Saturday, August 21, 2010


Made more bread yesterday evening.  I realised that while I thought the one I made earlier in the week was half white and half wholemeal flour, it was actually half plain white and half strong white.  So yesterday I used proper wholemeal flour (I intended to mix with half white but the wholemeal I have is in smaller packets and it seemed handier at the time to just dump the whole packet in the bowl). 

500g wholemeal flour (the organic rewe supermarket brand) plus most of a 500g buttermilk (the cheapie 'ja' supermarket brand and I will never understand why yoghurt and buttermilk, although liquid, are sold by weight) and a very heaped teaspoon of bread soda, a not very heaped teaspoon of raw cane sugar and a teaspoon of unrefined salt.  All mixed together, kneaded very briefly into a round and baked for about 40 minutes (10 minutes at 210 and then turned it down to 190).  It seemed done, right down to the correct noise when knocking on the bottom but when I sliced it open the middle was still a teensy bit doughy.  However, this morning it actually seemed fine.   I wrapped it in a teatowel immediately after taking it out and I think it's own heat must have finished the little bit of cooking it needed.  It was very delicious and is very filling.  I definitely need more practice but it looks and tastes like the real thing at least.

I was up very early this morning (early for me that is, I left the house shortly after 7 a.m.) in order to get the train to Dortmund for the first of our rehearsals for the Mahler concert.  'Only' two hours, which became two and a half and with just a couple of minutes break, it was pretty intensive.  But good.  I have tried to practice at home a few times but I find that terribly uninspiring and it was good to sing in a group.  I was glad that I have sung this piece before though - I don't think I would have had the confidence to sign up otherwise.  Lots of people there have never sung it before but you wouldn't know it.  The group practising today was the volunteer group i.e. individual singers like me who just saw the concert details online and applied.  It was just the alt in my group this morning and tomorrow all the parts will be singing together for an all day rehearsal.  Then next weekend I'll be rehearsing with one of the professional choirs and orchestras which will be singing as well.  Lots of fun but hard work. 

Now I am home again and relaxing for a bit before heading out for a walk.  My friend who left Dusseldorf today was donating her knives and forks to me as well but she wanted to hang on to them until the last minute so she left them stashed in a plastic bag in one of the big plant pots in the front of her apartment building.  I need to go and pick them up before one of the German neighbours starts giving out!  It'll be nice to wander down to that part of town on a Saturday afternoon, something I wouldn't normally do.  I do need to hoover, wash the floors, put another wash on and clean the bathroom.  If I'm bored there's also plenty of ironing to do.  But I am purposefully deciding that this afternoon is mine to enjoy with a stroll through a not-very-well-known-to-me part of town instead of stressing about having so much to do that I sit here and do nothing.  Not quite a mental health day but a couple of mental health hours.  I should do it more often!

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