Saturday, 1 September 2012


After a quiet day at work, (I piloted one ship from Gravesend to Tate and Lyle at Silvertown, and one ship out from Barking) it was good to get back to Devon, and my other passions.
The ship to Silvertown was on its maiden voyage, loaded with raw sugar, and was 179.9m long and 10m deep.

 Considering the navigation channel at Silvertown is 182m wide, and 5.6m deep at low water it made getting it there and turning it round an interesting job. The tide was coming in, making the river deeper, and I had about 1m under the ship at the worst point. I had two tugs to help me turn the ship, they were, as ever, superb, and made the whole job so much easier. Fortunately the wind was not too strong, it all went smoothly, and I didn’t scratch the new ships paintwork.

Lots of food to do at home, including Sourdough bread, Blackberry Jam, Rose Petal wine, and some slow cooked pork ribs and couscous.
But first some salsa, chopped Tomatoes, Pepper and Onion in oil and Balsamic Vinegar Pearls (New from Belazu, at Waitrose)

I fed my sourdough and left it overnight, Friday morning, I will make bread, as long as it is active. The plan is to make a wholemeal loaf and a white flavoured with bacon bits and garlic, from Paul Hollywood’s book.

At 6 this morning, I was out blackberry picking, I’ve found two new spots to replace Sharkham, and there are loads at both, at the closest to home I got the 3 kilos I needed in just over an hour,

there should be enough by next week for wine as well (Another 2 kilo’s), and I haven’t gone to the other place I found yet.
I managed to make 13 jars of Jam, which will keep us going.

We went to the beach for a picnic lunch, Strawberries and Cherries.

I had fed my sourdough starter on Thursday, and it was active by Friday lunchtime, so I made two batches of dough,

one wholemeal and a white which I added the bacon and garlic to. I left them overnight and baked Saturday morning, after splitting the dough into a loaf and some rolls.

The ribs were marinated in honey, tomato sauce and paprika then slow cooked at 120 degrees for 4 hours, at which point the meat fell off the bones!

I fried peppers and onions and added to couscous, to use as a base.

I have added yeast to the second lot of Rose Petal Wine and left it to ferment; the first one has almost stopped and is clearing, so I will bottle it soon.
Not a lot else to report, the novel is still progressing, slowly, when I’m in the “Zone” it’s as if I’m watching a film of the story, and I just have to write it down. Other times there’s nothing there.

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