FRUIT BREAD AND VEGGIE BREAD

Scrumptious Blueberry and Oatmeal Loaf

I’ve been making walnut and raisin bread and beetroot bread for several years now, but not being able to go to the Saturday market on Pimlico Green for specialist bread or to Artisan bread shops during lockdown, has made me look for something more interesting than my staple White, 50% Wholemeal or Granary loaves.

Baking other veggie bread started because the supermarkets only had carrots in bags of 1 kg that, having made carrot and orange soup, and courgette and carrot spaghetti as a vegetable, I still had too many carrots left. My favourite Bread Machine cookbook is by Jenny Shapter. I bought the paperback years ago at the reduced price bookshop in Southampton Row. Her book is now called The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook and seems to be only available as a hardback.

All her recipes have worked out well, even those that seem a bit strange. My Anadama recipe is hers and lately I’ve tried her Blueberry and Oatmeal and Cranberry and Orange loaves. The former, though it contains sugar, does not taste like cake and I’m sure would be great for a savoury sandwich. It seems strange having the whole juice of an orange in bread, but it tastes delicious.

I shall try some other vegetables and fruit but now we can go to the supermarket ourselves and don’t have to buy such large quantities I am less likely to have more vegetables than I need for our dinner.

Read more of Abby’s previous posts in her book Abby’s Tales of then and Now. It is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site to get a taster for free.

https://amzn.to/3hX6z2D

 

TOUCHY-FEELY -REFLECTIONS WHILST SHIELDING

Take care and keep safe

I’m not one of those people who are always touching you as you stand talking to them – poking you in the ribs, touching you on the arm – but I find I miss the human touch. I’m lucky, I have Josh to give me a quick kiss and a cuddle, but I miss the casual kisses and hugs that have come to be part of normal greeting.

We didn’t kiss or cuddle in our family and I remember being surprised and delighted when Josh’s rather reserved parents kissed me when I arrived for a meal and when I left. I soon got used to kissing our friends hullo and goodbye, though I think Josh always had some reservations about greeting our male friends that way. Soon, a kiss and a hug was how we greeted everyone.

However, I certainly wasn’t happy about being given a quick cuddle by my much taller male colleagues when I was working as a senior pathology consultant. That’s the trouble with being five foot nothing – they felt it was fine to give me a cuddle as they passed me in the corridor, even when I absolutely didn’t fancy them.

It was worse when I had my one and only perm. My dark hair frizzed up like the back of a curly haired sheep and my colleagues couldn’t resist patting me on the head. Once was enough. It was back to my nearly straight hair and a French pleat as soon as it grew out.

For years I’ve had my hair cut really short but after five months of shielding it’s long enough for a little bun and soon I shall have a French pleat again –white now, not the deep black it was when I last wore my hair up.

Read more of Abby’s previous posts in her book Abby’s Tales of then and Now. It is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site to get a taster

HEARING AID LADY

My neat little charger and my hearing aids

I had my first hearing test when we were still living in Marylebone. A flyer came through the door stating that the big chemist on Wigmore Street, John Bell and Croydon, was offering free hearing tests. Being retired and with nothing better to do, I made an appointment for the following afternoon.

Not surprisingly, the test showed the usual high frequency loss associated with being well over 60. I wasn’t conscious of not hearing well and did nothing further until I got new glasses at Specsavers and saw that they were now also doing hearing aids.

A pleasant young woman tested my ears and prescribed hearing aids. They were OK, but I tended to wear them only when I remembered. I was discussing this with the Music Lecturer at CityLit and telling her that the hearing aids ruined the sound when I played the piano. She recommended Harley Street Hearing. The audiologist there was the first to adjust her aids so she heard music as it should sound.

That was two years ago. Now I need to wear them all the time and I have a variety of programs including one for when I play the piano and one for TV.

I opted for rechargeable hearing aids. Mine has a small recharging box connected to power via a C type USB lead. There is no messing about with those wretched little round batteries I had for the previous models. I just position my hearing aids in the charger every night.

There is, however, an extra problem in this Coronavirus Time. When I went out and looped my mask over my ears, I often dislodged my hearing aids. I bought a pack of toothed extenders from Amazon and hook my mask onto one of those. The mask then stretches across the back of my head instead of behind my ears. Problem solved!!

Read more of Abby’s previous posts in her book Abby’s Tales of then and Now is£2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site to get a taster for free.

https://amzn.to/3hX6z2D

 

BREAKOUT AFTER LOCKDOWN

Lovely to see a full supermarket and more being unpacked.
Just before lockdown, the fruit and veg racks were virtually empty!!

Yes, we were fortunate in that, being aged and vulnerable, after a couple of weeks we were able to get supermarkets slots. It was all very well, but inevitably, although they appeared on their websites, some items would be unavailable on the day. Flour, yeast and baking powder were particularly hard to come by. I was able to buy 10kg of bread flour in 2.5kg packets from eBay at a moderate price but was reduced to paying £7.99 for a £1.50 bag of self raising flour. There were plenty of profiteers out there.

The bliss of being allowed out to shop in person!! We went to a large Tesco’s very early on the first Monday vulnerable people were allowed out. There were hardly any other shoppers and the store was immaculate. Couldn’t believe my eyes when I approached the Baking aisle. Such a variety of different flours! And being able to choose just the size and kind of fruit and vegetables we like.

OK – I’ve been to the Uffizi, glided down the waterways in Venice, seen a giant hippo on the lawn in Malawi, but that Tesco store was right up there with them!! Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

Read more of Abby’s previous posts in her book Abby’s Tales of then and Now is£2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site to get a taster for free.

https://amzn.to/3hX6z2D

A SEQUEL TO THE MEMOIR OF AN EAST END GIRL

 

After I published my memoir Woman in a White Coat, I started on a sequel to be called 25 Houses, dredging up those memories I had left out. But after writing some 28k words, I lost interest. I then tried my hand at sci-fi – parallel universe stuff – and joined a writing class at our local library for a couple of terms to develop it, but soon I ran out of steam.

Our writers’ circle has been meeting every fortnight for 10 years now. At first, we met over coffee and homemade muffins in my flat and then, since lockdown, on Zoom.

Our agreement is that we have to bring some writing, large or small, to each meeting and I hadn’t written anything for the following Tuesday. I’d started posting regularly again on my blog and on social media, so I brought those pieces to our circle, by now some 72 illustrated blogs and posts.

Our children had seen and commented on some of them, but some they had missed. I decided to publish them on Amazon as an eBook on Kindle and as a paperback, with the title Abby’s Tales of Then and Now. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site to get a free taster.

At age 88, it was time to think about leaving something behind

The price is determined by Kindle Direct Publishing and is £2.99 for the Kindle version and £12.99 for the 7” x 9” paperback. Both are illustrated in colour. You can Look Inside on the Amazon site to get a taster for free.

https://amzn.to/3hX6z2D