Tuesday, 26 February 2019


Yesterday was a gorgeous summery sunny day. I had the windows open, and the back door open,  and I spent most of the day cleaning.   I can't help it, it's something about the Spring air that makes me want to clean.

I was cleaning out the fridge, and sorting through my various fermented foods.   I decided I'd make some more of that gorgeous German Rye bread using my two sourdough starters,  so I fed decanted them, fed them,  and washed the pots.      This morning, I used the Ank to make the dough. All was going well.

The recipe I was following said that the rye needs a bit of help,  so I decided to use the proving function on my oven to help ot along for the first half hour.  I popped the lid onto the Ank bowl, such a neat idea,  and got on with other stuff, mainly vacuum sealing a load of frozen food.

When the oven beeped to say the 30 mins was up, I decided to leave the bowl in the moist oven, but I turned off the proofing function.

Much later, DH commented that I was cooking the bread in the Ank bowl.   I was in the middle of something else, so in my eye-rolling voice I explained that I had just put it in the oven to start proving, and I'd left it in there.  He asked me why it was on 170 degrees fan.

Of course I'd stuffed up when turning off the oven.  Now my beautiful dough - 350g of starter, 600g rye flour, 200g of white flour,  ground caraway seeds, rye grains,  was a partially baked mess.... and of course the plastic lid had melted on to it all anyway.

What a mess. What a waste of a beautiful dough,  of 350g starter, of 600g dark rye flour,  of cut rye grains,  and, of course, the Ank lid.

I'm lucky that DH spotted it when he did, and I think the bowl is salvageable. 

The lid is not.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Still missing

I'm getting on my nerves at the moment.  I just can't sustain any momentum.

I've had a couple of successful forays into making something.  Firstly,    Small Person came to stay on Tuesday, just for the nigt and following day,  and I managed to do some sewing for her while she was here.  I'd  intended to have it all done before she came,  but in the end I managed to do it before she left.  Right now I'm taking that as a bit of a win.

Thursday was another 'I can't be bothered' day although I did I manage to make home made pizza for dinner. I did manage to get a skirt pattern out to look at,  but that's as far as I got

Yesterday, Friday, was another apathetic day.  I got a second skirt pattern out, to compare to the first, and they are both sitting in a heap on the sofa.   I finally managed to make Brazilian Cheese Puffs.  I wanted to make them weeks ago, but I had to wait until I could get some Tapioca starch,  and then I wasn't well, and then I just couldn't be bothered.    They were worth the wait.  They looked like yorkshire puddings, just like in the recipe picture.   They rose beautifully, they tasted divine, they were easy to make.  I followed the Quirky Cooking recipe.    I can't find the recipe on her blog, I can only find it on her Facebook page so I'm linking to that. Apologies if you don't use FB. https://www.facebook.com/quirkycooking/posts/1989117254475501

I also made a Bolognese yesterday, for dinner tonight.  Small Person is staying again.  She's a creature of habit and, because she likes it,  we usually have Fish Fingers and Chips on a Saturday when she stays.   Hopefully she'll like the proper bolognese as well, especially as we'll make our own pasta.

I really need to break through the apathy and have a go at making one of the skirts.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Knock out!

Flu took me by surprise on Saturday night.

I don't mean a bad cold, I do mean flu.  I think I''ve only had it once before.   Saturday night was awful, I felt like a small child. Everything hurt and I had to decide whether it was more painful to have a dry throat or more painful to move and pick up the glass of water.

I couldn't get out of bed on Sunday, and I had a temperature of 103.   Even if I'd heard a fox, I'm not convinced I would have been able to get out of bed.  Luckily this wasn't put to the test.

I'm fortunate that DH kept me well supplied with drinks, temperature taking, and ibuprofen.  He also offered, at suitable intervals, food, cups of tea, and my phone/tablet, but I wasn't up to any of those.

On Tuesday, I got up, and ate something for the first time since Saturday. I answered a WhatsApp message.

On Wednesday I got up and stayed up.  I answered a couple of the other  messages.

DH brought home some allotment parsnips, and made parsnip soup. 

I'm up again today, and I feel OK, just a bit tired. I haven't managed to find the "..And Go" part of my "Get Up And Go".   I spent yesterday looking for it unsuccessfully.    Over the last two days I've done a few things, slowly.

I cleaned out the chooks, and found our first Garden Girl egg of 2019, laid by the lovely Fayoumi.  I sorted out the two spare nesting boxes; the Girls refuse to use them, they just like to complain about boxhogging by everyone else. Still, I like to offer them an alternative, and they can'thave the spare cube as I'm keeping that off limits. 

I sat on the swing in the garden, in the sunshine,  and fed sunflower seeds to the Girls.

I changed the bed, with DH's help.  I've done 4 lots of washing.    Today I tackled the  the things that needed fixing after several days neglect, but which I didn't want to do whilst I might still be buggy.     My Kimchi has been decanted into jars and put in the fridge.   The cabbage I bought for this week's Kimchi is now in the chickens.      I've changed the water on my sleeping water kefir.    I've changed the milk on my milk kefir.    I've fed my sourdough starters, and they are sitting on the worktop getting active.  I won't be attempting anything vaguely bready until tomorrow.  

I've vacuumed downstairs.   I've caught up on emails, and Faacebook, and stuff.  Mostly caught up. I've been reactive rather than proactive, and it's going to bite me on the bum.

I've looked at the piles of stuff on the cutting table, and chosen to walk on by.   I've told myself  I'll not do any sewing until  next week.  I'm hoping that this will take the pressure off me, stop me feeling guilty.

We had some parcels delivered, one of which was enormous.  DH asked if it was fabric,  and I was happy to tell him it wasn't, it was cat litter. I haven't ordered fabric for a couple of weeks! Ha!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Momentum lost

Well, that didn't last long.

It feels like I've been unable to do anyting creative for a while, and I've been getting on my nerves.

Yesterday I wrote about it in my diary,  which was both cathartic and interesting.  It turns out that things are not always what they seem.

When I sat down and made myself think about what I've actually  been spending my time on, when I haven't been creating things, it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Not in actual sequence:  I cut and started to sew the replacement velvet top,  I had to wait until the skirt was done before I could continue.

I spent a lot of time on research.  I've been thinking about buying in some hatching eggs this year (as well as raising our own), and I went through my breed wish list.  I looked for possiuble suppliers.  I made a decision on one breed, and contacted a supplier to reserve eggs.    I've almost decided on a second breed,  and have been looking for suitable sellers.    The rest of my wish list has to stay on my wish list for now.  I made the decision to increase my garden flock by 2, assuming 2 suitable girls hatch.

DH has been doing some technical drawing, and he asked me to reconsider buying an A0 printer. It's been some time since I last considered this,  so   I've spent a lot of time researching suitable second hand printers. I've got the list down to a few now, and I'm still thinking about it.

I finally managed to obtain some second hand Kallax units to put in the guest bedroom (my sewing room).  I've been waiting for a particular shape to come up, locally, in a retired colour,  for what feels like forever (but was actually less than a month).   Units are now installed,  DH had to drill into the wall (which I didn't plan for, my beautiful smooth plastered wall!), and now all I need is a trip to I*** to get some more Drona boxes.

This resulted in some shunting around of furniture elsewhere, and I'm trying to get used to that.  I also learning about proper online auctions (not Ebay, I mean online auctions run by auction houses).  I knew that there was a hefty buyers premium on top of the sale price, and I knew VAT was charged on the hefty buyers premium.  What I didn't realise is that some of them charge VAT on the whole hammer price as well!  One of the auctions I was interested in ha a 16% buyers premium (plus VAT),  AND 20% VAT on top of everything (i've checked,  it's definitely VAT on the hammer price as well as VAT on the buyers premium).      Another one charged 29% buyers premium, but did not add VAT on the hammer price. 

Small Person came to stay overnight, which gave me a couple of hours to adjust her unicorn skirt. I sewed some clear elastic inside the elastic waistband (no pictures, annoyingly). I'm hoping it mightbe possible to remove it without destroying the waistband, so the skirt might last her a bit longer (if she wants it to).

I cleared the cutting table (which doubles as the kitchen table) enough to enable me to cut her two new pairs of leggings from fabrics of her choice.  I almost finished sewing one pair, but didn't finish before she had to go.

Kimchi (2), rye and wheat sourdough starters,
milk kefir, water kefir

I put my Water Kefir in the fridge to rest.  I made Kimchi, which was lovely and I'm making another batch today.  

I made some fab rye bread in the Ank.

I started some limes a-pickling, I'm planning to make some lime pickle. If I can find where I saved the recipe.   I'm going to make goats milk yoghurt today.

I'm glad that I made  myself think about the detail, rather than wallowing in my perception of my inability to get on and do

I just need to harness this right now, while I feel energised.

I'd better go and get started.