Slow Bread

Slow risen bread

Less rush, better flavour

Life can be all Rush! Hurry! Quick! How lovely it is to be slow. Making slow bread forces me to calm down, step out of the moment, take my time.

It also tastes particularly good.

Bread in a flowerpot

I baked my first loaf when I was seventeen. It probably wasn’t very good.

I had a big, thick, general cookbook – I wish I still had it! Purnell’s Complete Cookery.

I loved my first big cookbook

I really wanted to learn to cook. I genuinely didn’t have a clue. Someday I’ll tell you that story. Why I became interested in the bread chapter, I do not know. It jumped out at me so I gave it a go.

Now these were ancient times, also known as the late 1970s. Possibly dried yeast was available in specialist shops on fancy city streets. Not in the industrial West of Scotland. So I did as my book instructed. I went to the bakery.

That’s the actual bakery. Not the shop where I bought German Biscuits and Sugared Rolls. No, round the back where the bread and rolls were baked.

A block of yeast in a twist of greaseproof paper cost pennies. I became a regular customer at the bakery close to my work.

I have no idea where I bought bread flour. Strange to think how unusual such a product was. There was a Fine Fare near my office. (That was a supermarket) Since Fine Fare was the first place I ever saw aubergines, courgettes, peppers, maybe they had bread flour.

Anyway, home I went to bake my bread.

I liked the sound of a brown loaf that included treacle.

From the start I thought it couldn’t be right. Quite a few tablespoons of treacle. The dough was dark, dark brown and very sticky. Having no experience of bread making, I followed the recipe nonetheless. It baked into a nice little loaf, but so very sweet and dense. More like a cake.

I made the same loaf many times with only a little treacle!

Very soon I had bought more cookbooks and tried many recipes. Then a new book was published.

My Elizabeth David bread book

English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David

My education in bread making began the day I bought it.

It’s beside my bed now, as I wanted to re read it before baking bread to sell.

Bread needn’t be quick

And this is what I learned from Elizabeth David: slow bread can be the best bread. Less yeast is required, and you get such good results.

It’s a lesson I have to re learn periodically. Many times I have rushed home from work, mixed the ingredients and left my dough to rise. As I grow more and more tired, I get angry at the dough for not rising quickly. I’ll be up all night! I must add more yeast! The bowl is going on the radiator!

When I get annoyed with a bowl of bread dough, I remind myself that the best place for it to rise is the fridge; and the best time for it to be baked is the following day. Perhaps the following evening!

Third rise

There’s a time and place for speedy cooking and baking. But it’s not compulsory.

Slow bread is flavoursome bread.

Two loaves of my “slow” bread

Thank you for reading my blog. Please comment, especially if you have a bread making story.

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Holiday Dreaming

By Isla

Wish I was in Spain again

The summer of 2018 we went to Spain in July. I was 13 at the time and could not wait to go. We stayed for 10 days and each day was amazing.

Dreaming of my holiday

It was amazing. We had a massive villa with a pool and outdoor kitchen, and the most beautiful view. The villa wasn’t the best in every way, it definitely had its faults but I’ll not get into that.

Amazing view

As soon as we touched down at Alicante airport and started the journey to our villa in Benissa, I took in every single thing I saw. I just wanted to explore.

When we arrived at the villa one of the first things all of us did was put our swimming gear on and ran to the pool, all running on around 1 hours sleep. It was lovely but the heat was powerful. My grandparents, who we were on holiday with, were sun worshipers as well as my mum. But my dad, brother and me not so much. Due to this heat I got sunstroke – on the first day. Great.

Look at the pool!

The town nearest us was Moraira which was beautiful. It was quite small but filled with culture. In the middle of the streets was a lovely market with locally made products. Along the beach front were unique little restaurants and cafes. Then standing on its own was a castle, very different to the ones to be seen in Britain.

The beach
Sand and sea

Throughout the time we were there we made the journey to a near by town Xabia. I loved it there. There was enough night life were you wanting it, and if you wanted something more quiet then there was the old town.

There was more wildlife than I expected, a lot of which I was scared of. The wasps were huge and rather aggressive. There was also some kind of beetle that lived in the trees. They would make a strange noise every few hours and it was bizarre, We thought it was the electricity masts at first. But there were some nice parts to the wildlife, like the little lizards that seemed to be everywhere.

Lizard at twelve o’clock!!

I fell in love with this country for many things. Its culture, food, language, lifestyle and its people. I hope one day to go back and perhaps live there one day.

Spain – I love you!

By Isla, young assistant in my shop.

One Basket

Thank you for reading our blog. There are plenty of posts to enjoy

Dog Hair Care

By Flynn and Doris

Flynn’s POV –

Flynn’s Dog Hairstyle

I’m seeing more of my human family than usual – they call it Lockdown. Thank goodness they’re leaving my hair alone!

My favourite thing ever is sitting outdoors in a breeze. I love to feel the wind in my hair. Don’t humans know that cutting my hair = ruining my life? They have zero empathy. I tell them clearly to leave me alone, but do they listen?

Let me keep my fuzzy ears and crinkly beard forever.

Border Terriers: born to have wild hair.

River Walk

With Flynn, Border Terrier

Languid river walk

To keep my head above water at this unsettling time I take Flynn, my Border Terrier, on a river walk.

The River Tweed, as it flows through Kelso, is captivating in any weather.

If you visit Kelso, definitely take a river walk.

Flynn loves the River

Stay home for now.

Soap

Wash Your Hands

Soap Bars

Never did I think I would sell soap and shampoo bars.

Two years ago, before I knew they were a thing, my friend asked if I sold shampoo bars. Challenge accepted!

Friendly Soap Bars

At first I only sold Friendly Soap’s range. My customers really liked them.

Then, through Instagram, I discovered Superfly.

Superfly Soaps – wash your hands!

Lisa makes lovely, vegan friendly, natural soaps which my customers love.

Wash your hands” is more important than ever, so it’s a great time to start using quality soap bars.

Sensitive, great for frequent hand washing

Please ask me if you’re intrigued and would like to order a bar of Superfly Soap.

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Nature Walk

Nature Walk – Celandine

In difficult times, a Nature Walk lifts the spirits.

Celandine, also known as “Is that a buttercup?”.

Probably appears unappreciated in normal years. One of many natural wonders that blends into general “Spring flowers”.

Mandarin Duck on the River Tweed, Scotland

On the River Tweed as it flows through Kelso, we have a resident mandarin duck. It swims with numerous mallards, geese and swans; one of a kind.

Nature keeps on naturing.

Nature Walk – Butterbur

And because Flynn doesn’t like to be forgotten…

Flynn, Border Terrier, by the River Tweed

Lockdown Dog Walks

Stubborn Border Terrier

Lockdown Dog Walk

So we’re taking one walk each per day during the COVID19 lockdown, so that Flynn gets to stretch his legs.

Flynn is my stubborn Border Terrier. He prefers to sleep.

Sleeping Dog

Usually passers by laugh at Flynn’s stubbornness. He loves to amuse a crowd.

There’s no crowd during lockdown. Playing to the gallery isn’t an option. But Flynn is a creature of habit.

When a dog decides not to move, what can a woman do!

Standing still in a hailstorm

Thanks for reading my blog. See you again soon.

One Basket , Kelso

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Generation Z

Strongest Generation Since World War 2

Credit, Isla, Generation Z

Generation Z was born into a dangerous world.

I think they’ll do a good job of stabilising society. Because they’re strong.

Credit, Anne, Baby Boomer

We all get defensive about our own generation. I remember my parents telling me to eat everything on my plate. I didn’t know how lucky I was, apparently.

As children and teenagers we found our parents annoying – as all generations do.

Two little Baby Boomers, and their mum born 1929

Now we’re the annoying ones. #OkayBoomer, you say. But we see ourselves as Hippies, Punk Rockers, New Romantics. Certainly not old. How could we ever grow old?

We have children and grandchildren: GenX, Millennial, GenZ. Sometimes we hear our parents’ words coming from our own mouths. “You don’t know how lucky you are”

I could list the dreadful things that were ‘normal’ in the 1960s/1970s/1980s, but I won’t.

I could list the amazing improvements society has seen during my lifetime, but I won’t.

Instead I will tell you why I love Generation Z, and why I believe they’ll cope in this crisis.

Generation Z hasn’t experienced good times. They were only little before the financial crisis. They’ve seen parents lose jobs, struggle for money, work zero hour contracts. They’ve worried about conflict, disease, poverty, the environment. They’ve been burdened, and it’s no wonder they think previous generations were lucky.

Now, COVID19 is infecting the world. I don’t want to be unwell, and I certainly don’t want to die. But one aspect of the virus gives me hope.

Evidence for the virus’ effects on different generations isn’t yet certain, but it appears to be substantially less dangerous to the young. Thank goodness.

Ooh, controversial!

Baby Boomers on holiday

I sincerely believe if society is to be improved, no-one is better placed to do it than a generation born and raised in adversity. A generation like my mother’s who were children in World War 2, young adults during rationing, having children just as the economy was improving. They wanted so much more for future generations, my generation, the Baby Boomers. We need a generation like them again.

Thank you in advance, Generation Z