The disappearance of the final box of hoarded Christmas loot from the pantry shelf had all Homesteader’s thoughts turning to the reintroduction of Sage Words. A little investigation and counting backwards revealed that it was the turn of I, your humble scribe, to take on the role of Sage. Now, I confess to feeling a little smug and well prepared this time as, not so long ago when we were in the midst of revisiting Dr Who episodes past, the most sage-ily perfect words fell from Peter Capaldi’s lips and (miracle upon miracles) I reached for my phone and recorded them. Even now, I can’t hold back the smirk of one for whom the land of organised thought is a seldom visited place.
These words resonated with me; I mean, they’re good, sound advice. Being cruel is horrid and, in my experience, damages the perpetrator as much as the victim, while a coward is often lonely as folk struggle to trust someone who can’t be counted on to have your back. It is a great idea to steer clear of committing either of these.
But what I loved about The 12th Doctor’s utterance is, while you are directed to never do them, he then (because the clever old Timelord has known us Earthlings long enough to appreciate we’ll slip up from time to time) he tells us exactly how to fix up our mess. It’s so beautifully simple.
In the spirit of the chosen words, I then set about tackling something that strikes fear into my very being as our morning tea treat: bread. Foccacia to be precise. Yeast baking and I have a long history of being incompatible and that feeling of utter failure on regularly removing pancake, rock like objects from the oven over the years (“this time WILL be different”) is very keen. However, once we finished with the final episode of Dr Who we stumbled upon another (albeit totally different) series to fill that post meal, all-of-us-together viewing time: The Great British Bake Off. Now, we know this programme is currently a tad controversial but, as we’re only about to discover the winner of Series Two, we’re still in Mary Berry/Paul Hollywood happyland; a place from which we have witnessed quite a few bready triumphs and just as many disasters – most of which I could totally identify with. A little googling uncovered that Bread Maestro Paul Hollywood’s focaccia recipe.
Oh the crumb! The uneven texture! The chewiness! The taste!! Yes Paul, I followed the recipe and I just knew I “would not be going home this week.” The Homestead Smug-o-meter registered an all-time high as I lay it in front of the ravenous hoards.
No need to make amends this time; Courage paid off.