Baking Bread…

So why did I have to wait for a Pandemic to bake bread?

Honestly, it is the simplest thing to bake and so delicious. We always serve with pickles, tomatoes, meats and olives and makes a great lunch.

Pop the flour into a large bowl with yeast, 2 oz butter, water and salt and mix up into a lump then knead for at least ten minutes.

Recipe

1 lb 2oz granary bread flour

1 oz butter

salt

1 1/2 tsp yeast

9 fl oz warm water

Leave for 1 – 2 hours in a warm place covered with a clean damp tea towel

Bake for 30 minutes in an oven 230c (450F, Gas Mark 8)

I’ve got enough to make one more loaf and then will have to hunt down some granary flour. There is a shortage in the UK.

Enjoy your delicious homemade bread. Maybe we will all continue to bake after this is all over?

V E Day

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

 

V E day marks the end of the war on 8th May, 1945 when Winston Churchill announced the war was over. This day (Victory of Europe Day) celebrates Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender.


Due to the lockdown, any celebrations will behind closed doors. Dave and I decided to go for a walk around the village and take some photos…

Well I thought it would be behind closed doors but for the first time in 30 years of living here, the village is decked out with copious union flags and tables in the front garden, with accompanied covered up teas and we are in a lockdown. Ha, go figure.

I only know this because we went to see our local public house decorations. A great effort.

We then enjoyed a delicious BBQ of homemade sauce (recipe below), burgers, sausages and lamb chops with veggies (also on the BBQ) and sat outside having a few drinks.

The weather was glorious, which was a shame in a way but brilliant in another. Shame, because we could have all been out and about socialising and brilliant because at least we can still enjoy ourselves in the garden. Again.


Stay safe, stay well and have a jolly good weekend, if you can.
Cheers,
Andrea

 

Bbq sauce recipe

onion 

herbs, chillies

ground pepper

mustard

garlic

tomatoes

soya sauce

beer or red wine

chunks of fresh pepper

squirt of honey  🍯 

Enjoy!

Lockdown Food and Memory Lists

This morning David (Husband) got up very early and visited our local supermarket. This saves queuing and wanting to clonk the one idiot who refuses to social distance.

My goodness, we have enough food now for several weeks and spent loads of money. This action derives from me having nightmares about running out of food, waking up with Covid-19 symptoms, and having to isolate with no food in the house. Yes, my children smiled on last night’s Zoom chat, joking they don’t charge much for delivering food.

When I become really old (if I get there which is doubtful if I don’t stop eating crap), I will be one of those stubborn folks, who refuse help will I not? Didn’t even occur to me to ask for help.

The food arrives with hubby saying it was quite busy, and I decant the bags and proceed with the ridiculous task of decontaminating the food packaging and jars. Dear God, really? This is what we have come to?

Then, once washed, and only then, is it organised, with obligatory rubber gloves on, into the appropriate storage. Raises eyes to the ceiling. What a carry on.

Although, I must confess, a list was carefully written and it is fun to have the BIG REVEAL of goodies such as copious red wine (tick), chocolate biscuits (tick), craft beers (tick), mixed nuts (tick) and I’ll probably be as fat as a house, by the time this has finished (tick)! Hubby even managed to get some gold dust; oh I mean hand sanitiser. £6 flipping pounds!!!!! I paid £20 online, but at least I acquired it when needed.

Seriously though, at the beginning of this dreadful time, I could hardly eat because I had the worst anxiety and panic I’ve ever had. My blood pressure is high and the situation is an ongoing worry. At least the government are now indicating when lockdown will end but we will all have to be very, very careful for months to come.

This week. I’m taking steps to reduce the rubbish and eat more healthily. I’m walking in the local woods daily to raise my mood ‘what is this mad woman who wanders around the woods?’ I feel everyone is thinking. Who cares what folk think as they walk their dogs? I do not. Also, we are eating even more fish, chicken and veggie meals. Although, I’ve clocked hubby has bought some charcoal, lighters and beef burgers so a BBQ is obviously imminent.

Some of the things I’ve been eating are chicken casserole, pan fried salmon/cod veggies, veggie omelettes, fresh pasta, home baked bread and picky bits for lunch. All good, healthy fodder but a few biscuit snacks are creeping in the evening which we NEVER have normally.

Who would have thought we’d have been living like this when we were at the New Year’s Eve party drunkenly hoping the 20’s are going to roar? Roar they are, but not in the way I was hoping.

I listened to the Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin and the topic discussed was lists to make memories. In a future post I will write about what I’ve changed during this time and what I will continue. Here is today’s list…

Words and phrases to describe this time:
Loo rolls
Sanitiser
Flour
Hair dye
Puzzles
Quiz
Family walks (‘It takes a Pandemic to go on a family walk’ written on Instagram)
Exercise equipment
Clean
Birds (tweeting)
Zoom
Alcohol (Beer, wine, gin)
Isolating
Social Distancing

Working from home

ICU

NHS

Thank you

Clapping

Lounge wear

Laptops

Masks

Board games (added from comment, thanks)

Anything else? Thanks for stopping by. Comments welcome.

Cooking Spanish Tortilla…

I did my workout this morning which has cleared the mind and is good for the soul and decided to cook something different for lunch…


After much thought, I decided to cook a Spanish Tortilla. Only 3 ingredients and seasoning. What’s not to like?
I chopped some potatoes, small onion and beat 5 eggs. This will last us 2 days of lunches.

Cooked the potatoes for 10 mins, on a low heat. Added onions for another 10 minutes and seasoned the egg mixture.


Poor the cook potatoes and onion in the uncooked egg and leave for 10 minutes before you cook. This part, is the bit that makes a true Spanish Tortilla.
Throw everything in a pan and cook for, you guessed it, 10 minutes.
Turn over carefully and cook the top for 5 minutes and slide onto a plate. Done. We had salad with ours and thoroughly enjoy it.

By the way, the film was Film Stars don’t die in Liverpool. Quite enjoyed it and based on a true story. About the actress Gloria Grahame who finds romance with a younger man, but then her life changes when she becomes seriously ill. I can recommend it.

 

Workouts, park woodland walking, chatting, clapping, a visit to The Lockdown Inn and thoughts…

As the days flow by, I do seem to be slightly less apprehensive and more resigned to the situation. For some reason, that I can’t fathom, I became calmer once the UK lockdown was announced. This is probably because everything has become rigid but more organised.


There is a queuing system at our local Tesco’s now, only allowing 40 people in the store at once. The online and click and collect is now more or less reserved for the vulnerable folks, which is fair enough and the mass hysterical panic buying has abated somewhat. At least loo rolls seem to be filtering back into some of the stores. Hooray for that!


Thursday –

The day was spent doing exercise! Thought I’d try The Body Coach’s workout at 9 am. It is meant for school children but what the hell. Anyway, it is really good and consists of arduous exercises (running, lunges, planks, box kick, Russian twists, squats, crunches, push-ups, etc). Then I tried a yoga video (Beginners Yoga with Adrian) which I am rubbish at but was sort of relaxing. Lots of breathing, downward dogs, twisting, warrior posing and more breathing. All of the above is on YouTube and can be transferred to your television by pressing the square Wi-Fi type sign, in the right-hand corner.


During the afternoon, I drove a couple of minutes to our local park for a walk. Don’t know about you, but I can’t stand being indoors all the time. The park is a beautiful space but, on this occasion, too busy for my liking. Kept dodging people by walking on the grass. Trying to keep more than 2 metres away from everyone! What a weird situation we are all in. Still lovely to get out and people watch. I didn’t have Oscar with me, so pondered whether park visitors may think I was strange, bonkers or stupid wandering about on my own. They didn’t. Everyone else seemed to be doing the same.


During the evening I cooked a salmon dish with mushrooms, peppers, onions, red wine, herbs, mustard seeds, fennel and a little cream cheese. We had boiled potatoes with the fish. After this, I had a video chat on WhatsApp with my daughter. It is lovely to catch up. Miss seeing family and friends but we will get through this. We temporarily ended the call to go outside and clap for the wonderful work the NHS, etc. are doing. This was an incredibly successful event. You could hear clapping, cheering and pot banging from miles around. Fantastic and quite emotional! At least it shows we care. Also, the Government has had over 600,000 applications for people wanting to assist the NHS as voluntary Responders, which includes picking and delivering prescriptions, phoning isolated folk and taking people for medical assistance, etc. Feeling proud of the UK at present. Shows how, as a nation, we can pull together.


Friday

Again, the sun was shining so David and I decided to venture out for a long walk in our local woods. We have a footpath walkers’ map and have become accustomed to using it again. We used to go for long walks with our children and they enjoyed marking the map to demonstrate where we had been. Anyway, the light on the trees was incredible and it was uplifting as we strolled about the orchards, fields and woodland. We really enjoyed it. One thing that has come from this experience is that I am discovering the outdoors again and small independent shops. Maybe, this will change how people live their lives.


When we arrived home, we had a sandwich and then got the deckchairs out and sat in the sun. It was a bit chilly (it is only March after all) but really enjoyed the warmth on my face and even got a little burnt. Before I knew it, my husband woke me up with a toasted, buttered hot cross bun and cup of tea which was devoured very quickly.


I had a phone chat with a friend who said, when I told her about feeling anxious, that it is about changing your mindset and getting into a routine. (She had been laid up for 6 weeks after an operation.) However, being laid up, is not the same at all. Everyone is scared and frightened. Although, the ‘jolly hockey sticks, stiff British upper lip’ attitude is probably correct. One of her friends said she felt she was on holiday in her own home. Must say this is a thought-provoking perspective on the worldwide situation.


I am trying to keep my worries under control by keeping busy and not watching/reading the news more than necessary. Must say, incidentally, how impressed I am with how the British government has dealt with this. It may not be perfect, but considering it is a new situation, they are, like everyone, doing their best to help and inform the British public.


Saturday – A visit to The Lockdown Inn

Now although I have endured and enjoyed plenty of exercise there is no denying, I like a drink or two. So, I spent much of the morning working out to a The Body Coach’s 30-minute HIIT session (exhausting), read in the afternoon and then had a boozy call with the young family folk. We chatted (via Zoom) about our week, where we’d been for exercise, beer, restaurant takeaway meals, and of course, the current situation. Really revelled in it all.


Thoughts

So, I’m constantly washing my hands, cleaning door handles and even food packaging. Who would have thought it? My husband is, when he sees me with a bucket and cleaning materials, actually saying sentences like ‘What are you cleaning now?’ I am trying to keep busy, sorting, decluttering, cleaning, listening to podcasts, music, walking, writing and reading, all of which I enjoy. I’ve even unpacked my case this week as we were supposed to be on a holiday.


Overall, the struggle to adapt is real but I’m pleased to come through another week without catching it.


Thanks for reading my rambling post. Speak soon. Take care and stay safe.  Andrea x

The new shopping experience and ideas for my future blog…

Apparently, in Italy, they had panic buying but after a couple of weeks the shops were fully stocked again and people calmed down. To be fair, I’ve been fairly lucky because David and I did a big shop before the panic started and were able to buy loo rolls and essentials. However, I understand it has been dreadful for people, particularly the elderly, vulnerable and health workers who have worked long shifts.

I can’t understand why people cannot shop as normal. Food shops won’t close even in a lockdown situation. Apparently, the supermarkets are employing temporary staff. Anyway, recently I had a bad day, full of anxiety and decided to go to our local farm shop. It was fully stocked with fruit, vegetables, pickles, mayonnaise, salad, wine, beer, ham, bacon and it was quiet. Bliss!!!

When I told my friend, she could shop the first hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to our local supermarket, she informed me she was going to make use of her local grocers and the farm shop ‘because we don’t want to lose it’. Very sensible.

So, thought I’d remind people there are other options other than supermarkets:

Tips:
Go to your local shops
Farm Shops
Garden Centre (Ours has an excellent meat counter)
Small ‘I sell everything’ grocers
Pubs/Restaurants are now selling takeaways
Order online (which I’ve only done once, and hated)*
Click and Collect*

*These options don’t appear to be available at the moment. Panic buying!

After this post, I will be writing most days a diary type blog. I think it is vital to record what you are feeling, doing and seeing.

Update: David ventured forth to the local middle sized supermarket and remarked that ‘it wasn’t too bad.’ Although still didn’t have loo rolls and limited brands. Perhaps, the nincompoops now have enough sanitiser, baby food, wipes, washing powder, ready meals, etc. Let’s hope so.

Thanks for reading my blog.

 

Hastings Old Town

Back to Blogging…

Sorry, it has been so long! I’ve been meaning to return for some time. Obviously, with all that is going on in the world, now is a good time to blog.

Deciding what to write isn’t as complicated as you would envisage. Focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t, is my intention. We are, at the very least, social distancing or even self-isolating. Or, as I am, somewhere in between.

Topics will be the usual MISHMASH. The content will be suggesting and exploring ideas rather than telling you what you should be doing! The aim is to be as helpful as possible, in these troubling times.

As the whole business, is so worrying at present, I aim to inform, entertain and maintain wellbeing. The content will be researched, informative but also just fun.
Here are some topic which I will be investigating:

Health, Fitness, and Wellbeing
Gardening
Cooking and Food Shopping
Podcasts
Books/reading
Social Media, online education and virtual tours/life
Photography, films, telly, etc.

Hopefully, my new chatty approach will be interesting and if you’ve any ideas let everyone know in the comments.