Monday, 30 March 2015

Another Bargain.

I used to have a small tripod for my camera, it made it so much easier to get pictures close up of food on the worktop without my hand shaking and blurring the picture.

I recently opened it and one of the legs fell off, (don't laugh) so I've been looking for a replacement. New they are not cheap and even though I only want a small one for desktop work, the price is still more than |I am prepared to pay. I found one in a charity shop last week for a few pounds so I was very pleased.

It was only when I fiddled around that I found that the legs extended.

The moral is, keep looking in charity shops, you never know what you will get. And of course you're helping recycle and fund the charity.

Today is my consultants follow up appointment, my shoulder is definitely more mobile now but has a lot of muscle pain and feels really weak. I thought it was stronger than it was when I tried to move a few boxes around in the loft to find some old photo's.

And I found one that I had been looking for, of Amy (my eldest) with me on my ship the "Larkfield" way back when I was a lad.

Don't we both look young?

For an easy meal after the hospital, I'm doing Sweet and Sour Chicken, with some cooked chicken that I have taken from the freezer.

But first the sauce, here are the ingredients,

That's Five spice in the plastic tub, anyway I marinated the Pineapple, Pepper and Onion in the liquids, to taste, adding a little bit of sugar as I overdid the Soy. 

Tonight I'll just cook the mixture till the veg just start to soften, then add the cooked chicken and some noodles. Job done.

Friday, 27 March 2015


A bit of baking again, more clearly explained on the bread blog but resulting in two Sourdough loaves and some crumpets. Take a look for more details,

A fun way to spend a rainy friday.

Thursday, 26 March 2015


Going for a walk yesterday, there were more signs of spring,

not bad pictures from my phone, but they kept moving about.

Its actually a cloudy day today with rain, sounds like a good one to stay indoors, I might make some marmalade with all the oranges I have lying around, then again I might just chill.

Yvonne has finished her crochet blanket, its taller than she is.

you can just see her feet as she holds it up, nice work!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dont miss this.

Over on my bread blog, there's the results of my 0500 start today, well actually it started yesterday at 1500, read the recipe and all will be revealed. There's no relevance to the times, it just fitted my schedule that way. 

We're talking sourdough again, this bread is becoming my overriding passion as time goes on, the success of it with customers is driving me to create new flavours.

Todays were Walnut Ciabatta/Sub rolls and a Carrot and Coriander loaf, and its a pity that you can't get the crunch of the crust on here, it was superb. (Dare I say so)

Anyway pop over to for a look and a recipe if your interested, meanwhile here are a couple of photo's to whet your appetite.

The recipe is easy too, no kneading just a few folds of the dough.

Its a sunny day today, so I should be outside.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A shock

The eclipse was a bit of a disappointment. Last time (1999) we had a superb view but this time it was cloudy. I did get a couple of glimpses but by the time I had the camera pointed it had gone. I managed to borrow this photo though, which shows about the same as I saw.

The one thing I have missed, with my shoulder problems, is taking the dogs out for a stroll. Although they seem quite content to lay on the sofa on their throw, I have missed it. 

Yesterday I went out after lunch and walked our usual route. It was surprising to see how green everything is, and the beach looked very inviting if a little cold.

There were a few people about and several asked me where the dogs were, I didn't really think that anyone would have noticed that I hadn't been around but I was wrong.

It was when I got to the blackberry patch that I was most surprised........ it was gone!

the bushes had been about four feet high and had passages between them, I got loads of berries last year. I know they will grow back but it was still a bit of a shock.

After about an hour I returned home and cut the Chocolate Orange bread, it was soft and chewy and had a good ripple of Chocolate in it.

Very nice toasted as well. You get the ripple by using chocolate chips in the first mix and then proving the dough in the oven for an hour. ( Put a dish of boiling water in the base of the oven, put the dough in and turn the oven to MAX. Leave it for a minute and then turn the oven off but keep the door closed.)

This works for all doughs and is cheaper than buying a proving box.

Finally we had salad, Mackerel and Jackets for supper, I put grated carrot and pepper and some orange segments in the salad, making a dressing from my home fermented 
vinegar, oil, mustard and honey. Today the plan is for the rest of the salad with Chicken in Peanut sauce.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Saturday again, so Soon!

Its Saturday again and a week since I posted. I don't really know where the time has gone, we have been rushing around.
Sunday last week was Totnes Good Food Market, that meant Steak for dinner, cakes and a scotch egg for lunch and a bottle of beer from a new brewery in Totnes,

And there was an interesting event planned for next week, we didn't go in the end but liked the idea.

Monday we went to Naomi's in Kent. I had an appointment with my company doctor on Tuesday to review my shoulder, which is healing slowly as the muscles start doing a bit after months of inactivity. We agreed that it's a slow job and arranged another appointment for May. I'm getting fed up now and want a bit of resolution, as does my boss!

Yvonne made one of her famous Cheesecakes for Naomi and Eamon, this one a mint chocolate recipe of her own devising, featuring crushed extra strong mints and after eights, Eamon's favourites.

Excuse the focus, I was getting excited

As you can see its up to her usual high standard.

We came home on Weds and I got the news that a publisher is interested in 'Ribbonworld,' to say I'm excited would be an understatement. I'd actually stopped writing in the face of all the rejections I was getting, but that news has given me the encouragement to start again.

Running a bit late, I had to do bread orders for Oats and Millie a bit later than usual, but got it all cleared by Saturday, including Easter Biscuits and a Chocolate and Orange Brioche.

I also made Sourdough Ciabatta, some plain and some with Caraway Seeds which were well received.

Finally I got some cheap Saffron, so fruit buns will be on the menu soon.

Sunday, 15 March 2015


Its the time of year when the buds appear on the fruit trees in my garden,

today we have pear,

and peach.

The apple and cherry are a bit behind but are visible if a little smaller.

I also have my seed potatoes sprouting, ready for the tubs next month. This year I'm only planting "Charlotte" as they were my favourite last year and I got a deal for them in Totnes.

I have two egg boxes full and will plant 5 to a tub.

We had another animal visitor today, I think he was looking for the pond so I helped him out.

My shoulder is very sore, a lot more mobile but there is low level pain all the time now.
The physio told me on Friday that her colleague had given me too much to do last time (she was away) and that I should reduce the amount of strengthening work in favour of stretching only. Full mobility is still a couple of months away.

To celebrate, I made some doughnuts, with sourdough starter that I had refreshed about 8 hours before. The full story is on the bread blog, together with a recipe link, suffice to say they tasted pretty good, next door agreed!

Its Totnes Sunday Market again today (where did the month go?) that means steak tonight and the chance to sample Lindas excellent Millionaires Shortbread. At least its not raining.