Been here best part of two weeks already and it is the feast of St Honore, patron saint of bakers and it’s pissing it down.
I am being SERIOUSLY challenged by technology. Just before we came to France I bought a Blackberry Playpad and a little keyboard and we brought this and a laptop over so we could both work without carrying the weight of two laptops. I’m reasonably pleased with the pad; it doubles as an iPod and Kindle and, for twenty five quid the keyboard is fantastic.
But email …..? We’re supposed to have a wifi connection in the studio coming from the big house but, sometimes nothing, sometimes a faint signal that disappears at the crucial moment, sometimes Limited Access -No Internet. And that’s just on the laptop – the pad hasn’t managed to connect at all. There are all sorts of other problems with Outlook, and incorrect settings that I don’t understand and with which I won’t bore you.
Why is this important? Because the flow of people trying to buy books hasn’t slowed down and my solution was to email them pdf’s now and post them books when we get back. The local wifi cafe is about a miles walk away – no hassle, perfect reception. But pdf’s I could send last week have suddenly become too big to load …. So for my last two customers I’ve had to buy flash cards and put them in the post – think I’ll be out of pocket by the time I get home and mail the actual books. But customers is customers and you have to look after them.
Then there’s the oven technology. After years of having a little tin box Rowenta convection oven here, last year Madame proudly presented her new equally small combination oven – basically a microwave but with the option of convection heat.
As you know I am dedicated to taking the bollocks out of baking, but this oven has no balls at all. You can produce bread in it but, after a prolonged bake, it comes out pure white and totally lacking in crust.
And that’s without me having to get used to French flour …
This could be the ugliest loaf I’ve ever baked. But then ugly, pale and crustless, it still tasted good.
Coming up next: a serious pop at the Real Bread Campaign. It’s been a long time coming …