Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 15: Focaccia Again and Negotiations

Another attempt at focaccia, this time using a recipe I cut out from the LA Times some years ago.

I didn't clip the entire story that went with the recipe so I didn't realize until well after I started making this that the recipe was created by Nancy Silverton of the La Brea Bakery fame. As in, professional baker?! Yikes, I think I've bitten off more than I can chew (no pun intended).

The recipe starts out by making a focaccia sponge of yeast, flour and water and letting it sit for 24 hours. Then it uses the sponge and other ingredients to make the dough, which rests in total for about five hours. Did I mention that I started to make the bread around 6 pm? Very poor planning indeed. So of course toward the end, I was rushing the proofing process a bit, not paying enough attention to the baking time and I burned it.

But, I have to say this was pretty darned good. I didn't follow the recipe exactly - the recipe called for putting small chunks of mozarella cheese into the dough along with the olives and rosemary but I was too cheap. It was fine without. The recipe uses a lot of olive oil and it made the bottom so crispy and the whole thing very fragrant. When I think focaccia it's more of a chewy bread; this was more like a rustic bread but the recipe is definitely a keeper, although I'll have to be more careful about what time to start the sponge and baking, so I'm not up so late watching the oven.

Today's Podcast
Found this series of podcasts on Slate.com about Negotiations. The two journalists took an MBA negotiations class as well as interviewed professional negotiators and other experts. It's pretty basic but I found it totally useful. Even after taking the Negotiations class in b-school, I have to say I'm a terrible negotiator. I think this set of podcasts is a really nice complement to the b-school class. I felt like I got a lot of theory in class, and this podcast has some really basic but useful tips and compelling real-life examples like peace negotiations.

Today in the News
Speaking of negotiations, if what he wanted was to address safety and health concerns, couldn't he think of a better way than to send in the heavy artillery of the NYPD and force a mass evacuation? Clearly, then, that wasn't the actual intent behind the clearing of Zuccotti Park. What did they actually want to accomplish? Disruption, intimidation, criminal prosecution, discouragement of future protests, are what comes to mind.

It's reminiscent of the forcible incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII - for the safe of the Japanese Americans? Nope, guns were pointed inside the camps. Because of suspected espionage? Nope, no proven cases and many men volunteered to risk their lives for the country that imprisoned them and their families, to prove their patriotism. The real reasons could be found in racism and politics back then.

What about now?

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