Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bread with porridge

Today I made the best bread loaf ever. It was a surprise as the bread was an experiment. I had added the rest of my uneaten porridge to the mix. I had to put in a few more spoons of flour when it became sloppy.  

My bread book said oats can be successfully added to bread but still I crossed my fingers hoping that I had not wasted the other ingredients by varying the recipe. I didn't expect it to produce my best bread ever.

I was given the bread maker several years ago. It had been an op-ed shop buy and has been a wonderful addition to my kitchen. Bought bread now tastes like fake bread to me so I'd have to replace the breadmaker if it broke. Or I could be like my mother who made her own bread with little kneading until she was over 90. 
Haferstuten= oat loaf
Addendum. The bread looked good but was not suitable to toast as it was so dense. Perhaps I added too much extra flour. Bread with porridge - not really recommended!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Musicians in Wellington

Last weekend I was captivated by two very different musicians. 

Simon O'Neill, the New Zealand tenor was one. He is one of those rare tenors who can sing Wagner repertoire. Since I heard him in 2014 his voice has deepened. It is now a rich and resonant treat. He sang the Wesendonck Lieder and his German diction was flawless. Congratulations Simon, it was a wonderful concert.

The NZSO, with whom he sang, played Bruckner's 4th Symphony after the interval. It is a long and demanding work but they played wonderfully well. . Bruckner is not my favorite composer, mainly because it is difficult to tune your digital player to play the alternating very loud and very soft music that characterises his work - if you adjust to hear the quiet parts the rest blasts you out of the room. In a concert hall however it is a different story and I loved the orchestra blasting out their forte parts - the audience vibrated with the music as the strings and horns threw themselves into the music. They must have needed masseurs the next day.

The other musician I saw on Sunday was very different. He was sitting at a painted piano on the Wellington (NZ) waterfront.  He played the way my self-taught father used to, with the left hand strumming time to the right. I found myself humming his tune all evening.

Addendum 23 June: Today I read that shortly before the Wellington concert, Simon recorded a lullaby in German and Te Reo Maori with the NZSO as a gift for the new baby of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (More about the recording here.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

A hat on a chair

Interior with chair and hat
I am taking an art class at the local art Centre, partly to connect with a few more members of the community, but also to practise working with a palette knife.

Today's effort frustrated me so much I scraped the whole thing off then drew into the mess left behind with the knife and a wet rag. I enjoy scratching away with a palette knife.  Tonight I decided to draw into it with Indian ink but discovered that my bottle of Indian ink has long since dried up. Tomorrow I will buy a new bottle.

Addendum (next day) I discovered today that Indian ink is no longer sold as people use it to tattoo themselves. I will have to check art shops because surely it is still needed for Calligraphy? (The man from the office supplies shop told me that typing fluid is also no longer sold as it was being sniffed. It made me wonder how many other products have been disappeared for our own good.)
I added a little more colour and strengthened the darks.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Electric winter

Knitted wool jumper - old now, but warm
I am not keen on the idea of electric blankets, that is, I not keen on the idea of lying on an electric current all night. Every year I say to myself that a hot water bottle will be a good substitute this year, and then June arrives. My house is an icebox in winter and the bedroom the coldest place of all, being on the south-side and (I am guessing) having no ceiling insulation. 

Once again I have succumbed, the electric blanket is on the bed. I switch it on in the evening so I have a warm bed, but switch it off before climbing into bed. I still don't fancy lying on an electric current all night.