Customs House

Queensland slightly relaxed isolation rules at the weekend. We took to the river, rather than the road. We felt spoilt, a CityCat ferry ride, a walk along the boardwalk in the Autumn sunshine, followed by a picnic in the Botanical Gardens.

The afternoon light, playing on the dome of Customs House, caught my eye.

Best loaf yet

Since posting a recipe for sourdough bread in 2014, I have lost count of the number of loaves made. Over the years, I have tweaked the proving times, the timing of the knocking back stage, ditched the sourdough starter, and tried different flours.

Using 1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast and Laucke Crusty White Bread Mix (flour and salt), this loaf is the largest yet. It was achieved by proving for 24 hours in the fridge followed by 12 hours at room temperature. A gentle knock back as described in the amended recipe below and baking for 30 + 15 minutes.

425g unbleached bread flour
375g water
1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt (not needed when using bread mix)

1. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl then stir in water.
2. Cover with glad wrap (cling film).
3. Store in the fridge for 24 hours then 12 hours at room temperature.
4. Preheat large lidded Pyrex casserole dish or Dutch-oven in oven at hottest temperature.
5. Meanwhile line a bowl or basket with baking parchment and turn out dough onto floured surface or board. Save the cling film for later.
6. Using floured hands or bowl scraper, fold the edges of the dough into the middle. I usually work from quarters then eighths.
7. Place the dough right side up into the lined bowl and cover with cling film.
8. When the oven is at temperature remove the Pyrex bowl, take off the lid.
9. Transfer the baking parchment and dough the into the pre-heated container and replace the lid.
10. Bake the bread for 30 minutes then turn the temperature down to 200oC and remove the lid.
11. After 15 minutes at the lower temperature the bread should be cooked.
12. Cool on a wire rack.

Happy baking!

Why?

Fruitful or less service to universe, race, self?

Resources used wisely or squandered?

Desultory paths wandered with intent or not?

Sands silently stop

Waiting for the all encompassing corruption, subsumption

Contributions ultimately forgotten or turn to dust

Future kind dig, discover, analyse remains

Content of past lives being hypothesised

Perché, pam, why?

Holiday Monday Ghoul

I’m pleased with the second attempt, more ghoul, less demon.

Finding inspiration in the unusual, I could not resist this image cast on the floor, through last night’s wine decanter.

The first attempt was more imagined, something was eager to be released.

Flowers

In this time of limited travel, physical distancing and quarantine, I wonder if picking, buying and giving flowers are allowed.

Instead, I sketched some for you. I hope you enjoy them as much I enjoyed creating them.

Wishing you, warmth, healing energy, and golden light.

Ab-usual un-normal

Deep blue sky unmarked by cloud or objects high

Longest shadows cast low upon journey’s path

Soul chilling clamminess battles warming morning

Lively zombies walking jogging ambling waving

Covid-19 avoidance strategies employed

Brazen blooms bounce in the gentle breeze

Poincianas advance into skeletal slumber

Dew laden blades tightly packed unmoving

Noisy silence interspersed with staccato birdsong trilling

Strangeness of feeling being part of the ab-usual un-normal

Epiphanic pasties

As an introvert, I internalise thoughts, plans, and visual goals. This melding of components, under extreme pressure, occurs unseen. Beads of perspiration may appear, due mainly to the subtropical climate.

The intuitive part of my personality loves to explore, discover, and try new things. In moments of pure idealism, perfection is obtainable. The reality, dear reader, frequently disappoints.

Being a perceptive, details sometimes elude me. If I read ‘fork’ in relation to finishing a pasty recipe, connections happen in my mind. Fork translates into crimping the pasty, rather than using it to create holes to vent the steam.

The love and emotion that is conjured to aid the creative process is boundless. The onion, carrot, and sweet potato are diced to regulatory perfection. Around a quarter the size of a sweet corn kernel. While the pastry is smooth, short, and even. Is it surprising, when pointed out after exiting the oven, the pastry is strange, the crimping Devonian rather than Cornish and the carrots and sweet potatoes undistinguishable from each other, feelings may explode?

The adult sized ‘Quornish’ pasties were an experiment. Accompanied with vegetarian gravy, deliciously satisfying.

King George’s kangaroos

Back in November 2019 I posted about Albert Street Uniting Church. It can be glimpsed behind the righthand roo. The one with the joey’s legs poking out of her pouch.This heartwarming bronze family gaze across Saint George’s Square towards Brisbane City Hall. An Italian Renaissance style building designed by architects, Thomas Ramsay Hall and George Gray Prentice.The building opened in 1930. It has been used for royal receptions, pageants, orchestral concerts, civic greetings, flower shows, school graduations and political meetings.

Alien intervention?

Alien intervention?

Maybe aliens visit our minds.

Could they constitute some unseen mass of writhing brain probing tentacles? Reading, testing, measuring, analysing the subjects in a great experiment of human life, on a single planet in the cosmos.

Antimatter, inadvertently, stimulating synapses; producing ideas, inspiration, revelations, and answers to oft perplexing questions. I wonder if one’s muse is alien intervention.

Do they occasionally, take control, resulting in actions out of character? Are they represented in prodigy, prophecy and genius? Those who appear non conforming of societal norms. Are they more or less in tune with the puppetry of the Universe?

The movie Being John Malkovich lurks, malevolently, in my consciousness.