July

The weather is chilly, though it should be warmer by the weekend. The forecast has been fine for Saturday for a week, but now they’re hedging their bets. It might rain.

I’m going to leave it to everyone to decide where to eat. There are two houses and four dining rooms and a gazebo outside. I’m just going to get the food and drink organised. Relaxedly. I don’t fuss about anything much any more, though i do want everyone to be comfortable and well fed.

I’ve been wondering if I explain things really badly, when I believe I’m being quite clear. I said exactly what I wanted for the chicken run and it wasn’t done quite as I’d said, which would have been fine if it had been better than my idea, but it really wasn’t. I’ve another idea for an extension to the run, because there’s some wasted grass (as a result of my plans not happening) and Wince looked worried when i explained the plan and said he’d think about it and maybe ask Richard. He was looking at the run when he said it, but nothing needs to happen to the run, just an extra tunnel (already constructed) to be put in to the greenhouse (which involves removing a big pane of glass and something else put in its place, which is already there and just needs to be fixed in). I talked to Tim about it and, even after showing him, it was a while before he cottoned on to what I meant. I evidently make no sense at all, even when I think I do. Anyway, we’re going to have a go at doing the job ourselves next week. I’m useless at woodwork, but good as the ‘boy’ to someone who knows what they’re doing. We’d both rather have it done as we want rather than someone else’s interpretation.

Not this side of the blog party though. I made two loaves of bread today, because I haven’t enough to take us over the weekend. I made a mistake in not setting an alarm to switch the oven on. I’m used to the Aga always being hot. In the twenty minutes I had to allow for it to heat up after I wanted to put the loaf in, it lost its elasticity. I should have reshaped it and left it to prove again, but I thought I could get away with it. It has a decidedly flat top. On the other hand, the sourdough loaf looks magnificent and has risen higher than the yeasted loaf. I’ve also discovered that it’s a good idea to put a loaf low in the tabletop oven, so that the bottom element cooks the base and then put it higher to brown the top. The tabletop oven is … adequate. The given temperature bears no relationship to the actual setting. A loaf that takes half an hour at most in the Aga takes twice as long at what purports to be the same temperature in this oven. This is all right as long as you know. I’ve got a piece of sirloin beef to roast tomorrow. That’ll be fun.

Puds are simple. Fresh fruit, lemon syllabub and chocolate mousse. I might bake some little cakes too, but that’s one of those things that’s put on the list and, if time runs out, quietly ignored. It would be nice, though.

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