Rainy Sunday

“Hester” has been working overtime.

Last night for a celebratory dinner at our daughter’s house, a roast of lamb as well as two large lamb shanks braised in a tomato and red wine gravy were cooked in the oven.

Some leftover fried rice was heated in a trice on the stovetop.

We came home with a lovely tub trug full of quinces from a tree in their garden.

Today – time for a little rainy day play (sure is cold outside).

Robert helped prepare the quinces for some quince paste, and then there were lots of other bits and pieces to be done.

For instance, I wasn’t altogether happy with the pumpernickel-style bread I made a couple of days ago. It was a bit sweet for my liking, but tasted fine topped with a lovely blue cheese.

A bit more research then – some recipes include cooked polenta, now done, and others an assortment of grains, so I’m simmering some malted barley. Other recipes include mashed potato, so that is now done also.

I’ve prepared an overnight pre-ferment to use as a basis for the new loaves. I tried to buy some kibbled rye yesterday, no success there, but was able to get some Australian rye flakes, which are now soaking for the dough.

I read that the loaves should be cooked in a closed tin, so my old nut loaf tins will come into their own. Some recipes specify that pumpernickel-style bread traditionally is baked for 14 to 16 hours in a very low oven. I think I’ll skip that time consuming step, just regular baking will do.

Hester’s stovetop is now on round two – rather fancy some curried eggs, and then there’s a large corned silverside all spiced up and simmering away.

Two of our pets are real heater-hogs and are making the most of the warmth in front of the fire again today, as they were last evening, same position. Poppy was up in the shed keeping Robert company, but he had to bring her back down as she was so cold that her teeth were literally chattering, poor little mite.

Love the cold weather, hope there’s lots more to come!

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