Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Things


Small things. Big things.

Every week I make my own yogurt and my own Irish whole wheat soda bread which I cut into quarters and then put 3 in the freezer, I set aside a quarter and then extract from the freezer as I need. Irish soda bread has to be eaten fresh. It was usually made every day in Ireland using up the sour milk pre-refrigeration. My yogurt's starter must be years and years old now. I just save a tablespoon from the last batch and use in the fresh one. And if I'm going away for a while I freeze a tablespoon of it.

There is something validating about taking care of one's basic needs. I think if pushed I could survive for a while on soda bread and yogurt. If I have interesting seeds and dried fruits and nuts I throw into the soda bread pre-baking, but it's not necessary. With the yogurt I use bottled fruit or sugar free home made preserves. I've tossed around making home-made country butter. I despised it as a child ("you can taste the grass, ew Mum!") but now what I wouldn't give for a pot of it! The high processing of food has made imbeciles of us all. Bleached white bread, chemical-laden yogurt with artificial thickeners, chemical-laden spreadable concoctions called margarine (low cal, light).

Even cheese. What have they done to cheese? I shop the stores that carry Irish cheeses. All the good Canadian brands are now rubbishy plasticized homogenous florescent orange slabs. Inedible. and yet they go flying off the shelves. There is no comparison in taste. Thank you Ireland for keeping cheese cheesy and sausages herby and edible.

I'm waiting for the pump man. I have no water. Again. The freezing cold attacked my pump-house and throttled the water pump. Winter continues on. Storm is expected tonight or tomorrow. 30cm of snow. Seriously.

At least my woodstove was fixed yesterday after a month without. Thanks to a couple of townsmen who refused even to take a cup of coffee and were horrified when I tried to pay them.

I am grateful for small things today, like wood, and homemade bread and yogurt. And heat. Blessed heat.

22 comments:

  1. I am grateful that you have townspeople that will fix and repair if asked, and you are right about the basics. I admire the ability to make bread or one's own yogurt and having heat in the winter is a luxury too many do without in this world. Will people from your town visit the new place once you move?

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    1. Very lucky to live here E and to be so well taken care of. I'm not close to too many people here and am fussy as to who I spend time with voluntarily so to answer your question I won't be inviting too many.😀

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  2. We love the Irish soda bread at our house! I've tried making it myself, and as simple as it should be, it never tastes as good as the bakery's. So, we settle for buying loaf after loaf around the most wonderful day of the (St. Patrick's, which also happens to be my birthday).

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    1. I know it's a very filling list and easy to get hooked on. It doesn't leave one hungry unlike store bought.
      Belated happy birthday!
      XO
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  3. I make sourdough bread, I've managed to keep my sourdough starter going for over 6 years now. I had a starter when I lived out west and another one when I lived in Toronto, but I didn't attempt to move them. Apparently they don't survive a move anyway, they get taken over by whatever local organisms are around. It is nice to have these foods you make yourself. There are a couple of decent Ontario cheddars, you have to look for the ones that are 4 or more years old. But I agree that Irish cheddar is one of the best.

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    1. Good for u Annie. I recently found a Scottish cheddar on sale and it's lovely. I'm also one who lives blue and Gorgonzola.

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  4. So good to know you're warm again. And what could be better than that and sourdough bread. Am envious as I love it and it doesn't exist here. I am a lousy baker but will have a go. xxx

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    1. It's all in the practice of the art Pamela. And lately I use my mixer and the dough hook as my hands not that great.

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  5. Love homemade bread, use to make sour dough bread all the time. Another favorite "good cheese" difficult to find.
    Days go by quickly with another in this cottage, a lot being done and oh how I hate to see him leave....

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    1. I was thinking of you the last few days Ernestine and wondering how it was going. Enjoy your remaining time with your precious boy.

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  6. how interesting that years ago my mother used to make yogurt exactly the way you do.
    fresh bread sounds yummy !

    it is hard to bear such freezing cold that freezes the pump too ,hope you get it fix soon friend.
    i felt happiness to read about kind men who helped you to mend stove and did not took even cup of coffee,reminded me the old days of my native town where people helped each other selflessly

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    1. Thanks Baili. My pump is now fixed. I feel restored to sanity.

      Newfoundland, at least rural Newfoundland, has that old, old sense of neighbourly assistance without compensation.

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  7. There have been occasions when I have survived with just yogurt and rice or yogurt and chapatis/bread. In fact, it is like a detox in some ways!

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  8. Mmmm. Is there a recipe for your very own Irish Soda Bread? I know there are many online. Jann Arden and Dinner With Julie have posted theres, but c'mon, let's have yours and we'll have a bake off.

    Have you ever made your own toothpaste WWW?

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  9. If it's any help, we had snow yesterday, though it's gone today. It'll be another month before the first crocus peeks above ground. I find that getting 'fresh' flowers from the store somehow brightens my mood.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. A lovely storm is blustering outside now, Mike. April 1st. This is an endless winter.

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  10. There is a brand of cheese, Coastal Cheddar, that really is good.

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    1. Probably can't get it here but we do get the wonderful Irish cheeses in certain grocery stores :)

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  11. You can't buy what they don't import. http://cheese-fromage.agr.gc.ca/pml-lmp_eng.cfm

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  12. I just rummaged around in my fridge to find the last crumb of this. I recommend, and since it's made out there, probably available. I found it in Safeway. http://cowscreamery.ca/cheese/

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