14 Jan Sourdough blues
As I counted down the weeks and days to setting out from London bound for here, I contemplated the culinary opportunities that a long stay in a country rich in markets and produce would offer. In particular, I decided I’d get down to some serious experimentation – and after some deep and meaningful conversations with a certain Tom (you know who you are) I had sourdough in my sights.
So, I dreamt I would make bread. Picture it if you will. All those weeks with a nice little sourdough starter fermenting quietly in the corner; all that ritual of feeding it and the excitement of its frothy, suppurating, yeasty response. Then the mixing and moulding, the kneading and knocking, slapping and shaping – ooh the sheer pleasure of dipping my hands into its yielding moistness and inhaling all those intoxicating aromas. And finally, the edgy uncontainable excitement as it bakes, releasing its wondrousness and erupting in the senses an agony of stomach-wrenching, saliva-rushing anticipation……aah….
…. I need to sit down for a minute!
I have to dream another dream! For Reef Cottage, despite its charms, despite its 2 shower rooms and 4 terraces, despite its crazy paving half way up the walls, despite all this, Reef Cottage has no oven!
Well, not entirely true. It has a halogen oven and a microwave. Microwaves have always defeated me and they won’t do bread. Halogen ovens – ho hum. Have any of you, Blogees, ever seen a halogen oven? It’s the strangest contraption – looks like it’s been specially designed for sterilizing surgical instruments after they’ve been used to remove a gallbladder – or any offending organ for that matter.
And irony of ironies in this, our breadless sojourn, Spain is a country where every pueblo has to have a communal bread oven so the poor can eat. However, the oven doesn’t actually have to work! So the Cariatiz bread oven and the bread oven right here on the Studio Terrace are painful reminders of a lost dream.
So this is the blog post about the kitchen and it doesn’t end there. It is, by some distance, the smallest room in the cottage; actually, maybe one of the shower rooms runs it close. The fridge is fine; so too the hob. Storage is a little tight and so there’s a lot of feng shui going on after every shopping trip. Plus, we have that feature of many a holiday cottage kitchen, instead of cupboards for storage there are shelves with a curtain across – well, one shelf and the floor. Gingham-rustic looks definitely outdo functionality in this arrangement. I’m sure you’ve all come across them, those curtains where a rod runs through a slot in the fabric and it’s such a neat fit that when you pull the curtain across it doesn’t move or the whole lot comes down – pole, curtains, everything. Such joy! Jim to the rescue with a bit of Heath Robinson DIY so total collapse and accompanying expletives are kept to a minimum.
There you have it – our kitchen.