Monday 25 January 2016

My Best Bread

Firstly, thank you to every-one for your lovely comments and well wishes for Mum. She's having another scan this morning to accurately measure the size of the main tumour before she starts chemo on Friday. Instead of IV chemo she's going to take one tablet once a week for about 6 weeks and if that doesn't reduce/halt the tumour's growth then there are immunotherapy drugs that can be given to her. This more gentle treatment is because of her age, I have never, ever thought of her as 'old' but apparently she is(sorry Ma). Let's hope it's a gentle ride for her.

With all this sorrow going on I am finding great comfort in just being at home, cleaning and crafting and cooking our daily meals. I've been using a little ice-cream maker to make Joe's ice-cream, been making yoghurt again, baking biscuits and cakes but the most satisfying thing has been to make some very, very good bread and bread rolls.

Inspired again by Rhonda's Blog and this post where Rhonda describes her own bread-making I have finally tweaked the recipes to make a tasty loaf of great texture. I have to use the bread maker to knead the dough and then I give it a quick knead, shape it and place it in the tin to rise again for 30 minutes.

This makes a rather sticky dough so put flour on your counter and knead briefly. I line the bread tin with baking paper and use 2 clothes pegs to hold the paper still while I put the dough in.
 Bake in the oven at 220C for 5 minutes and then reduced to 190C for another 30 minutes or so. If it's quite brown but still 'sounds' a little under cooked remove it from the tin and bake for another 5 minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when you knock on it.

I'm lucky to have a bulk dry foods shop nearby with loose flours of all sorts to choose from so I made my own blend of stone-ground wholemeal, spelt and rye.

My recipe

1 and 1/3 cups each of wholemeal(brown) flour, rye flour and spelt flour.
2 level teaspoons of instant yeast
2 teaspoons of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar(optional)
325mls tepid water, you may need a little more or less so check the dough once it's been mixed.

It slices and freezes beautifully too...

I was delighted last week when Paul turned up with 2 jars of home made pickles that he and his mate had made...Jason and Jacinta have a huge vegie garden at their new house and share Paul's love of spicy food, cooking and making preserves as well as camping and fishing...

Knitting has also been a soothing activity and with a new baby boy due in May I've been loving this turquoise yarn from Spotlight and how sweet are the buttons, also from Spotlight...

These monster longies(pants) are on my needles now and looking very cute and I have some fabric to make a bedcover/play-mat for 'him' too.

So that's it for now, one day at a time but make it count as they slip by very quickly.
Lots of Love,

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Still Here But A Bit Shell-shocked

after my dearest Mum was diagnosed with lung cancer on Christmas. We'd already been all over Perth for a variety of scans and biopsies and were optimistic that it had been caught early and would be 'easy to treat'. As you can imagine we're all heart-broken and Christmas was a rather rough time. We did enjoy a meal together in the evening on Christmas Day and Mum was in good spirits. and certainly well enough to photo-bomb 2 of her great-grandchildren...

On Dec 29th she had another biopsy which confirmed lung cancer(Mum stopped smoking over 40 yrs ago btw) so at the moment her oncologist is waiting to see if the tumour has a mutation that will let him treat her with tablets rather than IV chemo. Her next appointment is on Jan 21st~ we're very pleased she can have the treatment locally instead of having to travel miles and that she has one of the best oncologists in WA.
There is already pain in her lung when she lies down and she suffers nausea which is really spoiling her (in)famous appetite too but she remains her loving and strong self.

One day at a time again...Priscilla's tumour has stabilised and she's enjoying relatively good health these days so that is a big blessing.

Please keep them close to your hearts
Love from Sue

The front of our home on Christmas Day, that frnagipani is worth it's weight in gold for the shade it gives us.