# Wednesday, 05 January 2011

Baking foccacia with the girls (includes recipe)

Shayna Brocho has been asking me for a few days to bake with her. She particularly wanted to make foccacia, which is a sort of olive-oil bread, and is absolutely delicious. Well, we got around to it this afternoon, so I thought I would post up the results, along with the recipe in case anyone else is interested.

Ingredients

  • 1lb 2oz (500g) of strong white bread flour, plus a bit extra for kneading
  • 7g of dried yeast, or the equivalent of fresh (dunno how much, we used dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 6 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (I don't reckon you need anything like this much, see later)
  • 10fl oz (300ml) of hand-hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of rosemary leaves (we used dried rosemary, which usually comes ground up, but works fine)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of coarse sea salt (we used quite a bit more than this)

Method

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and fine salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the water and one tablespoon olive oil, and mix into a soft dough. Shayna Brocho and Chana Liba took turns doing this, and made a right royal mess!

Shayna Brocho (r) and Chana Liba (l) kneading dough
  1. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is smooth and stretchy. They took turns here too, as their arms were hurting after a few minutes.
  2. Lightly oil a baking sheet or tin, approximately 8in by 12in (20cm by 30cm).

Chana Liba oiling the tray
  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about the same size, and place on/in the sheet/tin.
  2. Cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 90 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230 degress C, 450 degrees F or Gas Mark 8 (whichever you prefer).
  4. Using your fingertips (they really liked this bit!), makes loads of dimples all over the surface of the dough.
  5. Dribble the remaining olive oil over the dough, and scatter the rosemary on top. As I said above, the recipe reckons you need about five tablespoons of olive oil for this, but we found that we didn't need that much - and we did put plenty on!
  6. Sprinkle the coarse salt on top of this, and bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
  7. Put onto a cooling rack, and when cool, cut into squares.

Simple enough for young children to be involved, and fairly quick and easy. The end result? Well, see for yourself...

The finished foccacia

I had some with my supper later. It was delicious.

Note that foccacia is best eaten while still warm, and can go hard if left for too long. It's best made in time to eat it from the oven, but if you have any left over (unlikely to be honest) then 20 seconds in the microwave softens it up nicely.

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# Sunday, 26 December 2010

Schoolchildren today know nothing!

As usual, I have no idea if any of these are real, but I have my suspicions! They are supposedly genuine pieces of information, as written by children at school.

School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
School kids today know nothing
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# Monday, 20 December 2010

Chaya Devoira's hearing

a hearing aid (not as pink as the one Chaya Devoira has though)Chaya Devoira had a hearing test today. As our avid reader will doubtless remember, she had a moderate hearing loss in both ears, and was given hearing aids. She coped very well with these B"H, and showed an immediately improved awareness of what was going on around her.

She had another hearing test about five weeks ago, and came home with only one hearing aid. Her hearing had improved in her left ear to the point where she didn't need the aid, and was better in her right ear, although not enough to abandon it yet. We were told that this might be because it was the end of the summer, when all the flu bugs had died, and too early for the winter ones to kick in. We had to take her back in a month to see how she was coping with the cold wet weather.

Well, today was the day, and I'm delighted to report that she came home without any hearing aids! Apparently her hearing has improved to the point that she doesn't need them at all, even though she has a cold, and it's the winter. What's even better is that they don't want to see her again until March, instead of the standard one month that we were expecting.

Well done Chaya Devoira!

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Yorkshiremen jokes

Being a true born and bred Yorkshireman, I can testify to the veracity of the following true stories (ahem).

If you don't know the Yorkshire accent, you probably won't find these very funny. Mind you, even if you do know the accent you might not find them funny!

True story from Yorkshire #1

A Yorkshire man takes his cat to the vet.

Yorkshireman: "Eyup, lad, I need to talk to thee about me cat."
Vet: "Is it a tom?"
Yorkshireman: "Nay, I've browt it wi' me."

True story from Yorkshire #2

A Yorkshireman's dog dies and as it was a favourite pet he decides to have a gold statue made by a jeweller to remember the dog by.
Yorkshireman: "Can tha mek us a gold statue of me dead dog?"
Jeweller: "Do you want it 18 carat?"
Yorkshireman: "No I want it chewin' a bone, yer daft bat!"

True story from Yorkshire #3

A Yorkshireman's wife dies and the widower decides that her headstone should have the words "Here lies Adele, she wor' a grand lass" engraved on it.

He calls the stone mason, who assures him that the headstone will be ready a few days after the funeral. True to his word the stone mason calls the widower to say that the headstone is ready and would he like to come and have a look.

When the widower gets there he takes one look at the stone to see that it's been engraved "Here lies Adele, she wor' a grand lass"

The Yorkshireman shouts "Yer a gormeless tatie, you've left the 'e' out!"

The stone mason apologises and assures the poor widower that it will be rectified the following morning.

Next day comes and the widower returns to the stone mason - "There you go sir, I've put the 'e' on the stone for you..."

The widower looks at the stone and then reads out aloud - "Here lies Adel, eeh she wor' a grand lass"

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# Sunday, 19 December 2010

Blog finally working again!

I have been having all sorts of problems with my blog recently. I upgraded my server to a new version of Windows, and the blog platform that I use wouldn't allow me to post :(

I think I may have finally sorted it out, and so may be able to bore you once again with irrelevant comments and pictures of my children! If you find this thought too stomach-churning to bear (and I don't blame you), you may want to switch your computer off right now.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

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# Sunday, 07 November 2010

A few up to date pictures (at last)

Having finally got around to printing some pictures (from the last two years!), I thought it might be nice to put some on the blog. So, without further ado, here are three girls piled up on the couch...

And of course, no blog entry could be complete without a picture of the two world-famous steeplechasers...

 

Finally, in case you were wondering where Chaya Devoira as in all this, she was sitting on Mummy's knee looking bored, whilst everyone else smiled at the camera...

 

Well, that's it for the next two years I reckon!

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Puns, puns and more puns

OK, so none of these are particularly new, and some of them aren't that funny, but they amused me, so I thought I'd bore you lot with them.

  • The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
  • I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
  • She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
  • A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  • A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
  • Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: "You stay here; I'll go on a head"
  • I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
  • A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: "Keep off the Grass"
  • The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
  • The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
  • A backward poet writes inverse.
  • In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
  • When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
  • If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine.
  • A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger"
  • Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says "Dam!"
  • Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
  • Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive."
  • Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
  • There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
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# Monday, 11 October 2010

Chaya Devoira's hearing

No, she's not been in court, this is hearing of the audio sort!

Chaya Devoira had a hearing test today, and came home with only one hearing aid. Contrary to what you might think, this wasn't because she'd pulled the other out, but rather because the hearing was normal in one of her ears. There is still a slight loss in the other ear, but it's much better than it was when she got the hearing aids.

In fairness, the medical person (not sure what status they have, I wasn't at the test) said that this is the best time of year for hearing tests, as all the flu bugs have died off during the summer, and the weather hasn't gone wet or cold enough to allow them to breed again. We are keeping the spare hearing aid, and will see how she gets on over the winter. If she gets through the winter without any hearing loss, then we might get rid of the spare in the spring, and maybe even stop using them altogether.

Also at the meeting was the support teacher for the deaf, who has been working closely with the little lady since she got the hearing aids. She reckons that Chaya Devoira's speech is of high quality, and instead of teaching her sounds, we should concentrate on teaching her words. We are going to continue with the signing, as this has become a great help in her communication, but we are to play it down in favour of proper words.

All in all, an excellent report B"H.

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# Tuesday, 24 August 2010

New camera, and a cute picture of Chaya Devoira

Well, after about seven years, and almost 11,000 pictures, we finally decided to buy a new camera. Actually, that's not strictly true. We were wondering what to do with all our points from Tesco shopping, and had been disappointed at the selection of places that would take them around Carlisle (where we were going on holiday, which may get mentioned here one day).

Instead, we decided to spend some of the points on a treat, and used them against a new digital camera. Due to the amount of food our lot scoff, we had enough points to pay for most of it (holding back a few points for a post-holiday trip to Blackpool zoo, which might also get mentioned here one day). In the end, our posh new camera cost us a total of £11.94! Seems like a good deal :)

Predictably, the very first picture was of Chaya Devoira:

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