Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Beer Bread and Bombay Potato

It’s really not a bad day today (Saturday 19th May), warm and bright, it’s a pity that I’m at work.

I just have to work today to do then I have 11 days off, I can’t wait, Yvonne’s Birthday is coming up and the things I ordered from USA have not arrived, so I had to do some more shopping, just so she actually has a present to open.

The Devon show was good but damp, very busy for a first day; the queue for the car park was back to about a mile before the junction on the M5, but really well organised. Unfortunately it rained quite a bit but there were plenty of tents to hide in and loads to see. Lots of good, local food as well, far too much to mention individually but must give a plug to the Common Loaf Bakery, and also Beer Engine Brewery.

At work, I piloted the biggest vessel of my career, 300 metres long and 42 wide,

mind you it was in quite a wide part of the river, when it turned around it had at least 100 metres clearance at each end,

further up river there is less room, so although the ships are smaller, you have less at each end (Sometimes 10-15 metres). When you get above the Thames Barrier with a large ship, there are only a few places to turn, so you often end up going backwards for a while, taking a 156 metre long passenger ship backwards through Tower Bridge is a fun way to spend a summers evening.

 Beer Bread, I had read about this in Richard Bertinets book “Crust” and wanted to try it, it takes about 8 hours with all the rising time but is no more work than an ordinary loaf. Basically it consists of a pre-ferment which you leave for up to 5 hours,

 then adding the rest of the ingredients and carrying on as normal.

I made two baguettes and a loaf which worked well for the quantities given.

We decided to have a take-away curry on Sunday, as the Local Indian Restaurant is rather good, and I had been asleep all day after work and driving home. Anyway we did the rice and home made Naan bread, just buying the curry. I made Bombay Potato using a spice blend from an Indian supermarket in Gravesend.

I fried chopped onion and Cubed Potato in oil adding the spices and some water and tomato puree.

 Gardening, my runner beans are in,

and everything else has shot up, potatoes,

salad leaves,

 raspberries etc. My new apple tree has blossom

and the Strawberries are showing signs of berries to come.

I started making some elderflower wine from the trees in my garden, the first fresh batch this year.

Yvonne made a Chilli, and it was good,

 instead of rice or any other conventional accompaniment, I put some of the part fried potato peelings in the oven for 20 minutes, and made a sort of Potato Nacho style thing from them, with a bit of cheese

and some Garlic Focaccia.

  Not only has Yvonne made Chilli, she has also made some jewellery, after the inspiration of her taster day at the local college.

She has now signed up for a short course at the college, and a day class at a shop in Torquay.

Hortense has outgrown her jar, and now resides in a large plastic container; I’m feeding her up at the moment as I plan to bake bread again tomorrow.

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