Wednesday, October 25 2023
Babysitting the new dog Charlotte was a little less stressful and distracting today. I gave her more freedom (leaving the pet door unlatched for longer stretches of the day) and took her and Neville on a walk that seemed to drain away some of her young-dog energy. It was a beautiful warm afternoon (and getting warmer into the evening) and I took them up the Farm Road to the Chamomile Headwaters Trail and then cut over fairly quickly to the Stick Trail and then back home. I lost both dogs well before I got to the Stick Trail and then wondered what trouble they might've gotten themselves into when they didn't show up in a timely manner. I even rode one of the eBikes to the bottom of the Chamomile Headwaters Trail and called for the dogs, but they didn't respond. Had they found a delicious deer caracass? Where they mining for chipmunks? About fifteen minutes later, though, they showed up at the north end of the Stick Trail near the house, and Neville had muddy paws.
While out on that walk, I'd found a cluster of shelf fungi that I thought might be hen of the woods. I was so confident in their edibility that I tasted them in the field without a solid identification. Sure enough, they were hen of the woods. They're a little long in the tooth, but parts of it still seem edible.
Late this afternoon I made a pizza, starting with a crust made from a recipe Gretchen sent me the last time I made a pizza. This time I followed the crust recipe exactly, though I was distracted during the "yeast with sugar in warm water" phase by Charlotte going missing in the overgrown field just west of the north end of the Farm Road. When she rematerialized, I continued my dough making with Charlotte annoyingly underfoot the whole time (a behavior reminiscent of Lester the Cat). I also fried up a pan of tofu, onions, and mushrooms for use as toppings. I was pulling the pizza out of the oven just as Gretchen was arriving from her Wednesday shift at the bookstore. Unfortunately, the pizza didn't end up being as great as it looked. I thought the pan-seared tofu was a bit too watery and Gretchen thought the vegan cheese I'd used might've gone a little off. Also she though either the crust hadn't risen enough or it didn't contain enough salt. (I'm not sure why the problem was narrowed down to one or the other.) But at least I had the media computer working again, this time using a cheap Chinese remote instead of the old Harmony remote, which seems to have lost its ability to hold a charge. So we could watch Jeopardy! while eating the less-than-ideal pizza.
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