Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A few more thoughts - and that bread recipe!

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.


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!


  1. Think positive ane keep it up BB - and good luck with that doctor.
    Bread looks delicious.

  2. The bread looks wonderful !
    I think I have mentioned my auto immune problems from valley fever, fibromyalia, rheumatoid arthritis and the markers for lupus stress has always been a major factor.
    My marriage was a huge stress and although I am much better now that the x is gone (he is really never gone) the stress has taken it toll.
    I think as I said before just being positive seems to help. Last year I kind just let myself feel sorry for me... so I am battling back one step at a time.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. Oh my yumminess that bread looks scrumptious. Stress tears me up too and so many good ideas of how to help keep it under control have come thru this blog, BB, you are such a big help to others, like me, with auto immune issues. You inspire me to keep going thru the crappy days even when no creativity finds me but I make it til the next sunrise.

    Here's hoping you feel better sooner rather than later and remember Spring follows that dreaded winter and then Summer again with bright colors to entice us out of doors.

  4. I saw my own Doc today as he plucked me off the Mystery Doctor list! Change of a-b's, and also got some help over GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) so have a number to phone tomorrow to get my name down on a Stress Busting course in town. A step in the right direction.

    Oh parsnip - that sounds dreadful for you - a horrid combination of things making your life so miserable and not helped by marrying the wrong man (though I dare say it seemed like a good idea at the time as these things do). I am sure the Power of Positive Thought makes a big difference. Last week I was writing long lists in my head of all the things I couldn't do, and thinking I would never be well again. Today I am 100% more positive and feel more in charge of my life (and health) again. I hope that you find some relief soon too. ((( Hugs )))

  5. Sorry Lynda, missed your message until I pressed post. The trouble with stress is that is sort of creeps up on you and you manage, and cope somehow, and it isn't until that last straw lands on the camel's back that you realize how far down that road of uncontrol you are. If I have given you (or anyone) inspiration, then that is a BIG achievement for me (however unintentional). I know how soon creativity goes out of the window when you are feeling unwell. It's hard to get back to things you had to abandon, but sometimes just five minutes of sewing, or knitting, or drawing, or reading a poem, can just help you enjoy it again and want to carry on. (Note to self: Remember all those Unfinished Sewing Jobs, and the crochet blanket, and the quilts and . . .) Baking is creative, so try that loaf and see if it doesn't cheer you up! (((HUGS))) to you too and everyone else reading this and in need of one.

  6. I'm gritting my teeth in pain at the moment thanks to over vigorous scrubbing of my mum's worktops yesterday so I feel for you and your bending down error. Keeping positive is so important but I do find it difficult sometimes. As for dealing with stress, please let me know when you get to the root of that one!

  7. Hi Em - sorry about your back. Hope you have some good painkillers. I am SO determined to beat this and I think the power of positive thought and starting to control my anxiety levels will help. I am already noticing the minute I tense up and deliberately letting it go. With my breathing - sometimes I'm not aware of the tension there and only when I take half an anti-histamine and miraculously feel better (my lungs start to feel "free" rather than full of cement) do I realize how much tension there is hidden in my chest. I'll let you know how effective the Anxiety/stress classes are. With the feeling positive, I have found keeping a daily list of things that made you happy, gave you pleasure (10 a day if you can) REALLY helps. I did this at a friend's suggestion last summer and found so many positives. (((HUGS)))

  8. Good luck with the Doctors visit. Luckily there is so much more on the internet these days on stress and anxiety that is easy to read, from a reputable source and not a load of rubbish. Keep working on it and believe in your own ability to take control.