Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Gasman Cometh

Look that up on Google, and there are around 400 entries.

Then there is Youtube.
(I should insert a word of caution here; those of us brought up with Flanders and Swann can relish their wit, and know that they were extracting the Michael from us and themselves. But to others, they could I suppose just sound desperately non-politically correct. And, I searched my mind for a good alternative to that expression because it is so misused, but couldn't manage it so it will have to do.)

The words (of the song) don't even fit the case, but they do come inexorably to mind in such circumstances.

It was indeed on a Monday morning that the gasman came to call; he didn't do any damage, just didn't have the part. And left with the dire warning that he had only been able to get so far with the diagnostics, and there could well be a fault beyond that point that couldn't be detected because ....and at that point I began to feel 1) dizzy and 2) resigned.

So, on the Tuesday morning.......two gasmen came to call, which filled me with utter foreboding, because the only reason that there might be two, there not being room for them both to work on the boiler at the same time, was to restrain the little woman should she become violent.

Which she did not, it not being their fault (although she did rather long for the good old days of the elderly gasman who would draw on his fag with a great intake of breath, and tut, and then diagnose the fault from long years of experience. Not for him these new-fangled computers and their flow-charts and diagnostic procedures, to be sure.)

So, another part is ordered, and one or more gasmen will call tomorrow morning and dare one hope that all shall be well? Oh, please!

Meanwhile - sourdough. Sourdough success! I have longed to make sourdough bread for ages and ages, but have never quite dared set out my stall to attract the yeast beasts. I think I had this mental image of capturing mildew rather than yeast in this dank little trench of ours. Anyway, a Guild/Ravelry friend offered me a cup or two of sourdough starter a couple of weeks ago, and we have been lavishing attention on it and even making a loaf or two in the breadmaker. But nice as those were, they didn't have the real sourdough flavour. which comes, apparently, from a long, slow proofing and baking.

Sunday night, we mixed the dough, and then let it sit until yesterday afternoon. As this particular version doesn't require kneading, I was able to do it, just giving it a gentle manipulation and then popping the dough into a large cast iron Le Creuset pot to bake.

Fabulous. Fab-u-lous. We sampled it last night, and will have it for supper tonight with the black kale and butter bean broth that I like to make at this time of year. That's a long, slow recipe as well.

So, despite the lack of hot water, despite the incessant rain, not all bad, eh?

Plus, looking for F&S on Youtube found me this again. So, I'm indulging. (That's the right era and rail livery to feed my nostalgia, too! If just a tad too far south.)


Cecilia said...

Ooooo, the bread sounds lovely! We had butter beans tonight too - in a tomato sauce though, with walnut bread.

Just found your lovely blog a couple of days ago & very pleased I have!


beadlizard said...

So glad you're enjoying sourdough. Do the cats like it?

Best of luck with the gas problem. Make sure they test so you don't have a leak in the house! We had so much gas leaking it made both DH and DD very, very sick. --syl