Today, unlike any other day of my pampered life, I made bread. Neccesity, of course, fuelled my desire to partake in such a fool-hardy venture, even though I was well aware the odds of success for the first-time bread-maker ran to approximately one meeellion to one. My hunger was deep, my lament obvious, my absent daily loaf a bitter reminder that I maybe wasn't putting quite enough effort into this diet of enlightenment.
Indeed, Sarah, to emphasize beautifully my point, has been conjuring butter from cream on an almost daily basis this last week, in a way that is both mesmerising and utterly gorgeous.
Alas, I had to make a stand.
So I decided that if I couldn't find bread in the UK made only from ingredients found within our 100 mile barbed-wire fence, then I would have to instead make my own bread from legal ingredients found within our small and cluttered London kitchen.
Fealess, I proceeded to mix the Hampshire flour, the Berkshire yeast, the Essex sea-salt and the tepid Richmond tap-water into a fine, delightfully elasticated, goo-ey dough. I then kneeded it for ten minutes, greased the tin and and cling-film with sarah's butter and left my messy sculpture to rest for an hour while I went for a walk to get chocolate out of my head.
On my return, with chocolate harpies still tormenting my every step with their teasing dances, I popped the expanded dough into a hot oven and waited for the impending moment when all my endeavours would come to a predictably tragic end.
It didn't happen! The bread came out fine! I cut open the middle, still expecting some sort of hideous mis-hap, an un-cooked centre perhaps, or some terrible facial scarring caused by burning, bubbling, spitting dough, but all was calm around our flat. The kitchen smelt of H.E. Bates!
I sniffed, tentatively, at my cooling masterpiece, and purred. It all gave me a huge head-rush. At least it would have done if my head hadn't already been full to burst with catarrh and the unctuous remains of a charmless cold. Yet there was still room enough to give rise to the wonderful feeling of connection with the food I would soon eat.
Next, I am going to grow my own cocoa beans.