Leanne’s Back!

I'M-BACKSo, it’s official. I’m back. My maternity leave has finished¬†(not that it ever really does) and I am back in the studio (not that I ever really left), waiting for the work to flood in!…

It has been great to have a bit of time out from my mac. It has allowed me some time to sit back and reflect on what I do creatively and think about how I want to move my work on over the next few years. I’m trying to make a shift to a more creative way of working, get off my mac more and do a few more personal projects. More illustration, photography and the like. Really try to develop my own style. I’ve even started painting! It’s all very exciting.

I’ve got a couple of collaborative projects lined up with could see me spreading my wings into very different ways of working, animation, interiors and more. It was time for a good shake up, so this all feels good.

Have a look at my new swish website, that sees the design side of me officially launched in its own right, rebranded as Studio Mayfly.

If you have a project that you need to add a creative sprinkle to, do get in touch.

 

Bread News

Back to a full bake this week, Wednesday to Saturday. I’m also happy to say bread will be available at the High Street Deli in Newtown Thursday to Saturday from around 9.30am.
Since my trip to Paris last month, I’ve been reading up on techniques to get the most flavour out of flour. I noticed this specifically in “baguettes a l’ancienne” – a technique used in some French bakeries to make dough. For the first 24 hours the flour is just mixed with ice cold water and left in the fridge. This brings out lots of flavour. Another tip, if you are in France and the baguette has little dots on the bottom, it has been mixed and made by a machine (not all French bread is good….). Also if the boulangerie says “artisan boulanger” it means the bread is made on the premises rather than baked off….

Anyway after reading about these ultra slow fermented baguettes, my trials have started to make hopefully the best baguette in mid-Wales!! ūüėȬ†Will report back and I may have a new baguette appearing soon!

This week there will be olive sourdough on Friday and brioche makes a return on Saturday!

Oh and you can now get an evening snack at the Old Mill on Wednesday to Saturday 5-9pm. Bread and Olives, Stew and soup. (all with my sourdough bread)

Have a good week
Andy

Maternity Leave

As of July 2015 Leanne has been on maternity leave following the arrival of our second daughter Lucy. She will officially be on maternity leave until March 2016, however do get in touch in the mean time if you have a project you would like to discuss.

lucy-birth-card

Bread News and Bring and Barter

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog, but we’ve got a few exciting announcements to make.

Firstly, after 3 years baking at home, Andy’s Bread is moving to central Llanidloes and is going to have a proper micro-bakery. The plan is to open around the end of August. There is going to be a launch event around that time – we’ll be back in touch nearer the time with more details!
A lot of you will already know Andy has been on the look out for people who might want to invest in Andy’s bread. This has been going amazingly well and he’s nearly reached his target. But he still has a little way to go, so if you have a few pounds jangling around your pocket ¬†that you might like to invest (anything from a tenner up!), have a look on his website at the different options and please get in touch y the end of this week. The Bank of Andy’s Bread is offering a very favourable rate of bread-interest for those wise investors!
Secondly,¬†BRING AND BARTER¬†is coming back! I’ve just checked our archives and can’t believe it’s over two years since the first Bring and Barter event. We got so much positive feedback from that we were determined to make it a regular event. (remember – the one where we watched a great, but pretty scary documentary from Nicole Foss, then all had fun swapping jam).
Well it seems it has taken us a little longer than planned, but it will indeed be back. Hurrah! Initial plans are for it to be held on the 5th October, giving you plenty of time to make jams, chutneys, hats or any other hand-made/home grown things of beauty to exchange. More on that nearer the time, but for now get the date in your diary and get making!
Our final big piece of news is that Llani Kitchens is in the final stages of setting up now, we have 4 kitchens confirmed that will be available to hire and we’re expecting to launch mid-September. More on that soon.
All in all we have been busy bunnies! Which is probably why we might have appeared to have been so quiet of late, but it seems we are now ready to come out of hiding and are back with lots of exciting things going on!

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…

…or garlic in one bed.

 This years garlic harvest.

So last year we grew garlic for the first time, we went for it, worked out we probably used around a bulb a week and would need around ten extra for cloves to plant for next years bulbs, so planted 60 garlic. All of them came up, and grew amazing well into big, healthy delicious garlic, which we plaited into beautiful strings and hung around the kitchen.

Very proud of ourselves we were. Full of enthusiasm I was planning rows and rows of garlic in my head. It’s a cert, I thought. So easy. Yeah. We will make our fortune in garlic. We could supply the whole of Llani.

This year? Well, what can I say. Hmph. Something went wrong. The lovely damp, dull weather we’ve been enjoying for most of the year probably was the cause. Rust suddenly appeared on all our garlic and rapidly spread. We picked infected leaves off hoping to halt the spread, but eventually, with nothing but sticks in the ground, we had to give up and pulled our tiny little handful of garlic.

Luckily we hadn’t gone for the full field scale mission. We’d only done a few rows, we were never going to make the year’s worth we’d managed before. But still, I was expecting to have our own for a decent part of the year. In contrast to last years harvest (which has only just run out) this year’s looks set to run out some time in the next month.

Boo hoo hoo.

A close lesson me thinks.

At the risk of making this the most depressing blog post ever I could go into our other garden failures – slug attacks reducing our 40 kale plants to stumps; beans which would normally be 6 ft tall and full of beautiful red flowers, if not handfuls of beans, are struggling to clear two foot from the ground; all our fennel chomped before they’d even left their module trays; leeks, fail; strawberries, gone – I saw nothing but one hollow shell. The slugs, as they say, have been having a field day.

Good job this is only practice.