Friday, 22 May 2015

Working hard...

Sorry for the lack of posts and pictures but we are still around and working hard. We have been helping out DS and DDiL get ready for a house valuation. For 12 hours each day we are in charge of our three grand dogs - never realised how much they want to be around you, especially when trying to do things like gardening and sowing grass seeds. I reckon if we could have attached gardening tools to them, they would have been happy to help! We have now erected a small fence to keep them away from the lawn preparation and grass seeding area, don't want any seed related injuries.

Mind you, they are so well trained it isn't really a hardship to be around them. They have become quite good at interpreting our commands which are probably slightly different to their normal ones:) Also, they sleep a good part of the day as well which gives us time to do outside painting jobs where they need to be absent to avoid getting painted!

We get up around 5:45am with everyone, slowly wake up with a hot and strong cup of tea whilst they have a 40 minute walk. Once their mum and dad have gone to work, we begin working. Decorating, gardening, skip and shop runs are done each day. Actually it is probably a good practice run for any future grand children that might come along one day. Mum and dad return after a long working day (plus a long drive time there and back).

The dogs are fed and sorted out, we have time for a chat and maybe a bit of MarioCart racing, then we all retire around 10pm!

DS and DDiL are taking us out for a thank you meal at the weekend and also to celebrate our wedding anniversary early next week.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New bread recipe

Welcome to Julie Attwood and Aino via Bloglovin.

My sister emailed the other day asking if I had a decent rye bread recipe. It isn't something I often bake and when I do, do so by jigging around a normal bread recipe. Off I went onto The Iowa Housewife site as I do trial quite a few of their recipes. I found this one here

I adapted it to this, the figures in brackets will be those I shall use another time to get two loaves:

540g Plain Flour - not bread flour (720g)
300g rye flour (400g)
1 tsp molasses (1 1/2 tsp)
60g butter (80g)
540ml water (720ml)
1 sachet of yeast - 7g (2 sachets 14g)
2 tsp salt (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp caraway seeds - ground (1 1/2 tsp)

First I melted the butter and molasses in half the water, then topped it up with cold to get the right temperature.

The rest of the dry ingredients were mixed together then the water mixture added. I found I need to use another 50ml - 70ml of water to bring it all together. After being kneaded it was put into a greased bowl and left to rise.

I could see afterwards that it was not as much dough as I normally use for two tins so I cut 3/4 of it and formed into a ball which went into one bread tin. The other bit was rolled into 4 balls. Both were left to rise again.

Once risen, the bread tin went into a 220C oven for 34 minutes. Once out, I turned it down to 200C and baked the rolls for 20 minutes. I forgot to dab the tops of it all with water to give them nice shiny tops!
As you can see, it looks absolutely nothing like theirs but does taste nice and the crumb is good. Considering I only used half the yeast, texture wise, it isn't any different to our normal bread. I normally reduce the yeast down as I don't like to use too much. However, as you can see from the adapted amounts in bold, I would use two sachets due to the amount of rye flour.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Update and front garden

The menu tab has now been updated with meals from the last two weeks. How remiss of me!

Normally, when I show you pictures of the front garden, it is taken from inside looking through the front window. You probably miss about 1/2 of it so here it is from different angles.

The first one is near our back garden gate, right hand side of the house, facing forward and to the left:
This next one is from the top right, inside my archway, facing the house, looking right towards the driveway:
Here I am standing at the top of our driveway, which is on the right of the house as we arrive, looking left across the garden to the oil tank, back gate and to the front of the house as I view it from here:
This final picture is standing halfway down the driveway, back to the front of the house, looking to the right (and archway) of the garden.
Other than the newly laid stone circle and the pathways of gravel, in a few weeks time, most of the gravel in these growing areas will be hidden.

The front garden is predominantly an early summer garden but it does have an increasing number of daffodils and snowdrops, and a few late summer/autumn plants.