Monday, 6 January 2014

Back to Basics

 
I decided the sub-title of the Blog this year should be 'Back to Basics', it's something we are really striving towards.  In many ways we are starting from scratch and briefly I had that in mind for the sub-title, but in other ways we are expanding on or making better use of things we have or things we already do and we want this to spill over into keeping everything simple and easy and well .... basic.
 
For instance the very basic of foodstuffs - Bread.
 
Last year I bought in bulk enough flour to make a couple of loaves a week, to keep us in homemade bread and stop us from buying mass produced supermarket bread.  It kind of fizzled out as these good intentions sometimes do, I baked bread on average once a week and bought loaves when they were on offer.  So I still have lots of the bread and yeast, and although the yeast is not as strong as it was it is still working.  So while the stocks are edible and okay to use I will continue to do so but I will obviously be making as much of our own bread as I can to save money on my other Challenge.
 
 
I mean it's not that hard, Ken takes the strain, kneading away with his dough hook for the first five minutes ...

 
.. then I take over ever so briefly to knead and then shape the dough before popping it back into the bowl with it's fetching shower cap on for the first proving.  It's down there now doing it's thing .....
 
 
..... the kitchen is obviously the place to be.
 
It's a lovely sight to see, all three dogs with their full tummies after breakfast, curled up in beds, not their own as is usually the case.  The smaller bed was Suky's puppy bed and she seems to have claimed it back from Mavis, but as long as they are happy so am I.  Looking at the photo they all have their favourite things in front of them, Rosy a ball, Mavis a squeaky pig toy and of course Suky has a bowl half full of food.
 
Which is amazing, she now seems to have copied Mavis and has taken to leaving some dried food in her bowl for later, and even more amazing she doesn't always eat it .... I've seen Mavis having it after finishing the food she leaves in hers.  I wonder if dogs realise when a companion needs food more than they do, a nice thought.
 
Sue xx

24 comments:

  1. I'd like to start making bread again. A lovely photo of the dogs asleep.

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  2. You could always stock up your empty freezer with homemade bread. That way, you use up your yeast before it pegs and you've always got bread available. A defrosted homemade loaf will always trump a fresh boughten one. x

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  3. I was using dried yeast a year out of date. Admittedly the loaf wasn't as high as with 'in date' yeast, but the bread still tasted good.

    Lovely pic of all three doggies. Yes, I think they definitely talk to each other and know things we mere humans don't.
    Thankyou for sharing such a sad/lovely story about Mavis. Bless you all. Xx

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  4. Would like to hear about your recipe and a picture of the finished bread. Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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    1. I'll re-instate the separate page with all my recipes and add more as I mention them this year. There's a picture of my bread in the header too, I use the same recipe pretty much all the time adding this and that to vary it from time to time and it turns out pretty similar.

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  5. I made bread, loaves and rolls to last 2-3weeks, froze all but half a loaf for current use, which will last me 2-3 days.
    I'm currently using some flour that is slightly out of date, only 1week, that my sister gave me and some of Aldis' strong white bread flour, 75p and it's good flour for the price.
    Years ago, I bought some loaf tins from the Army surplus place in Nottingham. They were 25p each and bigger than regular tins. When baked and turned out, the loaves had an impression on both sides - 'NATO' and a number! I don't have them anymore but, can say they were excellent tins! My ex has them.
    I also made 'use up veg before they rot' soup and leek, potato and bacon(only 2 rashers)soup, most of which has also gone in the freezer. Plan on making a quiche as, I have a good supply of eggs and onions. Hopefully, this year I will be able to grow more onions and most of my most used veg.
    Please pat all the dogs for me, I so miss my little rescue dog, Bobby. xxx

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  6. I have been lurking in the background for some time,,just wanted to say what a great blog you have,,, and what a wonderful thing you did in taking on Mavis!

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  7. I need to make a loaf today too, but as I am also making Elderberry Syrup I shall concentrate on that and just have a bung-it-in-the-breadmaker loaf today.

    The dogs have really settled down as a little pack now, which is brilliant considering Mavis is such a newcomer. They look very happy and relaxed.

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  8. I also could do more towards making my own bread, as I have plenty of yeast in my freezer (bought as a kg block from my local bakery). I shall have a goo next week again, one I acclimatized myself back into working life. Home today due to a nasty ear infection. Seen the doctor again and finally was given antibiotics to clear it. But, being home and feeling ill doesn`t give me any incentive to tackle household jobs. Just popped in to see how your little new housemate is doing. And by the look of things she has already settled in well.

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  9. I made my first loaf of the year on Sunday, having slipped into the (delicious, but VERY expensive) habit of buying bread from our village shop. But, with budgets firmly in mind and everything I needed just sitting there in the cupboard, I've made two loaves already - and they are yummy!
    How wonderful that you have been able to offer dear Mavis such a loving home - good for you.

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  10. Nice to see the dogs all snuggled up.

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  11. Or make up a sourdough starter, which costs almost nothing at all. I baked up two lovely loaves of bread and a large pan of cinnamon rolls last evening from the starter I started years ago. Just be sure to feed it occassionally if you go very long between bakings.

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  12. We make bread in the bread maker but I would like to make more by hand. How lovely to see that Mavis has settled into the routine of your house so well. They all look so cosy in their baskets x Brings a very big smile to my face x

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  13. I loved the heartwarming story of Mavis and her luck in finding you..she is gorgeous. They all 3 look so comfortable in their beds.

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  14. I use my breadmaker several times a week but sometimes buy yellow sticker loaves. Some of the cheaper bread flour has flour improver in it which really upsets my stomach. However, Tesco bread flour (both white and brown) is only 85p a bag which is pretty good, especially if you can stock up when it's on a buy 3 for 2 offer. I buy the yeast in bulk from the greengrocer and keep it in the fridge.

    How lovely to see the dogs so happy Sue. Have you had any problems with them establishing the pecking order? We did when we introduced our new dog but they soon sorted it out after a few minor arguments! x

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  15. I'm planning to try baking some bread over the next year. I'm hoping its something me and the girls can do when I'm off work and save a bit of money in the process.

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  16. Sourdough is great if you run out of yeast, but it does involve throwing away some of the starter every day if you don't use it, so there is some wastage. I absolutely love the doggy photo. How happy they all are, and what a blissful life for them. I'm so glad that new little one is fitting in so well.

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  17. so glad Mavis is home!
    the bread sounds wonderful!

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  18. I make Soda Bread. The whole process takes about an hour, with the actual work time being about 5 mins. Perfect for lazy bread-makers, and delicious.

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  19. Wonderful how settles all the dogs are together. Sweet Suky x

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  20. Cracking name for a dog Mavis
    I may have to nick it for our next dog
    X

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    1. She just looked like a 'Mavis', it's how I name all my animals. Their faces tell me their names. The only name I have in my head that 'must' be used is Trevor ..... you'll find out one day what that is going to be!!

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  21. Catching up so I've already seen the made loaf and it looks fab!! So funny how the dogs have organised themselves. I did see a post on fb recently about a dog that started to leave food in his bowl at night and when the owner investigated why it was always gone in the mornings she discovered that a cat had been coming in to eat it during the night, this cat was pregnant and had her kittens in their house and now lives with the dog and owner permanently. So maybe it is the case that they do know when another's needs are greater than theirs.
    Do like that Suky is reclaiming her youth and using her old bed!
    Take care and enjoy the loaf
    Sarah x

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