Holiday

Having quite a few days of annual leave to take by the end of the year and it being Thanksgiving week in the US, it seemed like a good week for a staycation.

Lockdown means there are limited things to do outside but it seems there are many things to do inside.

So far I’ve washed every jumper, organised all my clothes, turned up my new trousers, done a daily yoga practise, baked and cooked, cleaned my bike, been for a cycle and done a bit of online shopping. How very productive and more fun than it probably sounds.

Of course it’s not exactly like going to the Bahamas as it’s quite Autumnal and getting dark at 4pm but as weeks go, I’ve enjoyed having a few days off the zoom calls and emails.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, there are projects to finish and then, quiet. No work parties, lunches or drinks this year. A very different festive season ahead and I for one am looking forward to it!

Bread and bread and bread

After baking bread, it was more bread and then on to shortbread. All quite delicious and obviously disastrous.

Shortbread was a strangely easy hard thing to make with three ingredients (butter, sugar, flour) and no liquid but after a couple of attempts to roll it out, I got the hang of it and then judiciously cut each piece in half. Fifty squares of shortbread seems like a lot!

After all that I read up about intermittent fasting where one fasts for fourteen hours between dinner and the next meal. It seemed essential!

Breaking bread

I have taken hold of the bread baton and am on my fourth loaf as I type.

Delia’s wholemeal loaf which consists literally of chucking ingredients in a bowl, leaving to rise and baking (no kneading!) is my idea of the perfect brown loaf. It tastes of nostalgia, when Hovis used to be a loaf with its name embossed in the side instead of the nasty sliced processed nonsense claiming to be Hovis these days. My third go was the best as I switched to a smaller loaf tin and with a crusty fresh (tiny) loaf and fresh salted butter, life was good.

I’m now attempting my first white loaf (no sourdough here!) and have again gone with the smaller tin and so have a couple of rolls from the excess dough. I’ve just had a little look and maybe I could have left it all in the bigger tin as we have lift off!

Let’s see if this one works and who knows, maybe it’s the beginning of the end, a slippery buttery slope of disastrous deliciousness…

The bread man

A little late to the party, Big T baked his first loaf of bread yesterday having missed the sourdough craze of Lockdown 1.

It wasn’t bad at all but we didn’t agree on the oven temperature so things weren’t quite cooked and the dough possibly could have risen a little more. Still for a first loaf, a very commendable effort indeed.

Another attempt looms on the horizon as the challenge is to beat Gail’s Bakery at their own game.

£3.40 for a loaf of bread… seriously!

LD2

So it’s lockdown 2 and frankly it doesn’t look much different to Wednesday.

People are out on the streets “exercising,” lots of cars on the roads, everything pretty normal except everything fun has closed.

Why are dentists open but hairdressers closed? Why can’t you play tennis but you can run around an athletic track with thirty people? You can buy alcohol from the supermarket but the pubs are shut. There seems to be an odd mix of rules.

For us nothing has changed. Work at home, do yoga (amazingly still going,) walk the dog and eat too much food.

Just another day in Lockdown2.

A big day

The last day before lockdown and the day of the US election.

The message was to take the afternoon off for one last party… yes, that’s the thinking that got us into this mess in the first place and with 99p pints and the last days of Christmas shopping, in typical fashion, London disregarded the rules.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond…

Autumn in Amersham

Saturday and despite the weather forecast, we decided to get out of town before we get locked down (again).

We set off to Amersham where we trampled through glorious Autumn leaves and then got drenched to the skin in horizontal rain.

Agnes was beside herself with sheer joy as she loves jumping in the rain, us not so much but we all soldiered on for a couple of hours enjoying the change of scenery and fresh air.

We made it back safely to a pub for lunch where we peeled off a layer or two of sodden clothing. The hard part was putting cold wet clothes back on for the walk back to the station. Ugh.

Arriving home it was hot baths and showers for all and nice warm dry clothes.

Despite the rain we had enjoyed the day and if we can get out, hope to do more days out of town.

Agnes put herself straight to bed.

Covid Negative

I was randomly selected to participate in a government research test (I suspect it’s another way of tracking and tracing which they haven’t managed to work out yet) but given that it was a free test which didn’t involve leaving home, well, why not?

It was a finger prick, a tiny drop of blood and ten minutes later my digital test (a lot like a miniature pregnancy test) disappointingly showed negative.

I’d been hoping for Covid antibodies but apparently no such luck. I’m untainted so will have to continue to take precautions. How dull. I was ready to rip off my mask, run through the streets or even go out for dinner!

Oh well, back to the mask and handy sani. Move along people, no Covid here!

Soup Kitchen

As we inch closer to winter and another full lockdown seems inevitable, I’ve been making soup. It seems like the solution to everything.

Feeling sad? Celery soup. Need spicing up a little? Black bean’s your man or for a change of pace, try cauliflower and garlic, a nice surprise in the soup choices.

These are three of my favourites so far. So easy with literally four ingredients (onion, garlic, celery and a potato, simmer and blend) and so warming as the days are getting colder and now, with the clocks going back, darker.

What’s next on the soup list I wonder?

Mr & Mrs Morris’ Millionaire’s Flapjack

Big T took his first foray into baking and made flapjack for the first time ever!

I haven’t had flapjack for many years so it was a bit of a treat.

But even better was the invention of Mr and Mrs Morris’ Millionaire’s Flapjack where we microwaved a square of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt on top of a square of oats and golden syrup.

It was an invention of pure decadent deliciousness and if times get really tough we have a new product to bring to the market!