Thursday, December 10, 2020


Another December day. Another sourdough loaf, without a cat:


I haven’t had a report from Helen yet – I gave it to her, after our walk – but it looks all right. I don’t normally keep bread in the house, for fear of eating too much butter, but perhaps I’ll make myself a loaf for Christmas, so that I can make sandwiches of my expensive black chicken. That used to be the part of Thanksgiving I enjoyed the most, turkey sandwiches. And Fred will make and enclose some mayonnaise with my chicken. (That’s interesting about black chickens in Chinatown, Sarah.)


There’s nothing in that loaf except flour and water and salt. How magical the sourdough process must have seemed when discovered in the stone age (and, indeed, still seems to me). Likewise the fermentation of wine and brewing of beer. No wonder Ceres and Bacchus were revered as gods.




I’ve actually done some – finished off the first Evendoon sleeve, started the second. Perhaps a picture tomorrow. Congratulations on yours, Ivy!


Kate Davies’ pattern for the club last weekend was a cosy-looking pair of slippers with braid around the ankle. The essay was about braid-making, with a number of interesting possibilities. This really has been a super club – I think there’s one more week to go. I greatly look forward to the book.


AND I’ve sent off for yarn for a hap for one of the new great-grandchild. I got it all from Uradale Farm this time (where I have been, on my Yarn Adventure last year). No symbolism, just colours I liked. I’ll spread it all out and photograph it for you when it arrives. I’m encouraged to see that last year’s hap, started not long before Christmas, was finished by the end of January (see sidebar).


I notice that the Queen is expecting another great-grandchild at about the same time: the child of Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Phillips, as was, and former England rugby star Mike Tindall. Like my grandson Thomas and his wife Lucy, the Tindalls have two daughters and make no secret of wanting a boy.




That’s a delicious article about bread sauce, Mary Lou (link with comment yesterday). It almost moved me to plan on making some – it’s very easy – but Helen says she will bring me some when she comes to administer my walk on Christmas Day. I’ll give her some cranberry sauce.


  1. I didn't join the club, but I'll watch for Kate's book. I thought of you yesterday Jean. I was listening to a new podcast episode of Melvyn Bragg on Gerard Manley Hopkins. All I ever knew was that he was a Jesuit priest whose work was published posthumously, and that we had to read Pied Beauty because the author was a priest. Such a disservice.

  2. That's a terrific rise on your loaf! And is that a tape measure hanging from your Aga? I've been puzzling over the black chicken, and I wonder if it's analogous to the brown egg--something that feels special but in fact may or may not be?

  3. =Tamar4:38 PM

    Chicken sandwiches! I have softened a bit. I know other people who can taste differences I don't notice, so possibly there is something subtly different about the taste of black chickens. I know I taste a difference between chicken eggs and quail eggs (less sulfur, I think).