Productive weekend

Once again I feel as though I had a proper weekend. I seem to be managing my time and workload a lot better in between other responsibilities, and I’ve started to live again – rather than existing and just going through the motions.

Late Saturday morning I went out to get the shopping, but there was one ingredient I couldn’t get and I wanted a 6″ (15cm) cake tin that they just don’t do at my supermarket. I did the rest of the shop anyway, stocking up on fresh flour and yeast, etc, and then went to the pet superstore to get Rufus his travel treats – they have something inside them to prevent car sickness, so they’re ideal when I’m driving to Birmingham with him.

The ingredient I couldn’t get was cracked wheat, so from the pet store car park and via the mobile phone I threw up a request on Facebook wondering if they did it at Holland & Barrett. Almost immediately the lovely Teresa Ashby responded, saying she thought they did bulgar wheat at H&B but didn’t know about cracked wheat.

So I did a quick Google and discovered that they’re pretty much the same thing, though some sources said one was cooked and the other was raw while others said one was the US term and the other was the UK term. But I didn’t want to go all the way into Barnsley if they didn’t have it. So I called them, and they didn’t have it …

Then I called the Meadowhall branch – remember Meadowhall? – to see if they had it there, and they did … and then I called Lakeland to see if they had the cake tin. If I was going to journey to Meadowhall on a Saturday afternoon again, which by now it was, it was going to have to be worth it. They did have the tin, and even a choice of tins.

And that was that. Off I tootled in the direction of Sheffield, but before I even hit the motorway I was getting the shakes about driving round in circles for hours looking for a car parking space. And I got off the Parkway before the motorway and parked up at the railway station I should have just gone to last week.

I went to Meadowhall on the train. It was much better, much less hassle, and restricted my spending in that I didn’t want to be carrying loads of cluttery bags on the train. I got exactly what I went for (plus a cinnamon and sugar pretzel – everything else was on the list, but the pretzel was a walk-past-and-go-back moment) and came home again with just one carrier bag – containing the cake tin, the sack of bulgar wheat and a sugar thermometer (it was only a fiver from Lakeland).

I’ll definitely go in on the train again.

When I got home it was quite late in the day and I’d been out for most of it. I made a 6-portion macaroni cheese (ate one, froze 5) and spent the evening in front of the telly.

On Sunday I was up and at ’em and baking – utilising the previous day’s purchases (apart from the sugar thermometer). I baked a malted wholegrain loaf (with cracked/kibbled/bulgar wheat on top – pic below), a 6″ traditional fruit cake (with added cherries), and I made 63 pink and white peppermint creams. I was going to make a chicken casserole with parsley dumplings too, but by the time I’d walked the dog I’d run out of steam, so I’ll make that today instead … or tomorrow …

I have the usual computer-based chores to do in the morning, and then I start the next editing job. I also have last week’s proof-reading job to deliver as I haven’t yet, due to not hitting town after all.

The day started off quite bright, damp but bright. Now a fog seems to have come down and it’s getting thicker. It’s feeling very autumnal. I’m noticing the cold but keep reminding myself that for 27 years I didn’t have central heating and always relied on a single fire in the living room and the oven in the kitchen. I’ve tried to do that here, and while I’m working downstairs I can do it. When I’m at the desk, though, in the bedroom, I’m feeling it. I need to either get that portable fire or set the heating (low) to come on at times I usually work upstairs.

I don’t want to put the heating on when the very bad weather hasn’t even arrived yet. I won’t really feel the benefit if I do that.

The eagle-eyed will notice there’s a badge at the top of the page … yes, I’ve decided to take part in NaNoWriMo again this year. The Seriously Serious Scribes on Facebook have a deputation and I’ve decided to join them. I’m hoping it’ll be a good kick up the pants, but I’m planning on writing something new to make it more interesting and exciting, and I’m going in with a plan this time as I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I failed before – not having one and some of the ridiculous word count reportages some other participants shout about.

So it’s all go in Parkinland and I’m feeling bright and positive about the near future.

malted wholegrain cobb

2 thoughts on “Productive weekend

  1. Carol 13 October 2012 / 10:14 am

    the bread looks incredible! Really professional, I bet it tastes good too. I love bread, much more than cakes or biscuits.


    • Diane 16 October 2012 / 1:30 am

      It was gorgeous – still is. I cut it into 4 wedges and put 2 in the freezer.


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