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Computer woes

I have a netbook, and it goes everywhere with me (nearly; the Nook Color is much smaller and has superseded it for some excursions). It’s in the kitchen a lot, for looking up recipes, playing music, chatting while I cook. I’ve gotten flour in it, chocolate, all sorts of things, but it’s a robust little beast (An ASUS EEE, the second I’ve owned. The first one still works fine, but the second is nicer.)

Until last night.

I was looking up recipes online. Not that pesto needs a recipe when you’ve gotten a huge bag of basil from your CSA, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. Yesterday was a long day. Something that should have been dry wasn’t, and I dumped some water in the keyboard.

ACK! I’m traveling the rest of the week, and I need my netbook.

So I turn it over and shake it out, and wipe it off, and all the things one does. It wasn’t very much water, really, and it was just water rather than something with electrolytes.

I was so sure that I had gotten it out in time that I hadn’t even shut it down instantly. But I tried to look at my recipe, and no trackpad. So I did shut it down, and left it open for a day to finish drying.

I turned it on this evening, and the trackpad worked. Much relief ensued. I logged in, and the trackpad quit. WTF??? Repeat; same effect.

After much poking and prodding, I discovered that while drying the keyboard off I’d hit the key combination that disables the trackpad. All is well in netbookland. Whew!

In other news, I had a request for my recipe for Whole-wheat Sourdough Black Raspberry Scones. There’s not really a recipe as such, but here’s an approximation. This is a “cheater” sourdough recipe, using the starter for flavor rather than leavening power. You could do one as the latter – take out the baking powder and add a proofing period or two – but I think of biscuits and scones as a quick impulse bake, rather than a long-term commitment.

Mix together:
1 c whole wheat flour. (I use King Arthur white whole wheat. I can put it in stuff and Nick will eat it.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar (or more, or less, depending on the desired sweetness. This much gives a not-really-sweet result.)

cut in 3tbsp or more butter. The more butter, the richer the scones. You could do it entirely without butter if you wanted.

Add an egg (optional; also adds richness. To me, the egg and milk/cream distinguish scones from biscuits, except that this recipe has no milk because the water in the starter takes its place)
Mix in 3/4 cup of fed sourdough starter. You could use a roughly equal volume of milk or cream instead if you don’t have a starter. The amount is approximate since not everyone feeds their starter to the same proportions. You want to end up with a thickish dough.

If you are a purist, add enough starter/milk to make a stiff dough, and knead it briefly.

If you are lazy, add a bit more, to make a very thick batter instead.

Either way, mix in the bowl of black raspberries you just picked from the back yard. I suppose if you don’t have such a thing, you could use other berries, or nothing, or dried fruit, or anything really. Depending on the additives, you might also want to add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, lemon zest, etc.

If you went the proper route, roll out the dough thickly and cut it into triangles, then put them on a cookie sheet. If you went the lazy route, dump heaping spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. In either case, lining the sheet with parchment paper first is a good idea, or you can grease the sheet.

Bake at 400 or 425F until golden brown on top.

This is a favorite recipe, and very flexible. It’s also a really good thing to do with your sourdough starter when you need to feed it but don’t have time to bake bread.

1 Comment on “Computer woes”

  1. #1 alwen
    on Jul 23rd, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I’m really encouraged to hear that, since my DH just bought a refurbished ASUS EEE for us to use while traveling. In between times, it’s mainly mine now!

    But I’ll still try to keep water out of it.