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BLOG-While A Mighty Wind Did Blow

Earlier this month, we made big plans for this weekend. But what is that saying…”Man plans. God laughs.” Certainly nature had a good chuckle conspiring against us. First, a mighty wind in Colorado took a fire in Waldo Canyon from 260 acres to 10,000 acres by Wednesday night. The Air Force Academy closed to visitors, and parts of Colorado Springs evacuated. After checking CNN and seeing the fire storm as the main headline, the airline was nice enough to refund our tickets. We traded our weekend plans for the Freedom Call tattoo at Wright Patterson AFB on Friday night, a Saturday afternoon birthday party, and Our Town at the Yellow Springs Presbyterian Church on Saturday.

Then, 4pm Friday, dark clouds swallowed the skies above Fairborn and Yellow Springs. A mighty wind blew in from the West and started taking the tops off trees. A limb of the great tree in front of Jackson Lytle & Lewis Funeral Home crashed into the street on Xenia Avenue closing the street for several minutes. The air base canceled the tattoo for the first time ever after the high winds upset equipment and caused injuries. We regrouped at our house, battened the hatches, ate up a rack of pork ribs from Current Cuisine, and settled into view the fittingly offbeat, cantilevering animated film The Triplets of Belleville.

In collecting an impromptu meal from town, someone noted the sudden rush of customers at Tom’s Market and Current Cuisine. We mused that more than one set of plans were upset Friday evening. Luckily, our local resources are excellent indeed. Besides the rack of ribs, I collected two pounds of blue marlin from Current and a half dozen gorgeous apricots from Tom’s. The apricots were to round out the ingredients for a bread pudding recipe that the New York Times posted on Tuesday.

I made the bread pudding this morning…a pleasant business as a much needed rain blessed us. Its recipe requires a scale to get the proportions of fruit and bread just as recommended, but the amount of bread is about half a baguette from Current and four of the large apricots that Tom’s Market has on hand now. Also, I substituted two duck eggs from Rocket Acre Farm for the three chicken eggs that the recipe calls for. I mix my batters by hand and, to turn the bread crumb and milk base to the required “mush”, I wielded a favorite kitchen instrument—a large muddler that I got at the Ithaca Farmers Market last year. Really, the big fun of cooking is its physicality; ripping, crushing, pounding, kneading with a machine would just cheat me out of a significant joy. Made from cherry, the foot tall muddler is an excellent weight for making jam from berries or, here, pulverizing bread crumbs. I felt less happy whipping the egg whites to complete the batter, but the final satisfaction of soft peaks from the meringue made up for my impatience.

We now await the satisfaction of cutting into the bread pudding. The party starts at 4pm today so think good thoughts for a break in the clouds. Yes, we do need rain, but a four year old’s happiness hangs on Nature’s fortune. Perhaps she will laugh with us this time.

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