Sourdough, Simplicity and Sisterhood.

I’ve been learning how to make sourdough and slowing down enough to enjoy the steps involved has given me lots of thinking time.

There’s a real simplicity to the process which would have frustrated the hell out of me a couple of years ago but I am enjoying it. If I rush, I get it wrong and the sourdough does not work out. I keep the starter in the fridge and on days when I’m not making a loaf, I try to remember to feed this precious starter in order to keep it alive and thriving.

I wake up at crazy times, hoping that the proofing process has worked its magic overnight and that the dough has risen nicely. It’s the best way to start the day. I put the oven on, heat up the cast iron pot in the oven and a bowl of water on the oven floor to create the atmosphere which results in the perfect crunchy crust. 

It’s a very low tech procedure which modern technology has not replaced. It seems to thrive on the love and care! Am I turning into some crazy old hippy?

All this puts me in mind of parenting! The other word for the starter is the ‘mother’. Those who are into making sourdough guard their ‘mother’ with care. Some have been on the go for generations, feeding entire families for decades  I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

The mother must be nurtured and cared for or the bread will not work and what is produced will become inedible.

I am nurturing three teenage sons. This requires a lot of effort, consistency and care to produce the desired results: good men! I need to be on form for this to happen. If I am not taking care of myself then I cannot look after my boys. 

As part of what I do, I am the mum of an almost 17 year old son who has Type 1 Diabetes. Whilst his brothers are equally loved, there is an extra element of care needed here. It is what it is! He takes care of himself and I’m looking ahead and trying to envisage a time when he leaves home. In the meantime, I am catching a few early morning lows as I get up to put on the oven and the thinly sliced sourdough and egg combo that we’re having for brekie seems to be agreeing with his bgls. That’s what we call a win, win!

The Diabetes Australia #WDD2017 campaign #SuperSHEroStrong caught my eye today just as I was kneading my sourdough and so I would like to send my love, my thoughts and a whole heap of sassy sisterhood out to all the women in the diabetes community: those who have diabetes, and those who support others with diabetes too!

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Ma Wee Scones

  ‘Ma wee scone’ ( my little scone) was a term of endearment used by old ladies in Scotland when I was growing up. You’d hear old ladies in the street looking at children : “Look at that poor wee scone over there, fell over his wellies and skint his knee!”. It fills me with nostalgia to think of it!

Now to life in Australia and I’m practising recipes for the fundraiser I’m hosting for JDRF  on 21 November. 

The boys are very willing guinea pigs. Everything has to be in mini versions as it’s a high tea. I’ve always avoided making scones due to that rubbing in of butter palaver but, to my astonishment, after a big day at work, I’m finding it quite therapeutic! 

I’m onto my second batch today. Twenty eight little beauties of around 15g of carb each. Pure butter and some of the weekend’s rhubarb and strawberry compote make it all worthwhile!

Now I’m mum to three wee ( OK, not so wee really! ) scones of my own. It’s funny how life can come the full circle!
  

  

Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote

Rhubarb is growing like crazy in the garden and strawberries are so cheap, tasty and smell delicious. I’m taken back to my Scottish childhood: rhubarb was one of the few things that grew easily and a favourite treat was raw rhubarb sticks dipped in an eggcup full of sugar. My teeth hurt just thinking about it! We would sit in the back garden crunching our way through this treat with dire warning about the poisonous leaves ringing in our ears.

 

I looked at a few online recipes and came up with this one of my own. It’s great added to yoghurt or plopped on top of muesli. 

 Less than half an hour from start to end. I sterilised the jars whilst the compote was cooking. Now I’ve got four lovely jars which may just last a few days in the House of Testosterone.

  

  

Beach, Bludging and Blundt Cake

A beautiful morning at the beach. The boys all mucked about in the water with their body boards whilst dad surfed. I had a big walk along the beach. A gorgeous NSW summer Sunday morning. Sometimes I’m glad I married an Aussie!

Home for lunch, a laze on the lounge then the baking bug struck me as it often does on a Sunday. I’d picked up a blundt baking tin a few weeks ago so I looked up some recipes, found one I like, tweeked it a little and did the carb count. I feel like I should buy a lottery ticket when the carb count divided into portions gives me close to a multiple of 15. The magical exchange count for my son!

Chopped salad, marinated lamb for dinner followed by a slice of this cake. A fab way to finish a lovely weekend!

Life isn’t always like this! Let’s hope the busy week ahead is gentle to us all!

Late add in: I learnt the Australian expression ‘bludging’ when living here. It’s considered an art form on a hot day! I previously called it skiving but never had time to indulge!

My friend Maddie!

   

 

  
A little piece of France in NSW, Australia. Miam! I found a little homewares shop in Tours and bought the tray which helps give these cakes their familiar shape. This recipe came from the internet today (please double check the carb count) and it worked out around the magic 15g of carbs per portion which makes it easier for my son with T1 diabetes to calculate the carbs.

The lemony smell is just lovely and I must confess, I couldn’t wait for the 2o minutes before putting them in the oven. On the other hand, I don’t think eating them within an hour will be an issue in a house with 5 people!

Jet lag is gone and the house is a mess but we’ll share a little piece of France tonight for dessert!

I’m sure you could use patty cake tins for this recipe if you feel like trying them.

He just forgot.

It was a busy evening in the House of Testosterone. Haircuts at the barbers after school. Youngest packing for school camp ( can’t believe my baby is that old but he is ready). Eldest on overnight sporting trip texting home the news of half the team, including him,getting conjunctivitis. What do they do in those scrums? Hurried afternoon tea at the barbers then home to soup and pumpkin loaf. The busy midweek classic of soup and a pudding!

Busy day at work for mum and dad, so nice to sit round the table and chat.

My middle son tests his BGL at bedtime. 25? What? Hang on, did you have your insulin at dinner? There we go! Mystery solved!

It was that easy just to forget and be like all the other boys! The smell of the soup and the freshly baked loaf, the rush to the table, the analysis of haircuts, the banter but no insulin on board. First time ever that this has happened.

No panic, no recriminations just a renewed and quiet understanding of the amazing job that insulin does.

This recipe was adapted from one on taste.com.au. The carb counting was done by me and I’m not an expert!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ah the wicked web we weave…..

My boys love this chocolate cake. I love it too! It’s a relatively healthy, high protein cake full of chick peas and never once in all the times I’ve served it up to friends, has anyone guessed that chick peas are the secret ingredient. I only give this recipe away if promises are made never to reveal this! You can pretty it up with a dusting of icing sugar but there’s not really any need. I love that it’s high protein!