These past few weeks we have been looking at the subject of weather in our Korean class.
The problem is that the weather is always sunnier on the other side of the world.
Two years ago I started attending a Korean-language class at the School of Oriental and African Studies, which is part of the University of London. The set textbooks are prescribed by the Korean government and are quite frustrating, but I have now gotten used to the structure and the act of reading it is on the verge of becoming comforting.
What is not comforting is the weather in London but I think this at least gives us the opportunity to use all the words we have learnt: all the uplifting ones to describe Seoul weather and the gloomy ones to describe London weather.
The new term has started with great intensity and coupled everything else that has been happening, I have not had much time left to write.
Everything else includes Junior 3 breaking his collarbone just before the half term during a rugby session. This required not only a trip to the A+E at hospital plus an X-ray, but actually surgery to fix the collarbone.
We cancelled our plans to visit Seoul, I was roped in for all the meetings I was going to miss because of not being in London, and then had to face the pile of Mr Gochugaru’s work shirts that needed ironing.
The only good thing to come out of staying in London is that I made three fruit cakes this past week, for stashing away until Christmas. I have also managed to make a loaf of our in-house bread, the recipe for which I have been meaning to write up for a long time. I made it using the Thermomix but you can use any method you normally use, whether by hand, in the food processor or Kitchen Aid.
In the original recipe I used 250 g each of white bread flour and spelt flour, but I ran out of spelt flour today and substituted some Duchy Organic malted grain flour.
For the Bread:
310 g water
2 teaspoons dried instant yeast
1 tablespoon dark brown soft sugar
250 g organic white bread flour (Doves Farm or Duchy Originals)
170 g organic wholegrain spelt flour (Sharpham Park)
80 g organic malted grain bread flour (Duchy Originals)
30 g olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
How to Make:
Place the water, yeast and sugar in the Thermomix bowl and warm 2 minutes 30 seconds/ 37 C/ speed 1.
Add the flours, oil, vinegar and salt.
Knead 4 minutes/ dough setting.
Leave the dough in the TM bowl for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
Knead a further 1 minute/ dough setting.
Tip the dough on to a floured work surface or a Silpat mat.
Gently shape the dough into a ball and let it rise a further 30 – 45 minutes, either on the Silpat mat itself or on a baking sheet.
Towards the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 230 C. Using a sharp knife, make five cuts on the surface of the bread to help it open out when baking.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool the loaf on a wire rack as soon as you can possibly can. The bread comes out crusty but the crust soon softens. It is great for breakfast, for making sandwiches and to accompany soups.
Actually a good thing about this fractured collarbone was that Junior 3 received a unique First Aid Kit. When your son’s arm is in a sling there is no need to twist it and so I have had a rather lovely time helping myself to these wondrous biscuits. They are from Biscuiteers and I highly, highly recommend them.
From Barbican Couple we received a care package from St John Bakery containing their renowned Eccles cakes and doughnuts. Someone has to help eat them, and I am happy to volunteer.