How Focaccia Saved Summer

It has been a very strange summer, and I realize that, by now, we are well into fall, but it takes me some time to get my system up and running at full speed again after the summer season. Because I hate it. It’s sweaty and exhausting, and it makes all the parts of living in a crowded city that are already bad unbearable. My dog agrees with my sentiments about the heat, as well, which means he refuses to go for walks longer than 10 minutes, and long walks with Charlie have become the closest thing I have to therapy.

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A Birthday Cake for Charlie

A decade ago — or possibly even less — I would’ve made fun of the kind of person who made a birthday cake for their dog. We always had family dogs while I was growing up, but they were backyard dogs who, while part of the family, weren’t really as integral a part of the household as Charlie has become.

To say that it’s been a rough couple of months would be an understatement. At the end of May, I caught a bad case of the flu, and as it reached its pinnacle, my mom called to say that she had collapsed at home and had been taken to the hospital via ambulance. My mom had ongoing health issues, so I tried not to be too alarmed, but I had a bad feeling from the start. The next day, she called again to say that there was a mass on her liver, and that the doctors suspected it was cancer, and that if it was, that it had probably migrated there from elsewhere in her body.

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Tartine Bakery in Hannam-dong, Seoul

It’s been an age since I actually visited Tartine, but I did want to make a post about it, since there still doesn’t seem much information about it online in English. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a proud owner of the Tartine cookbook, and that the detailed instructions I found inside helped me finally master bread, which I had been trying to do for nearly a decade. I still highly recommend it for anyone who wants to make decent homemade bread but who just can’t seem to get it right. Maybe one day I’ll do a post on how I hacked my toaster oven to produce crusty, bakery-style loaves, but that’s for another time.

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The Nature of the Beast

It’s the wee hours of a Saturday morning, and I’m already regretting letting that last cup of coffee in the evening get the best of me — it’s so hard to resist a hot cup of something after dark when it’s this cold, but tea just feels so anemic, unless I go to great lengths to turn it into a latte-type thing that’s really just a counterfeit version of what I really want — a fucking cup of coffee.

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