Friday 5 October 2018

Sourdough Bread

For 3 loaves of bread you will need:
1 and 1/2 cups of sourdough
3-4 cups of water (depending on your flour)
9 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of salt.

Making sourdough bread is not hard work it just takes a long time. You will need to pick a day that you are home because it's a whole day project.

Starting in the morning I'll set here some times as a reference.

8.00 am: Mix the sourdough and the water, pour the flour, add the salt and knead the dough until it's all well mixed. You don't have to mix for a long time, just enough to make sure it's all mixed well. Start with 3 cups of water and add some more to make sure you have a nice soft dough.

8.00 am to 12.00 noon: Knead every 45 minutes by taking from one side and bringing to the middle and then from the opposite side. Then turn again from the other two sides and repeat this process 3 times. Let it rest in between and cover the dough so it doesn't dry.

From 12 noon to 4.00 pm: Let the dough rest

4pm: Lightly flour a counter, pour your dough and divide in three parts.
Grease your tins,  knead each piece in the same way as before, shape and place in the tins. Place each tin in a plastic bag (the dough will probably rise above your tin so do not cover with film as it will restrict from rising).

6.30 pm Turn on your oven at 180 degrees (if possible, fun and heat from the bottom). If your oven has steam use it, if not place a pan with hot water in the bottom of the oven. Bake for 40 minutes.

7.10pm. Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool

8.00 pm: Enjoy a slice of crusty, gluten free, sourdough bread.

For information as to why sourdough bread is gluten free see here:

Sunday 8 July 2018

Campervaning in Iceland and the nightmare of Nordic Car Rental (aka Nordic Campers)

We have just returned from our week-long holiday in Iceland. If you are thinking of taking your own campervan to Iceland you can forget it because it will cost you a fortune.

So, since no frills and basic campervaning is what we are about, we thought that we'd rent a camper from Nordic Campers (Nordic Car Rental). It was a big mistake and we will advice you to stay away from them.

Here are some of the things that were wrong with their camper.

1. The mirror on the driver's side was damaged. I did notice this as I was driving away in the rain but I thought that I would cope ok with just the smaller wide-angle mirror at the bottom. As time went on I realised how dangerous it was to be driving a vehicle with a damaged mirror. 

2. By the first evening we were over 200 Km from your depot and it began to rain. It was not long before we could see that the roof was leaking just behind the seats, at the centre. For the next week we were making every effort to try to keep our covers from getting wet. 

3. When it was time to go to sleep we realised that although there were curtains at the back door, there were no curtains at the front or the side. The screws were still in place of where the curtain rods were for the two sets of curtains but alas no curtains for us. This meant that we had to sleep with no privacy and in a space that was too bright very early in the morning.

4. The following day we found that the food we had stored under the sink was all wet. Initially we thought that it was the drain pipe but then we found out that it was the tap. It was leaking from where the hose was connecting to the tap. Eating wet bread is not very appetising. 

5. My wife found that the passenger seat was most uncomfortable and there was no way to adjust the seat or the back.

6. The van's paint left a lot to be desired. It was obvious that this vehicle used to belong to Happy Campers before. The marks of where their stickers with their logo and paint of bird on a branch were still obvious and a Nordic Campers sticker was just placed over it. From all the vans we saw on our week-long travel ours was by far the worst looking.

7. The steering wheel was damaged with a cut on the grip material. This is not something that will be acceptable for a hire vehicle.  Please note that all photos were taken at the moment we received the vehicle.

I must say that in the UK this vehicle would not pass a motor inspection.

8. The lights were another problem that could have been very dangerous. On the OFF position once the motor was on, the Tail Lights  or Daytime Lights came on. This was to be expected in a country were car lights must be on both day and night. Not many foreigners would know that but anyway. 
Click one position to the right to switch on the Tail Lights as indicated on the knob (something that most people would do when driving during the day) and I found to my dismay (as I was parked in front of a glass building and could see my lights) the lights switched off. One could happily drive thinking that the tail lights have been switched on and yet they were off. This makes for dangerous driving and the possibility of getting a fine for driving with the lights off.

I complained to the company afterwards and after a month's deliberations they offered a one-day's rent worth compensation. Instead of accepting that, I chose to make my views known to others so that you could give them a wide birth. 

Monday 1 January 2018

Camping Recipes

Sharing here with you simple recipes that you can cook on a two burner stove like ours, or on a BBQ.
Buying a ready-made meal is an abomination for our family; we like to prepare our food with fresh, healthy ingredients. Food is so much more than just fuel to consume in order to keep you going.
We are into healthy and sensible eating and most of our recipes are simple and have a Mediterranean flavour.