As it turns out, I am suffering from a concussion. I am assuming it is mild since my current symptoms are mild. I have a doc appointment tomorrow afternoon, just to make sure that I am taking the proper precautions. We head out of town tomorrow night on a business trip. I am currently absolutely bored out of my mind, so I shall do a post then go rest my brain, again.
This past Thursday the 18th, there was an ocean storm up here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The waves were massive. I was helping a friend and was offline most of the day. I heard nothing of the storm and ironically was just a few miles from our beach house. Well, while I was painting away on my friend’s beach rental, the immense waves were tossing huge driftwood trees about on the end of our deck like they were tooth picks. By the time I found out about the storm (not being one to listen to or watch the news these days) I was back home in Portland. I grabbed a shot of the back of our beach house off of our security camera and although it looked pretty bad, it was NOTHING compared to what the scene actually looked like when Blue Eyes and I drove over to the beach house on Sunday.
There was no way we could move the tree that is in the foreground of the picture above. I didn’t measure it, but I would guess it is close to 50 feet long. I wanted to lift slightly and slide the darker piece off the deck and onto the log that is off the deck. These logs weigh hundreds of pounds. It was not a good idea. So with both Blue Eyes and I holding that one end of the log, we gently slid it off the deck and then Blue Eyes said, I can’t hold it anymore and dropped it. In the split second between when he said he was dropping it and dropping it, apparently my brain didn’t register what was about to happen, and I went down hard face first, into another log. My feet went completely out from under me, and my hands were still in a position of holding the log, so not in a position to block my forehead from smacking that log, hard. It all happened so fast. I blacked out for the briefest of moments and then I literally saw stars in front of my right eye. The knot on my noggin is on the right side… a big goose egg.
So now I am resting and resting and resting. Trying to limit my screen time, but I am going stir crazy. So here I am posting a RECIPE. A couple weeks ago The Peacemaker and I were craving Chocolate Babka. Before hanging out with Blue Eyes and his family, I had no idea what Babka was. The Jewish version of Babka is a bread made with a sweet yeast dough and filled with chocolate (or a cinnamon butter mixture–the lesser babka according to Elaine).
I honestly always thought it was too complicated to make at home. Not sure why, but I did. We have tried many versions of Babka, the best in my opinion being purchased from New York Delis (Hello Seinfeld! Making me crave Chocolate Babka every time I see that episode). We’ve tried some local versions but they are just not good… too dry with cheaper chocolate OR not enough chocolate, OR they have a faint orange flavor, which I am not fond of. I like my Babka with a hint of cinnamon and a ton of delicious high quality chocolate, and that’s it!
I went to my go-to favorite Jewish chef guy, David Lebovitz, for the recipe.
We made it straight up chocolate cinnamon babka with no add-ins and no nuts. We used the highest quality ingredients we could find. I’ve included how we made it below, David’s does include options for nuts and also brownie or cookie add-ins.
|One 9-inch (23cm) loaf|
2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 3/4 ounce (20g) fresh yeast
Scant 1/2 cup (100g) whole or lowfat milk very slightly warmed
1 teaspoon sugar
3 ounces (90g, 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
3 1/2 ounces (100g, 7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
3 ounces (80g) bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped (we used Guittard)
5 tablespoons (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder natural or Dutch-process (we used Scharffenberger)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) water
1 tablespoon honey