Saturday, 29 August 2015


Summer is proceeding normally (Rain) and it will soon be September. I spotted a butterfly on my trellis yesterday afternoon and it stayed there whilst I got my camera,

I wound the zoom up to maximum (x30) and wedged the camera against the window frame, it came out pretty well.

My website is now live and has had a couple of updates, is the place to go, there's a bit of book news and I put up an old short story, "School" to see if anyone comments.  Also I have seen the first copy proof of the cover artwork for "Ribbonworld" and it is sensational. All that I wanted and hoped. I can't show you as I don't (yet) own the copyright but when I do it will be up here. 

I also had an idea for a story but really it was Yvonne who should take the credit for it. She prompted me with something she said, so far I have an outline and around 5,000 words down, it may develop into my NaNoWriMo project this year. This is what I'm talking about.

In food news this week, I made some Lamb burgers with a Teaspoon of Tagine paste mixed into the meat.

I coated them in Chickpea flour before cooking.

Of course they really needed a bun but as I had none and refuse to buy bread we just had them with Felafel and salad.

Strangely enough, later in the week I got a request for Spelt burger buns from Oats Cafe.

These were the result, a 50/50 Wholemeal and White Spelt flour with Olive Oil bun.

Ready to prove
I also took a couple of rolls from the freezer, these were Sourdough with Carrot and Sourdough with Walnut. They had been in there for about a month and after defrosting looked and tasted just fine.



And that's about it, apart from the Sourdough Digestives I made with some frozen dough on Saturday morning. (Instead of a lie-in, the dog woke up at 0430!)

Bye for now.

Sunday, 23 August 2015


My website is up and running,

principally for my book but if I can work out how to do it, I'll transfer everything over. 

Meanwhile have a look, there are a few things there that might interest you. And of course updates as my book nears publication. You can sign up for news if that interests you.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

My Choc-Chip Bounty

I stumbled upon a recipe on Facebook for a chocolate covered coconut bar, it was remarkably easy to make, just three ingredients and around half an hours work. I added my own twist as well.

I used 500g Dessicated Coconut and 170g Condensed Milk, with 100g Milk Chocolate Chips,

 all mixed together until it forms a dough.

I shaped this into logs and put them in the freezer for 20 minutes.

After this time I melted 300g Dark Cooking Chocolate and some more chips in the microwave (30 second bursts with a stir each time so it doesn't burn)

Then I dipped the logs and put them in the fridge to harden, the frozen mixture was starting to set the chocolate as I worked.

I had a bit of chocolate left over so I coated my dried banana and apple pieces from my dehydrator experiment.

Now I had to wait for the chocolate to set. It took about two hours in the fridge.

When I cut one, it didn't fall apart.

Wow! It tasted good, add that to the list.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

I've been Busy

In amongst all the bread and the other things I've been doing over the last few days, (and when did I ever find the time to go to work?) I've started a new project.

I had my picture taken for my book cover and got the results on Tuesday. After looking through them Yvonne and I selected this one as the best, so it will be peering myopically at you from "Ribbonworld" when it makes it onto the bookshelves.

Of course I haven't neglected the cooking, Monday was Pork Chops baked with Apple slices and stuffing,

and on Tuesday I found the time to dehydrate some Tomatoes,

which I stored in Olive Oil.

They will be good in a Focaccia later.

We have had a lot of rain recently, but it stopped on Tuesday and we got a rainbow, unfortunately I wasn't under the end of it at the time.

So to the big news, I'm moving on from blogger to a dedicated website of my own, I will still post on here and link back to this and the bread blog for the moment whilst I work out all the transfer details. The address will follow shortly when everything has been set up.

I was sorting out some files on my bulging hard drive and I found this video by National Geographic. Taken in 2003 it shows me piloting the Sailing Vessel 'Artemis' up the Thames. I do look young!

Monday, 17 August 2015

It's getting Closer.

Just to whet your appetites, here is the back cover description from my upcoming novel "Ribbonworld." 

A sci-fi adventure, this is all you need to know.

Miles Goram has a problem. All the down-on-his-luck journalist planned on doing was writing a hotel review and now there’s a body in his bathroom. Far from home on a strange planet, Miles must deal with the fact that somebody wants him dead.

Welcome to Reevis, a planet without days or nights where life is only possible under a vast pressure dome. It is on this airless wasteland that Miles finds himself caught up in a mystery involving a huge interplanetary corporation, a powerful man and his ambitious PA, and a beautiful young heiress who has been missing for years.

Crossing the galaxy in search of answers, Miles begins to uncover a web of deceit that stretches further than anyone could have imagined. With his life becoming at greater and greater risk, he realises that there is no one he can trust. Will he discover the truth and finally come to terms with his past? And, if he does, will it be enough to save his future…?

Ribbonworld will be published in October, you can order a copy by messaging me on here.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sunday round up

A couple of foodie things today, reminders really so if you've heard it all before I'm sorry to be repeating myself.

Firstly, what do you do with your potato peelings? Did you know that the skin and the bit just underneath have the biggest concentration of vitamins and good stuff.

I peel my potatoes a bit thicker than usual. The peel is tossed in Olive Oil and baked for around 25 minutes, usually in the oven whilst it's heating up for whatever else I'm doing.

And there you have ready made oven chips, or skins for loading with bacon and melted cheese. Just let them cool and freeze. They reheat in 15 minutes.

Next up, as you might have seen I made onion rings earlier in the week. This left me with the small pieces of onion from the middle. So I made easy caramelised onion relish with them, chopping the onion into small bits and frying for about 10 minutes. I then added brown sugar and vinegar,

 and reduced it until it was a sticky sauce.

 Delicious with sausages.
 I also dried some bananas in my dehydrator, cut into slices and dipped in lemon juice first.

They took a while but were very sweet and won't last .

I'm still getting the hang of the dehydrator, there were no instructions with it (well there was a sheet of paper translated into English that didn't really help much) so I'm relying on the internet.

In other news, I had my photo taken yesterday for my book cover, I thought it would be easy, just like holiday snaps but there was a lot more to it than that. The first attempts were horrible because I seemed determined to pull stupid faces, it took me a while to relax and by the end I was actually starting to enjoy myself. Tim the photographer did an excellent job and will be sorting through the pictures today. So I hope to put the best ones up here soon.

Meanwhile I have found that trying to write the 150 words that go on a back cover is in many ways as hard as writing the 70,000 that tell the story. How do you entice the prospective reader in without giving too much away? I have had several attempts so far and I'm not really happy with either of them. I have been reading the backs of books to try and see how others have done it, it seems so logical until you try to apply it to your own work.

We're off to Totnes Good Food Sunday in a moment to see a few friends, have a coffee and cake and stock up on good local produce. As its not raining we will have a picnic by 
the Castle and a walk around the town.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Says it all, Really.

What to do?

A straight copy of the post on my bread blog today, just in case you don't read both. (And WHY NOT!!!!) It's more general interest than just Bready.

This morning I had no bread to bake at 5am. I did have a couple of jobs to prepare for though, the starters for the Sourdough that I will make this afternoon needed feeding, to bring them to the peak of activity when I mix the dough.

When I refreshed them last night, I had some left to discard. Now as I hate waste, I used a mixture of the Wholemeal and Spelt ones together with some beer to make a batter.

Actually I used 150g starter, 100g Flour, 150g beer and a good pinch of salt.

I heated Olive Oil in a pan on my Induction Hob (these are wonderful, you set the temperature and it never varies, great for frying) and got started.

I had brought a large Onion yesterday and it made good sized rings.

They are in the freezer now (less some quality control) and will be reheated on Sunday with our Steak.

Also, largely because I can't keep still, I did what I have been meaning to do for ages. I had brought some Green Tea powder after reading somewhere that it flavours bread and biscuits.

I decided to make a white loaf, yeasted this time but with some of the white sourdough starter discard to add to the taste.

I proved the dough in my oven, in steam, for an hour and it rose beautifully.

Just a standard mix, 500g Flour, 10g each of Yeast and Salt, 330g water and 20g Oil. Not forgetting 5g of the powder. Plus 80g of starter. Kneaded for 8 minutes on speed 1 in my Kenwood.

I shaped it and put it in a tin to rise again for 45 minutes whilst the oven warmed up.

then a quick cut on top and it went into a 220°C oven for 40 minutes, again with steam.

And here it is.

You can't really see the green tinge in these, it looks a bit interesting, a bit like something from a 1970's dinner party. If I had a Geiger counter I would wave it over the loaf.

I think you get the idea.

And after it had cooled and I cut a slice, all was revealed.

And the taste? Well there was a hint of tea in the background, maybe next time a touch more powder.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Quick Supper

We had a bit of running around to do this afternoon and for various reasons didn't get back till later than we normally would have. 

Fortunately, we had a quick Vegetable Curry planned, largely sourced from the new Aldi which opened last month. Not our normal way of cooking but handy in the circumstances. Next time I will do the same from scratch..... Honest!!!

It started with a pack of ready cut Roasting Veg, Peppers, Onion, Courgettes and Tomatoes.

I fried these in Mustard Oil for 10 minutes.

Then added a jar of Korma sauce and got it simmering.

When the veg were softened I tipped in a tin of Chickpeas and put some rice on.

I carried on cooking it gently  until the rice was done, the sauce thickened up a treat.

It was delicious.

Next time, when I can make it at leisure, I will add dessicated coconut and raisins.