I fed the sourdough starters, abandoned in their jars at the back of the fridge since spring. They were still lively when brought back with water and flour, so it seemed silly not to bake a bread. My typical sandwich loaf recipe only requires 30 minutes in the oven at moderate temperature, but the loaf pictured above took much longer, the first 30 minutes in high heat inside an enamel casserole providing a mini steam oven. Once the lid is removed it continues another 25 minutes or so, but the result is rather lovely. It was the perfect bread to serve with tomato salads, sponging up the last bits of juice and dressing. There's nothing special in the bread-starter, flour, water, salt, a bit of sugar and some vital wheat gluten to give the plain flour a boost in the absence of strong bread flour. The only thing a sourdough really requires is time-something in theory I ought to have more of being at home, but still seems at a premium by the end of the day. That's ultimately a good thing, I'm sure but it hardly feels it in the rushed moments. I haven't watched television, read books, or been faced with searching out ways to occupy my time. The pile of summer clothes needing mending has grown and now as autumn arrives I suspect they will get packed away unmended with that unrealistic optimism that next year will somehow be different and I'll resolve to stitch up hems and replace buttons knowing I absolutely won't. The pile sits by the door of the bedroom reminding me of my inadequacies and failures like a ghost of my mother. Well fuck that. Back into the storage box you go, Mother.Twigg Studios . I may give the flower pasta a try as well since the nasturtiums, violas, and sunflowers are all still going strong in the garden. I have a very old, Imperia pasta machine from my mother-in-law that does a good job rolling the sheets of dough thinly. While not impossible to do with a heavy rolling pin and a strong arm, the machine does make quick work of it.
Some cheerful plastic accessories from the simpler years of the 70s when all we had to worry about were gas shortages, inflation, and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Whip Inflation Now (WIN). Never thought I'd feel nostalgic for President Ford. Fucking hell, we're really in it, aren't we?