Biscuits, bagels and snow

I got back into cooking today after a weekend off. It was my youngest sister’s bday on Friday so the whole clan including boyfriends were here on Saturday. It was lovely. Everyone got smashed apart from me, but I was feeling rather peculiar anyway so I fitted right in…! Seriously, I haven’t been missing booze. I wonder if I will when I’m back into my normal routine. It’s worth staying off it until I finish my steroid course at least I think. That’s another 5 weeks probably. Back to the food though – we had a delicious dinner cooked by birthday sister and her boyfriend. They are big foodies. We had lasagne and lemon tart which sounds simple but when they cook it’s always to a more intricate level. The flavours were incredible. Not least I suppose because I was eating without caring what was in it for once. My sis offered to do a Charlotte-friendly dinner but I decided that one blow out wouldn’t hurt. So I had food that included unsieved/mashed veg, salad, spices, cream…! I was a little ‘stomachy’ the next day – it was extremely grumbly – but the effects weren’t extreme or lasting. In fact I felt pretty strong yesterday. And I walked for 20 minutes, including a small hill. So, the occasional throwing of caution to the wind (ooh, pun! Sorry, been watching Miranda) is ok I think. I’ll still avoid curry for a little while yet though!

We had a delicious UC-friendly beef and ale stew with white rice last night and today for lunch I had the left over fresh pasta from Saturday night. Plus an omelette and salad this evening. So ‘danger’ items today have been a kiwi on my porridge, a small amount of salad and a small amount of chocolate cake. So far so good. Small steps.

On to my baking today! I remade those digestives from last week and from the fact that half of them are already gone, they’re tastier than last time! I made half the quantity with spelt and 35g (rather than 25g) of sugar, and half with wholemeal as in the Little Loaf’s original recipe. Both are really tasty – much nicer than my first batch.

I also made bagels using this recipe via Oliver Thring of the Guardian. I wanted to have these ready for lunch but they took ages to rise despite being near a radiator. It was snowing today but still. And then they came out really flat and not at all like Oliver’s pic! They also seem a bit greasy… We’ll eat them toasted for lunch tomorrow so verdict and pics will follow. I did have to knead using the dough hooks on the hand mixer because it was making me tired to knead by hand after only a minute or so. It felt ok though when I left it to rise and dad and I made Danish pastry and breadsticks like that over Christmas which came out fine.

Pizza tomorrow too as a friend is coming to visit. I’ve made Jim Lahey’s dough and left it to rise until tomorrow evening.

I tried to have a ‘normal’ day today and get stuff done. I got up and moving at 8 – I’d like to try a little earlier each day but I’m not setting my alarm just yet. I’m pleased with the baking and I did some school work too. It took me so long to get going with it! It’s a bit scary how you can get out of the flow. It also really tired me out, as did the baking so I had some good TV/knitting resting sessions too. Buffy and then the last episode of Homeland. Which was so much better than the whole series – roll on season 3. No walking today because of the snow but I had a little toddle around John Lewis instead…! I saw a sewing machine that looks like a very good deal… Uh oh!

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