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Monday, March 31, 2014

like a cinnamon bun and a doughnut and a raisin croissant rolled into one

I came home the other day to find a gigantic plumbing bill and the almost equally gigantic cinnamon roll that Tim had made to console me. I forgot all of my landlording woes as soon as we started eating it, and supper that night consisted of gooey delicious cinnamon roll--and beer. Tim generously took notes and pictures; I am here this morning to share them with you.

The finished product shown below is actually the imitation I attempted yesterday, since I Needed More.

Mine is Very Good, but just barely Not Quite as Good, since I forgot the Egg (all-important).

Cinnamon Raisin Roll

Put two handfuls of raisins in a bowl with boiling water to soften. Set aside.

Combine in a large mixing bowl:
120 g (1/2 cup) warm water
60 g (1/4 cup) milk
4 g (1 tsp) salt 
4 g (1 tsp) dry yeast
20 g (5 tsp) sugar
1 egg

Melt:
40 g (3 tblsp) salted butter

Add to mixing bowl:
melted butter
320 g (2 and 1/3 cups) white flour

Mix well and knead for ~10 minutes by hand or with a mixer and dough hook.

Let rise, covered, until doubled.



Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roll out with rolling pin into large rectangle. Brush with more melted butter. Sprinkle generously with brown or white sugar, cinnamon, and raisins.



Roll up lengthwise into cylindrical loaf. Slashing optional.



Bake on cookie sheet covered with silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Loaf is done when lightly browned on top and internal temperature ~180 F. (Or use your usual bread-testing method.)








Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reykjavik windows


Sunday morning wall planter--with egg

basement suite?
the first of Sunday's domestic windows

Iceland. On Sunday morning, I went for a walk and discovered the windows of downtown Reykjavik. I should have photographed more of them, but I was uncomfortable walking around with my tourist's camera on a strap, staring into people's homes. Good lord, couldn't I afford them any privacy? I fed my conscience some crumbs: They intended these windows to be peered at. In many, many houses and apartments, on the public side of the curtain, appeared little displays. Shop windows with nothing for sale, relics of Amsterdam, a lettuce.

(Why? Why here and not in Edmonton?)

Amsterdam

Christmas roofs

comics

above the egg

at the top of a hill, a grass roof

view from the hostel dorm room

my own window

favorite lettuce

I was charmed. In true character, on Sunday morning I was feeling anxious about being in Iceland. I wrote:

I've had a hard time being here. I've felt almost constantly that I am creating an inadequate experience for myself. I've been ashamed of needing to spend so much time alone on my bunk . . .  All useless, and really quite mean. I've seen and done a lot since arriving here, and I've had a Good Time (when not feeling paralyzed by shame, so much so that I couldn't even take photographs). 

When will I learn to be gentler?

Frakkastigur

view from other dorm window

Redwall
Redwall

that way



three old houses downtown

Sunday morning roofs and windows

concrete cathedral

some apartments 
pub window

In retrospect, the Sunday walk was a triumph. I was fretful. I felt lost and lonely. I felt like an imposter. Who was I? Those houses and windows and roofs illustrated so much of what I find beautiful and important to notice and cultivate in everyday life. Colours, lines, signs of people traveling, growing things, retreating home, displaying a chosen face, arranging their worlds. 

More pictures followed, so--more Iceland posts to come. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I forgot to tell you . . .

that I am going to Iceland for a week! I leave this afternoon. Expect lots of pictures--if not while I'm gone, then when I return in a week.