Baking Day
0 comment Thursday, July 17, 2014 |
The weather is turning decidedly toward winter now; it's been cold and blustery and no longer the Indian Summer type stuff - this gets right into your bones and stays there. I've been making fewer and fewer trips outside as a result, but today I managed to bundle up a bit and head outside to check and see if the uppermost apples on the tree fell in all the wind, and sure enough they had.
I've been wanting to make Dorset Apple Cake for a while now but most of the recipes I've seen make something a bit too dense cakewise. Finally found something that would fit the bill and diced up both apple and pears I had lying about and into the oven it has gone.
However, it also occured to me that I was out of bread, and whilst I'm almost out of spelt flour as well, I did have some light pastry flour (not quite the same really). Still, a loaf of something breadish is better than none, so that went on the rise whilst I mixed the cake.
And then...well, I don't know how I got it into my head, but as I rummaged around for cake supplies, I realised I had several leftover pieces of baking chocolate. My brain said "cookies!" and I said "Sure, why not, may as well while the oven is on."
So, with the spicy bean soup with local sausage is now finished simmering (I put it on earlier this morning) the bread is done and cooling under my handmade teatowel, the biscuits are in the final stages of being baked and the cake is cooking away in my cast iron skillet. It will be time to put the kettle on and sample the wares, as it were.
This is something I am thankful to have the time and energy to do. The past month and a half hasn't been kind (I was fighting yet a second infection) and my energy level is at an all-time low. Today was the first time since late September I felt up to doing anything more than lying on the daybed and stare out at the world.
When times are uncertain and we're all being told to buck up and tighten our belts, we're all in this together, blah-de-blah, I have looked at how my life is currently managed and what I can do to improve it. There are benefits I haven't bothered claiming, but I will be doing as I'd rather get on them now than wait until they absolutely tell me "no". The strange thing is, my finances on paper look absolutely a mess - I live on approximately �10,000 a year, well below poverty line, and this is supposed to cover two people.
By all rights, that belt of mine is about as tight as it will go, however I'm confident I can manage. I know how to cook from scratch and make delicious meals, make clothes and crochet handwarmers for my son, plant a vegetable garden. The stockpile is pretty well sorted, with a few tweaks and upping a few things - we were frozen into our homes around mid-December and my son missed out on a load of school, so I'm prepping for the possibility again. I had stockpiled last year but I'm doing even more of it this time round, expanding my repertoire of recipes, trying new things and introducing sprog to them as well in the hopes he'll approve. Currently about 50/50 on that but I'm happy with that percentage.
The house smells absolutely lovely right now, and I have bread for toast in the morning, biscuits for sprog's after-school snacktime, some cake I can freeze whenever I have a bit of a need for something sweetish, and some very nice bean soup in a bowl close to hand. It's not all brilliant of course - my long-taped glasses finally gave up the ghost today and I'm trying to figure out when I'll get the money to replace them, and I'll have to spend everything I saved being self-sufficient today on a taxi to and from sprog's swimming lessons as I can no longer stand long enough for the bus to get us there and back. But I'm feeling better than I was, and whatever challenges life has in store, I've done enough surviving on next-to-nothing that I don't fear for either sproggo or myself.
It's a good day.

Labels: ,