Monday, 29 September 2014

I hate being Ill

Since July, I have had a pain in my shoulder, I have had physio and a steroid injction, but nothing has done much good. Now I am seeing a different physio, who has basically said that all the previous treatments were wrong, and that I should not have had the injection! So far, I'm sad to say that her treatment has not improved my situation; maybe I should give it more time to work. To be honest I can't keep using up my sick leave with nothing to show, if anything it feels worse than it did in July.

Perhaps it's just me getting old and worn out?

Changing the subject, I have been trying a few different things cooking wise, we had Salmon dressed with my Blackberry Vinegar Glaze, I roasted a few veg, tomatoes from the garden and peppers, to go with it.

And a crumble, with Apple, Pear and Berries from the garden,
Talking of which, I have new blossom and fruits on my Pear Tree, maybe it knows something I don't,

Must be the Indian summer we're having, I was waiting to prune it all back.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

A Spoonful of Sugar.

We've both been a bit ill over the last few days, hence the silence. Fortunately we seem to be getting over it, so normality (or at least a passable version of normality) is being restored.

I've been back to work, but my shoulder is still playing up, despite six weeks of physio and a steroid injection it's still very painful to climb a ladder, so I'm going to see my doctor next week to decide where we go next. Yvonne's health problems are just about sorted, it's just a shame that we were both stuck inside during the last weeks good weather.

In a way the enforced idleness has probably done us both good though, a little less rushing around never hurt anyone.

I had a request for a sample Spelt Sandwich Loaf from a cafe in Totnes, so I have been working on that, I will take my creation in when we go to the Good Food Market tomorrow.

Also Oats asked me for a Sourdough Crumpet, I found a recipe and made a batch, they tasted horrible, I assumed that I had done something wrong so had another go. Still horrible.

I checked online, I found that the recipe I had used was a translation and they had got teaspoons and tablespoons mixed up. So 1 teaspoon of sugar  became 1 TABLESPOON of sugar and a miracle happened, now all I have to do is solve the problem of the non-stick rings not actually being non-stick. Incidentally, all the recipes except the one I had looked at said 1 Tablespoon.

I also made a batch of biscuits using a tin of Caramel Condensed Milk as a base, with good results,

there was plenty of dough left over as well, this I put in the freezer for when I get a biscuit craving. (Actually it's to stop me making them all at once)

Yvonne has used the time to knit a cardigan for Elsa, we posted it yesterday.

I found that my raspberries had started ripening as well, that's a bonus as Yvonne has promised that she will make a White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake when we have enough!

We have had some gorgeous weather here, it's a pity we've been stuck with Doctors visits and calls, one sunrise had me racing for the camera, the colours were a bit brighter in real life but it was still impressive.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Too much Information

Mega order for Oats yesterday, one of the largest I have done for them, a lot more work than 120 rolls as well.

2 Small Rye Sourdough, 2 Soda Bread, 4 Spelt Tin, 2 White Bloomer, 20 Dairy Free Teacakes and 30 Devon Splits.
That was enough to keep me very busy, and if I had heard about it in time I could have done another 2 Rye, but I'd already started the ferment. It takes me about 36 hours to make my Rye Sourdough loaf, for Wednesday delivery I like to know by Monday evening so that I can let my starter work overnight. I could do it quicker but it wouldn't be right and I don't want to compromise the product just to sell more. Ultimately they wouldn't come back as it wouldn't be as tasty. So I will do 4 next week. 
Also the Jammy Dodgers featured at Millie and Me on Facebook,

Meanwhile I have actually made a loaf for myself, using Doves Farm Heritage Flour. I used the full kilo of flour in one loaf with 700g water and 20g each of yeast and salt. It proved for an hour and was shaped and baked in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven.


Sunday, 7 September 2014

More Camera

I found a tripod,
This is the house about 40 metres away, with a seagull on the roof. If I zoom in, you can see the moss on the concrete .

This is a house about 150 metres away.

Moonlight through the trees in the front garden, a bit of cirrus cloud in the way.

The Moon in varying degrees of zoom.

Fliss in the kitchen.
The tripod certainly makes a difference, my next plan is to use it for close up work when I'm baking. That will be over the next few days, so stay tuned for the results.

Saturday, 6 September 2014


I'm still trying to get to grips with my new camera, the more I try, the more I'm amazed by its abilities.

If only my hand shook a bit less! Maybe I'll get a tripod.

Here's another menory,

The empire State Building from ground level, taken in 1977.

And the Aleutian Islands near Dutch Harbour, in 1987.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I have a beef stew to make in the slow cooker.
I brought about a kilo of Skirt Steak in our local butcher (veggies look away now), it cost me a little over a fiver. I browned it after cutting into chunks and put it in with Mushrooms, Onions and Carrot. Also a bit of grated horseradish.

the gravy was made from veg stock out of the freezer, added to the frying juices and a spoon of cornflour.

After 8 hours, it was falling apart, it tasted pretty good with Roast Potatoes and Parsnips, also some Broccoli for variety.

The Clotted Cream I was making last time cooled and I actually got 540g from 1200g of double cream base.

Nothing was wasted, the remains were used to make the Devon Splits and there was enough left over for Hot Chocolate!

I've been avoiding telling you about the Talk at Oats, it went very well, after I invited the audience to sample the wine!

Seriously though, I had Rose Petal, Dandelion, Lemon Balm and Rhubarb wines for them to try, I didn't expect everyone to like everything but was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) at some of the comments.

Later we moved on to Home Made Vinegars on Focaccia, (Basic, Elderflower and Blackberry Glaze) followed by a cream tea (Devon Split with Bramble Jelly and Cream)

Unfortunately, we never got around to the 4 year old Elderberry wine, maybe next time.

I even managed to get some orders for various things, hopefully the word will spread.

Lastly today, I picked the first of this years apples, skins still a little tough but lovely flavour.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Another Blackberry Recipe

I've found (yet) another use for the abundance of Blackberries that we've had this year. This time it's a liqueur for Yule celebrations.

Dead easy this time, just Blackberries in a jar,

 a bit of Brown sugar and topped with the Vodka, now it just needs leaving in a dark place for a few months.

Meanwhile I have found another use for my excess sourdough starter, Crumpets! And a chance to use my new silicone moulds.

they are very easy to make, just the Starter, Bicarb, Sugar and Salt. I found the recipe here,

It's been a busy baking week, largely because I got a repeat order for the Savoury Morsels, another 15 bags (3 of each flavour) on top of all the other breads. Also a new product, the Brixham Bramble Dodger, made with my own jam. I did a batch of these and one of Custard Creams for Millie, apparently they nearly sold out, they got good remarks on twitter as well.

Time for Tea

The time for my talk at Oats is rapidly approaching, and I'm starting the samples for the evening. First up is my home made Clotted Cream, I started it overnight and its formed a good crust, I just have to let it cool now.

I will use the residue for the Devon Splits, I have to make Focaccia overnight tonight and find some wine to take down (Rose Petal, Dandelion and Lemon Balm), polish up my notes and print off some recipe sheets. Wish me Luck!