Saturday, September 28, 2013

Three Things



This weekend is truly, madly busy. All the children's doing of course. I don't have a social life, because there are not enough minutes in the day...

1 Rosy painted cupcakes on Posy's fingernails. If you were here, I'm sure she'd do yours too.

2 This is Polly, the Grumpy but Intelligent Cat.


She loves to sleep on Posy's top bunk for hours every day, always in the same favourite spot, which drives me crazy because of the cat hair factor. I do not like cat hair on the bed. I have spent months chasing Polly off the bed, trying to keep the bedroom door permanently shut, devising sneaky and cunning cat traps, all to no avail. Polly is a clever cat. Then a couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to pop a cosy little rug on the end of the bed. Polly obligingly sleeps on it, and I shake it out every day, and give it a good wash every week, and problem solved. I was so busy trying to solve a non-existent problem that I didn't see the most obvious solution...

3 Here is my favourite lunch. Poached egg, toast and greens. This week it has included warrigal greens from the garden, eggs from Fran's lovely chickies, and my own yum sourdough (by the way, The Man thinks that me photographing my lunch is a little disturbing. I tell him everyone is doing it..)


Here is my question for sourdough makers - how do I get a taller loaf? Did the kneading I accidentally did for these loaves knock out the air? Does anyone knead their sourdough? My recipe doesn't include it, but maybe others do? Should I spray the loaves with water before I bake them? Apparently steam is a vital factor in the rise to prevent the bread being 'trapped' under its crust. I had a tray of hot water in the bottom of the oven the first time, but didn't spray the loaves (the flour sprinkled on top looked so pretty; I didn't want to make it sticky!). So many questions!

16 comments:

Tanya Murray said...

Warragul greens huh! We need to talk about that next meet up! I didn't know you could grow them here? Please, please, please do a segment for us next month. We also look forward to hearing more of your sour dough adventures.

Sharon said...

Your lunch looks delicious Im going to try have a go at the sour dough I havnt attempted it as yet. Its funny us bloggers take photos of all sorts of things my children say to me , "you take photos of everything Mum".
x

thegreenbackyard said...

That lunch looks incredibly good. I am a mad food photographer too, I baked parsnips tonight then snapped a pic of them :) According to the Canadian Obesity Institute (or some such body), people who take photos of food have a mental illness. Well sign me up!!

Jo said...

Tanya, warrigal greens grow rampant like weeds in the garden. When they go to seed I'll bring some along. I can always hold forth about the weeds in my garden for you next month!! Loving our get-togethers as always:)
Sharon, my family already think I'm a bit mad, but now I have clearly tipped over the edge.
Jo, lovely to see you back posting again - the last half of your comment made me laugh out loud. I read it to The Man, and he said to say thankyou from him, and he knew it all along!

Heather said...

Your lunch looks really delicious! I may have to have some sort of version of that for my breakfast today.

My son's cat sleeps on the end of his bed all day, too. We actually refer to my son's room and bed as Junie's (cat's name) room or Junie's bed. She's in there more than my son is. She seems to have taken over so much that she is just being kind letting my son share her space at this point.

theroadtoserendipity said...

No idea for the sourdough question. I can't even keep a starter alive so methinks I need to back out slowly with my hands up on any questions to do with sourdough ;). Glad the eggs went down well. We currently have 8 dozen in the fridge and a dozen duck eggs and 1 faerie egg courtesy of one of the chooks who wishes to remain anon due to the lack of kudos for faerie eggs. Starting to wonder if we have too many chooks for 1 vegan and 1 man who keeps telling me "I am just one man!" ;). Might have to start making curd...pavlovas...friand...ANYTHING that deals with eggs! Love your bread and am as jealous as heck of it to be honest. Love poppies cupcake nails. When I grow some I will be sure to employ her services to give them sparkle. I am trying to use some of the waist high spinach overdrive in the veggie garden. I left it alone for most of the winter expecting death and decay that I could dig back into the soil and was surprised to see HUGE sow thistles, thriving silverbeet and spinach that had gone over to the feral side. At least some of them have gone to seed so I should get something for their craziness. Have a fantastic busy week. I am experimenting with coconut cream, date paste and this recipe... feel free to hack it yourself. I made the mousse and fussy boy Steve adores it so that's a good start. I have plans for making ganaches with this unctuous gorgeousness. If you love chocolate, you will LOVE this :)

http://vegan-magic.blogspot.com.au/search?q=chocolate+mousse

lucindasans said...

Great solution to the cat hair problem. I hope the cat complies? My mother puts throws down for her cats too. But the cats think it is fun to go between the throws and the bedspread. Or even better on some occasions to go between the sheets!!!

Why is she a grumpy cat? Do your girls try to paint her toenails?

As to kids thinking you are mad, you do know that no matter what you do your kids will think that? Just reassure them it could be worse, you could chose others things that are stranger.

Jo said...

Heather, Junie is a lovely name for a cat. As you say, so kind of her to share 'her' room.
Fran, lovely, lovely eggs your chookies make. Bursting with all that goodness from your favourite plants! Thankyou! I do think that with all those eggs you should be making non-vegan mousse instead! What about macaroons or meringues? They freeze beautifully, and that way you have something to pull out every time you have guests, because you can eat them straight from the freezer.
Lucinda, love how cats take advantage. For some reason it makes me happy! And I don't mind that my family think I'm mad, because whatever new odd thing I do, they just take it in their stride, because that's what I do...

e / dig in said...

as always, i enjoy reader your readers' comments as much as your post. photgraphign food is a mental illness... a vegan making pavs for her man...and all the ct soties.
posy's nail art is magic. and i too love your lunch.
keep warm and dry, jo

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Your lunch looks delicious! We have lovely kale in the garden now, and I'm eating it by the handfuls (it's so nice when it's young and tender).

I also really like your plate. And the cupcake nails!

frances

Jo said...

e, I adore all the comments, everyone is hilarious or wise, or kind, or all three.
Frances, only ever have put kale into minestrone. There must be another use for it. i have it in the garden too. How do you cook it? Or do you just eat it straight out of the garden bed?
My plates were supermarket finds, years ago. I love them too!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Hi, Jo--

Mostly I either throw the kale into salads (I crunch it first, which tenderizes it a bit, and then I tear it into small pieces) or else into soups or beans. Tonight, for instance, we had kale and white beans served over pasta.

I've done kale chips, but it gets all stuck up in my teeth, which I dislike, especially now that I have braces.

xofrances

Tammy said...

I also have a grumpy cat who likes to sleep on beds. Unlike you, I gave up the cat hair fight long ago. I'm so glad for your sanity that the cat has adopted the throw rug as her own.

Jo said...

Mmm, Frances kale and white beans, I can imagine that now...
Tammy, I was about to give up the unequal struggle, so I am grateful that the cat obliged, so that I could retire victorious...

GretchenJoanna said...

In the period when my sourdough bread was the most fabulous, I would never try baking a free-form loaf - I always used loaf pans - because the dough would *never* rise up without the sides of a pan to lean on, it only spread out. It didn't matter how much flour I added, it seemed to only absorb more moisture from the air to go with it.

In my latest sourdough adventures I managed to get dough that would rise, even if I baked it without a pan. But the flavor is not what it used to be, since I've made it on this side of the county. There is so much mystery and inconsistency to sourdough, one has to love adventure to embark on the journey.

Barbara Good said...

My sour dough (I've only been at it a couple of weeks) is always a bit flat too, though the one I forgot to slit at the top did rise impressively high. And I do need mine, quite a lot when bring the dough all together and then just a little bit between the first and second prove. Don't know how to make it higher, but it sure is yummy!

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