Yesterday it rained again. I cannot remember how many days in a row we have had steady rain. Not torrential this time, just continual, life-giving, refreshing rain. The garden is glowing and growing I look out the window and see all the plants pushing and shoving each other as they spread and muscle for space. The aggressive quick-growing types overpowering the dainty shy individuals. The lawn is lush and thick and needs mowing. The lawn mower man is finding it hard to keep up with his clients.
So what will I do today?
A friend and I have talked of making home-baked bread. Not in a machine, but from scratch, the old-fashioned way. The time has arrived.
Many, many years ago when I lived and worked on a farm in New Zealand I did all those domestic things. Preserved fruit and vegetables, made jams and chutney, baked cakes and biscuits, sewed and knitted the children’s clothes, had a large vegetable garden, milked cows and baked bread. I feel exhausted just writing all this down. I was a veritable domestic goddess, well not really… 🙂 . It was the expected norm back in the 1960’s.
June has been wanting to have a go at bread making so we gathered together our bowls, primed our muscles and mixed and kneaded with gusto and giggles. How long did it say to knead? Ten minutes, oh boy, we watched the minutes tick by. Finally it was ready to put in a warm place to rise. But where is a warm place? Houses in Queensland are not designed to have warm places, no airing cupboard, no sun shining through the window today. Finally we decided to put the heater on in the small back room and shut all the doors and leave our bowls of dough to multiply.
Time to recover with a cuppa and a sit down…
45 minutes later we peep under the tea towel, the dough is doubled in size and plump and shiny. Another light kneading then shaped and onto the baking trays. Back to the warm room, another 30 minutes. Bread making is an all morning marathon. Finally they are ready to go into the oven at 200c for 30 minutes.
The moment has arrived, our bread is born and appears golden and crusty from the oven.
Now comes the best part. Our men turn up, Jack with camera in hand, Rex with the electric bread saw, to sample the fruits of our laboured muscles and sweating brow (I exaggerate a bit!). The salad is made, the prawn omelette waits as Jack takes the photos. Then we sit around to enjoy the meal and raise a glass to the breaking of the bread and sharing good times with friends.
Today the sun is shining so I am going to go into the garden and have a talk to my plants.
Hope you are all having a good day 🙂