Ben Bakes Bread

With my dinner tonight (homemade Minestrone Soup), I had a couple of slices of bread.  Bread made by my son Ben.

Ben Bakes Bread

Ben with his bread

It was absolutely delicious.  There is nothing quite as nice as a fresh loaf spread with real butter.  You can see that the lad is very pleased with himself.  His old Dad is also as proud as punch as is Mum.

Kim taught him how to make the dough using the bread maker, which I don’t think is cheating at all, especially if it is powered by electricity that we have generated with our very own solar PV system!

He said the making bread was easy once he knew how, and loved the taste of the herbs.

So for those who are after the recipe, here it is.

Ben’s Bread

Ingredients

  • 330ml Skimmed Milk
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1½ Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3½ cups Bread Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Bread Improver
  • 2 Tablespoons dried Italian herbs (less if you like)
  • 2¼ teaspoons Dried Yeast

Method

  1. Add into bread maker in order of listing and set on the Dough setting.
  2. Once kneaded in the machine, shape dough into a loaf shape and make about 6 diagonal shallow cuts in the dough.
  3. Place on well-greased baking tray and bake at 180°C for 20 to 25 minutes.  You will know it’s cooked when it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf, and it is brown on top.
  4. Cool on a baking rack, serve sliced with butter!

Kim and I are so proud!  His first loaf of yummy bread and we know exactly what is in it.

We won’t be able to keep him out of the kitchen now.

Autumn Veggie Patch Update

It was my first day of honest labour in nearly three weeks and I spent it in my veggie patch clearing beds and planting seedlings.

I’ve recovered enough from my chest infection to get a little bit more active, so I thought you might like an autumn veggie patch update.

I picked up a bargain at my local nursery as they were selling punnets of seedlings for 50 cents each.  I grabbed some mizuna, red mizuna, rainbow chard, spinach, Red Russian Kale, and Leeks.  All up the seedlings cost me $15, which I thought was a bargain.  Seeing that I have been unwell and unable to plant anything this season, it was a big bonus.

Leeks

Leeks

So I prepared three garden beds and planted them all in.  I added lots of well-rotted chook manure (thanks girls), and a couple of handfuls of blood and bone so they the seedling get a decent start.

The soil was fairly moist, so it only needed a light watering.

Rainbow Chard and Spinach

Rainbow Chard and Spinach

We love our greens so rainbow chard and spinach are perfect in hot meals and as salads.  The rainbow chard will keep producing for at least 8 months before it goes to seed.  The spinach should be gone in about 4 months.

Kale and Mizuna

Kale and Mizuna

I put in 6 kale seedlings, because Kale Chips are one of our all time favourite snacks. They should grow to a massive size if last years crop is anything to go by.  In the remaining space I planted the green and red mizuna for salads during the winter months.  We still like some lettuce like green in sandwiches even though it is now cooler.

The beds with greens were mulched to keep the moisture in.  Next time I clean out the chook house, I will mulch the leeks and broad beans.

That’s about all I managed to get done, because my chest started to hurt so I took it as an indication that I shouldn’t over do it.

I have another bed on this side of the garden that I am going to plant Broad Beans.  It is all prepared, fertilized and ready to go on Wednesday which is my downshift day.  I am going to spend most of it in the garden and plant out snow peas and garlic in the front yard veg patch.   I might also see what other seeds I have lying around and throw in some other veg as well.  It will be a bit of a surprise.  I like surprises!

It felt so good to be out there actually doing something, anything, around the yard.  I felt very grounded and happy.

What a great way to spend the day.

Did any of you spend time in your veggie patch?  What did you plant?

Still Mending

Last week I mentioned that I was sick.  Well, unfortunately it is still with me, but thankfully at the tail end.

I am still drinking lots of hot honey and lemon to sooth the throat and clear the nose, and I find this works really well.  It also gives me that added vitamin C boost that you need when you are sick with a nondescript virus.  I did try to go to work today, but was told to go and work from home at around 10:30.  It must have been all the coughing that put them off!

I am hoping to be able to produce a podcast episode this week if the voice keeps improving.  I am itching to get back behind the microphone to share lots of green stuff with your all.

As for Kim, she is slowly getting better.  She is more mobile now and her hands, although still very stiff, are not sore anymore, but she doesn’t have a lot of strength in them still.  She is in good spirits though, and Little Green Workshops product development is keep her mind off it all.  She is one tough lady!

Now, just because I haven’t been very vocal lately, doesn’t mean I haven’t been active.

Over the weekend I managed to clean out the two chook houses, cleaned up one side of the yard, prep a couple of garden beds, and because it was raining most of the day on Sunday, I managed to make two new types of cheese.

Queso tipo Manchego

Queso tipo Manchego

The cheeses are Queso tipo Manchego (Manchego-type cheese), and a new blue cheese that I have called Le Petit Bleu.  The blue has not gone quite to plan which you can read about over at Little Green Cheese if you like.  The post is simply titled Blue Cheese Rescue.

I recorded both cheese making sessions, so once the voice comes back, I will record the voice over and get the Manchego up on YouTube for you all to have a look at.  I am holding off on the blue to ensure it turns out okay first.  Oh, and I also have a Leicester video to voiceover as well.  Bloody voice box!

So there you have it, on the mend, but not quite there.  Hope you are all faring better than I am at the start of cold/flu season.

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