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Posts from the ‘Self-sufficiency’ Category


The self-sufficiency chronicles: part one.

With absolutely no apology for the level of utter irrelevance that this blog is about to reach, I’m delighted to report the results of the first ‘Great Flat Bake Off’ between myself and my flatmate. Having discussed, at length, the idea that we could live a sustainable, self-sufficient, non-consumerist lifestyle by buying some grow-bags for our flat balcony and attaching my bicycle to some sort of electrical generator, my flatmate seized the moment and set about making his own bread. The results were, frankly, calamitous – or, as he preferred to describe it, ‘inauspicious’.

After I responded sympathetically by mocking his ‘loaves’ and sending pictures to the majority of our mutual friends, he turned defence to attack and challenged me to do any better. That, dear reader, was a mistake. Not only am I one of the most ridiculously and unnecessarily competitive people I know, I’m also the proud holder of a GCSE in Food Technology – something that will come as a significant shock to anyone unfortunate enough to have ever been cooked a meal by me. Anyway, so it was that I reached back into the depths of my memory (by which I mean ‘found a recipe’) and set about making a loaf that would make my mother proud. The results were, if my modesty won’t forbid me from saying it, ruddy marvellous.

A crispy but not chewy crust, a perfect hollow knock, a faultlessly soft loaf – the entire thing’s been eaten.

As for future gastronomic challenges…in what will surely result in at least one of us meeting a premature end, we’re currently reading up on how to make our own wine (any advice gratefully received).┬áThis, though, is only the start of our pursuit of self-sufficiency. Prepare to see further posts on the hitches faced when growing vegetables from an urban first-floor flat, the debate on whether we could reasonably keep farm animals on our balcony and the difficulty in explaining to our landlord that we no longer wish to be connected to the National Grid.