Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Bread passes the sandwich test!

I am pleased to say the bread made with my new breadmaker is just like "proper" shop bought bread! (but without the preservatives and additives - and most importantly for me - no palm oil!)

I had planned us to have some of the loaf with our dinner last night. I thought I had put it on rapid bake to give a loaf in an hour and a bit but as it ended up taking nearly 3 hours, I must've forgotten to press something cos that's how long the basic bread recipe takes. Practice will make perfect, I'm sure. Anyway, I had a test slice yesterday evening at about 8pm when it was still warm and I was very pleasantly surprised. For my lunch today, I had a sandwich made with cheese and pickle and it was lovely!

I don't know why I am so astonished, I suppose I didn't like to get my hopes up after all the disappointments of my handmade bread. I think I was also sneakily half hoping that a machine wouldn't be able to do it better. Because I'm a craftsperson, I tend to think handmade is ALWAYS going to produce superior results. However, I content myself with thinking that bread probably is still better handmade when made by someone who knows what they are doing and has had lots of practice.

There are tons of recipes in the book that comes with the breadmaker. I am particularly looking forward to trying citrus and walnut bread. The machine will also make cake, tea bread (banana and cinnamon - yum!) and jam; I wonder if I'm too late for apricots, there were some lovely ripe ones on the market last year.

So, I think on the palm oil front, all the things I eat are now palm oil free. The exception is when I go to dinner with family or friends who aren't being as anal as I am about it. But I'm not refusing to eat what they offer me (else I'd never get invited) because when they come to eat at my house, I give them palm oil free items and so it cancels itself out.

All the things I buy for the bathroom are palm oil free.

The next areas to tackle are:
  1. Follow up on the bio fuel. Tesco haven't replied when I asked them what they put in the 5% of fuel that the EU dictates must be bio fuel. After the fiasco last year when they had to repair thousands of motorists cars when their fuel damaged engined, I refuse to believe that they don't know exactly what every drop of their fuel contains right now and they are taking far too long to reply to me, it must've been weeks ago that I asked. I also want to write to other fuel suppliers and ask what they use for bio fuel. I think I may well not be able to do anything about this except let my displeasure be known. I can't remember where I read it but someone once said "The commonest way that people give up their power is by thinking they haven't got any" (or words to that effect). Whenever I wonder why I am bothering writing all these letters and going to extra trouble sourcing my groceries, I bear that in mind and think maybe, just maybe, it will make some kind of difference to the wildlife in the rainforest and the indiginous peoples who are being thrown off land they have lived on for hundreds of years.
  2. Cosmetics. I use very few but after scrutinising the labels against the list of suspect ingredients, I think some may contain palm oil, I want to be sure.
  3. Household cleaning products. I have done a little preliminary research on suppliers but I haven't yet started writing letters/e-mails on that front. I think this will be a big one (s'why I'm leaving it til last!)

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