It was a lovely farewell to the bakery. Natasha and Julia did the starter on Tuesday, Beryl and Deborah did the mix and Janis, Helen and Angela baked the loaves – 46 1/2….We decided no-one could have more than one loaf because we couldn’t bake enough this time, being out of practice. And we came together for an amazing lunch – a real feast. We all felt a bit overwhelmed – both the emotion of it but also the exhaustion of being so social after so long of not mixing with many people. So a sad event but a good ending.
We will have a meal in September for all the bread circle, so not just the bakers, but everyone who used to collect bread too. We made a lot of friends through doing the bakery and when we move, we will be living nearer to some of the friends we made too. We agreed to keep in touch, go on walks or meet up anyway – it was altogether a good thing
We had to close the bakery in March 2020 because of lockdown. We stayed in north Wales most of the time & Michael baked bread for the neighbours up until Easter 2021 when we started going back to Birkenhead more. But it seemed like too much time had past and we also thought it was probably time to sell the house. So we decided to have a final bake – and then at special request by Paul, a penultimate one to make sure everything worked.
Helen, Lesley and Michael baked 23 loaves and a few friends came for lunch, like olden times, lovely
A member of the rose family, hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is a thorny, flowering tree or shrub native to temperate regions of Europe, North America, and northern Asia. Though the tiny sweet red berries (“haws”) are used in jams, jellies, candies, and wines, all parts of the plant—the leaves, flowers, berries, stems, and even the bark—have long been used in herbal medicine as digestive, kidney, and anti-anxiety aids. It’s also prominent as a tonic for treating cardiac diseases and for strengthening the aging heart, a use that dates back to the first century.P
So we decided to make some haw jelly and thought you might like the recipe
Pick haws – just take them in bunches with stalks and leaves, quite a few. Then bring them home and de-stalk them. Just about cover with water and boil. Simmer for 40 mins or so. Let drip through muslin and discard the remnants – the hens dont even touch them…. Then weigh the liquid you have and add an equal amount of sugar. 500g of haws makes about 600 g of jam. Boil until it sets. Voila!
We also made haw gin (add sugar and gin to berries & cut the haws off the stones (which have cyanide in but so do apple pips) to get haw flesh that is left to dry for about a week and then used in salads/muesli or curries. with the haw gin, the red berries turn white and the gin turns red within 24 hours but it then needs to be left a couple of months………….
Nothing to do with bread but I thought the bread circle might be interested,
Michael made another few loaves for neighbours here today, very much appreciated and I made wild garlic and cheddar cheese scones to mark Olwen’s birthday – we had a zoom birthday party, all with our own scones!
Here is a loaf and scones given to Vicky who lives nearby.
and this is Michael’s bread note:
Dinorwig or Upper Fachwen?
I am not sure whether this bread is baked in Dinorwig (in keeping with the name of our local gin) or in Upper Fachwen? If anyone has a strong opinion or some good advice please let the baker know. Today’s rye loaves were put together early this morning as we were late last night watching a zombie movie. So maybe the taste is a little less sour. There is some benefit to having rye properly fermented with sourdough as it increases its nutritional value. It has had three hours fermentation so that should be adequate but normally I would give it longer.
The wheat loaves have had the same time to ferment, but were made after the rye. The kitchen looked like a flour war had taken place afterwards because everything was done in a rush. When Julia came down for her breakfast she was unusually shocked. Let’s hope the bread is good enough. Feedback please, the only fee you have to pay today! There is no request to contribute anything for the time being. Might need some more good will some day in these strange times. Greetings, Michael.
Given that it’s Covid19 times, and our friends have been making masks, I’ll post here too Leo’s short video about them being made: