Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dangerous Bread

The best bread I have ever eaten in my life is Maltese Bread - just their simple everyday bread, some of which is still baked in ovens like these where they burn wood to heat the oven and then bake these round loaves with a thick dark crust. This bakery is about 80 years old, the stone oven photographed here has something like stalactites on the oven ceiling, probably built up doughy steam dripping down bake after bake for 80 years. The bakery is in Balzan, the village my family are from and where my Uncle Sav still lives. Each time we come to Balzan we stop to buy bread there and I always have to tell them that I remember it from when I was a kid, and they probably always think they should just humour the old broad.
They are very proud of their business though, and they work very hard at it and were pleased that I wanted to take pictures - they invited us to come back when they would actually be opening the oven to take out the cooked loaves so that I could get a better picture.
Why is it so dangerous - because we eat too much of it and are in danger of looking just
like these crusty round loaves. Mmmmm - hobsa; a thick chunk of this bread which olive oil, ripe tomatoes squashed onto it with olives, capers and bjeiniet - a homemade style of goat cheese. See I told you it was dangerous.

Spring has been in the air for the past 2 weeks, it has been so lovely, not warm enough for swimming, but very comfortable in the sun - hardly any rain, that just started today which is needed. We hope it doesn't stay long as Tony's son Toni is arriving this Friday and we'd like to show him Malta in the sunshine and now lots of flowers are blooming and the green is all very green - much less so in the summer.

Glad to see the Christmas Season behind us, now we are getting on with preparing the boat to accommodate Toni, and our trip to Tunisia, which we've been threatening to do for some time - in the next couple of weeks is probably best, so that we can get down to work when we get back. It looks like Tony will go back to Malta Sailing Academy and Charters and I'm working veyr hard on promoting Sail Like a Girl Charters. I'm learning alot about this charter business as I go along and a few avenues seen to be opening up.
Its actually turning things around - instead of me looking for work as a Charter Skipper, I'm looking for customers for my charters and then I will charter the boats to take them sailing. All I've got to do is find the customers.

I must say we are looking forward to a sailing trip - its been so long that we've been stagnant. Since hauling Moondancer in Fall 2009 we have accumulated alot of junk on her bottom that we've got to get off if we are going to get any speed out of her, but Tony will likely do that by diving under her with a scouring pad and sponge.
Our Christmas present to each other is almost installed now - the AIS/DSC/VHF radio. Its basically hooked up now and hooked into our C-MAP nav system. Tony has spent most of the day today learning its characteristics and basically playing with it. Telling me the names of all of the ships within a 20 mile radius of us, how fast they are going, where they are going etc. Having used similar systems on delivery boats I'm looking forward to its usefulness when we are in heavy traffic - always a bit nerve racking at night.