Thursday, May 13, 2021

Tired

(Left Right)

Seriously, I am.

Went up to New Hampshire for Mothers Day, which was awesome as I haven't seen my Mom or my two brothers since Christmas of 2019. That part was awesome.

The get up early on Saturday, drive 150 miles, then do the same on Sunday, left me rather wrung out. It's also been a very busy week at work. Testing stuff, getting ready to go West to test more stuff in the July/August time frame.

Sleep has been hard to find. And the bloody taxes are in the offing. Ah well, I'll sleep when I'm dead. Maybe...

As to that pending trip, sure hope you're going to be in town Tuna as I'll be in your AO for a week or three. You as well Big Sox Fan. And any other denizens of that fine town. You who dwell there know whereof I speak.

It's been a while since I've been here, and I need to, a pilgrimage of a certain kind dontcha know.

Anyhoo, might also get the chance to see two of the progeny and some of the grand-progeny. OTOH, I'll be at sea for a few days as well.

There ya go, a puzzle to be figured out...


In the bad news department...

 I have a favorite English muffin, it's made by these folks. The very best English muffin I have ever had (it's a personal preference mind you) and I've been unable to score any for a few weeks. So today, while at my local grocery store, whilst on a muffin quest, I encountered the manager of said emporium who inquired as to my needing assistance.

"Why yes my good fellow, where, pray tell, are the Vermont Bread English muffins?"

"Oh dear," sayeth he, "I'm afraid they've gone out of business, rather suddenly."

Stunned beyond measure, I staggered from the store. Bereft of my favorite muffin, apparently forever.

"Adieu sweet muffin, I shall remember thee, for as long as the jam lasts, and the toaster shall toast, you shall not be forgotten."

Sigh...



52 comments:

  1. Yup, San Diego is a great place to visit. Don't miss out on hole-in-the-wall Mexican food joints...Nirvana. I was born and raised in San Diego Co. Paradise, until the commiecrats stole the political system. Now live in Tennessee, redneck-in-traing to be a hillbilly.

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    Replies
    1. I've been there before, love the Mexican food.

      Tennessee, God's country.

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  2. 'Four years of losses' led to Vermont Bread closure

    https://www.reformer.com/local-news/vermont-bread-company-abruptly-closes-91-employees-out-of-a-job/article_4ec26798-a697-11eb-b0bd-67a2c647ca00.html

    Ouch. Apparently the joys of their Organic & Wholesome English Muffins was not as widely shared as one would have hoped :(


    /
    L.J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. I shall eat my last two tomorrow, then spend the weekend mourning what used to be...

      A lot of that "mourning what used to be" going around these days.

      Delete
    2. Yes......sadly that statement "mourning what used to be" is more and more prevalent every day.

      Delete
  3. So the baker closed when you yeast expected it?

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    Replies
    1. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      Good one Tom.

      Delete
    2. Tom, that is so bad, it's good! (as a joke, that is)

      Delete
    3. I am so used to 'auto correcting' what I read that it took me about 5 tries to actually see what you did there, Tom.

      Ah, well, OldAFSarge has been battered enough by recent occurrences, hasn't he?

      Delete
    4. And another shot scores!

      (Battered indeed...)

      Delete
  4. Sarge, super happy you got to see your mom and brothers! You relate the same issue that ultimately caused me to cut back on my Highland Games: getting up at the crack of dawn, driving 150-200 miles, throwing all day, and then driving back sort of drains the "fun" out of everything (yes, I suppose I could spend the night, but that is perfectly good money spent AND I still have to drive back).

    I truly wish I was one of those folks that God designed to live on less sleep (I have known a few). How much more I could get done.

    I feel your English Muffin Pain. The favorite manufacturer of the Sourdough Bread we loved also went out of business some years ago. They made singular Sourdough for which we have been able to find a suitable replacement. Now they only live in my memories, slathered in butter...

    I suppose this is the part of the program where I am supposed to encourage you to find a new brand and not loaf around...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There may be hope, a bakery in Massachusetts is in negotiations to keep Vermont Bread going. It ain't over until it's over!

      (Heh, loaf around, good one.)

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    2. Thank you. After all, your readers are nothing but the upper crust...

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    3. He shoots...

      He scores!

      Nice.

      Delete
    4. Hey, TB (wait, that's kind of an unfortunate handle there...) if you are in the South, Publix does a good version of old-school SanFran sourdough. And a very respectable pumpernickel. But if you aren't, well, it's yet another reason to move to the South...

      And are we really going to keep these crumby puns going all day long? You'd think they'd get stale or something. But, no, not really.

      Delete
    5. The folks at work are starting to look at me funny, what with all the giggling...

      Oh wait, they always do that.

      Delete
    6. Fair enough Beans. I will certainly keep in mind, although it has been some years since I was anywhere near a Publix. Frankly, I would probably make the trip - good sourdough is hard to come by.

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    7. Sarge, is it the giggling, or the rye look on your face?

      Delete
    8. TB #1 - A good sourdough bread is worth the trip!

      Delete
    9. TB #2 - Yet another good one!

      Delete
    10. Sadly, the use of puns is a well established and practiced sport in our household, much to The Ravishing Mrs. TB's dismay. My one great contribution to my children's future...

      Delete
  5. Glad you were able to see your Mom and brothers after such a long absence Sarge. Going on a cruise curtesy of the USN? I see the Foo Fighters made the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and good luck with the taxes(shudder).

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    Replies
    1. USN cruise aye. Foo fighters, finally and fantastic. Taxes, arghhhhhh!

      Delete
  6. That's a coincidence. I drove up to NH to see my mother earlier this week; first visit since November, 2019. They've only just started allowing in-room visits and, because we've all been vaccinated, we could take our masks off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you got to see your Mom. My family is mostly vaccinated, except for some of the younger members.

      We actually went to a restaurant and had a pleasant experience, folks were very common sense about the whole thing. It was great.

      Delete
  7. Hate to be the grammar nazi but... (completely untrue: I love it) "wrung" past perfect of wring.
    BTW, in my early formative years (in the Bronx - well, some things you just can't help) I used to dine out on Hebrew National Kosher Salami - try finding the smaller, family-sized salamis in the markets today

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D'oh, I hate using the wrong word.

      Yup, finding the good stuff in these days of mass marketing and globalism...

      Delete
  8. Maybe it's time for a new hobby? Baking English muffins... with modern machines (kitchen aid mixer or even a bread machine) the physical work of kneading is about removed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh, I already have too many hobbies. (But, hhmm, English muffins...)

      Delete
    2. Not hard to make & English muffins are made in a fry pan or griddle. The following is a recipe I found...

      English muffins are an easy to make camp yeast bread, that are baked in a dry skillet of griddle, on top a camp stove. Good for just about everything from toast to hamburger buns.  These muffins keep well in an old bread bag or supermarket bag for 3 to 4 days.
      English Muffins
      4 cups regular white flour, 1 1/4 cups water, 4 tsp yeast, 1/3 cup cooking oil, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 3 tbsp honey or sugar &
      some cornmeal
      Mix wet stuff, mix dry stuff.
      add dry to wet by the cupful, until the dough is hard to hand mix. On a work surface continue kneading in the dry stuff. Knead dough till you have an elastic (non-sticky dough ball)
      let rest 10 min
      roll out dough to about 3/8 of an inch thick, and cut out muffins--I like to cut mine 4 inches in size. ( an empty 29 to 30 oz tin can works good for a cutter)
      sprinkle some cookie tray with cornmeal, and place the muffins on them to rise, also sprinkle some cornmeal on top the muffins.
      Let rise till almost double in bulk (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours)
      Heat up a large dry skillet to 375 degrees-place muffins in skillet and cook 7minutes per side-cool on racks.  (the grate of a cold bbq grill makes a good rack)
      Serve by splitting the muffin and toasting it.

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    3. You've really done the background work here.

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    4. I have been baking artisan sourdough loaves since '07. Two every week mostly. I give most of it away to the folks here in the condo, otherwise I'd have to get a bigger chair. It's easy once you learn, the curve is a little long, but worth it. I came out with 108 loaves in March-December last year and may break that record this year. It's always exciting to see if it's looking correct when it comes out of the oven. I know a little about losing a beloved food item - they've stopped making raspberry toaster strudels. I know, I know. Don't bother with the comments. D4

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    5. We like what we like. Stand proud for your strawberry toaster strudels!

      Delete
  9. Take a break Sarge, you earned it.

    BTW when did you get your portrait painted?

    Is that the new masthead?

    IMWTK!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! It should be!

      (I think the wig makes me look younger...)

      Delete
  10. I have been on the road for the last few weeks and one thing I have discovered since my last big road trip is… I can’t drive like I used to.

    And maybe a little bit of that is because I don’t want to drive like I used to.

    Used to be able to knock out 600 to 800 miles in a day.

    Now it’s 300 to 400.

    As far as your muffin company this Covid has had a lot of bad side effects not the least of which is many good business is going under

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    Replies
    1. Wasn't Covid that killed them, bad management from the sounds of it. They've been losing money for at least the last four years.

      Delete
  11. Yeah, nice that you can travel. Due to various issues, we're stuck not seeing Mother Beans unless we plan a 4-5 day trip so Mrs. Andrew can rest from the trip and then rest from Mother Beans before hitting the road. That would be rest away from Mother Beans and the chaos of the ancestral Beans manse (well, since 1973, that is, as Dad refused to go anywhere near back home as he had had enough of that locale for a lifetime.)

    So, obligatory guilt-ridden phone calls, emails and mail back and forth. Sad, but not sad, it's what it is.

    As to the baking stuff, your wonderful wife might or might not be interested. I find baking to be relaxing and a wonderful brain calmer (unless something breaks or burns) and it may be something you can take up whenever you retire. If so, I'll give you a good list of the basic pieces of equipment that I highly recommend you get, acquire, make sure you have before the first bake (it's not too expensive, for the most part. Just the Kitchenaid stand mixer is the big one...)

    Aw, heck, here it is. If you are going to do baking right, you'll knead the following:

    A bread machine. Boring. Bleh.

    Or...

    A Kitchenaid stand mixer, because it really does knead the bread dough very well (and it's just a really good mixer overall.)

    Some stoneware 'mixing' bowls for rising dough. Really, stoneware, heavy, should have lots of it up there antique or new.

    A silicone rolling sheet (it's a big sheet of flexible silicone rubber with all the sizes of pies and crusts printed on it and it keeps your dough from sticking to the counter.) Or you just flour your counter (not recommended if wife is standing anywhere near by.)

    A heavy wood or marble rolling pin.

    A couple tea towels (for rolling rolled dough like cinnamon buns on, or for keeping moisture on rising dough.) Or you can use parchment paper (silicon coated baking paper.)

    And some place that has stable 85-100 degree temperature (I use a cardboard box on top of my electric stove and preheat the oven) for to rise the dough.

    A good selection of quality measuring cups (both wet and dry) and spoons will help.

    Selection of various spices for spicing.

    And that's it. You probably already have a good portion of that. Just the stoneware bowls and tea cloths and silicon rolling mat are the weird ones.


    Have fun on your Tiger cruise or whatever they call it. Going to hang with LUSH and her crew?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not foresee my taking up Peter Falk's role in Castle Keep anytime soon. Between writing, reading, playing the drums, acting the fool, and playing computer games, I'm pretty busy.

      The cruise is a working visit, hardware/software integration testing, fun stuff. (For certain values of fun...)

      Delete
    2. Looked "Castle Keep" in Wiki, seems I need to see that one.

      Delete
    3. A very entertaining movie, one of my favorites.

      Delete
  12. If have a minute while you're out here, it's my turn to buy dinner. I have the dough.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would add an additional recommendation for the KitchenAid mixer. Ask Santa for it for Christmas, or, hey, Dad's day is looming on the horizon. It is a bit pricey, but worth every single penny!!! And almost indestructible--I have had mine for 40+ years, and it is still going strong.

    The parents gave us three gals mixers one holiday season and very nice sewing machines the next.

    And, yes, English Muffins are very easy to make. If you can follow directions, you can make some yummy muffins. You can write computer code--I feel confident you could follow that recipe. Besides, you can write while the rising goes on.

    Be safe going to the West Coast! And enjoy your float.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, you guys are trying to turn me into a baker.

      I'm not saying it won't happen, but since the great Burning of the Mashed Potatoes Incident of the mid-80s, I've tried to stay out of the kitchen.

      Delete
  14. For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these,
    Bereft of my favorite muffin, apparently forever.

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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