Saturday, 21 March 2009

Day 14: why have my breadmaking skills deserted me?

Truly felt like a beer or three, not during the Calcutta Cup (fell asleep) but the unnervingly tense, classically brutal and joyously old skool Wales-Ireland match. Really, it was crying out for Guinness. Or preferably Murphy's. Or it was crying out for me.

Still, I can sit and remember my first encounter with Murphy's Stout, back in 1978, in Cork. I had checked into one of those classic commercial hotels, I think called the Railway Inn, during a journalistic assignment to check out the imminent Irish oil boom (ah, the Porcupine Trough, out there in the Atlantic). I remember going down to the bar, where that precursor to Father Ted, the sitcom Oh! Father! was on the telly. I ordered Guinness, but of course they only had Murphy's on draught.

I have mever tasted a pint like that one. Creamy, sweeter than the Dublin stout, delicate and somehow, spiritually enlivening. At that time, Murphy's was unavailable in the rest of the UK. I bought several bottles to take back with me - weirdly shaped things, like milk bottles - but of course it tasted thin and dull back in Glasgow.

Now, I think I'll have a cup of tea, while waiting for my disastrous bread to bake. I don;t know what's going on, but for the last fortnight, my normally dependable breadmaking skills seem to have deserted me. After more than three months now of having no shop-bought bread in the house...

It's the revenge of the yeast!

No comments: