Monday, 11 June 2018

Mad Website

I don't want to lose this link either

I didn't try my own text; I'm still deeply, deeply filled with joy at what happened to the Book of Common Prayer....

Monday 11th June - Sourdough loaves, Breadmakers, Haikus

This is just a random hurdy-gurdy of what's filling my brain at the moment;

Working backwards... (why not!)


Last night, before I went to bed, I did some work on the "Making Poetry" free online course from that I'm part way through.

So far I've dabbled with sestinas and villanelles, and now it was the turn of Haiku. They hadn't been heard of when I did English Lit at school (I don't remember that we did much in the way of poetry anyway!)

The current poetry task is to take two words to use are "prompts" and make a poem. The haiku is a terrible, terrible thing!

Haiku (or hokku) A Japanese verse form most often composed, in English versions, of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. A haiku often features an image, or a pair of images, meant to depict the essence of a specific moment in time.

Terrible, in that when you are lying awake at night, trying to get to sleep, to have your mind invaded by haiku-mania is a sure-fire way of staying awake for ever.

I find a haiku
is rather more difficult
than I thought at first.

"You'll be surprised",
they said in the instructions
"at what you'll achieve".

My head's full of words
in never-ending circles
that create nonsense.

Please, please, make it stop!
I'm desperate to be sleeping!
not counting the words.

and so forth.

At one point I started a villanelle

I'm lying awake
Turning words round in my head
Constructing haikus

words filling my mind
do not encourage slumber
I'm lying awake..

It's quite a puzzle
to choose the perfect phrase when
Constructing haikus

And a villanelle!
It's no wonder that I find
I'm lying awake.

The words I should use,
'Hope' and 'loom', won't flow when
constructing haikus.

criss cross threads of day, warp, weft
hope in my story's loom while
I'm lying awake
Constructing haikus

It's not great, but it will have to do!

Breadmaking Machines

I've just put this into today's blog as this is a link to making sourdough bread in the bread machine which looks promising. I thought if I posted it here there was a chance I might not lose it.

Sour-Dough Loaves

I've rashly begun a second starter.

The first one comes from a book all about "healthy fermented foods". It (the starter, not the book) is made with rye flour and will take 14 days to be ready. It involves an awful lot of discarding most of what you have brewed up every couple of days while you are growing it.

The second one uses "all-purpose" flour - I'm hoping that white bread flour will do the trick, and came from here  This should be ready in five days and doesn't involve chucking most of it away, which is probably why they stipulate a 2 quart (? of, four pints. why didn't you say so) bowl.
I've hidden it at the back of the counter so maybe he won't notice it...

But then I read the recipe for making the actual bread. What a faff! Making puff pastry from scratch would be less tie consuming! The whole process takes several days of kneading and proving and shaping and proving and turning and rising...

which is why I started wondering about bread machine recipes. I'm not bothered about healthy or authentic - just let me have some home-made sour-dough bread!

All these sour-dough loaves
are needy, demanding and,

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Sunday 10th June - Hubble, Bubble, Toil, Trouble

But in what order?

The week trundled through its usual procession of tightly-scheduled days reduced to chaos by lunchtime, or even before breakfast. However, we arrived at the weekend more or less intact...

Once I had finished teaching on Saturday morning, we decided to see the sea. As we zoomed south on the A23, the sun disappeared behind clouds and the Met prophesied 70% chance of rain by 2pm... clouds . So as we hit the roundabout at the beginning of Brighton we took a right instead of straight on, and headed homewards via Devil's Dyke and the A281.

Aha! At Henfield we discovered that it was their Arts and Gardens weekend - something that we've missed every year. It was only a few minutes to find a space in the Village Hall car park. Following the sound of clinking cups we found a hatch from whence came refreshments. A bacon and fried egg roll and cup of tea (Sweet Rhubarb, by Twinings - pleasant enough but not worth buying a boxful) and a few minutes studying the village map and we had a route planned.

A scale on the map might, nay, would have been useful, but on reflection the way out to the furthest edge seemed a lot shorter than the way back - maybe there was a percentage of spandex in the paper?

I didn't take pictures of the gardens, or of the Steam Mill (beside one of the gardens) but they were varied and interesting, ranging from substantial to generous to tiny, from paved to well stocked to tidy.

On the way back I was pleased to see the roof notorious/well-known Cat and Canary House;

recognisable by the metal cat on the roof line. I hadn't expected to see the actual cottage, but a little further on, we found the lane leading past it, so took some more photographs.

The cottage must be tiny - barely one room deep and maybe two or three long? YOU can read about it and also find a town train around Henfield here. I think we must go back and do the train sometime.

(The Britain Express website is a mine of interesting places...)

The sun came out while we were wandering round - it was hot and still and muggy. It was probably a mistake having wine (himself) and cider (myself) with our evening meal - we both felt most uneasy on Saturday night. For a while we wondered if he was going to have a return of labyrinthitus... oh no oh no oh no horrible thought.

But by Sunday morning, after rather a disturbed night - several trips to get another glass of water, and then someone kept driving round and round our road very slowly in a 4 x 4, and then the helicopter came along - I hope they found whoever they were looking for - we both woke up feeling Much Better.

He was taking a friend to visit another friend in hospital all afternoon.

Now for the Hubble Bubble bit;

I amused myself making yoghurt cake this afternoon. (OH MY WORD! That link will take you back to 2012! Have I been blogging that long!)

and yoghurt  oh, I told you this last month

and starting off  a sour dough starter (I love sour dough bread).

I had kimchi with my lunch, and I've set the next batch of kefir fermenting. Dee-licious!

Sunday has happened now, and soon, all too soon it will be Monday again...