Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Droopy again. Today was to be devoted to sourdough-baking but all day long my “levain” wouldn’t float. It finally did, and I went ahead and mixed everything, but there won’t be time for many more stages before weariness drives me to bed. You’re meant to leave it in the fridge overnight just before baking, but I’ll have to chill it a few stages previous to that one and hope to find it ready to resume in the morning.

Thank you for your interesting remarks about yeast, Tamar. I’m sure you’re right that there are books on the subject. Maybe I should seek them out.

Chloe, yes, I watch cookery videos in Italian. Search YouTube for something like “fare il pane a casa”.  For general cookery, try “Antonino Cannavacciuolo” – once you’ve got him, YouTube should suggest others.

However, I did finish that skein of yellow yarn for the EPS, and I did wind the next one. I’m sure you will all recognise that sense of achievement, in a house nearly overwhelmed with stash, when one completely finishes a 100-gram skein of fingering yarn. The body of the sweater needs only a few more rounds, plus stitch-counting and the leaving of underarm stitches on waste yarn.

And there’s a new Andrew & Andrea. I’ve only just spotted them in my inbox – a whole pleasure to look forward to.


I’ve finished “To the Lighthouse” – most interesting. I think I’d better read it again, after a while, now that I know what happens. The radio was talking about “Mrs Dalloway” this afternoon while I was having my nap. I might think of re-reading that, too.

But what I have actually done is to embark on Trollope’s “Dr Thorne”. I’m sure I’ve read it at least once. Never mind. It’s set in Barsetshire and promises love and a squire beset with money problems and perhaps there's a hint of a hunting chapter to come.


  1. I recall a Melvyn Bragg In Our Time about Mrs Dalloway not too long ago. (Which could mean any time in the last five years.) Now I want to re-read From the Lighthouse.

  2. Anonymous8:07 AM

    I think people have recently created a lot of "mystery" around sourdough and starters. Once we had our starter going we just used it and fed it as required, no floating, no testing, no extra anxieties - and it performed reliably every time. Perhaps we were lucky, but I don't think it traditionally required a whole day's anxiety every time one baked - the traditional housewife was too busy for all that.

    The chilling overnight is not because it needs chilled, but because that stops it over-proving before a morning bake. You'd have to get up very early to do all the other steps otherwise, and most people don't want fresh bread in the evening.

  3. There is a wonderful tv version of "Doctor Thorne" with Tom Hollander as the doctor.

  4. Anonymous10:24 AM

    Thanks Jean! Antonin looks like a great place to start. Looks like he might be the Emeril Lagasse of Italy (I would say the Jaime Oliver but I don't remember seeing the word "salute" anywhere on his introductory page:).