29 March 2007

First Flower!

I'm dead tired and about to go to bed. But I couldn't without sharing this photo of the first flower to open in my flower beds. I came home from work this morning to find it. It's not a crocus, as one might expect, but rather an Iris reticulata, a tiny, extremely early species iris that propagates by bulb rather than by rhizome.


I love these. They're very hardy - essentially zero care - and even though the blossoms are fairly short-lived, they're just gorgeous and such a welcome splash of color. You can see a second one coming up that will probably be open by tomorrow.

Spring really is here.

28 March 2007

Hat #2


I finished it tonight with about 8 inches left of the darker color. It's now been washed and will be added to my Dulaan pile once it's dry.

As soon as I was finished I went through the Dulaan stash and dug out 5 skeins of Tahki yarns - 3 of Donegal Tweed and two of a very similar, though less tweedy, variegated yarn in colors that are complementary to the Donegal Tweed. There should be enough here for a child's vest, so that's what I've cast on for.


The plan in my head is to do most of the body with lice patterning using the pinkish yarn, then some other patterning in the greenish-purplish yarn over the chest & shoulders.

An Afternoon's Labour

The weather was quite nice this afternoon, so I decided to try to tackle some of our overgrown front yard. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that our front yard is a very steep little hill. Once upon a time, the landladies had it well mulched and planted in daylilies. The daylilies are still there, but not so much with the mulch these days. Last summer it got very jungley, and the daylilies were practically choked out by grass and weeds and evil, evil, evil, evil bittersweet (I don't think I can, in fact, convey how awful this vine is. Anyone who promotes it, whether as an ornamental or for use in floral arrangements, should be dragged out and quartered, then shot in non-vital places, then cut into little pieces and burned, with their souls being sent to the deepest level of hell. They probably deserve worse, but I'm just soft that way.).

So after four hours of raking, and pulling, and digging, and throwing, and hauling, I had this to show for it:


Unfortunately, there's nothing in this photo that really gives a good sense of scale, but this pile probably contains at least a couple hundred pounds of yard waste. This represents about a third of our front yard. There's still the flattish (by which I mean "less steep") part, which needs to be prepared for two apple trees I've ordered and will be picking up in a month, and the western side of the yard, which is overgrown with rambling rose and staghorn sumac. It was all I could manage in one afternoon, though, and the effort has left me quite sore.

The Latest Word Around Town

Bray House, the oldest house in town - and, consequently, the oldest house in the state - was put on the auction block this past weekend. It sold for $1.8M, which is fairly average for the high end homes (i.e., much, much nicer than our house) around here. Rumor has it that the winning bidder was 80's pop star Daryl Hall. Coincidentally, the other half of Hall & Oates is also an alpaca breeder. So who knows, maybe we can get them to come sing Maneater to the 'pacas.

27 March 2007

Le Tricot Machine C'est Moi

My sleep schedule is a bit screwier than usual tonight, because I didn't get up in the evening and just kept right on sleeping, which meant I woke up at 3:30AM. So I sat down to do a bit of knitting until I got sleepy enough to go back to bed. As I often do, I opened up iTunes to catch up on my podcasts a bit, and it whined at me that I hadn't listened to the Bande à Part podcast for a while.

Now, I don't really speak French. I've taught myself enough over the years that I can sort of almost understand it, though I'm sure there's a lot that gets lost in translation. Still, I live in a state with a large francophone community that shares more of its border with francophone Canadian provinces than it does with the one state it also borders (Québec and New/Nouveau Brunswick license plates are almost as common a sight as New Hampshire and Masshole ones). And one thing that I've learned from that proximity is that francophone Canada has a phenomenal music scene. Since corporate radio doesn't see fit to let us hear any more of that scene than Céline Dion (wailing at us en anglais, naturellement), I keep up with it via podcast.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that last week's podcast, which I had yet to listen to, featured a duo who go by the name Tricot Machine. With a name like that, I was a little worried that I'd not like them and feel really, really cheated, but it turns out that I love their music - indie folk pop with a very sweet & whimsical, slightly melancholic feel. In fact, I loved it so much, I started looking for somewhere to buy the album, and I found it here. I can hardly wait.

Des Chapeaux

While listening to my brand new favorite band, I made some progress on the second hat for Dulaan in the lite lopi type yarn.


I did a 2x2 rib for the band of this hat, and I'm still working out in my head what I want to do with the decreases at the top. It looks like I'll have just barely enough of the darker yarn to finish it off. If not, there's enough of the lighter yarn that I can start working from the other end and maintain the thickness of the stranding and have a top that's finished off in one color.

At work, I have another hat-in-progress that is destined for Dulaan. This one is a Fair Isle that I'm doing in Limbo from Halcyon Yarn.


Anyone recognize the motif? Isn't it cuuuuuuute?

Questions Gladly, If Not Promptly, Answered

KnitNZu asked the other day, "Do you have a good way to catch the color you carry in two-color knitting?" She has a post with photos of one way to do it here.

My answer is that I try not to, if at all possible. Elizabeth Zimmermann addressed the reason for this in Knitting Around, I believe, but I had already discovered it on my own. If you catch up a float by wrapping the carried yarn around the yarn in use, the color being carried will tend to show through between the stitches where it is wrapped. A better option might be to use a singles from one of the yarns (or a finer thread) and a sharp needle and lightly tack the float down later, if necessary. Either that or I would probably do segments that would otherwise require long floats in intarsia instead (Priscilla Gibson-Roberts discusses methods for doing this in tubular garments in several of her books & articles).

The standard rule with Fair Isle knitting is to avoid floats longer than 5 stitches, and since a lot of EZ's designs were worked at 5st/inch, I will stretch that rule a little bit to floats of no more than an inch. In the bunny motif above, the space between the ears is 6 stitches. Since my gauge is around 6st/inch, I wouldn't want anything longer than that, but as it's not going on a part of the body where there are appendages that would be likely to snag those floats, it should be just fine. In a patterned sock, I'd probably try to avoid floats longer than 3-4 stitches, just to minimize the risk of snags.

That and I'd keep my toenails trimmed.

24 March 2007

About Time!

I haven't done any Dulaan knitting for a bit, so I cast on for this hat last night and finished it tonight.


The pattern is extremely basic - a one inch band of twin rib, then two alternating colors - in this case, tone on tone - stranded for a thicker garment. The only thing I don't much care for about this one is the twin rib. I knew that it wouldn't pull in much and thought about frogging it, but I figured I'd keep going and see how I felt about it off the needles. I still think it'll make a nice hat for a toddler, but next time I think I will stick with regular ribbing for a snugger fit at the bottom.

The yarn is part of a big bag I got from Debbie Gremlitz at Nordic Fiber Arts. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but she had a bunch of stash yarns she had wanted to get rid of and offered them to me to pick through for Dulaan. This particular yarn is one of the lighter weight ones I picked up. Both skeins had been wound into balls, so I have no ball bands to identify the brand, but they're a lite lopi type yarn and the two colors were obviously meant to go together. I believe there is also enough yarn to make another hat, so I hope to do that soon.

Sheep Eyes

Knitnzu has tagged me for a meme to come up with several lists of sevens. Right now, though, I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone actually think about seven of anything, so it'll have to wait a bit. I do, however, owe her an answer about sheep's eyes and why they have horizontal pupils.

Of course, in the time it's taken me to get to this question, she's gone off and done some of her own research. She cites a Wikipedia article - "Pupil" - which suggests that sheep and goats may have evolved the horizontal slit pupil the better to climb mountainous terrain. Of course, this doesn't adequately explain why all ungulates (hooved animals) have this type of pupil, since most of them evolved to inhabit plains and grasslands.

The two most basic explanations are a) this pupil shape is the result of a chance mutation that turned out to be benign in terms of survivabilty and managed to perpetuate itsef, or b) this particular pupil shape conferred some sort of survival advantage (better visual acuity, better depth perception, etc.) on ancestral prey animals with this sort of pupil. Because there's essentially no variation across this huge group of mammals, this suggests that b) is the most likely explanation, but I quite honestly couldn't answer with complete certainty as to what that advantage is (though I suspect it has something to do with ability to spot predators).

22 March 2007

NC Photos

Even though I schlepped my fancy schmancy new camera down to North Carolina with me, I was doing so much running around while I was there that I didn't take very many photos. Here are my favorites, though:

Mary, my sister's 5-year-old, tries out a couple different smiles so I can tell her which one to use for her camera pose.



Brian hams it up with my sister's 3-year-old, Alison (aka Ash, because that's the closest approximation of "Alison" that Mary could muster when her sister was born).


Me with Bill's eldest daughter, Amy (While Amy is my dad's first cousin, she's far closer to me in age - only 4 or 5 years older, as I recall. This was the first time we'd seen each other in over 25 years.). And check out that stylin' sweater.


Sydney and myself with Bill


Bill's wife, Carol, has been keeping an online journal for family & friends to keep us updated on Bill's condition. Apparently his breathing has worsened in the past couple days, but not enough to keep him from talking, which is so very typical of Bill. In fact, I had to laugh when I read Carol's post about that, as I expect he'll keep on talking right up until the very end, if at all possible.

Me at the Neurologist's & a Visit with Bikram

Today was kind of a busy day, for all that I don't seem to have accomplished much. The first order of business was a visit to a neurologist to see what we could try for my Restless Legs Syndrome and associated Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. He sent me to the lab to have my iron levels checked, then home with some samples of Requip, so we'll see if that helps. I'm sure David hopes so at least as much as I do, since he's the one who's borne the brunt of my nighttime flailing.

Then this afternoon I hied myself on over to Portsmouth for my first Bikram yoga class. I was just pleased that I managed not to pass out in the heat. Considering that it's been a couple years since I've done any yoga at all, I think I did pretty well, but it really wiped me out for the rest of the evening. And now my back muscles have tightened up again. And my hamstrings were threatening to cramp on me just a bit ago. But I'll try to stick with it and see where it takes me.

19 March 2007

NC Recap

I haven't had a chance yet to download photos from the trip, but some will be forthcoming. Although too brief by far, I had a very nice visit in North Carolina. The only hitch(es) in the entire trip were with Laguardia airport - a 1.5 hour delay leaving there on the way down and a one hour delay getting there (the flight had originated at Laguardia and was delayed coming from there to Raleigh) on the way home that caused me to miss my connection. I was, fortunately, able to get a seat on the very next flight and got home only an hour later than scheduled.

I don't think I really wrote much about this trip in advance. The nominal reason for my going was to represent LGVMA at a reception for lgbt veterinary students attending an annual student symposium that is held at a different veterinary school each year (this year at NC State). I didn't really have to do a whole lot for that aside from paying for the refreshments - the student organizers really did a phenomenal job. It was a far cry from the last Symposium I attended, which was in '92 at Auburn University. At that one, I put a little pink triangle on my nametag and had a few people surreptitiously say hello, and that was pretty much the extent of that.

Of course, the bigger reason for going was to visit family, which became a more urgent need over the past couple months because of two things - my great-uncle Bill, my paternal grandfather's baby brother, was diagnosed with a recurrence of his lung cancer and is now being cared for at home by Hospice; and my cousin Brian, whom I first introduced in this post, is shipping out to Afghanistan at the end of the month as part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team at Mehtar Lam and was on leave this weekend and in Wilmington, where our Aunt Kathe, her sons Rocky & Kevin, and Brian's brother, Spencer, all live.

I was able to visit Bill twice - once Friday before the reception and then for about an hour before I had to leave for the airport. Despite requiring oxygen to breathe reasonably well and some mobility problems that sound like they're related to his last round of radiation therapy, he is still the garrulous man I've always known. Just shifting himself around on his hospital bed takes his breath away, but his spirits are good and he isn't in any significant pain. Amy, the eldest of his three daughters - whom I hadn't seen in over 25 years, since the summer before my sister was born - was visiting from Atlanta with her husband Richard, so I also got to see them for a bit before they had to leave (shortly before my own leaving) and sister Sydney got to meet one of her cousins for the first time.

Brian was very happy about the cabled rib beanie. He remarked that he could probably wear it under his helmet, which something I had taken into consideration with the design. And then he wore it when we all went out for pizza. I felt good that I had pretty much nailed the styling on that one - it's so very him. He also loved the four pairs of RedMaple alpaca socks I took him. Hopefully they'll help keep him warm, and maybe serve as good luck talismans to bring him home safely.

Travel Knitting, Travel Reading

I finished the sweater just a couple hours before I left to catch the bus to the airport and it served me well, particularly since they dropped the forecasted temperatures by several degrees after I got there (which also prompted a trip to the clearance rack at the REI store). For the trip, I took along the socks which have languished since our holiday trip to the Midwest.

On the return, though, I paid a visit to the secondhand bookstore in the Raleigh-Durham airport, where I've made some good finds in the past, and found a copy of friend & knitsib Melissa Scott's book A Choice of Destinies - a "what if" look at what might have happened if Alexander the Great had turned his attentions back to the West instead of pressing on into India. It's a really well-done book and just the right length for me on this trip. I finished it in about 7 hours - just a few minutes before the bus arrived back in Portsmouth - but for pleasure reading I've figured that I average somewhere around 500 words per minute. If you can find it (check with your local library), I highly recommend it.

14 March 2007

A Non-Jackass Photo?

So I was chatting with my sister online the other night, and we got to talking about my travel plans, since I'm going to be staying with her and the girls while I'm in North Carolina. She asked me to send her a photo of myself, since I'll be arriving before she gets off work, so that the babysitter "doesn't think you're some crazy jackass." I promised to work on tracking down a non-jackass photo to send her, then promptly got busy taking the lasagna out of the oven and trekking upstairs with David to watch 9 to 5, followed by some mad knitting on the sweater. I even grafted one of the underarms - the first time I have ever done Kitchener stitch completely from memory, no crib notes at all, and it turned out just fine.

So I just decided to try to kill the proverbial two birds and get a progress photo of the sweater with me wearing it. I'm far enough along with the raglan decreases that I thought it would be good to gauge how much farther I should go, particularly since I plan on leaving the neck a little more open than a traditional crew neck (no ribbing, for my comfort).It has been a serious insomnia week so far - we're talking separate beds so I don't kick David in the nose with all my thrashing around - so I'm not sure I totally avoided that crazed jackass look (though I think I did manage non-assbeagle), but at least I had an easier time removing my sweater-in-progress than a certain someone I know.


Yoga, Inc.

Speaking of contortions, Norma has gotten me thinking about trying out Bikram yoga. There's a studio in Portsmouth, and they have classes seven days a week plus multiple payment options to fit most any budget. I did Ashtanga yoga for several years while I lived in North Carolina, and it did wonders for my fibromyalgia pain, general flexibility, and muscle tone. After I moved to Pittsburgh to be with S, though, I didn't have very many good options for practice, and then I developed wrist problems. Now I can't do vinyasa at all - my wrists just won't support my weight.

I've known about Bikram yoga, of course, for several years, but Bikram himself always struck me as rather egotistical, which I find very off-putting. I also don't particularly care for his whole franchising scheme and his legal wrangling to lock down the market on "true hatha" yoga. In fact, while looking into his yoga a bit more, I found some clips from this documentary, which will be released this spring. The clips are definitely worth a look-see, and I very much want to see the complete film.

Still, I got to thinking maybe I was taking too much of a baby-with-the-bath approach to it and started looking into the poses. As it turns out, none of the basic poses should require me to bear full weight on my wrists. In fact, most of them don't require any weight-bearing with the hands, so I should be in good shape. Once I start doing it, that is. I asked David for his opinion on it. His response was, "Will it make your ass firmer? If it makes your ass firmer, I'm all for it."*

So I'll be getting my ass over there after I get back from my trip.

*I asked for clarification. He was not implying in any way that my ass is not already firm. Just in case you were wondering.

12 March 2007

Smørgasbord for øyene

Lots of photos here today, since I've not been good about keeping up with posting this week. First of all, I owe a couple of tattoo photos for Scout's tattoo meme. This is the first tattoo I got, on my right ankle. As you can see, it's a Celtic knot design, and I got it just over 13 years ago in Minneapolis by Koré, when I was in my final year of vet school.


My second tattoo is one I got on my upper left arm in 1998 when I was living in North Carolina. It's a Scottish thistle design, and I knew around the time I got the first tattoo that this was what I wanted for the second one. It took me over four years of searching before I found just the right design, though. Curiously enough, Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie has a thistle tattoo in the exact same location, and hers is very similar to a 17th century woodcut that I liked and considered very strongly. Mine is one I found in a clipart book of Victorian wallpaper designs. The flower head and the leaf were separate elements, so I had to scan and Photoshop to assemble everything and color it in, then Errol at Blue Flame Tattoo in Raleigh did a bang-up job of reproducing it.


On To the Flower Show

Yesterday, David and I, along with farmsitter & good company Katherine, went to the Portland Flower Show, mostly looking to find ideas for arrangements for our wedding next year. There were a lot of vendors, many of whom had nothing to do with flowers or landscaping, and then there were companies that had set up big design displays. Those ranged from pukingly horrid:


To both horrid and creepy (This particular display was set up as a "Scottish croft" and also had the disembodied papier mâché head of what was supposed to be a Scottish Highland cow emerging from the dark, painted-on doorway of the "croft house", while a loop tape played a recording of bagpipes playing "Amazing Grace" over and over and over):


To, well, veeerrryy interesting:


I wonder why the sculptor chose pink granite for that one?

There were a few decent ones, to be honest. One called "A Walk in the Scottish Countryside" (not the "croft" one), actually, was quite nice and the source of this photo, which is just what we want our wedding to look like:


We also talked to one of the vendors - a greenhouse just up the coast from us who do a lot of potted topiaries and was selling these cute little baby ferns, which may be a jumping-off point for developing table centerpieces for the reception:


Knitting Progress

After we got home last night, we ate, David dragged himself off to bed, and I sat down to groove to unlistened-to episodes of the CBC Radio 3 podcast and really rocked myself into the knitting zone, getting this far on the comfy sweater:


That's right, sleeve #2 is finished and attached, and I made the first of the raglan decreases before I dragged my own self off to bed. I may actually be able to wear this thing before the weather gets too hot.

Signs of Spring

I may have to hurry, though, because there were definite signs today that spring may not be far away.




I finally took down our exterior holiday lights - two sets of solar-powered "icicles" - this afternoon, too, and David put them away (because he's better at it). Tolo decided that he wanted to be Daddy's Little Helper with that particular task.


I also uploaded the pattern for the cabled rib beanie to The Knitting Vault. It's really a very simple, uncomplicated pattern, but I couldn't see that anyone else had written up anything similar and I figure there are probably a few people out there who like to have it spelled out for them. Besides that, I wouldn't mind making a little bit of money from my designs, though I expect it'll only be that - a little bit. Soon I hope to sit down and write up the pattern for the cabled headband that I made my sister for her birthday.

But right now I've got some raglanning to do.

07 March 2007

Finished Hat

I stayed up last night until I had finished the hat for my cousin Brian and wove in the ends after I got to work (hence the photo was done with the clinic camera, rather than my fancy schmancy one). He'll be on leave when I'm in North Carolina next week, so I'll get to give it to him before he ships out for Afghanistan.


The design is my own, but fairly basic & based on a 2 x 1 rib. I did a baby cable in the black, which adds some visual interest and makes a thicker fabric, 'cause it's going to be cold in Afghanistan. The shaping is roughly based on the London Beanie, so it's nice and snug to be able to fit under a helmet. The yarn is Berocco Pure Merino, which is a cabled, worsted weight superwash yarn and very soft. And as with pretty much anything I make, there's a little bit of cat hair thrown in - just for good luck.

I picked the colors because a) they're basic guy colors that I knew Brian would like, and b) they fit the guidelines for the Ships Project.

06 March 2007

A Quickie

Not much battery power left on the laptop at the moment, so this'll be quick. I managed to get in a little nap at work and got out to see Juliette & Madelyn for a bit. Juliette's first show is coming up in a few weeks and I'm planning on putting her on the sales list (not easy, I'll admit, but I did do this as an investment). She's lovely, as always.


And I blame Elemmaciltur for this one.

Find your Celestial Choir

I also owe Scout some tattoo photos for her tattoo meme, but I don't think the laptop will stay up and running long enough for that tonight.

05 March 2007

Weekend Report

I would have dashed this off earlier, but like Rabbitch, my computer has been on the fritz lately. I'm hoping that a new power cord will do the trick, but I fear it may be a terminal illness (Get it? Computer? Terminal?).

Anyway, David & I drove downeast to my grandmother's Thursday night, the plan being to spend Friday and Saturday driving around and scoping out venues for our wedding, places for guests to stay, possible options for rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, etc. Friday, of course, looked like this:


We got at least 8" (20cm - don't ask why I know that without doing any calculations), though it was a little difficult to tell with the high winds and drifting. Needless to say, the day was a total wash and we didn't venture out at all.

Saturday was much nicer and we managed a bit of driving around. We were only able to properly visit Three Pines B & B, which is about 15 minutes from my grandmother's in a lovely spot overlooking the water. I'd been wanting to visit them for some time because they're completely off the grid and they have a small farm with a small flock of rare breed sheep. Though too small for the actual event, I think, it may be a good place for David & myself, and perhaps some of our friends with kids, to spend that weekend. David loved it so much that when we got in the car to leave he said, "Forget making a reservation. Let's just see if we can buy them out."

I took several pics of their animals, but my favorite has to be this one of their Shetland ram, Fideles (I think I spelled that right), who is very handsome and very friendly.


I'm Gonna Live Forever, I'm Gonna Learn How To Fly

After my recent mention on the world-famous Cute with Chris show, Chris posted a follow up letter and cute pic from (not of) me on his blog. Chris is not a pal o' mine, to answer knitnzu's question, but a Canadian actor whose work - particularly one film I first saw several years ago - I like very much.

I have Stephen to thank for finding Cute with Chris, because Chris appears in the full length version of the short posted here. He looked vaguely familiar (maybe because my feeble memory remembered the movie, but more likely because, as the staff at work all pointed out, he looks like a veterinarian we all know, incidentally also named Chris), so a little bit of googling brought me to the CWC site, and I was quickly addicted. After all, who can resist a talking plastic horse with apparent gender identity and God issues and animals with laser eyes. Certainly not me.

01 March 2007

My 15 Seconds of Fame

Do you think maybe I have too much time on my hands?

Delicious Apocrypha

Recently, I was introduced to anadama bread, which is apparently indigenous to this area (well, coastal Massachusetts, which is only a few miles away). The 'true' story of this bread's origin goes a little like this:

Many years ago, there was a (farmer/fisherman) who had a (lazy/industrious) wife named Anna who was an (horrible/excellent) cook. One day he came home to find that she had cooked (yet another dinner of corn meal mush/a wonderful bread with cornmeal and molasses). So (disgusted/overcome) was he, that he (threw together the mush with some molasses and flour to make some/sat down and savored a slice of her) bread and muttered, "Anna, damn her."

I, of course, believe every word of it. And since I have a surfeit of flour, I decided to make some. Here's the recipe:

- 2½ cups water
- ½ cup cornmeal (The recipe I found said "course" [sic] cornmeal, but our supermarket had slim pickin's in the cornmeal dept., so I used a finer grind and it still worked wonderfully)
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses (or "moles' asses", as I usually call it)
- 1tsp. salt
- 2Tbsp. butter, preferably unsalted
- 1 packet yeast (2½ tsp. if you have a jar of it like I do)
- 5-6 cups of flour (I, of course, used whole grain spelt flour, but plain ol' boring white flour is fine, too)

Boil the water and stir in the cornmeal. Turn down to low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for up to an hour (I did maybe 20-30 minutes). Remove from heat and add the molasses, salt and butter. Allow to cool to lukewarm and add the yeast, stirring it in well. Allow the yeast to proof for about 10 minutes - this brings it out of dormancy and allows you to see if it's still viable, as the mix should start rising. Stir in about 4½ cups of the flour and turn the dough out onto a well-floured board to begin kneading and incorporating the remaining flour.

Kneading bread dough is very important, as this is what starts to get the gluten molecules crosslinking, which is what makes yeast breads chewy and not cake-like. The No-Knead Bread avoids the kneading step by letting the dough sit and ferment for nearly 24 hours, but for traditional recipes, the dough needs to be kneaded for about 10 minutes, until it pretty much stops sticking to your hand and looks kind of like this:


Once the kneading is done, place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and coat the dough with the oil. Cover it and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk (an hour or so, depending on the temperature). Punch the dough down well, divide and shape into two loaves, and place in two greased bread pans. Cover again and allow these to rise until again doubled, like so:


While the dough is going through the second rise, preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC). When the dough is ready, bake it until the loaves sound hollow when thumped - about 25-30 minutes. Turn them out of the pans while hot, and you should have something that looks a bit like this:


We had thick slices, warm and buttered, with a salad and quiche for dinner.