An uplifting photo of the view from Bannau Sir Gaer (Black Mountain) looking at Llyn-y-Fan-Fach. Oh, what a lovely day that was.
Firstly - Can I thank everyone who has left comments on yesterday's blog post. Health and coping with problems with it, obviously figures large in so many people's lives. Your comments have been SO supportive - brought tears to my eyes (that's what lack of sleep does for you!) but also SO positive. Thank you all for listening and HELPING. I had an absolutely carp night with the pleuritic pain - self-inflicted, as I bent double in the car yesterday to tie a shoelace before thinking oh-oh, shouldn't have done that! I have just paid the price with pain and not much sleep. BUT, I have just been noting down various things - the causes of my stress (boy, what a long list, going back nearly 10 years), my lack of ability to deal with the stress, the negative emotions WHICH INCREASE THE PRODUCTION OF INFLAMMATORY CELLS (research done this morning), but I've also jotted down how meditation can help counter the effects of stress on the immune system, and have found a website (one of many) on How to Think Yourself Well. Incredibly, on looking up General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is what my eldest daughter thinks I share with her, I looked at medication. Short term medications include - anti-histamines!!!! That floored me. What was I saying yesterday? I have an appointment with a Doctor this afternoon - just a duty doctor - as by the time I got through first thing there was not ONE appointment available with a regular Doctor at the surgery, so I have to repeat my long story all over again, but perhaps he/she will bring a fresh view to it, as I will be concentrating on the anxiety side of things.
Anyway, that recipe, before it fades completely from the memory. The photo shows what happens to it if you get on the phone to your daughter for a chat and forget you have bread in the oven. Even with a Bahamas-holiday scorch, it is a lovely loaf. SO tasty. I mixed and prooved it in the bread-maker, then did part two by hand and cooked it in the oven. It is a slight combination of two recipes, but worked well as that mix.
CRANBERRY AND ORANGE PLAIT
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons butter, melted with
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups white bread flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon yeast
Put these in the bread machine in order, and set programme to Dough.
When proved, remove from bread machine and add:
3 oz (75g) dried cranberries
3 oz (75g) currants (I didn't have currants, so used some Lidl mixed fruit)
Zest of 2 oranges (I used my zester, rather than grating it as usual)
About 2 tblspns orange juice
Knock back the dough and flatten it and incorporate fruit, zest and juice and knead dough until ingredients thoroughly mixed in. Cut into three strips, joining at top end, plaiting, and then place on a lightly oiled baking tray to prove, covered in oiled bag or damp teatowel until doubled in size. Glaze with beaten egg and cook in preheated oven - 200 deg. C/400 deg. F/Gas 6. Bake for 20 - 25 mins until colden and cooked through. Your kitchen will smell heavenly!