Incidentally: Posting will probably be light the rest of this week. We have a three-day symposium to attend (all faculty) and it's from 8 or 9 am until 4:30 pm (with a short lunch break), so I don't anticipate much posting between then and Saturday.
Lydia, the recipe I used is out of that "Bread" book - the one by Sara Lewis that I've referred to several times on here. (I think the full title is something like "Bread: the definitive guide to making bread by hand or machine"). The recipe for this is fairly simple, though: 4 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/4 tsp yeast, some salt, some sugar, the herbs, a quarter cup of olive oil, and then you add warm water until it forms a "stiff" dough. (The recipe called for 1 cup but it took more for me; it's been dry here). And yes, you mix the dry stuff first, then add the oil and later, the water. It gets a 1-hour initial rise, followed by the shaping and a second rise of about a half hour. And then it bakes for ten minutes, though I think I had to bake mine for more like 15.
Oh, I got stuff done today. I updated all my syllabi (but now need to up-update one; the new edition of the textbook has changed the chapter numberings. Or rather, broken one chapter into two separate ones, so every "downstream" chapter is changed.)
And I picked up a refill on what they are now calling Monteleukast SOD and which is a different shaped/colored pill. (The pharmacist warned me that it was the same medication; I'm always leery of "new" generics after having an aunt who had a violent allergic reaction to an inert ingredient in a generic that wasn't present in the name-brand. Or something. I don't remember the exact story but I do remember her doctor had to write a letter to Medicare stating she was ONLY to be given the original formulation of that particular medication, and not the generic).
And I got my mail.
There was a King Arthur Flour catalog in it (I get those periodically) so I think I will order the malt I was talking about. (I guess it's the "diastatic malt" - the "non diastatic" malt is described as a special additive for bagels). And they have an Herbes de Provence blend. And an Irish wholemeal flour that looks interesting. I was hoping they'd have something like the "Granary" flour that Lewis refers to in a couple of her recipes, but a quick Internet search suggests that "Granary" flour is actually a proprietary blend - a particular brand of flour in the British Isles. (But that you can mock one up using a mix of white and wheat flour, and adding barley).
I also got my Pony swap box. I knew what it was because the person sending me had drawn a little Derpy Hooves and glued it on the outside of the box. (I was careful in opening it so I didn't tear Derpy). Lots of nice things, including a super-nice project bag just the right size for a pair of socks. And a pattern for a knitted pony and yellow and blue yarn so I could make my own version of my OC pony. (Someone has either been reading my blog, or else she really post-stalked me on Ravelry!). And a set of "Chibi Pony" magnets for my fridge, so I can smile every morning when I get my orange juice. And a really cool little metal-bound notebook....lots and lots of stuff. (I sent my box off at the same time, and I hope my swap partner likes her stuff as well as I like mine).
I didn't finish "The Horse, The Wheel, and Language" over break - it is a very long and very dense book, and as I said, I bog down a bit in the descriptions of the different layers. (I find it confusing that different eras at a site are given the same name, with a I or II or III appended after it; I have a hard time keeping that straight. And also, all of the place-names are Turkish or from the Caucasus, so I don't really have a sense of the geography to attach to them. And I get hung up on trying to pronounce them in my head). My favorite part was the first part, where he talks about historical linguistics, which is something that's interested me for a long time, even before I was a college kid taking linguistics to fulfill my Social Sciences distribution requirement. (I was told History required some 300 pages of reading a week, and I was already trying to do that for Great Books....). But even earlier, I remember looking at the "family tree" of languages (at least, as it was known at that point) in my parents' big unabridged dictionary and wondering at them....things like "what was Anatolian and does anyone still speak it?" and being surprised that English and German were so closely related (What little German I had heard - via relatives, and an old record of drinking songs my dad had - seemed so different from English)
I did shift over and read one of the other, shorter, books I took with me - I think this one was a gift several years ago from a blogreader. It was called Ohio's Grand Canal and was about the Ohio (and also the Miami, and also the Ohio and Erie) canals in the state. My main interest was in the Summit County stretch of the Ohio Canal, because that is what I remember seeing the ruins of as a kid in various parks, but I learned a lot more about the general history of the canals. The author's hypothesis is in part, that the canals were what brought Ohio to prosperity early on (in fact, in the early days, the canals seemed to be a remarkably well-managed public works project; that did not continue indefinitely). And that if Ohio had waited for the railroad, they might not have attained that early prosperity...even though the canals were largely obsolete by the Civil War. I actually felt like I learned more from this short (it was something like 97 pages) book than I did from the longer "The Artificial River" that I read some years back.
A lot of nice (recent) photos of the old locks and such are here (Sadly, that site looks like it's not been updated since 2009). "Ohio Forgotten" also talks about ghost stories and such, including the legend of Helltown, which puzzles me, because I grew up not at all far from there (Hudson was only a a few miles from either Boston or Peninsula), and I never remember hearing ANY of those stories. I did know about the abandoned town of Jaite, but I knew its "real" history - in that it was a paper mill that went bust and the land was sold/eminent domained to the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area (well, it's now National Park, but when I was a kid, it was CVNRA). Maybe the legend is very localized and never made it as far as Hudson? Or maybe it sprang up after my childhood? At any rate.
Supposedly, Deep Lock Quarry is haunted. I don't know where I stand on the idea of paranormal activity and stuff. On the one hand, I've never felt any sense of "spirits" or whatever myself, and of course as a scientist I'm supposed to be agnostic at best on the whole matter (though I did have one thing once happen to me that I would probably best explain as "My angel was looking out for me") but sometimes there are things that make you wonder. Though I never remember feeling anything "weird" (other than the sense of history, that there were people there long before I was born, who lived and died and worked and stuff, and that I would never know who they really were) the times I was out there as a kid. I mean, I think most of the tv shows that claim to find it are 100% pure hokum, but I don't totally deny that there may be "thin places" on this plane of existence where those on the other side can maybe poke through a little.
Sometimes, I think it would be interesting to go back to northeast Ohio for an extended trip and see how things have changed. Then again, based on some of the stuff that my mom's best friend (who still lives there) has told me about how Hudson has changed in recent years, I might find it kind of depressing. (In the sense that the town has gotten very built up and the character I remembered has largely changed).
What might make more sense at this point is reading up on the history of where I live NOW and planning day trips around to different interesting sites - because some of those could even be Saturday trips during the semester (One thing I want to do sometime is get out to the new Chickasaw Cultural Center near Sulphur - I've been told it's really fascinating and well-done, and of interest to people who are not Native).
It's funny how I'm more "into" the history of where I grew up now than when I was actually living there. Some of that could be the difference between being an adult and being a kid, but I think some of it may also be a bit of nostalgia and wanting not to forget what it was like.