Start of the new caravan season

The Unicorn is booked in for its second birthday service next week, which marks the start of the new season. Big one this year with a full heating fluid change and a refrigerator service too. Luckily we have Mark Caravan Medic on the case.

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The Rye Baker

I received this fantastic book for Christmas which has encouraged me further to explore the potential of rye flours.

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All-rye formulae are really quite hard to handle, so I’ve eased myself in a bit with a rye-wheat mixture. Both flours from the excellent Stoates. It’s the first time I’ve ordered rye flour by the 25kg sack!

It was a three-stage process, developing the sourdough over 84 hours. I made a batch of 14 large loaves. Here are the first few fresh out of the oven.

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They didn’t rise as much as I’d hoped, so I may need to fiddle with temperatures or hydration to get them to spring a little bit more. But not a bad first attempt at the process.

Gadget rehabilitation: the Magimix

I have to admit that when it comes to cooking, I’m in Gadget Heaven. But I’ve noticed that one old faithful has become rather neglected of late – the Magimix food processor.

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Another new toy – and it’s a good’un

When we went to the Game Fair back in the summer, I had a go with a Daystate air rifle – one with an electronic trigger. I marvelled at just how good the gun was, mainly because there’s no perceptible lag between pulling the trigger and the pellet leaving the barrel. So even those of us with less than steady aiming skills are flattered by the gun’s performance.

Here’s my new toy:

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Kitchen Blender Spot the Difference

My new toy was delivered today.

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The old one is the white machine on the left, the new is the black one on the right.
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Caravan hibernation

Ages ago we bought a custom-built cover for our new caravan. We didn’t get round to using it last winter – we seemed to be using the van too frequently.

But we probably won’t be out and about now until February, so on it went.

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Vegan Raw Wraps

And no, I hadn’t heard of them until recently either. But they’ve been a bit of a foodie fashion item recently, because they’re raw(-ish), gluten-free, and of course, being vegan, dairy and egg free too. They’re a substitute for a flour tortilla or similar, but the nearest they get to flour is the inclusion of flax flour (linseed flour) or psyllium husk as a binding agent.

To get an idea of what they should look like, see Raw Wraps. My efforts are a bit clunkier. So far at least …

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