*slurp slurp sluuuuurp*
Such were the sounds that emanated from my couch most of this afternoon. I am so refined, I know. In my defence, I am battling what feels suspiciously like an attack from the flu virus that is causing an epidemic in the NL. Slurping hot tea helps. I hope.
Working from under a blanket in my own living room also contributed to the cause, I dare say. No colleagues to strengthen the virus army with foot soldiers of their own, no icy cold wind to walk through. And I baked bread on my lunch break. Silky flour slipping through my fingers, mixing with lukewarm water and potatoes into a sticky dough to squidge through closed fists, a bowl of yeasty-smelling elastic softness to pound at. If that isn’t therapy, I don’t know what is.
The bread in question is Nigella Lawson’s potato bread. Ridiculously, for someone who doesn’t eat them, there was almost a pound of potatoes sitting in my vegetable basket and I needed to do something about them. My man is leaving soon to go and hurtle himself down mountains, depriving me of a handy potato receptacle. I suspect my neighbors would slam the door if I showed up out of the blue to feed them gratin. I could supply them to the pigeons on my balcony, but I want those to leave, not bring over all their buddies for a feast. So I was in a bit of a quandary, slurping my tea, battling viruses and thinking about how to get rid of a pound of potatoes. I considered a potato gun, but when you’re home alone, there’s no one to shoot. Also, I am over ten years old.
Luckily, then I remembered a recipe for potato-bread in How To Be a Domestic Goddess. It is a basic white bread, with potatoes added. You don’t taste them, you just get a great bread. It is substantial, “gives you something to chew on”, as Nigella puts it, but not in that way that makes you tired because there is so much hard work to do before you can swallow.
There are no complicated ingredients, and I suspect the bread will happily go with many flavors. Before baking, I sprinkled it with some flavored salt my parents brought me from Berlin, with additions like cardamom, caraway seeds and cilantro. Worked great. Then I added a thick layer of chevre and thyme to some slices and broiled them. Worked even better. I ate them in bed, propped up against some pillows, alternating bites with more slurps of cranberry green tea. Wonderfully soothing and uplifting.
Virus army, watch out. I have bread, cheese and tea, and am not afraid to use them.