Juniper's sixth month seems full of all kinds of new and interesting skills. She can sit up unsupported, which offers a new vantage point for contemplating the sucking of her toes (yet another delightful discovery this month has brought). She has also learned how to blow spit bubbles and make trumpety sounds with her tongue. She treats us to nightly tongue pthubing concerts, complete with complimentary drool sprays. The look of concentration and determination on her face while producing a wide range of spit sounds is not to be missed.
Brioche, the previous BBA Challenge bread, was just not my thing. I ate two slices and the rest languished away on the countertop until I put it out of its misery. So naturally, I was more than reluctant to begin this bread. Casatiello is simply a brioche with goodies - usually salami and cheese. Now, I am often seduced by the inclusion of pork product and/or cheese in a recipe, but I was not convinced that even this dynamic duo could rescue such an undesirable bread.
Happy first Father's day to Charlie! Thanks for being such a wonderful, loving, funny, thoughtful daddy. Also, hugs and kisses to two of the best grandpas a girl could ask for. Hope all you awesome dads out there have a sweet, relaxing, cuddly day.
I am ambivalent about muffins. I love them in certain situations; I
loathe them often. I have particular muffin requirements. They can't
be too sweet. They are not cupcakes, for heaven's sake. They must
have chunkies of some sort - fruit is best, nuts are tolerable, raisins
are unacceptable. I have been known to enjoy a lemon poppyseed muffin
now and then, but it better be one fine muffin specimen. I like them
to have some amount of whole grain flour to give them heartiness and
depth. Again, it shouldn't be cake. They should be soft and melt-in-your-mouth. And they must be small-ish in
size - a nice snack with coffee, a bit of breakfast with some yogurt or
cereal. The current intractable trend of giant, dense, saucer-sized
muffins has much to do with my suspicious attitude toward this
particular baked good. I don't need 2000 calories in one muffin. I
don't need it to be greasy and cloyingly sweet. I don't need it to
weigh more than my triple venti latte. And don't even get me started
on "muffin tops".
Our little Juniper berry is six months old today! Can it be? Six whole months of growing and changing and learning... Her doctor gave her a perfect bill of health on Friday. She weighs 18 lbs, 9 oz, and measures 27 inches tall. And she barely cried during her vaccine thigh pokies. Such a big girl. I had to fill out all kinds of questions about her "developmental milestones." Between milestones and percentile charts and developmental readiness indicators, pediatricians make baby-growing sound a lot like engineering a pharmaceutical.
The next few breads in the BBA Challenge are eggy breads - brioche, challah, and whatnot. Despite their obvious decadence, I don't like eggy breads. They are missing all the qualities that I like in a bread. They are not crusty. They are not chewy. And they have a strangely flavored outer brown layer that has offended me since childhood. Despite my overwhelming prejudices against the poor brioche, I made it anyway. My sense of order and rightness didn't allow me to skip a bread just because I didn't like it. So here it is. Brioche.