Saturday, 28 February 2009


The weather has improved, so in a break from sewing, I went into the garden to admire the spring flowers. I discovered that it was warm enough for the bees to be flying. (if you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see a bee in the flower).They are collecting pollen,(yellow blobs on rear legs) so there must be brood being laid in the hives. This is very good news. To have all of our colonies come safely through the winter, is a great relief, and a matter of some pride. (Fingers crossed behind my back as I write).

This witchhazel, Hamamelis pallida, is a blaze of glory at the moment. I bought it some years ago, and I remember wondering if it was actually two plants. There were, and are, two distinct seperate stems. I didn't have the courage to try to seperate them, though. Time went by, and it started to flower. One stem always comes out in early December, and finishes before Christmas. The other stem blossoms from mid-January. This year the second flush did not start until February, but have opened all at once.

I have been thinking of going up to Shaftesbury, to Cann Mill, to get some superior bread flour. I rang Jen, to see if she would like me to collect some for her. We decided that she would come with me. So, on Friday, off we went. The drive was very straightforward, and we made good time. We met young Mr.Stoate, who is the fifth generation of his family to be a Miller.
Jen has been using Stoates flour since the early '70s, and I started using it about 1978. We had both fallen off, over the last two or three years, as it was getting difficult to source. A recent chance reminder of it, made us both wonder why we use anything else, hence the trip.
The flour is very fresh smelling, and very silky to handle. As soon as I got home, it was out with the baking kit. Pizza for supper, and Barley -meal and white flour bread for Saturday lunch. Both recipies from Elizabeth David's 'Bread and Yeast Cookery'.
It was worth every mile.


Rowan said...

Lovely post, that bread looks good and so does the cake in the previous post. You have an interesting blog and I'm hoping to have time to explore further soon.

LinDragon said...

Thank you.