Monday, April 11, 2005

A New Monitor!

New monitor

Patty got a birthday present today from Mom A - a new monitor! The picture shows it as it is now, but we still have to (obviously) clean up the desk and move it back a little. For the first time, we can actually sit at the desk and work without neck strain. Before, we'd been standing up sometimes to work on the computer, and it was so far away that we would get headaches from the eye strain. This is already making blogging so much easier. Hmmm, think she wants it to be easier so there are more posts?? Big thanks for the monitor!!!

When we got the package, we (Patty and Gabriel) were on our way out the door to meet Matt at the mall. We decided that it would be fun to meet places occasionally, now that the weather is nice. It was torture to have to leave when this new awesome monitor was sitting there in the box, waiting to be used, so we took the instructions with us so we could look at the pictures on the subway.

When we got to the mall, we met up at the Starbucks stand. Matt appeared just as the order was placed on the counter. We went to Aveda for the free personalized birthday scent that we get every year and to Iris to buy speakers for the computer.

We found a pair of speakers with a subwoofer for about $30, so we jumped on that. There are speakers that can attach to our monitor, so if we end up getting those, we can give these to someone else who needs them. They're quite good, though. We found out that we already have software that can do effects on the music; for example, we can make it sound like we're in a concert hall or a haunted cavern. The subwoofer makes a big difference in the sound. You can see the two speakers in the photo above.

After the mall, we stopped by J Ripples. We had to after all - Patty's gianduja was waiting. No one had ordered any all day, so it was all for us. Funny, the people before us and after us ordered some. He must have just made it. We got a pint, and he put a little more in a cup for us to eat there. It was fantastic. We hope that Whole Foods will want to sell that flavor or that Figo Pasta will want to stock it when they buy his display case. Not ever having gianduja gelato again would send Patty into convulsions.

Ciabatta 10 April 05

We used the ciabatta for sandwiches today, and it was very good. Matt still prefers the basic rustic bread for sandwiches, but Patty likes this one better. For dipping in olive oil, this one is definitely the way to go. It could definitely be improved, though. The biga (pre-ferment, dough that's made the night before to add depth of flavor and longer shelf life) didn't rise as it was supposed to, we added too much water to the dough and tried to pour some out and start over, and we slightly used the wrong folding method. We're not sure whether the biga issue had too much effect. We think that the water issue made for a too-sticky dough that had to be corrected by adding more flour, making the proportions of yeast and salt off. The folding method we used probably allowed too much air to escape from the dough, making for fewer and smaller holes in the finished loaf. The center of the loaf had pretty good sized holes - not too small, but not too big for sandwich ingredients, but the end didn't have much in the way of holes. You can see in the photo that it really does look like a slipper (ciabatta means "slipper" in Italian).

We forgot to take Gabriel's Monday photo today, so we will take it tomorrow. He actually is awake at the moment, but that's because he's having a super tough time getting to sleep after waking up for some reason. He just had a dose of tylenol, just in case it's a teething problem. Anyway, nothing else was working and we thought that it wouldn't hurt! He seems to be quieting down, so he should be back asleep soon. And so will we.