Hello!! At long last I’ve got the blog up and running once again under its shiny new name Roots and Wren! I am very excited to be getting back to it.
The whole moving to a new name thing has been a bit more of an adventure than I had anticipated to say the very least. I set out a week before Halloween, to ‘quickly’ swap the site over to its new domain name over the weekend. But as with many things in the computing world and, let’s face it, the world at large, things rarely go to plan. To save myself the hassle of figuring things out myself I hired somebody on the extremely useful site Fiverr, and the site was moved over night while I was cozy in my bed. Easy……except…… once it was moved it promptly stopped working.
There was no avoiding it, I was going to have to engage the brain and immerse it into cyber-worlds unknown. After some investigation I found that the problem was not with the work of the person who’d moved it, but was with the server. After just over a weeks worth of frustration and faffing, I realized I was going to have to move the site to a new hosting provider.
Now for computer minded types this might seem like a straight forward proposition, but for those of us who don’t even have a basic grasp of the underlying principles involved, this was a daunting prospect indeed. By this time I was two weeks into my weekend-long mission, and everything that I read about how to do the move presumed a basic knowledge in the workings of the Internet, which I was lacking. At the library I found a book written for young teenagers about the basics of website design. It was perfect. It gave me the foundations of knowledge that allowed me to make sense of everything that came after.
So, armed with a book for teenagers, a handful of youtube videos, and a super helpful live-chat help desk at the new hosting site, I did it…on my own! I migrated my own website to a new host, pointed the domain name to it, and redesigned the look of it. I even learned a little coding!
For a long time now I’ve been wanting to learn more about how the internet works, but have never really had a compelling reason to actually get on with it. As frustrating as it was at times, and decidedly more time consuming than I had intended, being faced with a situation which left me little other option than to learn something I’d been wanting to learn for ages anyway turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. I’m now coming back to the blog with new understanding and it’s really empowering.
So why Roots and Wren? I wanted to find a name that reflects what’s important to me, and that sums up what I would like to try and express through the blog.
Roots. Not only does this speak to my undying love of most root vegetables(apt I feel as many of my recipes revolve around them) but also my mission is to try and find the joy in myself as I am, finding the roots of me and endeavoring to strip away the superfluous clutter. It also describes a point I’ve reached in what has been a life lived more comfortably on the nomadic side, where suddenly I’m longing to lay down some solid roots in terms of home.
Wren. Firstly I just really love wrens. Inspired by this love I investigated and found that this little bird has come to symbolize some really lovely things in many traditions. Among other things some see the wren as a symbol of vibrancy, energy and creativity, a reminder to keep a happy heart and to make progress each day. They are to some a reminder to live life to the fullest, and to be bold. Perfect. As it happened while I was thinking about this a wren decided to come and live in our garden for a while, and I kept seeing it flitting happily around outside the window. Clearly this was the name.
So there you have it, Roots and Wren!
To celebration of getting back to the blog after finding a new name that makes me really happy, and learning some invaluable new skills, I’m sharing a recipe that I truly love; simple, delicious, healthy and happy-making whole wheat raisin bread. Enjoy!
- 500g strong whole wheat flour, plus a little for sprinkling
- 1 tsp salt
- 25g honey
- 10g instant yeast
- 350mL warm milk
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice), plus a little for kneading and greasing.
- 150g raisins
- 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- Weigh the flour into a large bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other making sure to not allow them to touch as the salt will kill the yeast if they come into direct contact.
- Tip in the honey, oil and milk and turn the dough with your fingers, squishing it together until it comes together to form a rough dough.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead it for about 10 minutes until it’s become stretchy, is no longer sticky, and has formed a smooth skin. Alternatively set it in a mixer fixed with a dough hook and allow it to knead for about 5 minutes until the same results are achieved.
- Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size, at least 2 hours.
- Prepare a 2 lb loaf tin by oiling it lightly.
- Once the dough is risen turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it down with your knuckles, folding it in on its self until there are no bubbles. Form the dough into a rough rectangle and sprinkle the cinnamon and raisins over the surface. Now you can either simply roll the dough to leave a swirl of cinnamon and raisins inside, or fold the dough over and knead the fillings in, folding and kneading until you’re satisfied with the distribution. Form the dough into a rectangle again and roll it into a cylindrical shape of a length that will fit nicely into your tin. Place the dough into the tin, join side down, and place the loaf into a large plastic bag and leave to prove for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- The dough is finished proving when it’s risen and you can poke it gently and it springs back. Once it’s to this point slit the top of the loaf with a sharp knife and place it into the pre-heated oven. Leave it to bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow if you gently tip it from the tin and tap the bottom.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack. This is lovely fresh, warm and buttered!