Sunday, 7 November 2010

Rest, Recreation and Mighty Magness

 Despite the anticipated tail end of the hurricane and the forecast 1" of rain the day dawned bright and calm so I walked down to the filling station to buy a Sunday paper. Returning a couple of espressos and the paper set the day up.

It was even more set up when Jean kindly gave me some of her Sourdough starter!! I shall name it Declan after its maker (Declan Ryan of Arbutus Breads - and it is common to name them) and feed it carefully to maturity before bringing it home at the end of the course. Luckily Declan will not be subject to the sub zero temperatures of an international flight in the cargo hold - you cannot carry liquid in hand luggage- though the car deck of an Irish Sea ferry in December is probably equally cold, he might have to upgrade to club class!!

Busy surface
Sour dough starters need feeding with fresh flour and clean (non chlorinated) water every day until they are ready, in the process they develop a really strong beery smell and Declan already smells like he was born in a bar. Once combined with the full amount of dough for the loaf about 1lb can be taken off and refrigerated for the next loaf, this is how they have such lengthy lives.

Around lunchtime I was asked whether I fancied doing the cliff walk in Ballycotton. Now, walking is not my all time number one recreational activity but the day was nice so I went to Ballycotton anyway. Arranging to meet up again in about 90 minutes I made my way to the harbour.

The tide was just past low so I headed down onto the beach where I found a large tree trunk that had washed up recently. It had clearly been in the sea for some time as it was deeply wrapped in seaweed and had a number of shells attached to the strands. I have no idea what kind of shells they were but if any reader knows please send the answer as a comment. Though we are encouraged to forage on all occasions my severe lack of knowledge about these shells meant that they were not about to become free comestibles.

The shells were not the only things that I found today that would not be committed to the table, our own back garden revealed these fine, but unquantified fungi

Even though we are a week into November the weather could be that of early spring and, given sufficient bravery, the larder could well be supplemented by free produce from hedgerow and shoreline.

Back in the house my day was made complete as the Mighty Mags overcame the dirty cheating Gunners, oh yes and by the way, the filing got done.

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