Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Bare Necessities of Life



A freshly baked loaf of bread and a stack of books.    Happiness!

I baked a couple of loaves yesterday, along with chocolate cake (a Victorian recipe, of course), some simple biscuits ready for a little project which I have in mind and homemade pizzas for the grandchildren's tea.

I am not a domestic goddess, but I do like to make the most of a baking session.

The books are those which are next to my favourite armchair and I dip into them constantly throughout the day.    

If I were to photograph the stack tomorrow, it would probably be very different.  I like to free-range through my collection.





The book at the bottom is one I have had for a year, or so.   I read it, enjoyed the beautiful photographs, felt inspired and then did nothing about it.    This week I bought myself some paste for painting on cakes.   I feel like having a little fun, I'll be starting small.   Hence the biscuits!

There is a very slim volume next and that is a book which was published by the communities of Little Bunting, Dovecote Dell, and Butterbump Splash, to celebrate the millenium.   It is packed full of local history.   I love dipping in and out of it.

Then comes Farmhouse Cookery, a 1p (+2.80 p&p) purchase.   It is an excellent book, more than just a recipe book.

The next little book is A Guide to the Anglican Churches  in Lindsey.   I love exploring some of the old church buildings and graveyards and I thoroughly enjoy reading about their history and points of interest in this very worn and much used booklet.    It was printed way back when keyholders were happy to have their names, addresses, and telephone numbers published.

The one above is simply my notebook and the rest are an assortment of old printed recipe books and a couple of my treasure handwritten ones.

The grey volume sandwiched between them is a reprint of an old book.   One of the Persephone volumes.   Their books have soft grey covers and hidden within are beautiful endpapers and a matching bookmark.   The contents are rather good, too.



I love fresh crusty bread and I love books;    it  would be difficult to give up either.

If push came to shove I would give up the crusty bread...no contest.

Books win!

18 comments:

  1. I make bread but I do use a Panasonic bread maker, best thing we bought in a long time. The bread is much nicer than what you buy in a shop and tastier though maybe I should get a little more adventurous in what I make. I could not give up my crusty bread face it you can read a book but you can't eat it

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    1. Hello Bill, Luckily I don't have to give up either, but I do see what you are saying!
      I really enjoy baking bread and trying out different methods and recipes. Have you ever tried the 'no-knead' method? It takes time, but very little effort, and I have found the results to be excellent. Three cheers for bread, whichever way you make it. (I'd still choose my books though;)

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  2. My love of bread should be a sin (laughing). But like you, I think my books would win out in the contest. Another wonderful post, my dear friend.

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    1. Hello Meggie, Terrible decision to have to make, I know! We both love our books. Thank you for sending that link, I think they are wonderful. Definitely a project for the near future.

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  3. That loaf looks so appetising. I wish I could smell it too. Everyone seems to like my bread but I ...shhhh..love going into a bread shop and choosing one of their loaves!!! Somehow it seems crustier and softer inside and tastier...chemicals I suppose.
    I love reading about your old books and recipes. Your pile looks very satisfying for the souk

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    1. Hello Linda, The smell of fresh bread is a temptation too far, sometimes. Like you, I am easily seduced by the sight of real bread in a shop. I nearly always find them slightly disappointing, doesn't stop me trying them though.
      My mother made the best bread, I have yet to make any that tastes as good as hers did.

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  4. I love my books but you can't eat them ... I think the loaf wins, but only just!
    Margaret P

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    1. Hello Margaret, Ah, but we could have scones, crumpets, or cake instead. No need to eat the books, thank goodness.

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  5. How wonderful, both look. Crusty bread and books!!!

    Sad to say, I had to give up all real bread, a few years ago. I suffered with all sorts of Gastro issues/pain, for ages. Heard about Gluten. Went without Gluten, for a bit. My Gastro issues disappeared!!!!!!!!

    That was all I needed. I haven't willingly consumed Gluten again. And when I have by accident, I paid for it. -sigh-

    Needless to say, we don't go out to eat that much. My husband likes to cook, and I know, what he cooks, will not hurt me.

    Of course, being Gluten Free, covers reams and reams of food items. You would not believe how many, unless you become this way, yourself. Think all your cakes, breads, biscuits, pizza crusts, all forms of crust, etc., etc. Even candy can have Gluten in it!!!!!!!

    But what I miss the most, is a delicious bread.

    But! If I eat it, I will SUFFER. So, pain is a great motivator. :-)

    Enjoy some crusty bread, for me!!!!

    But thankfully, I can still read!!!!

    Happy Eve of March, to you!
    Luna Crone

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    1. Hello Luna, Then I am truly sorry to have put so much temptation in your way. I suffer badly from migraines and have certain food/drinks which can bring one on - and they zap me for three days. It has taken me a long time to accept that I simply cannot have them.
      I do have a small inkling of how difficult it must be for you and your husband.
      Books, however, nourish the soul and feed the mind - and they are gluten-free!
      March, who would have thought it!

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  6. Nothing quite like home made crusty bread and a bowl of homemade soup followed by a large slice of cake!! Baking creates wonderful smells and helps keep the kitchen cosy on cold wet days :)
    I much prefer a good old book to a kindle any day.
    Have a fantastic week Elaine.

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    1. Hello Prunella, Simple meals are the best, especially if one is the cook! I love welcoming the grandchildren home from school with the smell of homemade bread, filling their memory banks for the future, as well as filling their tummies. Kindles are a great way to read lots of books without the storage problems, but mine languishes, unloved and unused for almost twelve months of the year. It's books, books, books in this house.
      Enjoy your week, too!

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  7. Warm that bread and hand me some butter and I'd be in heaven!! Oh my goodness that looks divine!! xo

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hello Wendy - Let me know when you are coming and I'll bake a fresh loaf. We'll have a bread-and-butter-fest!

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  8. Hi Elaine - What a fun blog you have. I, too, would make time in my day to devour a good chunk of that delectable bread. I always said if I was left on an island with three things to eat one would surely be crusty bread. :) I'm over from Meggie's blog. Nice to meet you. Deb from Ontario, Canada.

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    1. Hello Deb and welcome! Way back, when I blogged as Pear Tree log, we were 'Sisters of the Travelling Apron', thanks to Meggie and Susan. Lovely to see you over here.
      Bread is my number one favourite food, I don't eat much of it - but I would love to, which may be why I love baking it! Thanks for calling by. elaine

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  9. My gosh, I LOVE your kitchen...the comfortable chair in the corner, your stove and that table. and that crusty bread looks delicious. I came over from Meggie's blog too. Your kitty cats are adorable.

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    1. Hello Henny Penny, It is lovely to meet you! Thank you for your kind words, our kitchen truly is the heart of our home where everyone meets up. The cats always like to stake claim to the cosiest places, not that I blame them, and somehow they usually manage to get themselves into photographs.

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