Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year.

Tonight I'm going to stay on the settee with a good book and some bread and cheese. The cat is on the window ledge and the man is on his way home. I have some lovely festive memories and no expectations of what 2011 will bring. I'm just going to wait and be surprised when it happens.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas


I'm grabbing a few minutes before the festive chaos takes hold to share a few pictures with you. All is quiet for now with an almost full moon shining on the white fields around the village. The snow is beautiful but painful on the paws, as Magnus found out.


When the weather is cold  all I want to do is stay at home and keep warm and my newly found obsession with all things yeasty has been perfect for days such as these. I'm still learning though,  today I had to leap out of the bath when I realised that I'd mixed up a huge batch of dough and left it to rise but forgotten to add any yeast. Thankfully it turned out well in the end.

Whatever you do and however you celebrate at this time of the year,  I wish you every happiness.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Bread and circuses

Well, maybe not a proper circus, just some snazzy bunting. This was one of my stupider pre-Christmas ideas. Wouldn't it be a great wheeze I thought, to make bunting to give to three of my favourite small girls as presents. Many millions of triangles later I realised that as I had drawn round the template with dressmaking pen, I would also have to hand wash and dry many million of triangles rather than risk them in the fierce spin of the washing machine. I still have to line them up in some semblance of colour order and sew them together. I might even make the girls' names out of felt and sew them on too. Thankfully they all have very short names. By that time there may be no posting days left till Christmas.On the other hand I might just stick with plain pennants and have a fighting chance of them arriving on time.

The goo in the jar is my new best friend the sourdough starter, by day it lives in the fridge but mix with water and flour and leave overnight it will turn into the most incredible mass of life and bubble. The bread is tangy and chewy and I'm filling the freezer with what is left over. At least if the weather turns again ( as the forecast threatens for this week ) we'll have enough to eat.

I've been thinking a lot about photographs and their context this week. It is wonderful how good something can look when you don't see that is going on in the background. As an example, I give you the arty shot of my sourdough and then the reality of me in the kitchen balanced on a chair wearing stripy pajama trousers. And yes, I did knit those socks.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

A dripping story.

After looking after the birds with such loving care over the summer and experiencing the ultimate in feline stir-craziness, it seemed a little unfair to lose them to a cold snap. According to the RSPB the birds rely on having enough fat resources to see them through our freezing winter nights. What is doom to our arteries is a life saver to the robin and the sparrow and the blue tit.


Which goes a  long way to explaining the purchase of two large packs of beef dripping yesterday. This morning it was the star ingredient in my bird cake, along with some sesame seeds, bread and some coconut that I found in the cupboard marked use by 2009.  Melt, mix and leave to set.

The birds seem to like it. Unfortunately so does Magnus.