In a Pickle

I was wondering if I would ever start my blog with, ah, what a relaxing week I've had.  No fear of that around here.  As it's half term for the schools, I've been to visit my beautiful granny in Sussex, my plumcious pregnant friend in Oxfordshire and a fellow supermum for a pre-halloween get together in Bedfordshire.  I have given myself the arduous task of peeling 3 kilo's of onions for pickling - a tradition is to always do them on halloween weekend.  I always makes my fingers sore and brown from the acid in onions, so I use half a lemon to scrub my nails with afterwards and return them to normal colour.  If I have time before the weekend, I 2 more pumpkins to carve up and then find recipe's for - we don't waste food in our household.  I have had a resounding success with my sourdough bread this week, hitting on a winning recipe and formula, so just doing a couple more tests before being confident to put into my shop window!  Having said that, if anyone wants a sourdough loaf today, tomorrow or Saturday then I may have 1 or 2 going spare, please let me know.  As usual, please can I have all orders for this Saturday, by 9am Friday.  With thanks and happy Halloween!

Next Bakes I need 24 hours notice - please let me know by the day before before by 9am.
Saturday, 29th October - Collect between 10 - 10.30am (or local delivery 9 to 9.45)
Tuesday, 1st November - Collection from 11- 1pm
Thursday, 3rd November  - Collection from Stopsley Baptist Church 10 - 10.30am

A Lonely Night on Baker's Sleep

I find myself here, once again on a Saturday morning, asking myself why did I not get any sleep last night? It started last week, when I went to bed quite reasonably at around 10, knowing that I had to be up at 5.30 for the Saturday bake.  I think I got to sleep pretty quickly, until my son woke us both with cries at 11.42pm.  I leapt out of bed, settled him down and then returned thinking, I've got hours left, goody.  Not to be.  Awake for the whole night.  So last night, after having a long (and long awaited) chat with a dear friend, I returned to watching my film choice of the evening, which went on far longer than expected or was comfortable.  In bed just past 11, I tried my dropping off technique - comfortable -tick, eyes closed- tick, empty bladder - tick.  11.30 came and went.  Mt husband arrived soon after and I had to feign sleep for fear of taking me out of the zone. 12.30am.  Then at 1.11am, I thought to myself, well, if I can drop off by 1.30, I'll still have 4 good hours. Not to be. I think I must have been awake for at least an hour after that and I woke and dropped off once more at some point.  I woke up naturally at around 5.14am - though how natural can it be after 3 hours sleep??  Maybe my body has truly adjusted to Bakers' Time; part of me feels excited and exhilarated that having entered this phase, I can now call myself a fully fledged baker, although the other half of me feels that I am now a fledgling insomniac.

Flour to the People!



It has been a busy week in the bakery.  I am now pleased to have a weekly standing order from a local cafĂ©, just a few loaves but every little helps!  I had my biggest Saturday ever , with 16 standard loaves (no specials L) out of the oven on time.  Mind you, it wasn’t difficult, as I had been awake since 11.42pm the night before;  my son woke up wanting a wee and I just couldn’t seem to drop off after that.  I also created my first wheatsheaf loaf for the local church children’s centre, to be their centrepiece for harvest festival week.  I was very proud of my efforts and it has been nicely varnished so that it will keep for a little while.  Hopefully no one will try and eat it.  I am also, as I write, proving my first ‘mill’ loaf made with 100% natural leaven  and a cheeky cocktail of my organic flours.  If successful, this will be my first tick in the box for a sourdough that I will add to my range. 

I am now taking orders for Thursday, (delivery to Hullaballoo) – there will be no deliveries the following week as it’s half term but if anybody still wants to purchase a loaf or two, best to get in touch – I’ll be baking next WEDNESDAY (26th October) instead – please can I have at least 24 hours notice for each order.

Next Bake Days:
Tuesday, 18th October
Thursday, 20th October
Saturday, 22nd October
Wednesday, 26th October
Saturday, 29th October
Etc.. 

Apples and Shopping

I am privileged to have two jobs where I work from home; there's my baking, which is my first love and my 'proper' job, where I assist a market research company with report and proposal writing and on occasion, fieldwork.  Today, I have had the satisfying experience of doing both jobs almost simultaneously and completing both successfully and with time to spare to write my blog.  At 7.10am, I was kneading dough, at 8am I'd arrived at a supermarket to make a mammoth purchase of shopping (after returning home products needed to be photographed, logged and stored) and first bread delivered at 11.45.  To delight me even more, my kind neighbour gave me two bags of windfalls, which I will be using to make all kinds of appley delights.  I wonder if I should start to make apple bread...

A reminder for this week's orders - please can I have at least 24 hours in advance for Thursday (at Hullaballo) and Saturday from home.

Red Tomatoes and and Christmas Pudding

For the last few weeks I have been watching my picked green tomatoes, turn to a lovely shade of red (and yellow - different variety) in the sunshine and thoughts of making oodles of chutney to use up the rest of the harvest are fading fast.  So instead, (and some might say a little too early) I have turned to my Christmas pudding which is now all steamed and ready for the festive season. I have also been asked to make a Wheatsheaf loaf for my local Children's Centre at the church - I had to google to see how much work was involved - lots to do but I am up for the challenge.

I am baking today as usual and also Thursday and Saturday morning; I am hoping for a bumper week, and so will be trying to drum up a little more business from my neighbours - who would not want a warm freshly baked loaf for a bacon sarnie brunch!?? Perhaps a vegetarian....