Beer

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.

There is hope though. I have all the bits necessary (bar the bits for a power controller) to build a three vessel, 50 litre, stainless steel based brewery. I just need to get my finger out and get on with building it. Oh, and find an electrician…

I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won’t let himself get snotty about it. — Raymond Chandler
The first draught serveth for health, the second for pleasure, the third for shame, the fourth for madness. — Sir Walter Raleigh

Bread

Industrial bread, made with the Chorleywood bread process, is designed to make a loaf of bread as cheaply as possible, foregoing flavor, nutrition, and texture along the way. Life is too short to shovel crap into your face, especially when making your own bread is so easy, and results in a loaf with better flavor, nutrition, and texture; plus is makes you house smell awesome…

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts. — James Beard
The art of bread making can become a consuming hobby, and no matter how often and how many kinds of bread one has made, there always seems to be something new to learn. — Julia Child

Cake

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 absolutely terrible at decorating the end result; think melting Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Cakes have such a terrible habit of turning out bad just when you especially want them to be good. — Lucy Maud Montgomery
The great thing about cake is it doesn't feel like work. You forget about work. Kids, adults, they all get the same look in their eye when they're decorating cakes. That's the magic right there. — Duff Goldman

Cycling

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.

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Scientific American, 1896
The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it. — Doug Bradbury