Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Unattractively Smug

Today has been a great day.  I used to keep a diary when I was younger* and would rate each day on how good it had been. I am fairy sure I pinched the idea from a Judy Blume book.  Today has definitely been an A grade day.

A rowdy gang of crows has woken us super early every day this week.  Husband had an important day at work today so I got up with him at 5:30am and got a loaf of bread on the go:
I rarely buy sliced bread at the shops any more.  I only really buy part-baked rolls, tortilla wraps and bagels (for picnic lunches or pack-ups).  I have two methods of making bread which are both easy peasy.  The one I made today (and in the pic above) was made in our Kenwood breadmaker, which is obviously the easiest way.  (OMG, when I created that link to the John Lewis website I noticed that you can buy a round pan for the machine.  Guess where my next web-stop's going to be.).  It is so clean and simple to use and you can make a wide variety of loaves (including seeded loaves, pastries and doughs).  We haven't had a bad loaf from it yet and it makes the house smell amazing.  It also looks OK on my kitchen worktop so is always to hand:
I also make bread from this book.  It was recommended to me by a lovely woman whose attitude to food and cooking I really admire; she sometimes has the misfortune of finding me in her kitchen at lunchtime and always (at a moment's notice) produces something homemade (and delicious) that she makes seem super easy.  I will do a post about this method the next time I make a loaf because it makes proper rustic bread, more dense and chewy than the breadmaker loaf.  If you don't like gadgets but would like to easily, with minimal fuss, have a loaf of fresh bread every single day, this is the book for you! 

So having set the bread machine off, I had a leisurely coffee and finished a few granny squares.

I am now edging each of my granny squares with red yarn (you may remember from this post) so that I can join them more easily.  (I was going to try the 'join as you go' method but I can't get my head round it - I'm blonde - so I've decided to slip stitch this time. Anyway.)  I am LOVING adding this extra row of trebles.  The squares seem to sit nicely with an extra row and I can imagine how my blanket is going to drape.  I am getting very excited about finishing it.  Not long now, hopefully.  It will be so exciting to do my first 'ta dah'!

Had a very productive day at work and feel quite pleased with self.  It's hectic at the moment because I'm covering for someone on annual leave but I actually prefer being this busy.  
Do you like my Mario mouse mat?  My mouse won't work on any
other mouse mat, seriously, only on copier paper and that's not decorative enough for me.
I always like to finish the day by tidying up my desk and writing a nice fresh list of things to do the following day.  It helps me to switch off.

A cup of tea and a (lemon and white chocolate) cookie provided the afternoon's refreshment.  Do you like my new little cake plate?  I bought it this afternoon at a gorgeous kitchen shop down the road.  I could only afford two today but I'm totally going back next week (when I've been paid) to buy a couple more.  
♥♥♥ Love love love them ♥♥♥

And now I'm going to sort out my baking equipment storage issues.  Here is the storage trunk that we picked up last weekend:

I love it, it's exactly what I was looking for and the price was reduced by more than 50%!  I am a really keen baker and novice cake decorator.  I also have zero willpower in pretty kitchen shops (see above) which means that I have a huge stash of cake pans, cutters, mats, food colourings, glitter, piping bags and other cakey bakey paraphernalia.  At the moment it is kept in two enormous laundry bags in our little outbuilding so I have to rummage around in the cold creepy little barn whenever I want to bake.  Not ideal.  Not any more though!  I am going to have a sort through and transfer it all to this storage chest in the conservatory.  Cutters will be kept in pretty little boxes within the trunk and everything will be neatly stacked.  I'm stupidly excited.  I love reorganising my cupboards.  How sad am I?!



*  My Mum found my diary when I was about 13 and read it aloud with my sister.  It happened to be the day's entry where I was worrying whether Dominic might try to snog me at the next under-18s discos.  I'd never been snogged before and it was a HUGE worry for me!  Mum and sis thought it was hilarious but I was mortified and stopped writing then and there.  I gave my diaries to my best friend to keep but we lost touch when she went to the local college and I stayed on at school.  Wonder if she still has them?  I know that my Mum occasionally reads my blog and I hope that she is reading this and squirming.  Ha ha!  Love you, Mum, you're still the best. xx


  1. Loving your blog entry hun. I adore that trunk. Tres chic.
    I had to laugh at your diary entry because i used to keep a diary from the ages for 9 to 15 and my sister once read excerpts out to the whole family during a Sunday roast.
    She announced that I was in love and would even pay a pound to the boy I loved if it meant he would kiss me.
    This is true. I was MORTIFIED. So I feel your pain!!!
    Have a lovely rest of the week.
    PS Your loaf has made me hungry. I don't have a bread machine so make them by hand but not done one for ages. Might do one soon.
    x x x

  2. Oh god two errors in my above. Sorry. x x

  3. Hello,
    Gosh we do seem to have tons in common - I have that very same CK knitting bag, also read Judie Blume (think everyone did but even so) and love womens literature (Sarah Waters being one of my favourites).
    So am I too interested in this bread making malarky. I had one disasterous attempt some years ago which almost put me off for life. Now, I am willing to give it another go but have browsed the 'bread makers' asile for some time and am never sure which one to get so then end up moving onto something else (for a change). Obviously John Lewis will be the store of choice (never knowingly undersold and all that) but would you recommend yours?
    Have followed your blog too!
    Nelly x

  4. Hiya - just thought I would try and reply quickly to your message.

    I have a recipes link in my 'Filing' section on the right hand side of the page a little way down though I am still trying to find the time to link to them all as this is a fairly new feature (for me)

    I hope that helps and if you are looking for anything in particular that I've made and can't find it then please feel free to get in contact - any time.

    Have a lovely, lovely day,

    Nina x

  5. my favourite kind of post - a random mixture!

    I made a bold statement last night along the lines of 'lets have a month where we don't buy anything we don't NEED' (to much groaning!), which basically means I'm spending the rest of June buying up!!! (started trying to justify a bread machine here and now - nearly popped over to

    In fact might make that a blog post - if I announce it publically i might just stick to it.
    fee x

  6. i love a good re-oraganise too, very theraputic
    and your storage trunk looks just the job :o)

    I think your new cake plate is very very (very very very) pretty, i adore brigewater, actually i am rather partial to the baby mugs and keep on buying them, one day when i get my dream john lewis kitchen i shall have a dedicated shelf for them, but at this rate it will have to circle the whole kitchen!
    sorry i'm rambling on..
    j x

  7. hi , love reading your blog, and your latest blog mmm can smell the bread love home made bread and feel guilty now i dont make it more often and the plates i saw yesterday when going to dentist (i got distracted ) me and my daughter loved them but didnt buy bought a plaque instead that says home which caught my eye

  8. ps Judy Blume books yes read them to still have one called forever somewhere amongst my books x

  9. Mmmmmmm that bread look Amazing! If only I wasn't on this blimin' diet..!! The trouble is, if I was to bake my own bread I think it would become rather expensive as I'd polish the loaf off in a day most probably! Plus I'd probably double in size! That cookie looks rather scrumptious too... can you tell I'm on a diet!? haha
    I have the same knitting bag too.. it is rather lovely isn't it. :-) Can't wait to see more of your blanket!
    The storage trunk is gorgeous... what a find!

    Ashley xxx

  10. Perfect bread. Just gorgeous.
    I love the chest. Absolutely beautiful. Swoon.
    Naughty mum! I hope I never do that to Eliska, It must be tempting though.
    I love shops that sell any kind of pretties. I love the plates and the cup is gorgeous too. Whenever me and Roman find shops we like, they close! I think our style is not very popular here. Most people like very modern stuff. That's why I like my blog buddies. It is good to have likes in common. I like lots of things in your likes list. x