I finally got around to visiting Walden this morning. Chris and I rode up the Minuteman trail to Bedford, then headed south to Concord. After a nice little bite to eat in a cafe, we rode on to the pond.
We were only there for a few minutes, but what a place. A visceral thrill I hadn't expected went up my spine as soon as we saw the water. It was somehow smaller than I had pictured it, and very neat -- mottled evergreen and autumn gold oaks coming right down to the water; very little in the way of marshy, sinuous shoreline, at least on the banks we could see.
As we were leaving, a fellow came strolling by with a rod and reel and a little cooler. He says there's good fishing in this pond, which I don't doubt. I can't wait to go back out there, my mind wandering through vast and cosmogonal spheres, and toss my own line down into a pond that is still, a century and a half later, hardly more dense.
Despite the time pressure of grad school, I've recently found myself baking bread on a fairly regular basis. Hour-for-hour, it's hands-down my greatest sanity booster -- what brings you down to earth better than piping hot, crusty, chewy bread fresh of the oven?
Of course, that's only true because I'm not spending hours baking the stuff. Enter Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. (Thanks, Danica!) It really is absurdly simple to make, and despite a few sticky-handed wobbles in my first few attempts, a relatively bulletproof method.
And it's tasty! Our house has a bread machine, and while it's great for sandwiches, I've never been too keen on the crumb or crust. These loaves come out with the delicious, chewy, open crumb I favor for more direct presentations (eg plain or with hummus, cheese, vinegar & oil, etc).