Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Quite Well Bread

This is what works for me...


                   800g PLAIN BREAD LOAVES

1/.   Use 550g of strong white plain flour.
2/.   Mix in 2 level teaspoons salt and 2 level teaspoons sugar.
3/.   Mix in 1.5 level teaspoons dried yeast.
4/.   Mix in two dessertspoons of cooking oil.
5/.   Mix in 340ml luke warm water and leave for 5 minutes.
6/.   With floured hands and surface, thoroughly kneed for 10 minutes.
7/.   Leave covered for 1.5 hours. (90 minutes).
8/.   Lightly punch down and kneed for 1 minute.
9/.   Leave for 2 minutes.
10/. Turn into a greased tin and leave for 1 hour. (first time metal is used).
11/. Bake in centre of oven for 45 minutes.
12/. Cool on a wire rack.
For French bread add between steps 7/. & 8/.
Additional steps 7b/.  Lightly punch down and kneed for 1 minute.

                          7c/.  Leave covered for yet another hour..
For Brown or Wholemeal loaves, step 3/. is 2 level teaspoons dried yeast
For Brown bread use 2.75g strong white + 2.75 strong wholemeal flours.
Plus add 1 teaspoon white vinegar.
For Wholemeal bread use all strong wholemeal flour
Plus add 2 teaspoons white vinegar.
Now step 7/. Need only be left covered for 30 minutes before step 8/.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Big Brother's siblings.

Big Brother and all your siblings are watching you in Sussex now so ‘belt up’ and stop complaining…

Yes it's true.  The Sussex Police have started to pilot a new scheme now to trap law breaking motorists by asking their fellow motorists to report them of any unlawful driving practices they notice, (while going about their own journey and minding their own business and looking where they’re going instead of course). This would include reporting on those who use hand held mobile phones while they drive, (including pay as you go), or travellers who are not wearing seatbelts. (Women against bondage)!  However, there will be no BOGOF fines for doing the two at the same time. (PO).

So… Here I am then, Mr average driver overtaking a slower moving car, when suddenly I see in the car I’m passing, that the driver is holding a phone. What must I do next then? Well as a good citizen I cannot use my mobile phone so I must fumble abouit in my jacket for a pencil and paper so that I can take his number. That’ll teach him for calling in to complain that I’m overtaking him doing ninety!

Apparently, if two complaints are logged against the same person in any given year, then the police will arrange a home visit. Something like your GP I would suppose.  (Waiting lists being what they are nowadays).

“I asked my wife to ‘belt up’ officer but she just carried on about my drink driving and ignored me.”

However a good lesson can be learned from all this. Which is, ‘Never use the same car twice.’ This way of course the same number plate will not be reported twice. Failing this, just paint the nearside of your car a different colour to the offside. What fun you’ll have then listening to all the witnesses as they argue.

If this is part of a Big Brother state then we are really and truly in a state.

But also however, if you witness a driver holding up a Post Office at gun point then he/she could not be committing a driving offence as he/she would have parked up on a yellow line first and then got out of the car.  There would be no point in reporting this because apart from the fact that armed robbery is not a driving offence, some of the proceeds of the robbery would later go towards the yellow line parking fines in any case, which is legalised daylight robbery as we all know.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Respecting the beliefs of others

I seem to have a problem with religious conviction. Maybe it’s because I’m an atheist and believe in scientific evolution, scientific values and a good working knowledge of right and wrong. I don’t relish being insulted or used and so I make sure I do not do likewise unto others. I am also an advocate to stop all animal cruelty.

Okay then that puts me bang in the centre of a very vast but still growing majority. A majority who knows how to live a decent life, keep within the law and only demonstrate peacefully if in disagreement. Probably I’m also from the majority that had a religious belief instilled from early childhood that took years of common soul searching to arrive at an atheist way of belief.

A good friend and Vicar of a congregational church once told me, “There are no Atheists in a hell hole.”

I pointed out that, “A God of Love would never create hell holes in the first place.”

He remained a good friend until he died of old age praying for forgiveness. Was his God never satisfied? A friend to me is one that doesn’t try to convert you to their way of thinking all the time. A friend who mutually respects other beliefs as I do myself.

My problem then would be better re-phrased as, ‘A problem with who I perceive to be a few extremists who are spoiling our planet, God given or Big Bang given, with their narrow-minded silliness.’

Again, to draw on any vast majority I’m not unique there either. We all know that the Nine-Eleven USA hits were despicable and to respect the perpetrators beliefs on that one would certainly not also be to condone their actions by any means. Likewise with any other killing sprees they’ve carried out as well !!!

Terry Jones? A pastor with a following of 58 plus himself, albeit with 58 followers more than myself, has decided to invite Imam leaders to call him.

No one from any majority would waste time on him but he has managed to have stirred up hatred in a few with his beliefs. Why cannot his social services department just section him and be done with? He can still have his values in a mental hospital anyway but without anyone having to hear them.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Harvest Festival Time


Well I can see that some of us are in splendid voice on this lovely Sunday morning.

Now… I must say how splendid your harvest festival display looks this year too with all those ageing tins of cheap creamed rice so neatly arranged around your hurriedly last minute remembered and dare I hopefully make the comment, complete and unopened, packet of Sainsbury’s economy chocolate biscuits? Exactly what you needed of course to hide that old reoccurring rusty tin of Tesco’s own baked beans in tomato sauce.

But that isn’t as good as it gets this year is it… Because surprisingly enough, some anonymous donor has even gone to a small tin of Lidl’s treacle pudding this year as well? And very nice it looks too I must admit… Well, what there is of it that is…

Now Mr. Johnson asked me at the beginning of our service this morning, why it is that this year, I have seen the need to lock our church doors while we’re all here inside God’s house together? Well as I explained then to Mr. Johnson, I have only taken this precaution for all of your own good. For health and safety reasons if you will.

You see, if you think back to this time last year Mr. Johnson, you may recall what happened when I tried to distribute those reoccurring tins of cheap Asda creamed rice to the pensioners of our congregation? Well you couldn’t have got out of here any quicker even if I’d have tried to take another collection! Not of course, that I’m actually in need of any more coat buttons you understand.

And Mr. Hargreaves. I see that you’re finally back here with us again? Splendid! Splendid! Congratulations on a full recovery are in order of course. But when you dashed out into the middle of the road like that last year Mr. Hargreaves, well… That bus driver just never saw your Zimmer frame coming. He had no chance at all did he?

Anyway, now that our church doors have been securely locked this time, I feel that after our service this morning, I can safely try again to distribute these ancient tins of Asda creamed rice pudding among you, without any of you this time at least, getting knocked down by a Nineteen bus on it’s way to Battersea garage.

And Mrs. Walker. I don’t know how you managed to get up onto that window ledge with your Zimmer frame again this year but please, can you carefully get down again now? That window was, after all, only locked for your own safety just as the doors were. We can’t take the risk of you jumping out of that window again this year now can we Mrs. Walker? Even though old Bert the gardener did make a full recovery back then.

Now… Can anyone guess what else we can do before I unlock those doors at the back this morning? No? Well I’ll tell you. I thought for once, that we could all stay behind for our final hymn and sing it together, rather than have the usual mass exodus worthy of any cinema audience before the National Anthem starts.. After which of course, as I say, I will make my usual endeavour to distribute tins ancient and modern, pardon the pun, of Asda creamed rice, among the pensioners of our little congregation…

Oh and Mrs. Davies, really. I can’t think how you could have possibly come by that pickaxe, but please try to refrain from tunnelling your way out with it during our last hymn.