round, big, small. Pumpkins piled decoratively on steps, or carved into grinning jack-o-lanterns, sitting on porch posts or near fence posts. These Northern autumnal scenes are Hallmark-card perfect, but in a very nice way. Here I have to repeat (because of the topic of this post, naturally) that cliché about the arrival of pumpkins being a harbinger of change that points the way toward the trifecta holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, along with all the accompanying celebratory, appropriately seasonal foods.