WeekEnd Review May 1st, 2016

Happy May Day! 

This week saw me posting a bit about my new pen and new ink arrivals here, first in what will be an occasional series when I get new stationery stuff in. More things arrived this week, some Rohrer & Klingner inks and the Pen Addict Episode 200 Notebooks. I also made a surprise purchase because Thursday morning I was poking around Amazon and found a Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black from a Japanese seller for about 40% of the normal price. I did a little bit of digging and found reason to believe the seller was legit. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was! It’s still not a cheap pen in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve longed for this pen for a good long while but never felt like I wanted to spend the full price for it. It will take awhile to get to me (mid to late May was the estimate) but I couldn’t pass up the deal.

And with that purchase I’m now officially back on a pen spending freeze. August is a ways away, but I want to save up for the SF Pen Show. Planning to work on my wishlist/to-do list for the show in the next few weeks, will probably turn it into a blog post. 

Otherwise, busy at work, busy baking, and put in a good amount of work towards moving my baking from hobby to small side business. My draft of a site is below! It’ll be a slow/small start, but think I’ll be ready to launch in a few weeks for locals. Am even going to offer some shipping options in a limited capacity I think. Exciting times! 

For now though, onto the links.

WeekEnd Links

Fountain Pen Quest
Ray does a great job with FPQ. I think his links are interesting each week, his reviews are great, but my favorite part of his blog is how focused on usage it is. This week Ray cleared out a TON of pens, and reading his thoughts on each pairing and getting a sense of his changing opinions on various inks and pens over the course of time is great fun. I won’t link to all of them, but here’s a couple of posts on pen and ink combos from the week that I particularly liked.
Omas 360 Vintage & Montblanc Golden Yellow 
I lost an eBay auction for this exact pen a few weeks ago. I’m still keeping an eye out for a 360 from Omas in a few colors. I’m imagining they’ll just get harder to acquire as time goes on.
Visconti Homo Sapien & R&K Blau-Schwarz LE
This pen is still very high on my list of wants. Just beautiful. I also really love the look of this R&K Blue-Black.
Sheaffer Balance II & Omas Green
I had forgotten how much I like the look of these Sheaffer Balance II. I have started ebay/peyton st pen browsing again.

Pelikan M120 - Pen! Paper! Pencil!
I’ve always liked the look of these classic Pelikans, not sure if I’d want to get the remake personally, would probably rather a vintage. 

Nakaya Spiketails - The Pen Addict
Oh wow. Wow. Wow. I don’t usually go for the ‘things painted on pens’ look since my tastes lean towards the plain/minimal. That said, this pen is BEAUTIFUL, and Susan’s story about acquiring it is a cool inclusion. I think sometimes in the blog world purchases aren’t talked about in practical terms, e.g. what did I have to get rid of/how much did I have to save to get this pen. That Omas going is a shame for sure, but I think it’s more than worth it given just how detailed and incredible the art on this pen is.

Edison Menlo Tibaldi - Gentleman Stationer
Absolutely beautiful again! That Tibaldi is gorgeous and I love the way the ink window is on the end. 

WeekEnd Bake

Walnut and fig bread didn’t last too long from the weekend. I need to tweak the ratio of walnuts to figs I think, but a whole loaf disappeared in about 30 minutes at work and the other loaf was gone by Wed. 

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And speaking of Wed. that morning was when I baked off the first two loaves with the new starter. I am VERY pleased with how the bread turned out. Took pictures of the finished loaves but no crumb shots. It’s always interesting using a new starter. The dough behaves differently and each starter I’ve used has had its own personality for lack of a better term. I’ve taken to calling the all AP Flour starter that is solely based on the King Arthur Flour kit ‘Arthur’. Arthur is very active, with clear bubbles and lift even 20 minutes after feeding. I was both working with Arthur and also trying a week night sourdough schedule. I mixed it after work, around 5:00. Autolyze for about an hour, then added salt and levain. I left it out for 2 hours, folding four times, then into the fridge. I took it out in the morning to give it one more fold for good measure/check on it. Then after work, again about 5, on Tuesday, I took it out, shaped, and let them proof for about 3 hours. Out by 9:30 pm. I want to tweak the schedule, and play around with shorter bulk fermentation but much longer proofing possibly, but it proved the idea of sourdough during the week.

Yesterday I baked two loaves of sesame sourdough. One loaf for the housemate and her boyfriend to take on a road trip, the other for eating. Today is cheddar beer sourdough, an experiment in adding beer in for about 45% of the water. I got a later start than I originally planned today. It’s been warm the last few days so Arthur was moving too quickly. I mixed the levain at 7:30 pm last night and by 6:45 when I got up this morning it had risen and fallen completely. Fed it a bit more and gave it about 3 hours to perk back up. Folding in the cheese in about ten minutes, will probably have the bread out before I go to sleep tonight.

Consumed

I’ve been very stressed! So I’m going back to a warm blanket of a novel, Perdido Street Station. This book is incredibly weird and uncomfortable. I recommended it to a friend and had forgotten just how gross and weird it is, but I love it so much. Probably my 5th time through. Will probably spend part of this evening reading another warm blanket book, Bluets by Maggie Nelson. Her odd and affecting book of verse/prose poems centered on the color blue and loss and love and how we deal with grief.