Brexit, Remains, and the Ruins

I, like many people around the world, have followed developments in the UK and Europe with curiosity, confusion, concern, and since early June 24 incredulity and trepidation.

The Remain cause and arguments made sense to me.  The Leave arguments seemed misguided, basically blaming the EU for economic decisions that the Tory-led UK government had made.  The faces of the Leave supporters on news and in social media were, for the most part, unsympathetic portraits reminiscent of Trump supporters baying their prejudices and resentments in full voice.

And in the wake of the vote, a 57% rise in reports of hate crimes in the UK doesn’t do much to counter that impression.

It’s not that simple, though.

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Sourdough Adventures: Whole Wheat Fruit and Nut Bread

This whole wheat breakfast bread recipe has taken several tries to elevate from an ordinary sourdough bread to a loaf worthy of the “Artisan” label, and today’s variation turned out beautifully.  The secret?  a few grams of spelt flour substituted for some of the bread flour. Spelt is an ancient grain, a relative of Durum wheat.  It originated in the Fertile Crescent over 8 thousand years ago, in the Late Neolithic period. Spelt was carried throughout Europe as civilization spread, and was a favorite baker’s ingredient in Medieval Germany. It is more easily digested than regular flour, and some people with wheat intolerances can eat spelt-based bread, even though it’s not gluten-free.  Bread dough made entirely from spelt is extremely fragile and likely to collapse and deflate at the most inopportune moments during early baking.  But, adding spelt to whole wheat flour lightens the dough and improves oven spring dramatically.  Spelt has a delicious nutty taste which does very well in this recipe.

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