Lockdown So Far…

Hi Everyone, 

It’s Joanna here 👋 We thought it might be nice to use this time to start up a cheeky little blog. Each week Richard and I are going to take it in turns to basically just have a chat with you via the virtual world. 

I may as well start by mentioning the elephant in the room COVID19 is what seems to be running our lives at the moment so what be better place to start than by telling you a little bit about what I have been up too during lockdown so far. 

BAKING. It has been an odd time of feeling like things are out of my control , so I turned to baking. To bake well you need to follow a recipe to the finite detail until you have mastered it and only then can you start messing around with what you think works, otherwise your bread won’t prove and your cake may dry out. 

I love to bake and always have – it is something that settles my soul- which means on the other side of this lockdown gavin and I may come out of it rather plumper than when we went in, but if its good for the soul then its good for me. 

Sourdough is whole new door opening for me and I love nothing better than a challenge. A friend got it going when they gave me a starter (distance was kept) which had been discarded from when he fed his ( I know its like a whole thing feeding the starter – I post a link in case you want to join in the fun ) and he got his from his mum who got hers from his aunt……. I don’t know when it stops, in my romantic dramatic way I like to think that the starter has been handed down and fed through the generations. Anyway back to business, I got a recipe, I did a lot of reading like a bread nerd and then I baked.

I mixed, I kneaded,  I proved, I knock kneaded, I proved again and I baked… then I ate. Although pretty happy with my first attempt, it was denser than I would have liked. So of course, I had to bake again and again and again and again. I made a fresh one yesterday and not to put it lightly I smashed it!

You may be wondering how on earth is this woman getting her bread flour and yeast, well the best thing about sourdough is once you have the starter you do not need yeast as it is a wild natural yeast that develops through fermentation (like in some wines and beers with spontaneous fermentation in order to create a wilder sour flavour) and I have found a wonderful Bulgarian shop that has so much bread flour and it is good. 

There is also no need to worry that in all this baking I haven’t had the time to enjoy the other finer things in life. You would be wrong. With both myself and Gavin working in the drinks world we have not let ourselves dehydrate, especially with some freshly canned Untraditional Lager that the brewery got the other day. YES. However what we have tried hard to remember is that not every night is a Friday even though every day feels like a Saturday. That said a Martini at the end of the day is a fine way to relax, – dry, gin based and sometimes dirty but that’s just mixers choice – especially with the record player on as it makes me feel like I am in an old black and white movie, giving a flirtatious giggle over my shoulder. 

There has been some work, Richard and I plotted and planned how we could still provide you all with much needed beverages and it’s been wonderful to see all the orders popping up in our email. It means the world to us and I know Richard has loved being able to say hi to you all as he drops off a wine or 2 or 10 😊. 

The highlight is getting to spend quality time with my little family, Gavin, Murphy, Fred and Frank (the cats). Last weekend we went for a wonderful “time out” walk in the woods, no one about and it was super relaxed. Perfection. ❤️Oh and Murphy can not WAIT to get back up to the bar for some love and hugs. 

The highlight is getting to spend quality time with my little family, Gavin, Murphy, Fred and Frank (the cats). Last weekend we went for a wonderful “time out” walk in the woods, no one about and it was super relaxed. Perfection. ❤️Oh and Murphy can not WAIT to get back up to the bar for some love and hugs. 

Thats enough of me waffling now but I wanted to leave you with a parting gift Music Appreciation – my friends son has taken to doing a blog (which is utterly brilliant and this one will never compare but he inspired me with music appreciation). So I part with a song that always makes me smile and I listen to when I bake “Dancing in the Street” by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. 

Much love 

J