Tag Archives: children

Share Your World Week 16 and a sourdough update

21 Apr 16
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I was going to share how my first attempt at making sourdough went on Tuesday, but that post ended up so long already I decided to save my update until today. It’s also time for Share Your World!

Sourdough Update

Last week I let you know about the starter that I had made for homemade sourdough. I decided that I didn’t want to wait any longer to see whether I could eat it so on Thursday I began the long process of making my first 2 loaves of sourdough bread.

I followed the process used by the Zero Waste Chef but using flours I had at home (a white bread mix).

On the Thursday night I made my leaven from 200g of flour, 200g water and 35 grams of my starter that had been fed that morning. I covered it with a damp tea towel and a plate and put it in the oven (which I’d warmed up to the lowest temperature and then turned off) overnight.

At the same time I mixed the bread mix (1kg) with 750g of water and left it on the shelf covered with a damp tea towel and a plate.

The next morning (Friday) I combined half the leaven with the flour mix and put the bowl in a sink of warm water with a damp tea towel over it. After leaving it for 20 minutes I mixed in a little more flour mixed with water and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and linseed). From that point I left it in the sink for around 4 hours turning the mixture every 30 – 45 minutes and topping up or changing the water if it got cold.

The dough after mixing the flour, leaven and seeds together.

The dough after mixing the flour, leaven and seeds together.

After that rising period (it didn’t actually rise very much for me) I tipped it onto a silicon mat on the shelf with lots of extra flour and, after a quick fold to try and get it to stay in a reasonable sized blob in the middle of the mat, left it for around 20 minutes under a damp tea towel. I then used some more flour to shape my loaves. I made one round loaf which went into a towel and flour lined bowl to proof over night and a sandwich loaf which I proofed in the oiled baking pan. Once shaped, the loaves were covered with a damp tea towel and put in the fridge until the next morning (Saturday).

Bread having an overnight proof in the fridge (sandwich loaf on top shelf, round loaf on the bottom shelf)

Bread having an overnight proof in the fridge (sandwich loaf on top shelf, round loaf on the bottom shelf)

The loaves were in the fridge for around 18 hours. I took them out when I put the oven on to preheat to 200C. I have since worked out I didn’t set my temperatures high enough so I’ll be trying hotter next time (250-300C).

Once the oven was preheated I tipped the round loaf into a large corningware dish (I don’t own a dutch oven which is what is recommended) and put both loaves in the oven. I have since worked out I should’ve preheated the corningware dish in the oven.

Ready to go in the oven...

Ready to go in the oven…

I baked the for 30 minutes before turning down the heat (to 180C), turning on the fan, taking off the lid and baking for another 30 minutes. Again I’d keep the heat higher next time.

The finished product was actually slightly undercooked (thus the recommendations above about hotter temperatures, etc) and the round loaf didn’t really rise but they both tasted delicious. The round loaf was gone by the end of Sunday after lunch with Rach Saturday, and we’re half way through the sandwich loaf (the other half was frozen).

The finished products (should've cooked hotter to get a darker crust, more rise in the round loaf, and cooked right through)

The finished products (should’ve cooked hotter to get a darker crust, more rise in the round loaf, and cooked right through)

The obligatory crumb shot of my round loaf. The sandwich loaf rose a lot higher but only had little bubbles throughout it (none of the big bubbles like this).

The obligatory crumb shot of my round loaf. The sandwich loaf rose a lot higher but only had little bubbles throughout it (none of the big bubbles like this).

Over the last week I’ve had sourdough pancakes twice (once during the week and once on Sunday) and had a large serve of the bread on Saturday, and smaller serves Sunday and Monday. So far, I have not had any adverse reactions. I’m hoping this means that I’m ok with the bread as it tasted delicious but I’m still taking it slowly to see how I go and will not just gorge on it.

Share Your World Week 16

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts?  Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

I wear glasses. My issue is more that the muscles are tired and sore so my glasses do some of the work of pulling my eyes into line so I don’t see double. I feel that I’d most likely react to contacts as I react to almost every other thing I put too close or in my body.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Yellow! I’ve been able to do more than normal this last week and haven’t had any major crash days (red light days) but it’s been over 3 years since I last had a green light day.

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?

School was OK. Academically I did well and didn’t struggle too much but I struggled a lot with the social aspects and with feelings of not fitting in.

Would you rather take a 1 or 2 week vaction with an organized tour or take a cruise of your choice?

It depends on where we are going… In general we like to do holidays where we plan things out for ourselves. This allows me to pace things and rest when I need to. Organised tours are usually quite busy and full days of activity but they are useful if you’re going to places where it might not be safe to do things by yourself. I know that when we were considering an African Safari (before I got sick) we were looking at doing an organised tour for safety.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful that I’ve had the energy to do 2 workshops in a row! On Sunday I ran a fun workshop with children to make wearable art out of recycled materials as part of a ShareFest (like a swap meet) at the local Council.

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I then ran a productive workshop with Elected Members of another Council Monday night to progress the development of their Environment Management Plan.  Apart from having a major struggle getting up Monday morning and having to take the first half of the day slowly I didn’t have too much of an increase in symptoms from these two events.

In this next week I’m just looking forward to seeing what happens. I don’t have too much booked in for the week so I’m going to take each day as it comes and see where I go.

Chronic Pain and Fatigue – Managing your own Expectations

14 Nov 13
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image from Google Image Search “Dreams”

This post has been inspired by conversations with people I know and The Better Way CFS‘s post on “How CFS has Changed Me”. The conversations have been around other people expressing their concerns that my goals and expectations for the future are now unrealistic. The blog post talks about how being ill has caused a change in her goals are for the future.

I have resigned myself to the possibility I may not ever get well enough to work full time again, and I may have to change my career choices, but I am really struggling with letting go of, or changing, other goals and dreams because I see them as a defining part of who I am.

For example, my whole life I have wanted to be a mother. This, in my mind, is one of the most important things that could ever happen to me. I have always, even as a small child, pictured myself as a mother. I’m now being told, by multiple people in my life, that this life long dream is unrealistic. I understand that the people who are saying this are only saying it because they are concerned about me and my health, but it is still very hard to hear it. Their concerns are around my ability to look after a child while I’m fatigued and in pain and around the pain and fatigue that being pregnant can cause (especially given the Pelvic Congestion Syndrome). I am being told to consider the risks of going through a pregnancy and these people believe the risk is too high.

These are all valid concerns and I do understand where they’re coming from BUT I don’t think I’m going to give up on this dream. I believe that the risks are high but manageable and, in my mind, they are worth it. My mum is with me on this. She has pointed out that I have a large support base available to me in the form of family members and friends in the area that we live. She understands how important this is for me, and like me she believes that there is never a “right” time for having a child.

Before I got this ill, E and I had been discussing the possibility of “considering” children towards the end of next year. He now believes that until I am “well” (which lets be realistic, may never happen) I should not be considering children. Another point he made was that even if I get better he would be concerned about the pregnancy causing a relapse of symptoms. He has straight out told me that end of next year is completely unrealistic for considering children now that I am ill, and that I should be preparing myself for the unlikely possibility that I may never be able to have children.

These comments really hurt me. I know he’s only said them because he loves me and he is concerned about my health and well being and so I’m trying to take them on board and consider the possibilities but it’s difficult.

How have you dealt with letting go of (or redefining) something you believed was an integral part of how you perceived yourself?

Have you ever struggled with managing your expectations and dreams when they’ve clashed with reality or the expectations and dreams of those you love?