I used to claim that beer was my day-long obsession, joy and torment. These days there's less of the obsession and joy, and more of the torment. I haven't brewed in over two and a half years, after blowing the brew shed electrics when I wired up a switch incorrectly, while rushing to get a brew under way.
Fed up with eating tasteless industrial bread, one day I decided to have a go at making my own. This naturally lead onto making sourdough and I haven't looked back. I don't bake much bread these days, but nothing beats a slab of homemade sourdough and homemade chunky marmalade for breakfast.
I've baked for my work colleagues, pretty much every week baring illness or holidays, for over three years. Large cakes, small cakes, biscuits, cookies, fruit loafs, muffins, buns; you name it, I've had a stab at baking it. While I like the process of baking, and gain a lot of satisfaction from it, I'm not that bothered about eating the end result.
After a holiday in France spent eating local goats cheese, I decided to have a go at making some myself. So far I've only make a few batches of soft cheese, but the plan is to eventually make some cider washed rind goats chese, using locally sourced goats milk.
I have a love hate relationship with chocolate. I don't like chocolate cake, or choclate pudings for example, but I like a brownie and the ocassional strong, dark, single origin bar. My first few attempts at tempering my own chocolate have been nothing short of a disaster, there's lots to learn.
One Autumn while out cycling, I stumbled upon an orchard, where all the fuit was rotting in the trees and going to waste, so I decided to go scrumping and make some cider. Cue three years of obsession, a garden full of apples and a shed full of fermenters. Some it was actualy drinkable.
After a bad experience with coffee flavourd ice cream as a child, I eschewed coffee until my early forties. Attempting to give up a nasty Red Bull habit, I started drinking it and got hooked. I still don't really like hot drinks though, so prefer to drink homemade cold brew and tonic water.
The question isn't “Why do I ride a bike?”, it's “Why don't you ride a bike?”. An open road, a muddy bridleway, a technical trail; as long as it's on two wheels and under your own power, nothing beats the feeling of the weather in your face, or the nettles on your legs.
While I own a digital camera, I much prefer shooting film, especially black and white. I used to have a darkroom, and enjoyed locking myself in it for an evening to process and print the film I'd shot. I also got heavily into pinhole photography, mainly as it's photography's equivalent of slow food.