Yesterday I smoked yet another batch of ribs and used my poolish for yet another ciabatta attempt. I was feeling a little off throughout the day, but brushed it off as nothing too serious, as everyone has those kinds of days.
But after pulling the ribs off the grill – done to perfection, I might add, and looking great when I sliced off a couple for my mom – I was suddenly gripped by the worst nausea I’ve experienced since I ended treatment a little over four months ago. The smoky smell of the ribs was aggravating it, and people who know me will tell you how rare it is for me to be made ill by the smell of food (when I’m not undergoing radiation and chemo, that is). Fortunately, I still had some compazine on hand, so crushed that and poured it down the tube along with some myquil. A little later, I finally drifted off the sleep. And that was good.
The bad part was my dough. Stuck between the first rise and the split/shaping/second rise, it remained on the kitchen counter, continuing to swell and rise. At 3 AM some asshat sales droid called my phone, and, awake, I decided to take care of a little business. On my way down the hall, I popped into the kitchen. The dough had risen to about 8x its original size, lying there with a reproachful look under the plastic wrap, reminding me of why it isn’t good to get sick while there is bread to be made. I ignored it and went back to sleep. This morning, my mother mercifully scraped it into the trash. Another poolish is in order today, to begin yet again.
I had thought initially that I was catching whatever my sisters had last week, as they both came down with a rather nasty bug, but things appear to have settled this morning. At a minimum, I don’t feel like I’m constantly on the verge of puking right now. This is also good, as it means I might be able to get another bread try in, pack some pickles, and carve some ribs for a delivery I was supposed to make today but which will have to wait until tomorrow. But it will still be delicious to my hapless victims, I’m sure.
Once ciabatta is mastered, it will be time to try baguettes and french loaves, now that my pans have come in. I had toyed with trying to make both freeform on the baking stone, but realized the spread might get a little out of hand. Who wants flat bread that isn’t meant to be flat? Appropriate tools were in order.
All in all, yesterday wasn’t a complete waste, but by the end of it, it surely felt that way. C’est la vie.