Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Regime change

Following a horrifying prequel to the teenage years yesterday morning, we have decided to implement a regime change in this household.

Previously, the time between getting dressed and breakfast was allocated to the small child for the practice of musical instruments, whilst Mother used this time to do housework. 

During travels up and down the stairs with various domestic appliances and tools, Mother would often see the small child sitting on her bed attempting to put legs into tights and arms into vest whilst gazing into the middle distance.  Mother would often return 10 minutes later and find child in exactly the same state of not-dressed-yet.  Musical instruments were then either not played at all, or in a desultory manner.  Mother would also find that housework was not done, because all the time before breakfast was spent cajouling small child into clothes and music practice whilst fending off sarcasm and downright rudeness.

Under the new regime, breakfast is now served promptly at 7.30.  Anyone not dressed and at the table does not get fed.  Each instrument is to be practiced for 15 minutes, with a timer.  The practice does not end until the time is up, even if a small child is then late for school and has to apologise to Mrs B for being late.  Mother will use the time after clearing up breakfast to do the housework.

We'll see how long this lasts...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Best bread ever

I know others have been there, done that with the New York Times no knead bread.  I've been wanting to try it for a few months now but for some reason, despite claiming to be "no knead", I had found the instructions seemed complicated and fiddly...
And I wasn't sure about the whole cooking it in a cast iron pot sort of idea...

But yesterday (and today) I finally plucked up courage and gave it a whirl. 
I used the cup measures as in the original recipe but couldn't be bothered to mix it up by hand, and used the Kenwood for the first bit.  Then I covered the bowl in cling film and left it overnight.

This morning, whilst doing a spot of this with some seville oranges:

I dolloped the bubbly moussy dough out of the bowl, folded it up as instructed, then deviated from the instructions and let it rest in a floured teatowel in a bowl.  When it was ready to go, I flipped it onto a pre-heated baking sheet - the only hard bit of the whole recipe -  and bunged it in a ferociously hot oven.  I poured some water into a hot baking tin placed in the bottom of the oven to create some steam, as I wasn't using the approved "dutch oven" technique...I'm not sure whether I'll bother with this next time.

And this is what we had for lunch:


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Finished something

A member of the Wednesday Workshop faction of our Guild cut up a beautiful Thai jacket into lots of little pieces. We were each given a piece and the challenge was to make something, anything with it.
Oh for goodness sake, I would have just bought the jacket if I'd known she was taking the scissors to it.
Anyway, this is my effort. I don't really like it, but at least I've done it.

Now please can I get on with weaving my chicken wire chimney?
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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

And so it begins...

Another project started, and I need a new project like a hole in the head...but what the hey.  I've wanted to weave chicken wire for months now, and finally remembered to go to the DIY shop and buy some - they sell it by the metre!  Who knew?  This piece is destined to become yet another wretched chimney...hopefully we'll exhibit our wretched chimneys in February and I can stop trying to find ways of making them...I still spend idle moments trying to fathom a method for my chimney brush bristles (see this post).

And another attempt started to try and shrink my mid-section.  Having been a "pear" all my life, I was alarmed to discover a bit of a tendency towards "apple" late last year.  And my baby is 10 years old this year, so that's no longer an excuse...

I'm still getting in a bit of T Tapp a few times a week, but lost the plot after reaching my target of "40 workouts by my 40th birthday" and haven't been consistent.  My upper knee measurement has remained steady (!) even if from there up things have expanded slightly since the summer...

My latest strategy is from the book "Beyond Chocolate", not that I'm a chocoholic, I'm really not.  But I know I overeat.  Not binges, not packets of biscuits, not too much cake or pudding or anything (these are nearly always just weekend things, not everyday)...but a subtle easily justified overeating - cleaning my plate of wholesome, homecooked, locally sourced, probably organic and at the very least free-range food -  every time.  Even if I'm full.

So I'm trying to work on the basis of eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm not.  And it's SO much harder than I thought, not least because in this house, if you don't eat it someone else will, so there's no saving for later...as my husband discovered when he went to find the tube of Smarties left over from gingerbread house construction. 

And making this sort of thing for school packed lunches doesn't help:
Apricot flapjacks, as requested by The Girl. 

I'm finding that "greed" and "hunger" feel the same at the moment.  For the sake of my trousers I hope I work out the difference soon.

Oh yes, I've also removed the scales from the bathroom.  But I haven't thrown them out yet...
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