Excuse the slightly longer creative break, we're still alive and well. The weather has been cooler and more changeable than usual for this time of year, weeds are growing faster than I can fight them and the tyre house hasn't really progressed much. But other than that life goes on...
After the last post on breakfast I thought I'll let you in on what we do for lunch. I couldn't skip lunch without fainting! Occasionally lunch conists of left-overs from dinner, but more often we take sandwiches to the land made with homemade bread and, well I quite like cheese or salami or ham etc. but these things increasingly become rare luxeries for us so we make our own sandwich fillings such as a bean and olive paté or hazelnut butter.
I'll write a separate entry on how to do these, but I know of some people who find it difficult to make yeast doughs. I have never quite understood where the difficulty lies, but for those who do, here a step-by-step guide to our basic bread recipe:
For 1 loaf weigh 500g wholemeal wheat flour. We get ours directly from a mill. Mix in a teaspoon of salt. Form a crater in the centre of the flour, crumble in a 25g cube of fresh yeast and a teaspoon of sugar.
Measure about 350 ml warm water. Pour some of the water into the centre over the yeast and sugar and stir into a thinnish paste with the back of your wooden spoon.
Cover the centre paste with some of the flour from the outside of the crater, cover up with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1/2 an hour
This is what it should look like then:
Add the rest of the water
and mix with a wooden spoon
giving it a good beating, making sure it's all nice and evenly moist. If too dry add a wee bit more water. Cover again with the tea towel and leave for at least one hour.
It should have more or less doubled in size
Fill into a lightly greased tin flatten and squeeze into shape with the back of a wet wooden spoon
and place in a cold oven, putting the temperature to about 175C. Bake for about 50 minutes and...
Simple as that! There are of course variations to the theme, you can use different types of flour, you can add herbs, olives, dried tomatoes, olive oil before the second rising stage, but this is the basic recipe which we do every other day or so.
In other news, these are the pretty flowers of the litchi tomato
and this is some spilanthe. Works wonders against toothaches. You chew one leaf and makes the whole side of your mouth go numb.