Categories
Pobl / People

Lockdown haircuts with Scott from SLW Barbers

Have you had a hair disaster during lockdown? Suffered at the hand of a scissor-happy home barber? Grown a mane over the last months? With hair salons and barbershops re-opening by appointment from today, lots of us will probably be flocking to professionals to sort out the lockdown locks.

I’ve gone through a fair few hairstyles during this period, firstly I considered taking the opportunity to grow a man-bun, but having a short amount of patience for the intermediate look between hair too long to keep tidy, and too short to do anything with, this aspiration was short lived. I went for a mullet for a few weeks before settling on a home-made basic short back and sides. I’m sure to be visiting Scott soon to sort it out properly.

Its safe to say lockdown may have elevated the phrase ‘bad hair-day’ to a new level. I’ve talked to Ifan Jones Evans about his interesting hairstyle. Perhaps more used to sheering, Ifan styled himself a questionable fade right before beginning filming for S4C. Luckily, Ifan’s since been presenting on the radio.

If you’re like Ifan or if you can’t make it to a hairdresser, or are holding out for further weeks, read on for some professional tips on hair cutting at home.

I’ve been chatting to Scott Lote-Williams who started SLW Barbers, a self-taught barber from Castell Newydd Emlyn in West Wales. Unique in his artistic flare, and having not taking the conventional route into barbering, his start-up business is quite inspirational.

Scott’s been cutting hair for 4 years having taught himself at home while in year 11, and now with a huge portfolio of fresh trims; there’s no one better to ask about how to cut hair at home.

Scott began when he fatefully offered to cut his Dad’s hair, and later his mates’, SLW Barber’s was born. Firstly based in his bedroom, and now in his garden shed converted into a relaxed barbershop.

Scott’s haircuts have no boundaries as to where they occur, when I asked him about the most unique location he’s worked, this was a difficult choice between a 4:30am trim against the sunrise, a cut in a cow shed, on a paddleboard, on the pavements of Tenby or even in the Alps.

Scott’s most ambitious plan however, is to cut hair underwater, by sinking a barber’s chair in the sea and using a snorkelling kit.

In terms of hairstyles too, Scott’s done them all. The most impressive may be a re-creation of the style which won Mathew Guerin the British Master Barber of the year 2018, among other eccentric and beyond-cool patterns.

During lockdown Scott’s been helpfully instructing others on how to achieve a decent cut at home over Facetime, something I would have definitely been grateful for a few weeks back.

I asked him what five tips he would give to those attempting home haircuts, this was his advice:

  1. Don’t use beard trimmers – it maybe tempting but get some real equipment first.
  2. Work from long to short, gradually cutting more hair off (not from short to long).
  3. Don’t start with a skin fade, start with a 2 if you want short.
  4. Don’t trust your best mate (no matter how good they claim to be). Trust your mum.
  5. Maybe just try going to the barbers (unless you’re really desperate).

And there it is! The secrets to a stylish trim at home. Hopefully this will be some solace to anyone with a dodgy fade or skewed fringe. But if you’re not taking a second chance, SLW Barbers are open from today by appointment.

Categories
Celf / Art

Siôn Teifi Rees a #aerodynamicart

Dydd Llun, mi ges i’r cyfle i siarad ‘da Siôn Teifi Rees o Bontrhydfendigaid, am ei gwaith cerflunio a ffotograffiaeth. Mi weles i waith Siôn cyntaf ar Instagram, fe wnaeth siapau minimalaidd, bron estron ei cherfluniau dal fy llygaid. Do’n i wir ddim yn siŵr beth i wneud o’i waith, ond o’n i’n dwli ar y ffordd oedd y siapau yn llifo gan edrych yn hollol ddiymdrech. Wrth edrych trwy luniau o’i gwaith, o’n nhw’n taro fi fel pethau eithaf iasol, yn ennyn siapau esgyrn hen, neu ryw fath o bensaernïaeth ddyfodolaidd.

Wrth gwrs, y cwestiwn cyntaf roedd rhaid i mi ofyn Siôn oedd beth yw ystyr ei cherfluniau.

Beth yw ystyr y cerfluniau? Oes rheswm tu ôl iddyn nhw?

Aerodynamics. Basically, fi’n obsessed ‘da Fformiwla 1. Mae’n gymhleth i esbonio i bobl, ond fi’n obsessed ‘da aerodynamics, ti’n gwybod be yw aerodynamics?

Y ffordd ma’ wynt yn symud rownd rhywbeth?

Ie, ‘what makes a plane fly’ ac mewn termau rasio ceir, beth sy’n creu’r downforce sy’n neud i’r car mynd yn gloiach. Os ti’n sylwi ar geir Fformiwla 1 dyddie ‘ma, ma’ ‘na llwyth o details bach fel aerodynamic winglets dros y ceir a ma’ nhw mor f****ng beautiful. Yn syml, fi’n trial troi hwnna mewn i waith celf. ‘Aerodynamic art’. Os ti’n chwilio am #aerodynamicart ar Instagram, dim ond gwaith fi sy’n dod lan, a fi’n ffeindio hwnna’n rhyfedd.

Waw, galle ti dweud dy fod yn dechrau genre newydd mewn celf?

Wel ‘na beth fi moyn trial neud yw defnyddio aerodynamics neu ‘moving air’ fel ffordd o greu celf. Dyna’r ffordd ore i eirio fe.

Felly wyt ti’n ystyried aerodynamics wrth creu’r cerfluniau?

Ydw, yn union. Be fi neud lot o ar y foment yw cymryd dyluniadau o’r ceir, fel y front wings neu exhaust systems a’i chymysgu gyda’r defnydd o surrealism a siapau od. Pan fi’n defnyddio’r clai, sai gyda plan, fi jyst yn mynd amdani a gweld be wnâi creu.

Ar ôl creu ei cherflun mas o glai polymer, ma’ Siôn yn ei brofi mewn twnnel gwynt i weld os maen nhw’n llwyddiannus yn aerodymic. Mae e wedi adeiladu twnnel gwynt ei hun mas o gard, papur a thâp masgio, gyda ffan cyfrifiadur ar un ochr i sugno’r aer. Defnyddiai ffyn incense er mwyn gallu gweld yr aer yn symud dros ei cherflun. Y canlyniad yw’r lluniau syfrdanol yma. Disgrifiai Siôn y proses o wylio siwrne’r aer yn rhedeg ar hud y cerflun fel ‘meditating’.

Ar ôl profi sut mae’r aer yn rhyngweithio a’r cerflun, ma’ Siôn yn mynd ati i wneud unrhyw newidiadau gan sandio.

Daw cymhlethdod esbonio cerfluniau Siôn o’r ffaith y mae ei gwaith yn bodoli rhywfaint rhwng ffiseg a chelf. Mae e’n esbonio hyn trwy ‘biomorphism.’

Ma’ biomorphism yn air pwysig i ddisgrifio fy ngwaith. Yn syml, ma’n golygu cymryd ysbrydoliaeth o natur ar gyfer celf.

Mae’n ddiddorol sut mae llygaid gwahanol yn dehongli gwaith Siôn yn hollol amrywiol.

Fi’n gofyn pobol eraill am eu barn nhw am y cerfluniau a ma’ bawb yn gweld nhw’n cynrychioli pethe gwahanol. Dyle fi dechre ‘sgrifennu nhw lawr, byddai ‘da fi rhestr hir o bob math o bethe bizzare ma’ bobl wedi cymharu nhw i. Ond i fi’n bersonol bob amser yn gweld nhw’n aerodynamically. Ambell waith os sai’n hapus gyda siwt ma’r cerfluniau’n ymddwyn yn aerodynamically, fi gallu fod yn annoyed a bydd bawb arall yn gweud ‘na na, ma’ nhw dal edrych yn dda,’ ond fi moyn creu cerfluniau perffaith aerodynamic, na be’ fi’n gweithio tuag at.

Yn ogystal â cherflunio a chreu miwsig i’w band Pypi Slysh, ma’ Siôn hefyd yn ffotograffydd. Mae ei ffotograffiaeth yn gymysgedd eclectig o bortreadau a digwyddiadau bob dydd, yn ogystal â’r annisgwyl. Mae ei ffotograffiaeth yn dal hud golygfeydd dydd i ddydd.

Disgrifiai Siôn ei steil fel ffotograffiaeth ddogfennol, yn defnyddio ongl-llydan er mwyn dal pethe od.

Caiff Siôn ysbrydoliaeth o Peter Van Agtmael am ei ‘esthetig raw a stripped back.’ Gellir gweld y dylanwad yn ei ffotograffiaeth. Mae ei lluniau yn sicr gwneud i chi teimlo fel petai yn bryfyn ar y wal, yn cael golwg mewn i fywydau ac eiliadau unigryw.

Mae Siôn yn saethu ar ffilm, sy’n rhoi delwedd unigryw i’w waith. Dywedodd Siôn fod e’n dwli defnyddio ffilm achos mae’n rhoi mwy o werth i’r llun, esboniodd, ar ddigidol, galle ti dileu sawl llun, rhai a alle fod yn dda… ond ar ffilm mae rhaid i bob llun cyfri.

Yn 2018 daeth ffotograff o’i fodryb o fewn y 100 uchaf mewn cystadleuaeth Portrait of Britain.

Ymddangosodd y ffotograff ar fyrddau hysbysebu mewn gorsafoedd trên a mannau cyhoeddus ar draws Prydain.

Wrth i’r sgwrs dod i ben gofynnais dau gwestiwn olaf i Siôn am ei waith yn gyffredinol:

Sut fyddet ti’n disgrifio dy waith mewn tri gair?

Multidisiplinary, aerodynamic… a da’i yn ôl i ti ar y trydydd air.

Os oeddet ti allu cydweithio ‘da unrhyw artist arall ar draws y byd pwy hoffe ti cydweithio gyda?

Adrian Newey. Aerodynamists i Fformiwla 1. Ma’ fe’n legend, fe yw’r unig un sydd o hyd yn defnyddio bwrdd darlunio. A ma’ fe’n ddylunydd llwyddiannus ‘fyd. Licen i gael cwpwl o dips wrtho fe.

Categories
Uncategorized

Spice it up with a Sizzling Sunset

Bold name for a cocktail? Well she is bold. And spicy. And harsh.

This drink has so many layers; sharpness inherited from grapefruit juice, a warm depth from the ginger, and a hot kick from the chili… all in an impactful dance with the simplistic dryness of the gin and tonic.

Don’t worry if you don’t like G&T, the powerful flavours of this drink really mask the traditional gin and tonic taste. This is by no means a modest recipe.

There’s something unique about this drink – not only its colour, a kind of Grecian sky at dusk, a blend of warm orange and a hint of pastel pink- but in its juxtaposing warmth and freshness. This would ideally work well as a winter warmer as its does now as a refreshing mix in summer.

I’ve messed with this recipe back and forth to perfect it, and found there is a fine line between hitting impactful flavours and overreaching… often pronouncing this drink as a fiery and sophisticated cold remedy more than an enjoyable cocktail. And so the message is, don’t be tempted to add more and more chili, remembering the ginger too adds its punch.

Makes 1

Ingredients

  • Half a grapefruit juiced
  • 2cm piece of ginger finely grated
  • 1cm chili finely sliced
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 shot of sugar syrup
  • 2 shots gin
  • Tonic water
  • Ice

Method

Juice half a grapefruit.

Pour the juice into a shaker or a jar with a lid, and add the ginger, chilli, and sage leaves.

Muddle together well, to infuse the flavours into the juice.

Add the sugar syrup and gin.

Shake vigorously.

Strain into a glass half filled with ice.

Serve with a slice of grapefruit or a sage leaf.

For an added wow factor, if you happen to have any in the garden, serve with a nasturtium flower perched on top. As well as the bright red colour which adds to the drink’s great visual, the flower’s strong pepper taste compliments the heat perfectly.

If you’ve tried out this recipe at home, let us know what you think in the comments below.

Categories
Uncategorized

Spice it up with a ‘Sizzling Sunset’

Bold name for a cocktail? Well she is bold. And spicy. And harsh.

This drink has so many layers; sharpness inherited from grapefruit juice, a warm depth from the ginger, and a hot kick from the chili… all in an impactful dance with the simplistic dryness of the gin and tonic.

Don’t worry if you don’t like G&T, the powerful flavours of this drink really mask the traditional gin and tonic taste. This is by no means a modest recipe.

There’s something unique about this drink – not only its colour, a kind of Grecian sky at dusk, a blend of warm orange and a hint of pastel pink- but in its juxtaposing warmth and freshness. This would ideally work well as a winter warmer as its does now as a refreshing mix in summer.

I’ve messed with this recipe back and forth to perfect it, and found there is a fine line between hitting impactful flavours and overreaching… often pronouncing this drink as a fiery and sophisticated cold remedy more than an enjoyable cocktail. And so the message is, don’t be tempted to add more and more chili, remembering the ginger too adds its punch.

Makes 1

Ingredients

  • Half a grapefruit juiced
  • 2cm piece of ginger finely grated
  • 1cm chili finely sliced
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 shot of sugar syrup
  • 2 shots gin
  • Tonic water
  • Ice

Method

Juice half a grapefruit.

Pour the juice into a shaker or a jar with a lid, and add the ginger, chilli, and sage leaves.

Muddle together well, to infuse the flavours into the juice.

Add the sugar syrup and gin.

Shake vigorously.

Strain into a glass half filled with ice.

Serve with a slice of grapefruit or a sage leaf.

For an added wow factor, if you happen to have any in the garden, serve with a nasturtium flower perched on top. As well as the bright red colour which adds to the drink’s great visual, the flower’s strong pepper taste compliments the heat perfectly.

If you’ve tried out this recipe at home, let us know what you think in the comments below.
Categories
Bwyd / Food

Sgwrs gydag Annes o ‘Y Bwrdd’

Rwyf wedi bod yn sgwrsio gydag Annes Elwy, actores sy’n byw yng Nghaerdydd, yn fwyaf enwog am ei rôl yn Little Women, Apostle, a Hidden a sydd erbyn hyn wedi sefydlu’r cwmni Y Bwrdd.

Mae Y Bwrdd yn gaffi stepen drws unigryw a newydd yn ein prifddinas, sy’n paratoi hampers llawn cynnyrch lleol a phethau wedi eu coginio o adre. Mae’n deg i ddweud fod Y Bwrdd wedi helpu cadw diwylliant cyfoethog adloniant-bwyd Caerdydd yn fyw, ac wedi dod a chymdogion at ei gilydd mewn cyfnod lle rydym wedi gorfod fod ar wahân.

Dechreuodd Y Bwrdd yn 2018 fel ‘pop-up restaurant,’ yn cynnig prydiau tri-chwrs mewn mannau ffasiynol ar draws y ddinas. Falle mai’r peth mwyaf unigryw a sbesial amdano oedd y gymuned yr oedd yn ymgysylltu gyda’i gilydd… cyplau a chriw o ffrindie yn cymysgu gyda diethriaid i rannu bwrdd er mwyn cael blas ar fwyd anhygoel Annes a Gwenllian.

Addasodd Y Bwrdd mewn i gaffi stepen drws ar ddechre’r cyfnod clo, a mae wedi bod yn llwyddiannus dros ben. Gyda’i brwdfrydedd mewn defnyddio cynnyrch lleol a’i awch i greu bwydydd unigryw eu blas, does dim rhyfedd bod y cwmni yn llewyrchu.

Dwi wedi bod yn ddigon ffodus i sgwrsio gydag Annes am lwyddiant Y Bwrdd, ei choginio, a’r gymuned y mae hi wedi ei chreu. Fel hyn aeth y sgwrs:

Sut dechreuodd Y Bwrdd?

“Ddechreuais i Y Bwrdd yn fuan ar ôl Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau 2018, wedi i fi gwrdd â Gwenllian, sydd bellach yn ffrind da i fi! O’n i ‘di bod isio gneud clwb swper ers oesoedd, ond ddim cweit yn siwr sut i fynd ati i neud, neu falle jyst ddim cweit digon dewr. Ond o fewn deufis o gwrdd, roedden ni’n gneud ein noson gyntaf, i 30 o bobl yn Eglwys St Catherines yng Nghaerdydd. Mae gwneud rhywbeth dychrynllyd lot haws pan mae ‘na rywun efo chi yn dal eich llaw!”

Y’ch chi’n teimlo fod yna cynnydd yn y nifer o bobol sy’n dewis i brynu a bwyta cynnyrch lleol?

“Dwi’n meddwl bod o’n rwbeth mae pobl wedi bod yn ymwybodol ohono fo dros y blynyddoedd diwetha’, y ddyletswydd i siopa’n lleol erbyn hyn, yn yr un ffordd â mae pawb yn ymwybodol o’r ddyletswydd i siopa’n ddi-blastic ayyb, ond ym mhrysurdeb bywyd, mae o jyst yn haws siopa mewn archfarchnadoedd am 7yh, nac ydi o i gyrraedd y siopau annibynnol cyn iddyn nhw gau am 4yh. Gan mod i’n cynnwys siopa bwyd yn hobby, ac yn actores heb swydd strwythurol 9-5, dwi ddim erioed wedi cael y drafferth yna. Dwi’n dwli ar grwydro’r ddinas am oriau yn prynu pethau bach o fan hyn a fan acw. Mae o’n wir fod y siopau annibynnol wedi cael cynnydd aruthrol yn ystod hwn i gyd, ac er mod i’n clywed yn barod bod o bendant yn tawelu, dwi’n gobeithio bydd o wedi newid ffyrdd lot o bobl o siopa. Mae’r cynnyrch fel arfer gymaint yn well, ac yn aml yn rhatach, felly mae o’n gneud synnwyr i siopa’n lleol, felly o’r holl ddyletswyddau sydd gennyn ni, mae siopa’n lleol a chefnogi busnesau bach lleol, yn un o’r rhai mwya’ pleserus!”

Ydych chi’n credu fod llwyddiant Y Bwrdd yn cael i fwydo gan ymwybyddiaeth bobl am bwysigrwydd gefnogi busnesau lleol?

“Anodd iawn deud! Dwi’n defnyddio cynnyrch lleol yn fy mwydydd i gyd, ac yn rhoi platfform i fusnesau lleol eraill yn y bocsys. Yn naturiol wedyn dwi’n denu pobl sy’n rhannu’r un gwerthoedd, ac yn hoffi’r un math o fwydydd! Dwi hefyd yn cael lot o gefnogaeth gan y gymuned Gymraeg, sydd mor neis.”

A ydych chi’n credu fod Y Bwrdd yn dod a’r gymuned ati gilydd mewn ffordd?

“Mae’r clybiau swper yn sicr yn gneud hynny. Mae’r drysau yn agor tua 7.15pm, a phawb yn eistedd i ddechrau eu pryd ar yr un pryd. Mae o’n teimlo fel mynychu sioe theatr neu ddigwyddiad mae pawb yn cyd-brofi. Mae pawb yn eistedd ar fwrdd hir, fel banquet table, wedi ei addurno efo canhwyllau a blodau, a hyd yn hyn mae pob un wedi bod yn ‘BYOB’, a gan fod pawb yn talu o flaen llaw am y bwyd, a sdim bill i dalu ar ddiwedd y noson, mae ‘na awyrgylch hyfryd i gael. Oedd lot o bobl yn mynychu pob digwyddiad, felly mae hwnna’n tyfu cymuned yn ei hun. O ran y bocsys, dwi’n meddwl bod o’n creu cymuned mewn ffordd arall. Mae lot o bobl sy’n byw yng Nghaerdydd â theulu yn ardaloedd gwahanol o Gymru, neu dramor hyd yn oed, felly dwi’n cal lot o archebion sy’n anrhegion gan ffrindiau a theuluoedd pell, ac mae’r ffaith mod i’n gallu gneud o gyd yn Gymraeg a chynnwys neges ayyb yn eu cysylltu nhw efo’u cymuned bell.”

Mae’r syniad o pop-up restraunt a chaffi stepen drws yn eithaf modern, sut mae pobl yn ymateb i rain?

“Mae’r caffi stepen drws ‘di bod yn ddigon hawdd, gan fod o’n esblygiad o gal take-away, sydd yn beth normal iawn i bawb erbyn hyn! Mae’r pop-ups a’r clybiau swper lot anoddach. Dwi’n meddwl bod pobl yn clywed y term ac yn cymryd mai rhyw fath o come dine with me ydi o, ond wir jyst bwyty byr-dymor ydy o (un noson fel arfer!), mewn lleoliadau sydd ddim fel arfer yn fwytai o gwbl.”

Mae’r caffi stepen drws wedi bod yn llwyddiant mawr yn ystod y cyfnod clo, ydych chi’n credu fod yna le i’r caffi stepen drws ar ôl i gyfyngiadau gorffen?

“Actio ydw i fel arfer, a fyswn i’n dwli ar gario hwn mlaen, ond dwi’n ymwybodol unwaith i’r clyweliadau ail ddechrau, pa mor anodd fydd o i fedru trefnu unrhywbeth mwy na diwrnod o flaen llaw. Felly dwi’n tybio mai peth dros dro fydd hwn yn anffodus. Wedi deud hynny, pwy a ŵyr pryd fydd clyweliadau yn ail ddechrau, felly falle bydd y ‘dros dro’ yn dro eitha’ hir!”

Y’ch chi’n gobeithio ail dechrau’r pop-up restaurant ar ôl y cyfnod clo gorffen?

“Ydw yn sicr, fydd o’n teimlo fel dathliad go iawn, ac yn fwy cymunedol nac erioed, ond dwisio aros nes bod pawb wedi dod dros yr anxiety sy’n dod efo addasu unwaith eto i fod yng nghwmni pobl. Dwisio pawb fedru ymlacio yn llwyr a mwynhau eu hunain.”

Beth yw’r order mwyaf poblogaidd y’ch chi’n derbyn?

“Fyswn i’n deud mai’r brecwast mwyaf poblogaidd ydi’r bocs Brecwast y Ffermdy’ – selsig a chig moch gan Oriel Jones, y wyau gorau gewch chi gan Fferm Misgin, torth o fara cartref, menyn Sir Gar, a llysie brecwast neu ketchup Halen Môn. Ond yn ogystal â hwnna, mae’r bocs picnic wedi bod yn boblogaidd iawn ers i mi ddechrau honna, mae’r gacen lemon a mafon yn ffefryn gan bobl hefyd, ac mae pobl wrth eu boddau yn gofyn am bethau sydd ddim ar y fwydlen, sydd wastad yn hwyl i fi hefyd.”

Beth ddechreuodd eich diddordeb mewn coginio?

“Gormod o ‘Day Time TV’ dwi’n meddwl! Ma’ mam yn gogyddes wych hefyd, ond roedd hi’n llym iawn am siwgr wrth i ni dyfu fyny, felly os o’n i isio cacen, roedd rhaid i fi ei bobi o. Nes i fethiant llwyr o’r Victoria Sponge ganwaith yn fy mhlentyndod, oedd o mor rhwystredig, ond oedd dad wastad yn hapus iawn i’w bwyta nhw felly nes i ddyfalbarhau. Nath o droi yn fwy o obsesiwn wrth i fi fyw yn Llundain ar ôl graddio, a chael yr holl gynhwysion newydd yma o fy nghwmpas i – Bwydydd o Gameroon, Iran, Twrci, Jamaica a gymaint mwy, ar fy stepen drws!”

Lle i chi’n cael eich syniadau am ryseitiau o?

“Dwi’n meddwl mod i ‘di bwyta digon i fedru dychmygu be fydd yn gweithio efo’u gilydd, fel arlunydd yn mynd ati i beintio, mae o’n reddfol erbyn hyn. Mae’r ysbrydoliaeth yn dod o atgofion o brydiau, bwyta allan, a llyfrau coginio.”

Mae eich coginio yn eitha’ modern, yn defnyddio blasau o amgylch y byd a rhai blasau unigryw fel eich cacennau cri cennin a chaws, lle chi’n cael ysbrydoliaeth o?

“Dwi ddim wir yn gwybod o le ddaeth hwnna, ond oedd o jyst yn eitha amlwg yn fy mhen i y byse fo’n gweithio. Maen nhw wir yn addictive, ac mor hawdd i fwyta, maen nhw jyst yn diflannu cyn i chi eistedd lawr!”

Beth yw eich hoff blasau i roi ati gilydd?

“Ma’ pistachio a rhosod yn gweithio’n hyfryd efo’u gilydd, yn enwedig efo bricyll rhost, neu fefus o’r ardd, neu riwbob! Ond hefyd, ma’ lemon a halen yn gwella popeth.”

Pa tri gair fyddech chi’n rhoi er mwyn disgrifio eich steil o goginio?

“Ffres, Lliwgar, Lleol.”

O’r hyn dwi wedi clywed wrth Annes ac wrth cael cip olwg ar ei lluniau, allai ddim aros i brofi ei chynnyrch. Os y’ch chi’n byw yng Nghaerdydd fydde’n i’n eich hargymell i archebu o’r cwmni i’ch stepen drws cyn gynted â phosib, pwy a ŵyr pryd fydd Annes nol ar ein sgrîn a fydd y caffi stepen drws yn gorfod dod i ben. Wedi dweud hynny, rwy’n edrych ‘mlaen i fwynhau noson yn y pop-up restraunt, gan groesi bysedd y bydd yn ailddechrau go gloi.

Categories
Diodydd / Drinks

Simple sugar syrup

This one’s super easy, and essential for cocktail making. You can find sugar syrup at some shops, but it’s simple and cheaper to make your own… all you need is some brown or demerara sugar.

Add a cup of sugar and a cup of water to a saucepan.

Stir over a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. This shouldn’t take too long, just don’t let it boil.

Let cool and pour into a glass bottle. This keeps fine in the cupboard.

Categories
Bwyd / Food

Loaves in lockdown. A tale of national obsession.

Lockdown has brought out the best and worst of people. But if there’s one strange yet oddly comforting trait, its that a lot of people are kneading their way through these times.

I’d argue the two big winners of the pandemic are TikTok and producers of bread flour.

Shortages of flour and yeast on supermarket shelves (while bread remained well-stocked), is testament to the surge of home-baking. Perhaps it’s the therapeutic, stress-beating qualities of baking your own. Or maybe a deeper, archaic sense of belonging:

The first bread in the world was consumed around 30,000 years ago. They were flatbreads. (Flat because yeast was not yet used). If we’re talking loaves of bread as we’d know them today, yeast was used to make such bread from around 300 BC. And the recipe has hardly changed since.

I think its safe to say – judging by Instagram feeds filled with homemade buns and loaves, sourdough starter kits and focaccia – that there has been a bread baking revival across Wales, and the world.

My Dad was a bit early on the trend. Having dabbled in bread making now and again for a few years, with each loaf turning out completely different to last, he has never really been satisfied. However, he’s recently itched that decade long frustrated-home-baker itch, and has made a few consistent, and quite good white loaves.

I asked him what it is he likes about baking his own bread. “I like the process of it…its like a hobby… and its much more homely to put your own bread rather than shop-bought bread on the table.”

Unlike most people who would search a recipe online or follow one from a book… despite a bookshelf of cook books in the kitchen and a global plethora of recipes on Google, my Dad has noted his own recipe from trial and error, stubbornly independent from following any pre-written process.

And so this is his recipe for a classic, light white loaf (probably not dissimilar to other recipes yet nevertheless his own).

Makes 1 very large loaf or 1 loaf and 6 rolls

You’ll need.

  • 2 pints of plain white flour
  • 1 and a half tsp salt
  • 2 and a half tsp dried instant yeast
  • Optional – any sort of seeds (e.g. poopy seeds or sunflower seeds work well)

Method

Add the yeast to one pint of tepid water. From experience Allison’s Instant Dried Yeast works best, and is available in most supermarkets. Leave the mixture for half an hour.

In a mixer, combine the flour and salt, and pour in the yeast mixture. Use a dough hook to knead. If you don’t have a mixer you can do this step by hand but it is a lot more work.

The mixture should form a ball on the hook. The right consistency would slowly fall off the hook and the bowl should be clean. If the dough is solid, its too dry – add a bit more water. If it is in a puddle its too wet – add a bit more flour.

Place a damp cloth over the top of the bowl and leave the dough to rise in a warm spot … maybe on a windowsill. Leave for at least one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

On a floured surface, knock back the dough and knead again.

Cut, shape and score the dough into your creation. This recipe makes enough dough for one very large loaf, or you can half the dough, turning one half into a loaf and the other half into a batch of six buns. You can cover with seeds if you’d like.

If you are going to cover with seeds, a good technique is to wet the surface of the dough, and then press onto a plate with the seeds on.

After shaping, leave for another hour to rise again. And preheat the oven to 190 C.

Bake the bread according to its size, the buns about 12 minutes, a normal-sized loaf about 15 minutes and a larger loaf about 20 minutes.

If you’ve tried out this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below!

Categories
Newyddion / News

Introducing COC OEN – lockdown’s latest creation.

2020…

…the year Antarctica records its highest ever temperature (18.2C at Esperanza – Argentina’s research station). Soleimani is assassinated in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport. And Parasite becomes the first non-English film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

However, the reason we’ll remember the year 2020 is obvious. It’s because of the coronavirus pandemic and the unprecedented changes it has brought to our lives.

There was tangible optimism at the beginning of lockdown. People boasted they were going to write a book. Learn Spanish. Master the downward dog. Channel themselves through meditation. Bake 45 banana loaves. Lose 15 pounds, and build two abs. The list could go on.

With most of us findings ourselves with more time than ever, more time than sane things to fill that time with, drafting ambitious lists seem sensible and proactive.

Like many others, I didn’t expect restrictions to last so long. I had imagined the idea of lockdown before it had started as a prison sentence, like doing time. Lots of it. But now, looking back, I’ve released two main things; we aren’t living in a dystopian fantasy, and having all this free time almost devalues it. It feels as though time has accelerated as the weeks go by and I can’t grab hold of enough time to do what was on list.

My list of ‘lockdown projects’ was also ambitious. Like new year resolutions- all too optimistic, and perhaps unachievable. But most generations haven’t had this opportunity, and who knows if we’ll ever experience a lockdown again, and so why not.

I wanted to read more, and I have managed to. I wanted to cook more, I’ve done that too. I wanted to go running more, and I have, more or less. And the final project, which I had hoped would have taken off in week two or three of lockdown is this – COC OEN.

Week 14, and it is finally forming properly, albeit a bit late.

And so here I am, three homemade haircuts in, finally writing the first post. What seems like a bit of a ramble; all the ideas I’ve collected in my mind about this platform written down hastily to make up for time. (Although better late than never, I’m still kicking myself for not starting this weeks ago).

Introducing COC OEN.

The idea behind COC OEN was to create an online magazine about food, art and other things creative in Wales. It wants to celebrate contemporary Welsh culture and creativity in all its forms, and the people behind it. More content will be uploaded often(ish) and so keep posted on our socials and have a read of our blog posts.

And if your interested… we’re looking for people to contribute, to turn COC OEN into a collection of stories, notes and photos about culture, food, art and people across Wales. If this is something you want to get involved with, or if you want to share any ideas, please get in touch.

Mae COC OEN yn y Gymraeg hefyd. Serch nad oes llawer o gynnwys Cymraeg ‘ma eto, os i chi eisiau cyfrannu mewn unrhyw fodd, mawr neu fach, croeso i chi cyfrannu at gynnwys COC OEN yn y Gymraeg neu’r Saesneg.

Categories
Diodydd / Drinks

Mojitos that turn your kitchen into a high-end bar.

With bars, restaurants and clubs shut for lockdown… and a long wait until they may re-open… home-drinking has become Wales’ game.

If you’re like me, you’re probably missing going out for a few pints with mates, afternoons in beer gardens or nights out in town. It’s no shocker that alcohol sales are up 291% in lockdown.

Keeping up with all the quizzes on Zoom call for a few cheeky drinks on the side. As does the weather we’ve had (until this week). With lots of us with less responsibilities than ever, there’s no reason why not to enjoy a drink in the sun. A global pandemic beacons it.

Most would opt for a beer, a sound choice. Or a glass of wine. Or even a gin. But if you want to push yourself, and it is worth it, then try this recipe to make your own mojitos.

So, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve turned my hand at making cocktails- with varying success.

There’s a big mint plant in our garden, so I’ve focused on mojitos.

Mojito

Most recipes I found online used sugar syrup, an ingredient I didn’t have and so I clumsily stirred in some brown sugar to the drink thinking this would do. I also didn’t have limes, but I guessed lemons would work. No soda water either – lemonade would surely do the same job. I succeeded in making a sweet-minty drink that wasn’t too impressive.

A couple of days later however, I tried again, this time with limes, soda water, and the key ingredient- sugar syrup.

It was great. Cool and refreshing, perfect for a hot afternoon.

I didn’t buy sugar syrup, not being something you’d expect at the local shop. But making your own is super easy. Add equal amounts of brown or demerara sugar and water to a pan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved – done.

Ditching the googled recipe and adding a few twists of my own, I’ve adjusted the recipe with each attempt, seven or eight by now… and I think I’ve really honed the perfect mojito, or so I’ve been told by my family who are happy guinea-pigs. It’s easy and tastes like the real-deal, something you would expect to pay a tenner for at a posh and over-priced bar.

So here it is, and it really is worth making sugar syrup to use, even if you adjust the rest of this recipe to taste.

Makes 2.

You’ll need:

  • Ice
  • Half a cup of rum
  • Quarter cup of sugar syrup
  • A good handful of fresh mint (about 20 leaves would be ideal)
  • The juice of 1 lime and lime to garnish
  • Lemonade
  • Soda water

Method

Muddle the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker… if you haven’t got one, I used a clean jar with a tight lid. (A rolling pin does a good job muddling – the cocktail term for bashing the mint to release flavour.)

Add the rum, sugar syrup and lime juice. (I’ve been using Bacardi white rum which I think works best, I’ve tried using spiced rum which made the mojito much sweeter, so if you’ve got spiced rum I’d suggest using a bit less sugar syrup or swap the lemonade for more soda water at the end).

Seal the shaker/jar and shake.

Get out two glasses and fill both half way with ice.

Pour half the mixture in each.

Fill the rest of the glass with half soda water and half lemonade.

Finally, stir well to makes sure its all mixed and add a couple slices of lime to finish.

If you’ve tried out this recipe at home, let us know what you think in the comments below!
Categories
Uncategorized

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