Saturday, 7 February 2015

Confidence wobbles

I like my old things, which perhaps is one of the reasons why I am happy.  I appreciate them, look after them, value them....

This is the old cooker we 'inherited' with the house.  It had no plinth, and here is it ready for the removal, with the plinth of the unit removed to get at the electrical supply.  This kitchen was only tiled up to the cupboards, so there was no chance of moving the cupboards to accommodate a different width cooker.  The alternative would be to retile the floor, move the cupboards, or rather new cupboards, so really a whole new kitchen for the sake of a thermostat, and being told by Leisure New World that the cooker was discontinued in 2001, so no spares.  I wonder now whether I should have persevered longer to find an engineer who would repair it.  But it is gone, and there is no point crying over this now....

Here is the new cooker.  Not a patch on the old one, yes it has windows, and a light...and its a good job that I am on advanced pilates and exercises at the gym, and can do press ups, squats etc on the kitchen floor to see in the oven!!  The fan comes on to keep the knobs cool, even when the oven is being used.  Next house, we shall have an eye level oven, but then I shall have to do more squats, press ups etc to keep my figure!

As they say, you need to get use to a new oven, so I decided that the best first bake would be two victoria sponges cooked side by side and this showed they are no nasty hot spots.

And then I make some buns to catch up with the bake your way through Jane Mason's Book of buns.  As I heard that my friend Linda had just become a Grandma again to her new grandson, the second son of her daughter and son in law in Germany, I thought Die Brotchen von Meiner Grosmutter would be the one to try.  A very soft dough rich in butter, sugar, egg, lemon zest and soaked sultanas.

However was it the oven, or the recipe, or me?  I think it was me, when you are yet to totally fall in love in your oven, other little nerves tighten up, and with yeasted doughs, you 'knead' to be in the zone.  I knew perhaps that things were not quite right when I turned up for a dentist appointment one week early...well I had the automated message a couple of days ago, and with my last dentist they never sent it a week and two days before!  A new dentist as well...that is an upheaval.  I rushed the prove, probably did not knead enough, and baked too soon.

So it no wonder that I went into the garden to seek out the signs of spring.....

Winter aconites, so very beautiful,

The dark, so dark hellebore, here the camera lied, brightening the dark spot under the large conifer tree.

The soft white heads of the snowdrops.  It amazes me that they can stand the hard frosts.  With a little warmth and sunshine, maybe we shall get some early bees soon.  I think the garden despite the recent cold weather is a couple of weeks ahead of last year.

I am so wanting to dispell the gloom of these cold days, that one day last week, I got my pencils out and drew a little orange primrose plant...I favour only the near wild ones in the garden, but my hand was drawn to the warmth of the orange colouring pencils.  This is my first drawing of a plant in flower.

and finally just a couple of trial bits from Monday's art session.  We had a play with gesso, but mine wasn't dry enough before starting to paint, so maybe its just a big mess.  Maybe that was the start of the wobble.

Today I reverted to baking some bread that has always been a great success, and the new batch looks great, but I had to play a little with the oven temperatures.  The Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Wholegrain Seeded Flour has always resulted in a good flavoured loaf, with good rise.  So my confidence is returning....

1 comment:

  1. It's so lovely when Spring decided to break in the garden.
    We too will be looking for a new oven this year, so much choice!
    Heather :)