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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Bread and butter.

Coming back to New Zealand after, what, around ten years in Asia, I was horrified by the food prices and the deterioration in quality, particularly in bread. I felt like Elizabeth David and wished she were alive to start her Save our Bread campaign all over again.

When I finally settled and found a good supply of flour from the local specialty baker I started baking bread again. It is such a quick and easy thing to do and the end product is delicious. What horrifies me is that whenever I have to go to a pot-luck or 'Ladies a plate' social, and take a filled loaf, a cheese loaf or a pizza, people are amazed. They make two comments, one about the time it must take and the other about the effort. Considering the number of TV cooking programmes where the presenter urges people to make bread I wonder what it takes to get the message home that making bread is easy and the result is a helluva lot better than shop bought stuff which now seems more like soggy cardboard than ever.

I have an overnight recipe or two, a good keep-it-in-the-fridge recipe, a no-knead recipe, and a simple to remember recipe which I can throw into the Kenwood and let its dough hook do all the work. I have taught these to several interested people who trot happily home. Alas, when I meet them weeks later they are buying bread again. Why? I think it's because bread requires people to be organised, to plan ahead and remember. And because people are so used to shop bought stuff they cannot get their families to accept the different texture, taste and smell of real bread. Sad.

If I can get enough cream I make butter. It's easy to do but my visitors often exclaim how different it tastes, how sweet it is. Seems to me we are all so used to manufactured stuff ew've lost our taste buds.

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