Sourdough Saturday Ends With Jumping Jupiter and Magnificent Moon

I woke up five minutes before my five o’clock alarm this morning.  Not unusual, except for it being a Saturday.  But I needed to hit the ground running if I was going to get all the bread baked today.

First thing, I pulled the sourdough crock out of the refrigerator to get it warmed up to room temperature.  Second, I quickly mixed up my favorite Honey Wheat bread recipe.   While waiting for the bread machine to mix, knead and rise that recipe (elapsed time ninety minutes), I started recording to DVD from the DVR the Belgian Grand Prix (since I’m five GPs behind and only three left for the 2010 season) .  I managed to read a few chapters of Cryoburn concurrently.

I shaped the Honey Wheat dough into a loaf and set it to rise for anther forty-five minutes. I took a short break to visit with friends for brunch at Santa Fe Depot.  Probably a good choice since the new IHOP in Lansing was overflowing at ten o’clock.  After a great visit, I rushed to the Leavenworth Post Office to mail off eight mooched books to various states in the lower forty-eight.   I also stopped at the Book Exchange in an attempt to trade some hardcover science fiction novels, but she declined my offerings stating they were currently overstocked with hardcovers.

I returned home, completed my BookMooch and BookCrossing data updates and posted three of the hardcovers to my BookMooch inventory, one of which has already been mooched.

Now the sourdough starter was ready, all bubbly and soury.  I modified my Rustic Sourdough bread recipe to work in a bread machine on the dough cycle.  My modifications included the following:

1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast

This reduces the original recipe to a single loaf variation and rather than shaping a traditional round or oval loaf, I used a regular bread pan and scored it like you would a split top loaf.

After I got the Rustic Sourdough into the bread machine, I immediately started the Rosemary Sourdough recipe in the Kitchenaid stand mixer.  This recipe should not be over mixed nor kneaded, so it’s a very sticky mess when you scrape it into a glass bowl (generously coated with cooking spray) and covered with clear plastic wrap.  Let rise for ninety minutes or more until doubled in size.

The Sourdoughs kept me busy all afternoon.  I was able to start another, final loaf before three o’clock, which was one of my family’s favorites: Honey Wheat Black Bread.  I shaped it into a braid and waited for it to rise.

With the last loaf still cooling on the rack, I rushed down to Bonner Springs to slip into the KC Ren Fest just before it closed.  I have a collection of mugs, steins and goblets going back to 1988.  The person at the Will Call window was kind enough to let me into the festival for a few minutes to buy a mug and a goblet.  Pickings were slim (this being the last weekend of the festival), but I found a goblet and a stein I liked and quickly returned home.

I was surprised to see my dad’s car parked in the driveway as I thought I had told him to call me if he was going to stop by to partake in some star gazing this evening.  Apparently, he arrived at the house just minutes after I left for Bonner Springs.

We waited for the sun to set and started setting up the the telescope in the great room in a polar mount orientation.  We moved the equipment out front to the driveway, since Jupiter is not visible from my backyard until around ten o’clock.  We determined the sidereal tracking in polar mount worked well and kept Jupiter and it’s three visible moons centered for an hour or so.  Feeling confident, we attached the Pentax K100D to attempt a better photo shoot of Jupiter, but quickly realized the weight of the camera was too much for the motors of the telescope.  We removed the camera and went back to viewing Jupiter with various eye pieces and barlowes of varying magnifications.

Just before dad was leaving and as we were contemplating putting the equipment back in the great room, the moon (more than half full now) peaked out from behind the pin oak in my side yard (which also shields the driveway from the annoying streetlight planted next to the stop sign in my side yard at the corner of Bambi Court and Fawn Valley.  We reoriented the telescope to the moon and began viewing it with various eye pieces.  We also tried the moon filter, which helped tone down the incredible brightness funneled through the telescope into our eyes.

After a few minutes of moon gazing, we packed up the equipment and returned it to the great room.  We said our good nights and I’m grateful to be off my feet finally.  My knees have had enough today.

Sunday will be easier since I only need to make one more loaf (possibly two) and then figure out how to transport six loaves to work via the vanpool without smushing any of them.

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