Friday, March 25, 2011

Meanwhile Back at the Wood Fired Oven

Meanwhile Back at the Wood Fired Oven

Okay the Arizona winter, if you can call it that, has ended. With my health problems cold is quite difficult for me, so I tend to stay inside when it’s cold out (ie; under 50°f). Anyway I’m back to the wood fired oven. I baked today and as usual it was a learning experience. This is what I learned today. If you are using a wood fired oven start with any soft wood that you have and move the fire around on the hearth. I start a fire at least 4 hours before I start baking. Next; in the last hour before you are going to start baking change your fuel to hardwood. For me, that means Mesquite, in other parts of the country that might mean oak, or pecan. I’ve been burning my hardwood down to coals about the size of pool balls and then shoveling them out and cleaning the oven and baking.

Today I discovered that I should burn the coals, which I spread over the entire hearth to keep the heat constant, down to ash. Then I should wait about 20 minutes and check the oven for heat. I do this by tossing a handful of corn meal onto the clean hearth.

If it burns after a few minutes the oven is too hot. I wait about 20 minutes and check again. When the cornmeal turns brown after a few minutes the oven is ready. I set a soaking wet kitchen towel over the door hanging on the inside of the door and slide my bread in. I’ve sliced the tops of my dough with a razor and I set a pan inside filled with water. Right before I close the door I spray the inside with a water bottle to raise the steam level inside. This insures a crisp crust.

I’m baking the loaves about 18 minutes or until they are caramel brown and have reached an internal temperature of 212°f. This is an ongoing process and I look forward to your thoughts, comments and questions.


Mad Coyote Joe

Open Mic a Poem by Daigneault

Open Mic

By Daigneault

Every Tuesday night they show

Like Vikings gathering for a battle

A battle void of spoils

Except the next chance to fight

Pulling at their guitars

The music is a longboat


through frozen waters

Straining on the oar

A pick keeps time

The left hand

Clearing the shallows

The voice calls out

Their ancient tune

As the villagers

sit watching

Knowing these Vikings

Are a breed apart

With their own view

Of heaven!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Note to Our Readers

A Note to our Readers

For those of you that are new to this blog or not familiar with my history, it may seem a little confusing. One day we are discussing southwestern cooking, the next a cowboys funereal, or chapters out of a crime novel and then it’s barbecue cleaning videos or a discussion on how to make a building out of a shipping container, all of this is followed up with a few days of my poetry.

Let me explain. My personal history starts out with me being an Iron Worker, living and working here in the Arizona desert. Next I started a spice company, which led me into a television, cooking career. That took me into a series of cookbooks; from there it was live cooking demonstrations and playing music at least one night a week. After my show went off the air in 03 I had a baraitric procedure and over the next few years I had nine additional surgeries. While I was convalescing I went back to school and studied both, Creative and News writing. All of this shows up on my blog along with my love of green building and the plants of the Sonoran desert.

What drives me to write on a particular subject is either I just happen to be working on something, or a situation like the recent death of Micha McGurrea occurs and moves me to write, or my statistics page tells me that I’m gaining readers on a subject. In the last month most of my readers are American, over 70%, next is Hungary and here’s the odd thing. The Hungarians are reading my poetry and nothing but my poetry. There are about 15 other countries that have someone that is following my blog and they read everything both old and new, but when I launch a poem I can go to the Stats page and within a few minutes Hungary pops up. If you are in Hungary and following this blog Please leave a comment and let me know what is drawing you to these pages. That goes for all of you nice people, leave a comment and let me know what you like and what doesn’t quite do it for you.


Mad Coyote Joe

Monday, March 21, 2011

If Heroes be Illusion A Poem by Daigneault

If Heroes be Illusion

A Poem by Daigneault

If heroes be illusion

The heroes as we say

Can true men then be heroes

In deeds of everyday

In stories facing giants

without a flinch or fear

Standing straight and solid

with will so true so clear

If men like that be fiction

and yet great deeds are done

The myth is calling fearless

The men that fail to run

For heroes are not different

from ordinary men

With fear and hearts a pounding

They stay to fight to win