Daily Archives: November 10, 2006

Is this what you knead?

We used fast action dried yeast – just to cut out the fiddly bit of the process. The recipe we used made 12 good sized rolls.

750g strong bread flour (we used flour from Carisbrooke Mill :D)
2x 5ml spoons salt
25g white vegetable fat (or we used lard cos it was all we had!)
1 sachet fast action dried yeast
450 ml warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten
Angry teenager optional

1) Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Finely rub in the fat then add the yeast and stir thoroughly.
2) Make a well in the centre and add warm water. Mix with a knife then gather by hand and knead for about 10 minutes to a soft elastic dough either in the bowl or, more therapeutic, on a work surface. We push with the heel of our hands and then roll up again with our fingers.. … use of the imagination to replace the dough with the head of the person who’s driving you mad is optional.
3) Divide the dough either in two and place in greased 1lb loaf tins or else into 12 equal sized balls and place on a greased baking tray.
4) Leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size – approx 45-60 minutes.
4b) If using wholemeal flour rather than white, knead and prove again as before.
5) Preheat the oven to 230C, 450F, Gas Mark 8 and put shelf in the centre,
6) Brush the bread with beaten egg and back loaves for 30-40 minutes, rolls for approx 15 minutes, until golden on top and hollow sounding if you tap them underneath.
7) Eat and enjoy – we used real butter and bramble jam. MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !

Give us your dough

If you have a teenage son who’s trying to work through a bit of anger, get the ingredients to make bread together.
Oooooooooh, the smell and the taste were divine.
Talk about a positive outcome from a negative situation. 😀

Trial by fire

What a bloomin’ difficult few days – talk about being tested to the limits.
There’s contact issues raising their heads again for the boys, both of whom currently have no contact with birth families at all. There’s been dealing with the hormonal turmoil of a teenager who’s finding some aspects of growing up decidedly difficult and there’s been the admission (amazing- I feel so proud of him) that he has started smoking. What a nightmare – he declared that the only reason he was thinking of stopping is because I’d throw him out of the house if he smoked and I found out… so do you tell him “yes I would” to stop him smoking or “no I wouldn’t” so he feels more secure? AAAAAGGGGGGGH! I think, though, by various discussions and internet site support, we have reached the stage where he wants to resist the temptation. This involves two incentives: The cost of five cigarettes a day paid into his bank account every week he goes without smoking, just so he gets a sense of the way the money mounts up, and a joint fitness challenge where he gets a point every day he doesn’t smoke, I get a point every day I get 30 minutes’ exercise, and when we have sixty points between us we’ll go out to celebrate our fitness together… treeclimbing, cycling, horse riding, sailing….

Then there’s Dad. He’s decided that the new place which has offered us respite is a nursing home and he’s being shuffled off there because he’s a nuisance, regardless of whether he likes it or not. AAAAAGGGGGH! It seems a lovely place, but he declares there’s nothing he likes about it at all. Informed today that he’s booked in for a week’s stay in December, he’s sunk into a deep depression from which it’s been impossible to lift him. He’s there now, and I am on tenterhooks as I wait to go and fetch him back.

Having said that, I’ve had a good day with Tiddles today – he had the day off school for parent interviews, and his interview went really well. He’s no academic superstar but they praised his attitude and his willingness and his half-termly report was really quite good. I’m a happy mummy. We managed a swim this afternoon too, and I was rather pleased to complete 30 lengths non-stop without getting out of breath (far more successfully than my son who got another lesson about the dangers of smoking without me having to say anything, as my super-swimmer who was swimming competetively a few months ago could not keep going for the whole half hour and was well out of breath afterwards!!!) It’s a glorious day here, as it was yesterday when my sister and I went for a lovely walk through the countryside to the beach and back.

This evening is all go – pick up Tiddles from riding, pick up Dad from respite, pick up Smudgelet and relocate him to Cubs and then pick him up and bring him home again. Pah. I’ll be ready for a sit down after all that… a sit down and a fag, maybe 😉

(Bleugh… even typing that as a joke makes me feel quite sick.)