The Owl and The Pussy Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful 'red and white'(!) boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Making bread

Bread dough in tins waiting to rise (I cover it with butter wrappers to stop it drying out)

I've made bread on and off for most of my adult life, and over the last 6 months or more I've been making it so regularly that it's become a normal part of life and doesn't seem a big deal.
I tried a bread maker once (someone elses, when I was in my house sitting phase), but found I have to measure everything accurately ...not me at all. I tried using a kenwood mixer but I had to add things in the right order...oh yes and it worked better if I measured things fairly accurately. So now, in true Nina style, I just throw the relevant ingredients in a bowl in roughly the right ratios, add enough liquid till it looks like the right consistency, let it rise...then let it rise again... and then bake it.
It doesn't seem to takes much actual 'working' time. Most of the time is waiting time.The first rise I leave for as long as suits me, all day to bake in the evening, all night to bake in the morning. Somewhere warm if I'm just leaving it to rise for a few hours, somewhere cool if I'm leaving it all day. Then it's gets a kneading and put into tins and I have to be around to keep an eye on the second rise and pop it in the oven when it looks as though it's risen enough. Next I have to remember to take it out when it's done. I have one of those little digital timers that sounds like an alarm clock when it goes off...horrible noise but I'd have SO many burnt things if I didn't have it as I always wander off and get engrossed in something else! Sometimes the breads a bit doughy, sometimes I burn the top a bit, mostly it comes out well. I think it's only once been inedible..even the hens weren't very keen on it. I always put loads of seeds in, a mixture of sunflower, sesame, linseed, and poppies which I save from poppies on the allotment.
Fresh from the oven, yum.
 I know that one day I'll think, oh I'm fed up of making bread, and I'll hardly make any for months. But that's how I am and I'm used to it now. I do things, sometimes almost obsessively for a while, then I get bored, burnt out, and move on to something else. Some things I may never or rarely do again, but there are a lot of things that will always keep recurring, - writing, singing, playing the guitar, keeping chickens, growing veg/fruit/herbs, drawing, sewing/patchwork/embroidery, making books, recycling, chopping/stacking firewood, and now..blogging!

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