Thursday, July 7, 2011

Customer service

I tossed my backpack onto my bed upon returning from lab a couple hours ago, settled down to bake some bread and read some book... and instantly got an automated phone call from a hair salon in Sarasota to confirm "my" appointment for Saturday. Clearly, this is not an appointment I made. When I called the salon to speak to a human rather than a machine and set things straight, the conversation went something like this:

Me: "I received an automated phone call confirming an appointment, but the phone number must be wrong. I don't even live in Florida anymore."
Employee: "Okay, we can cancel it. What's your name?"
Me: "It's not under my name, because I didn't make the appointment. Someone else did, and the phone number was taken down incorrectly."
Employee: "Okay, we don't need your name. Do you remember with which stylist you made the appointment?"
Me: "No, because I didn't make the appointment, but the person who does may need the confirmation. Would it be possible for you to look it up by phone number?"
Employee: [does so] "Okay, Ms. Smith, your appointment is for Sa--"
Me: [loses patience] "No, it's not, because this is not my appointment."

I'm pretty sure this conversation was part of the reason why I ate most of a "lobe" of the world's most chelonian scallion sourdough bread.

Horrible picture, I know.
Events conspired to give this bread way, way too much time in its last, room-temperature proof, so the mini-loaves flattened and melded. Kind of cute, though, don't you think?

Crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside!

No matter how I try, my sourdough is never as sour as I like it. Don't get me wrong: this was delicious and tangy and crusty. But I want sour, dammit! I used a properly aged starter and gave it a 24-hour fridge period in addition to the other rises and everything. The only thing I didn't do according to what looks like an exemplary recipe was use distilled water for everything. That can't possibly be it, though... can it? The Internet is giving me some excellent tips with which I can troubleshoot my sourdough protocol. I'll just have to try them and feed my friends the results.

Okay, fine, I'll just comfort myself with the best deviled eggs ever. Chives, yogurt, Dijon, and just a sliver of butter make fluffy heaven out of egg yolk, I'm telling you. Plus, of course, the requisite paprika.

Creamy, healthfulish deviled eggs for one
two hardboiled eggs
literally just a sliver of butter, softened
1 tbsp chives
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp minced garlic
2.5 tbsp plain yogurt, Greek or otherwise (in this case, I favor not-Greek, to thin things out a bit)
salt and pepper to taste
paprika for sprinkling

Slice the eggs neatly in half. Cream together the yogurt, mustard, butter, and egg yolks with a spoon, adding salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chives and minced garlic. Pile or pipe into the egg white hollows. Presentation note: To get them to stand up straight, cleave a small bit of white off the underside of the half to give a flat surface.

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