||[Jul. 30th, 2015|11:49 am]
- I wasn't consciously nervous about getting back on the horse after that total failure of my baking-fu. But somehow the next loaf didn't happen - that is, as the days passed and it kept being not convenient, and the starter aged, I eventually admitted defeat, used a spoonful of starter to seed the next batch and threw the rest away. The loaf after that, however, is a perfectly acceptable raisin and outmeal loaf: a little fragile, perhaps, but that's what you get if a loaf with a high oatmeal content rises nicely. I might try baking for (slightly) longer in a (slightly) lower oven, or I might not. Anyway, as weegoddess would say, I have toast - and that's the main thing.
- Talking of weegoddess, she sent me this penguin mirror: it's a strange sort of mirror, and of course penguins aren't puffins, but we can't all be puffins. The fan is good, too.
- I'm not looking for holiday ideas, thank you; and I'm particularly not looking for ideas for walking holidays, not until we've returned to walking more than we have been lately (one regret about our recent tour of the Hebrides is that I'd have liked less driving, more walking); I'd like to see more of Spain, though I was thinking of the north, not the south: despite all of which this looks fun.
- The Co-op Membership Services e-mail me to say: "Every day is a picnic - You don't have to plan for a picnic when there's a Co-op nearby, so visit your Stornoway store for picnic inspiration, whatever the weather." And we did, it's true, visit the Stornoway store to buy provisions for a picnic, to be eaten in our B&B on a rainy evening. But "nearby"? Not really...
- Other people's holiday shopping is more glamorous. J. invited us to dinner on Sunday, on the pretext that she wanted to empty and defrost the freezer. Dessert, however, was a tasting of Valrhona chocolate which she had bought, after much sampling, at the manufacturer's shop in Tain l'Hermitage: four bars of dark chocolate from different parts of the world, to be tasted in a specified order. I didn't take notes, and the website isn't helping, so all I can say is that they were all good, but that we disagreed with the recommended order, and thought #4 was an anticlimax after #3. All four were 62/64% cocoa solids, which supports my theory about the prevalent fetish for 85% (in brief, that it's a mistake. Or rather, that it's fine for cooking with, when you might as well start as high-cocoa as you can, since you're going to dilute it with other things; but if it's for eating, higher fat gives a better mouth-feel).