I hope this finds you well and feeling positive – spring is definitely on its way! Hopefully some of what we’ve missed this winter will be back on the agenda very soon (for me, it’s seeing my family).
I’m also looking forward to being able to swim in my local lido and getting back on the river in a rowing boat, but to have the energy for that I need a little longer to recover from this horrible virus. I am getting there slowly but have a few side effects that are being investigated. I was hoping to be back with you on QVC this week but it’s now looking like next week, fingers crossed.
One of the reasons I was so keen to be on air this week is our Today’s Special Value on Friday 26th. It’s a welcome return of Cook’s Essentials Bread Maker (the product number is 809917), which was incredibly popular when we saw it in the autumn.
At a very special price from 9pm on Thursday until the end of Friday (if stocks last that long, of course), you can use this simple machine to bake all sorts of delicious bread for the family. There are straightforward recipes for white, whole wheat and Italian herb loaves, plus French bread or brioche and even Madeira cake.
You can also set it to just do the mixing, kneading and proving for you, so that you can then bake a different shaped loaf in the oven, divide the dough to create tasty rolls or use as a base for pizza. The bread maker also deals with gluten-free dough, by giving it longer to preheat to help the grains soak up the water and expand.
The 12 different programmes take around three hours to produce a perfect, irresistible loaf of bread but there’s also a quick option that takes one hour and 40 minutes. But if you really can’t wait, there’s an ultra-fast setting of just under an hour. You can make medium or large size loaves and choose a light, medium or dark crust.
There’s also has a timer, giving you the opportunity to set it in the evening and be woken in the morning by the fragrant smell of freshly baked bread wafting from the kitchen to your bedroom. It’s the perfect start to a leisurely weekend breakfast.
You make the bread with common supermarket ingredients – strong bread flour is best, and the yeast is the fast action dried variety. My first attempt was a total success, even though I strayed slightly from the printed recipe.
I used olive oil rather than sunflower for the Italian herb loaf and added fresh thyme and rosemary instead of dried. I also placed some sprigs of rosemary on the top after the second proving to give a decorative look. It smelled divine and tasted even better with lashings of butter as part of a cold platter supper.
I defy anyone to resist a slice of still-warm fresh bread but if you’re watching your calorie intake, maybe limit it to weekends. Or give it to the children – when mine were school age I made bread daily to give them a filling snack after school. I could control what went into the bread (you’d be surprised how much sugar and salt is in the shop-bought variety) and they LOVED it!
The TSV that launches on the day I now hope to return to QVC (Tuesday 2nd March) is something I could have done with over the last few weeks of my convalescence. As my ability to focus returned (some might suggest I’ve never managed that very well!), I’ve enjoyed reading and spending time surfing the net on my iPad. Both these activities need sharp eyesight for close work, and I have been suffering a little from tired eyes.
This collection of five pairs of reading glasses (product number 188300) include one that has anti-blue light technology, which helps restrict the amount of blue light from screens filtering through the eyes into the brain. Too much blue light can disrupt your sleep.
There are two options, Classic or Print, all with lightweight, impact-resistant acrylic lenses in a unisex frame with comfortable spring hinged arms. They come in strengths from 1.5 to 3.5 magnification, recommended as suitable for age 45 to over 65.
You know how you can never find your glasses when you need them? Now you can have a pair anywhere you go! Each pair has a matching soft case making them perfect for stashing in your bag or your desk, by your bedside table, or anywhere else you might need them. They’re not just for reading, they’re ideal if you do any close craft work like embroidery or model making.
Catch you then!