Zed’s bread

I’ve got quite a number of jobs to do while LT and I are apart – but when you’re wandering about like a spare part, it’s not easy to get on with them.  I did clean the kitchen, make yoghurt, bread and two soups, and plant out beans, spinach and kale, but it wasn’t exactly a productive day.  The bread was very good, though, probably the best yet.

The winter I was alone, I made bread regularly and I remember it as being very good, but I can’t quite recall the texture.  I rather like seeds in bread, to make it more interesting.  LT likes that too, but probably rather less seedy than I do, as he has half his breakfast toast with marmalade, so doesn’t want it too savoury.  And the first few loaves I made were rather dense – again, I don’t remember that from three years ago, but that time is all rather a blur anyway.  I’ve tweaked the recipe and finally got it right, and all seems fine now.  I don’t quite see why this one should be better than the last loaf, and that better than the one before, as the ingredients are pretty much identical and I make it with the dough hook on the mixer.  I am setting a timer though, so at least the proving, rising and baking are the times I want them to be and maybe that’s it.

The kitchen needed an extra clean because we’ve had ants again.  I have no objection to ants in the normal run of things – I rather like them, in fact, but not on my kitchen work surfaces. It’s no good, we can’t find out how they get in.  We’ve sealed all areas that might be likely, but they aren’t obviously going in and out in any particular place.  I’m sorry to say that we had to kill them off.  It was just not nice.

Last year when it happened, LT went to the local store next to the church and bought a Nippon set of two little plastic containers with a tube of viscous liquid, and it got rid of the poor little beasts in no time.  He went back for a refill, but they didn’t have it at all, but a different make – two little containers, with bags of gel, not refillable.  And they’ve not been very successful.  It’s a well known brand name but clearly the ants can’t read and were not impressed.  I ordered refills of the liquid for the Nippon traps, which arrived on Wednesday, so I dripped some into the containers on Thursday morning.  Within ten minutes, they were swarming with ants, who clearly loved the sweet stuff.  I felt terrible, actually, watching them talk to each other and send their colleagues on to their doom.  By the afternoon, there were two or three ants left and now there are none.  I feel mean, but the idiot creatures have the whole garden.  I’ll put out sugar for them if they want it, but I’m not having them in my kitchen.  Anyway, it’s Nippon, remember, other brands may not be up to scratch.

I woke up this morning at ten past five and was lying quite tranquilly, wondering if I’d sleep again and thinking I probably would, when my right calf was thwacked with a hugely painful cramp.  Not the ordinary cramp, the sort that makes you feel, afterwards, that you’d walked several miles through mud and are aching as a result.  I yelped and got out of bed, and stood on tiptoe to stretch the leg better, and it did get better, but I said to Tim this evening, it was just as well he wasn’t there.  Because I’d have spent the day apologising for waking him.

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