Thursday, 20 September 2012

Live Life Love A Labrador

September  20th 1999- May 31st  2011

If only could make a deal with god
I'd get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problem...
Lyrics by K Bush.

My partner's favorite picture of our kind and faithful boy Harry.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Gardening Bits & Bobs

Thank you to Sarina at Sarina's Allsorts blog for sending me this lovely gardening book. The book gives you a month by month guide when best to sow seeds,  how to cultivate and then harvest. Just what I need really because I'm unorganized and messy. The gift inspired me to sort myself out so I decided to treat myself to a few garden products. Well that's my excuse:-)

My seeds were in an old chocolate tin but I think this is much smarter. I don't usually spend money on stuff I don't really need but I've not spent owt for ages now so it's time for a treat. It's also my plan to be less of a scruff bag at home too but no doubt the tidying up bug  won't last long. You can't change nature can you.

My tomatoes did ok this year but I sowed too many again and the beefsteak too late in the year. I've just got one red beef tomato on my windowsill at the moment but all the rest are green.
Golden Sunrise and possibly Gardeners delight

This is a pic of my greenhouse down on the allotment, it's earlier in the year when it was still relatively tidy. The comfrey is a bit of rogue it keeps coming up but I haven't the heart to dig it out completely.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sesame Seed Bread

Has anyone been watching the new series of the great British Bake Off with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry? Several series have been made now and I'm still not tired of watching it. I've made a couple of loaves of bread over the years, not all with positive results.  One of the best was a Delia special Goats cheese, onion and potato bread with thyme, very quick and easy. After listening to  the famous Frugal Queen on her local radio station she set me thinking what I could do next, so I dusted off my 1000 Classic Recipe book and picked out a bread which had few ingredients and breaks off into individual rolls

Sesame Seed Bread....

It came out ok but should have let it prove more, really it should have reached at least to the top of the tin.
Here's the recipe as requested by Allotment Lady Lives Again

Makes 1 23cm/9in loaf
2tsp active dried yeast
300ml/Half a pint of luke warm water
200g plain flour
200g wholemeal flour
2 tsp salt
5tbsp toasted sesame seeds
milk to glaze
2tbsp sesame seeds, for sprinkling.

Combine the yeast and 75 ml/5tbsp of the water and leave to dissolve. Mix the flours and salt in a bowl. Make a well and pour in the yeasty water. Stir from centre to get a rough dough.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Return to bowl and cover with a plastic bag. Leave in a warm spot till it has doubled in size. 2 hours
Grease a 23cm/9in round cake tin. Punch down the dough and knead in the toasted sesame seeds. Divide into 16 balls and place in the tin.Cover with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place until risen above the rim.

I didn't and the dough was just under the rim when I made it, I think it best to leave the dough until it has got above the rim for a better sized loaf.
Preheat oven to 220/425f/ gas7. Brush the loaf with milk. (I think this made the top crunchy so perhaps leave it off if you don't like a crunchy top). Sprinkle with the extra sesame seeds. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 190c/375/gas 5 and bake until the base sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Room With A View

I've always loved the view from my back bedroom and the occasional wildlife that passes through. These old micey pics are a favorite of mine...We called him big bum;-) The coloured lights are the reflections from my christmas tree lights. Unfortunately these poor little guys don't last long these days because of the arrival of Mofo. An expert in mouse detection and destruction;-( Brother Mick calls him Mr Bitey for obvious reasons. Btw Happy Birthday Mick, where have those years gone?