August 2015

Hot, hotter, hottest, you can't describe it in other words. Our summer. Ok, we don't have a problem with it, but some activities become quite a challenge with these temperatures. Take bread baking. With high temperatures, you are not looking for an oven inside, who is producing even more heat when making delicious breads. So? 

Well, I have fulfilled myself a bread-making dream. I bought a bread oven, very light, with 2 stones, to bake better bread. The best thing is: Joost has put the oven onto an old small bed-cabinet, and so we roll it from kitchen to the outside, to bake bread OUTSIDE in the summer. In the wintertime, the oven will provide extra warmth to heat the house.

Actually, it was a simple choice, and a smart oven is now providing us every 2-3 weeks with fresh, organic and fantastic tasting bread. comes at a price of time....If I want to bake on saturday, my preps start on friday or sometimes thursday: some of the doughs need to have a pre-dough, which needs to ''ripe'' 48 - 72 hours in the fridge. Just 5 minutes work, and then let it do it the work themselves. However, if you plan to make 5 types of bread, you can end up by starting friday all day/evening, plus saturday morning; with pre-dough, fermenting, welling, rising, shaping, rising and baking.

The good thing: it tastes super good! Look at the pictures!

And...when finishing baking, the oven still has lots of heat. So the first time, I baked an entire rabbit (with herbs, wine, mushrooms, spices, etc.) with no electricity cost. Last week? I tossed two chicken carcasses into a pan, with lots of veggies, herbs, spices, some wine, mushrooms and other goodies, which gave me 36 fantastic portions of broth, to be used in sauces and soups. 

The real challenge is, to plan the ''bread making'' well ahead, experimenting and using up the heat. I love it


Of course, bread making is not the only thing that's going on here. After finishing our huge project of renovation, the garden had to be priority nr. 1. So now, the land is cleaned, ploughed and awaiting to plant potatoes, spinach, salads, radish, broad beans and other stuff, to be eaten straight away, since our 3 freezers are packed up to the sky with tomatoes, figs, all kinds of fruits, veggies, potatoes and so on. between the work, we find some time get away. Just day-trips, trying to find some spots, we haven't yet discoverd, and looking out for spectactular nature. Of course we know, that because of lack of water, there is hardly any lush green/vegetations, and therefore less insects and animals. But sometimes, we are lucky to find spots, that really surprise us (check out Ocelots Foto Blog or Zoom). So never a dull moment in the freestate Nicojo.

Oh yeah, and we have now not 4 but 5 cats...Blacky has joined us, and his brother, Gato, is following suit. Originally they came to steal the food of our cats, and did fight...Now, they seem to have lost their home and looking for a new one. Well, if we can feed 4, we can also feed 5 or 6. The problem is....Now we will have 3 black males...Very difficult to distinguish who is who. Well, I have to get used to them....Or tag them....