And this, my friends, is what sourdough looks like when it fails to rise in the oven.

I have not made sourdough in well more than a month. While I have fed the sourdough starter at least once weekly, I am thinking that I should have poured some off, then engaged in a full day of feedings, before using it to bake.

The dough looked and felt normal when I finished it Monday evening. But this bread certainly failed to rise in the oven.

I really don’t want to handle the bread, for fear that I will drop it on my foot and never walk again.

#Reminiscences: snow day

Webster University closed early on Monday, at 11 a.m., for a snow day. Road conditions were ugly.

I didn’t leave campus until 3 p.m., since I went ahead and taught a lesson, met with the Dean, and took care of office work.

But I’m mindful of snow days past.

One year, when I was still living upstairs at the house on Wingate in Lee’s Summit (I moved downstairs to the basement in 9th grade) the ice was so bad that school was out for three days, and we were without power for at least overnight. That much I can remember. My sisters had bunk beds; I had a 3/4 bed. And we all bunked into my bed together to keep each other warm under plenty of blanketing.

1971. Lee’s Summit. The home on Wingate, in Briarcroft subdivision.

Funny that I don’t have much recollection of snow days as a kid. We would have taken the sled outdoors and played in the snow, of course. At some point there were snowmen, and one year I remember we made a snow fort of sorts.

Several years back, we had such a snow/ice/chill in Saint Louis that school was cancelled for two days. I knew about the call-off early enough that I decided to watch the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy on three consecutive nights, and I did.

Looking north toward the 40/64 interchange and the Barnes Hospital complex.

But the worst snow-days in memory occurred in January 2005. A perfect storm of ice hit a twenty-mile-wide swath of Indiana. We had been warned to expect that power would go out. And it did. For four days. I weathered the first night in my steadily-chilling condo. Even the next morning the hot water heater was still hot enough to take a quick shower. But the temperatures stayed cold for the whole time, and I found myself a room at the campus hotel at Ball State.

And as I write, I’m really puzzled that I don’t remember snow days from growing up. But how could I remember this snow from 1965?  I was three and a half years old—


Ah well.


A full Sunday

Sunday, November 10.

A full day!

Phlip was all chalked up at Circus Harmony today, and he did a somersault and then two back flips that left perfect on the carpet in the ring.

I headed to school for a fabulous faculty composers showcase concert featuring music by four intensely talented colleagues.

And then I went to the J to be part of Todd Purdum’s talk about his book Enchanted Evenings. The book is about Rodgers and Hammerstein’s collaboration. Purdum was at The J as part of the Jewish Book Festival that continues this week.

I’m grateful to Edward Coffield for asking me to provide the piano music for Purdum’s talk!