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I’ve been enjoying my first bread machine loaf– a little chewy, as I mentioned, and as close grained as banana bread or date-nut bread, but very tasty as well.  I ordered the scale and a cooling rack just now.  I’ve got to go out and about tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll pick up some honey and unsalted butter so I can try a loaf of white.  For breakfast, I had two 1/2-inch slices of the bread, one slathered with the last two spoons’ worth of some apple butter one of my mom’s friends made that my mom had shared with me (she knows I love it!), and one with a lashing of peanut butter.  Not only tasty, but very fortifying.  I’ve got just enough of the loaf left for supper.  Think I’ll try putting it in the toaster and then melt some cheese on it in the broiler (n.b., since proved to be a good idea!).  And with the next loaf, I’ll try taking out the paddle before baking.  I’ll still get a hole in the bottom of the loaf, but it will be just a very small round one instead of the larger “L” shaped one the little paddle makes.  There isn’t a recipe for ciabatta bread in the booklet that came with the bread machine.  I need to see if I can hunt one down.  I suspect it will require butter.

I caught the aft end of a British TV miniseries based on that Dickens classic a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve just downloaded a copy of that novel to my Kindle Fire to reread — I didn’t remember the plot being quite like that.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that David Suchet of Poirot fame had been cast as Jaggers, and Ray Winstone who played Will Scarlet in the Robin of Sherwood series (and a great many subsequent roles),  was cast as the convict Magwich.  Anyway, it’s been quite a while since I read the book, and it’s one of those that holds up well to multiple rereadings.  Dickens belongs to a time when authors were not hesitant to employ the richness of English’s vocabulary in the service of their narrative, confident that their language would not go over their readers’ heads and that it would be noted and appreciated as a part of a good writer’s skill and art.  It will be a pleasant change from what I’ve been reading lately.