Tuesday, 8 March 2016


Good morning, everybody.  Here it is another bitterly cold morning and everywhere looks beautifully white.  The sun is trying to shine and I an now, again, able to watch the shadows on the houses to the back run from the light as it rises in the early morning.  I miss that in the darker months.

First of all yesterday I went swimming with Beth.  We took it easy and didn't stay in the water for as long as usual because, inevitably, we got a bit cold.  Once home, we had breakfast (beans on toast, yummy) and settled down to finish the Tonk cats.  They're all done now and Beth took some photos so when she sends them to me I will pop them on here.

After that we tidied up the stash shelves, a task long overdue.  The main motivation was to see what we have that we could use for owls and we have plenty including some attempts at patchwork that will make good fronts.  The main find, however, was a quilt that I made last year for an expected baby that didn't work out - well, it was the first thing I ever tried, rather ambitious really, and I would know what to do now.  Anyway, we can cut off the bad bits and use the four panels for the fronts of four owls, which would at least make use of something that would otherwise be wasted.
Before I do that though, I have to finish the waistcoat and, as I am not too sure about where to stitch - or rather, where not to stitch - to be able to turn it inside out (or do I mean outside in, or even inside in), I need to do some research.  There will be something online, I am sure, but if not I can mock up a mini version.

While that was all going on, I made some bread, two loaves for my customer and one as part of my ongoing investigation about how much strong flour one really needs to use.  I know, boring, but I want to know.  After the visually successful but not terribly bread-y results of using 100% plain flour, yesterday's effort had 10% strong flour (so 20g strong and 180g plain white).  My goodness, the difference!  I ended up with a very acceptable loaf that had a crumb/texture very different from the first loaf.

I'm trying to keep everything else the same including the way it's shaped and baked.  That's why it looks quite like the first loaf.

And here's the inside.  A good crust and a soft, chewy crumb.  A bit uneven, maybe, but it baked really well.
Today is a full day.  School, music festival - so no chance to do any more breadmaking today - which is just as well as I have a few loaves to deal with first.

Today's menu:
B:  I have ham to use up so I shall have a slice of ham on toast with a poached egg on top!  Apple
L:  home made soup (from the freezer so no idea what yet) with bread to dunk, orange
D:  ham and veg pasta.  I shall saute some veg, add some tomatoes and the ham with some herbs, seasonings, etc, and serve  with pasta.  Easy peasy.  Then a fruit yogurt.


  1. The bread is looking rather splendid

  2. Thanks. I was really surprised how much difference just a small amount of strong flour made to the texture.
    I'm loving how the bannetons make the loaves look! Very rustic.
    J x

  3. Does that mean you might have some owl cushions in the offing?

  4. People seem to be wanting to order them so we have to cost it all out and will be getting back to them. :-)
    J x