Friday, 18 June 2021

Friday 18th June 2021 - The Rain has Stopped

 what a day of rain!

It rained yesterday afternoon as well; McCavity came in so wet that her tail dripped a great puddle on the floor. (The cat, in case you hadn't guessed)

The book club meeting at lunchtime today that I nearly went to last week on the wrong day was cancelled in the end. I gather two or three people met together and shared coffee and cake indoors but I wasn't one of them. I'm still not ready for any avoidable indoor meetings yet. 

I could quickly give you my thoughts on the book; A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende; skip to next bit if you are not interested.

 I think, if it hadn't been for the book club I would not have chosen to read this book. It is a curious mixture. There is the detailed history of the Spanish Civil war and the refugee crisis afterwards and then life in Chile before General Pinochet took over and during his brutal dictatorship and then afterwards. At the same time there are the threads of passion for one's country, and passion for your wife/husband/lover/family. It felt like being immersed in a collage of three different stories, three different worlds. I am still reflecting on the book, but with no desire to re-read it. So yes, it's good, no, I didn't 'like' it.

Here we are, let's talk about carrots instead; I pulled one up about two weeks ago and it was clearly too soon

Don't raise your eyebrows like that! I have never grown carrots before, and usually buy them without the leaves so I have no idea when they will be ready to harvest. It's not like growing peas or courgettes where all the important action takes place above ground.

I pulled another one yesterday and it is looking more promising. I cleaned it up and ate it raw - delicious, only slightly carrot flavoured at the moment. I think they need another week or so yet. 

I've picked the first bowlful of strawberries, but we ate them before I could take a photograph. But you know what strawberries look like. They looked like that. One had a baby slug curled up the a little hollowed out home it had made for itself in the tip - sorry sluggy, I chucked you and your strawberry house into the garden recycling bin.   

I've also started up another sourdough 'brew'. This version is simplicity itself; you get a decent sized jar, and each day for 5 days you stir in 50g bread flour and 50 tepid water, mix well, and leave out, partially covered.

So after 5 days you have a total of 250g flour and 250 g water (the equivalent of 250 ml). I mention this because you will be glad you chose the right size bowl or jar at the beginning.

Then I googled 'Sourdough Loaf made in a bread machine', picked the easiest recipe and did that. You basically dump the ingredients on the list -flour, salt, water and gloopy starter into the bread machine and press play. All the bread machine recipes (only three or four) I read seem to use yeast - if you want to be a purist then you google 'sour dough loaf' and then you will be embarking on a sort of sour dough ceremony lasting two days of of mixing and stirring and resting and kneading and proving overnight in the fridge and so on. You will most likely get a better result - I won't know as I am unlikely to go through the palaver.

Here's my bread and the rest of the sourdough starter which has been transferred to a smaller jar ready to hibernate in the fridge until next time;

It's looking plausible (both the bread and the starter) and tastes plausible (just the bread)

It tastes like ordinary bread, but has distinct but not too 'in-your-face' ('in-your-mouth'?) sourdough  tang. Should be cool enough by tea time....


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