When I looked out the window soon after 6am, all the hills around me were white. I opened the door to let Pickle out.... one whiff of the cold and he backed away from the door and crept back to bed in front of the fire.
I, on the other, changed the lens on my camera and went outside to catch the moment and feel the chill.
Beautiful. This is what I came here for.
The sky opened up, the sun shone brilliantly and for a couple of hours it was a magic day. Coming in for coffee about 10am was excuse enough for the weather to decline into rage and torment, crying curtains of frozen tears for the rest of the day.
I slopped about in the bog, loading up with almost the last of my firewood, and had burnt the lot before dark! However, this return to winter gave me the opportunity to try out a sourdough method recently learned from my friend, Jan, of "tomato appreciation society" fame!
Fortunately, I had listened to the weather forecast yesterday and so started the sourdough process then, in anticipation of today being an excellent day for cooking. Following Jan's no knead method, the dough is left to rise for a good 18 hours for its first rising. The second rising is for a couple of hours during which time it is important to heat the oven to its hottest temperature, along with a cast iron pot and lid. The bread cooks in the pot, with the lid on, for 1/2 an hour then another 15 minutes at a slightly lower temperature, with the lid off.
You are not supposed to cut the bread for 2 hours but hey, don't tell Jan, but I could not wait that long.... so I decided I would cut it after I had done the washing up.... and look! I have never made sourdough this good before! Mine is dusted with polenta but you could use various other things.
Now I have indigestion and feel VERY full because it was impossible to stop at just one slice! The second slice went very nicely with a plate full of spinach topped with a poached egg, for dinner, though.