Friday, 12 February 2016

Friday morning

Thank you google

Good morning all it is really frosty this morning but at least I don't have to go out just yet.  Yesterday I shot out first thing to get a chicken for lunch and it was really perishingly cold.  It took me ages to thaw out when I got home and in desperation I plunged into a big sink full of washing up.  It seems to me the quickest way to warm up is hot water. Shiona arrived with her two dogs looking super as they had been to the hairdresser the day before.  

The chicken was cooked in the halogen oven as usual and was served with roast potatoes, courgettes and carrots.  Of course the carcass is in the slow cooker making soup as I write.  I think it will be a chunky soup as I have a bit of meat and some veg left over.  

After lunch we took a run out to the new Asda [not my favourite shop] as they advertised on the web site that they were doing boxes of ugly vegetables but sadly they had none and when we asked you would have thought we were talking Chinese.  So much for Asda trying to help the farmers who get to throw away 20% of the produce before it even gets to market.  Shiona was happy to restock her wine supplies and she also took the big suitcase which was destined for the tip as the charity shop didn't want it.  So all in all a nice day.

I had sent off for some king size throws for the boys beds as they get filthy with the dogs. White sheets don't lend themselves to sharing with dogs.  The throws are a deep purple so they will not show the dirt and will be easier to wash than the duvets.

On the menu today we have bratwurst and I have a big jar of sauerkraut which I haven't had for ages so I will need to look up how to deal with it.  I seem to remember my grandmother washing it then frying some onions and finally adding the sauerkraut.  I thought I might add a little eating apple to it as well and see how that turns out.

Well the family are now all up and the dogs are going mad for their walk and breakfast so time I got this show on the road.  Wrap up warm it is a very chilly one.....

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Thursday Morning

Good morning all - What a difference a tooth makes, at last James looks more normal with his new crown in position. He missed lunch as he was at the dentist but made up for it later once the cement had had time to set.  

I made a big batch of pancakes for supper which we had in the simplest fashion with sugar and lemon.  They were really delicious and I was wondering why I don't make them more often, then I remembered the standing at the stove for hours making them.  As fast as I could make them so they were eaten.  The last one, which was the inevitable lace doily, went to the dogs.

I was just about to get stuck into some cleaning when the door bell rang and there were Len and Margaret our friends.  Margaret had just been to the hospital for a colonoscopy and not only was she instructed to buy her own enema but also to administer it prior to her appointment.  Talk about DIY she was pretty disgusted.  I for one would not want to be traveling following an enema I would want to be very close to the toilet for some time.  As an ex Midwife she was pretty unimpressed and was not afraid to say so.

I have at last finished the centre portion of the cot blanket and now I am on to the border which is going to be more interesting and though the pattern asks for stitches to be picked up along the edge I have decided to crochet the border which will be much easier.  

Denzil took a large box of stuff to the charity shop which has thinned out the stuff a bit but I feel there is plenty more to go.  I am working on the principle that if I have not used and item for a year then it can go.  I must say that cleaning will be much easier once I have decluttered.  I have been thinking of asking Denny to come on a weekly basis for a while until we get the house into a semblance of order.  

I need to get going this morning as Shiona is coming so I intend to be at the shops when they open and purchase a large chicken for lunch.  I have a large portion of courgettes trifolati and together with some roast potatoes it should make an adequate meal.

This morning is very cold with the thermometer down to 2ÂșC but clear and dry.  So it is a wrap up warm day.  Have a good day all and remember the thermals!!!!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Wednesday morning

Good morning all.  Another long lie in this morning I am really getting used to this.  I wake naturally at 4am but I am now managing to go back to sleep with no ill effects so I am making hay while the sun shines so to speak.

James is out with the dogs and then he has an appointment at the dentist to fit the real crown so hopefully this should be the end of the process.

Yesterday Denzil and I took a ride to the wonderful shop and came back with the inevitable goodies. I bought a bag of 10 courgettes and a bag of 6 lemons for a £1 each.  The courgettes are are now sliced in a pan with oil parsley and garlic where they will get cooked and then off to the freezer. Some of the lemons are destined to go with our pancakes [yes a day late] and the remainder will also go in the freezer.  I am a complete sucker for a bargain but none of it gets thrown away so I see it as an economy.  All the stuff that is reduced needs to be used up quickly so if I can freeze it so much the better.

I am beginning to get the spring cleaning itch as I look around and see the levels of dust building up with four adults and two dogs it is significant.  My kitchen could really use a birthday there is a tide mark around the tiles where I have wiped as far as I can reach but now the step ladder is required to get to the very top and finish the job.  The kitchen cupboards could do with a clean and tidy inside as they have become very muddled and could use a good sort out.  I could also cut back on some of the equipment.  I have enough jugs to open a shop so a bit of rationalisation would be good. I think my box for the charity shop will soon be full to overflowing.  I must admit that it feels good to send a big box of stuff to the charity shop so much better than throwing stuff away.

Tomorrow Shiona is coming over so I need to think of lunch for 5 people and I am not quite sure what to do I think probably the easiest thing would be a whole chicken in the halogen and then an assortment of vegetables.  Most of my food is now set up for 4 which rules out things like chops etc.  

Well the dogs are back from their walk so it is time I got on with my chores for the day the weather is cold but dry so no hindrance to us.  Have a great day all......

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tuesday Morning

It looks vaguely like a lasagne and it tasted very good so I can recommend this ravioli pie as a quick vegetarian alternative.  Given that the ravioli were already made in Aldi the rest was merely an assembly job.  The tomato sauce I used was quite wet as it was made with real tomatoes and I had assembled the dish the day before which gave the pasta time to absorb some of the liquid.  Anyway this is a very good way to make two packets of ravioli feed four people.  

The weather yesterday turned into quite a blow with the odd downpour but this morning it is cold and quiet.  Mike had a visit from his CPN with a psychologist in tow.  They spent an hour chatting with Mike and have decided to increase his antidepressants but this morning he is complaining that he is getting a cold.  Normally this would be nothing of interest but in his case it could well be the start of another chest infection which can lead to serious consequences.  I will have to keep a close eye on him for the next couple of days. Not that there is much I can do except wait and monitor the situation.  
Denzil has taken the dogs for their morning run so I have a bit of peace and quiet to write before I head for the shower.  Macnades is having a meet the producers day so we thought we might take a trip out there and see what is going on.  I filled the car with fuel yesterday and was very pleasantly surprised at the cost. Diesel has come down to 98p per litre which makes quite a difference when filling a large tank.  As we do such a small mileage a tank usually lasts me a month so although the car is a gas guzzler it doesn't really matter.

If all goes according to plan once I have got rid of the caravan I will then be in the market for a newer car.  It will still need to be big enough to transport the dogs but I will not need the weight to tow the van.  In the mean time it is just a case of waiting which I hate I am a strike while the iron is hot type person.  Once I have made a decision I like to get on with it.

Well thats about it for today I can hear the shower calling me.  Have a good day all ........

Monday, 8 February 2016

Monday Morning

Good morning all - I was up at 4 but decided I was still tired so slept on for a while - if I had done this in the past I would have had the mother of all headaches but I seem to have grown out of that problem and can now put my head down with no ill effects.  Things change and some times for the better.

Yesterdays sweet and sour chicken was nice and I must make another batch of the sauce to hide in the freezer.  Today I am doing the experimental lasagne made with ravioli and homemade tomato sauce. We will have to see how that turns out I have used 2 types of ravioli one of butternut squash and sage the other of spinach and ricotta so very suitable for a vegetarian provided they eat dairy. I have finished it off with a coat of white sauce and a cheese topping.  Hopefully a portion of this and some salad will make a very decent lunch.

Denzil and I did a big shop yesterday which with two people made it very quick and easy as we split the list and dashed around separately.  I then took to the kitchen and Denzil did the laundry and James walked the dogs.  Do you see a pattern here we are easily able to split the work load between the three of us and not everything falls on my shoulders.  We all know what needs doing so no orders need to be given we all just get on with things.  I must say that what looked initially like disaster with both children back home has in fact turned into my saving grace.  

Today Mike is due to see a psychologist who is coming to the house around lunch time I only hope he can help Mike to see just how lucky he really is with helping hands all around him.  It would be so nice if he could accept his disability and just enjoy what he can do rather than bemoan what he can't.  He seems to have unrealistic expectations that there is a cure somewhere and there must be a magic pill that will turns back time.  Oh if only!!!!
And on that happy note I will leave you to your day........

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sunday Morning

Yesterday the wind was a bit gusty but nothing like we were expecting - is it my imagination or are the met office inclined to over egg the pudding these days?  Anyway I am pleased that we were not treated to hurricane force winds.  As I was up so late we decided to have a light lunch of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast.  The cottage pie got deferred until supper time. It took me very little time to make it as I already had sweated vegetables in the freezer and I had a pack of ready made mash so it was a case of frying off the mince and then assembling the rest of the ingredients.

Today I have a fairly big shop to do and I have organised a sweet and sour chicken for lunch the sweet and sour sauce is pre-made and frozen so it will be just the chicken thighs to cook and the accompanying rice.  Pre making things when you have a glut is such a help when you are pushed for time.  I really should do a bit more batch cooking which would save a lot of hassle and aggravation. Somehow at the moment I am not in the mood but perhaps I need to push myself a bit harder for my own good.  At the moment we seem to be living one day at a time and I am sleep walking through life with little idea as to where I am going.  The winter blues don't help much and everything seems to be on hold.  If I can get the caravan sold I think that will give me a boost and will be one less concern.

I have found a charity which will take the contents of the caravan to help homeless people starting out in new accommodation.  They are called "Porchlight"  and when I explained the problem they were delighted and even offered to come and collect the stuff.  Their nearest office is in Sittingbourne which is not far from me so I would be happy to drop the stuff off to them.  While the stuff is all second hand it is perfectly useable and would suit a youngster who is leaving care with nothing.  I am still whittling down the stuff in the house and found a friend who would love my spare wellingtons. It is always pleasing to find a new home for stuff which is still serviceable.

I would still love to move but I think it is too much upheaval for me to cope with at the moment so I will continue trying to reduce the amount of stuff which when the time comes will make life much easier.  Mikes health is still the major concern and though he is stable at the moment he is quite heavily dependant on me.  He seems quite unable to accept that his condition is permanent and there is no magic pill that will turn the clock back.  I think this is a family trait as his mother was exactly the same when she was here in her final days.  She too was very difficult to look after and very resistant to doing what she should.

Well that about it for this morning I had a better night as my back seems to have quietened down and is responding to plenty of rest.  Now I will have to be careful not to over do things until I am quite sure all is well.  Have a nice day what ever you have planned.........

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Saturday morning

Sorry to be so late but I have had a rather poor night and slept in this morning.  My back was giving me gip and I finally took some pain killers around four and then slept like a baby. 

Sandy took a picture of Dan and I while we were waiting in the woods for the first drive.  I asked to have a position where I would not be visible to all in case the dog went crackers but I need not have worried.  

Yesterday was a relatively peaceful day but when I looked at what Joy had on her menu I realised mine was exactly the same except we has salad instead of peas with our fish.  Today I am on a mission to make a cottage pie for lunch with some of my glut of carrots.  We are all very fond of potato topped pies of any variety be they meat or fish.  

My staples are running low as I have not been shopping this week so tomorrow I will have to hit Aldi and restock.  Having had several outings this week I have rather let things slide.  However in the great scheme of things I think going out was the better option.  I needed a break from the house and all the mundane grind of daily work.  After a while I feel like an automaton just going through the motions.  I'm sure you can all relate to that feeling!!!

According to the weather forecast we are in for storms wind and rain today but at the moment it is still and quiet.  The dogs have been walked but my sinks are full of washing up that just got left so I will need to start with a grand clear up.  But not before a second cup of coffee!!!!!!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Friday morning

Good morning all well I had a lovely day with Shiona she had made a delicious roast salt marsh lamb lunch so it felt like Sunday and you know how easily I am confused!!!  We both have similar problems on the horizon me with the caravan and here with a house to sell so we chatted through the problems looking for a magic solution sadly we didn't find it.  However it was good to bounce ideas around and look from different perspectives.  Shiona suggested that there are charities who make up starter boxes for homeless who are being moved into bare accommodation.  They might like the crockery and cutlery pots and pans and bedding from the caravan.  I will have to do some investigating I would so much rather see the stuff go to a useful cause than into land fill.

I had a good run out and back and the dogs had so much fun charging around her garden that they were both very tired when they got home.  I was still full from my lunch so the men decided to treat themselves to a pizza.  Today my mind is a blank canvas as far as food is concerned so I will have to have a rummage in the freezer, if push comes to shove there is always soup and a sandwich. Fortunately I don't have any fussy eaters no matter what I turn out they appreciate and wolf down so from a cooks perspective what more could you want.

The dogs are out for their walk and it is now time I got going so I will cut this short and go and get myself dressed to face the day.  Have a good one......

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Thursday Morning

Yesterday was cold but dry and at least the dogs came home from their walk without a ton of mud. James had things to do with his car so he was to and fro from the garage but now all is well and the bill was not extortionate.  Today he is off to the Dentist and hopefully he will return without a gap in his teeth.

The stew I made for lunch went down well but Mike was reluctant to eat his greens but that is no problem to me as it was curly kale and that is my favourite and I can eat a whole plate full.  For supper we had some rather nice sausages that I had bought from the butchery department of Macnades.  Next time I go I must buy more as they were very tasty.  I was impressed by the pork they had on sale as there was sufficient fat none of this skinny pig stuff.  I also made a big batch of carrot and coriander soup as I had a glut of carrots so that is now tucked up in the freezer.

Today I am off to Shiona's with the dogs and the men have a nice easy lunch to prepare pasta pesto and salad.  The pesto is properly made and once again bought from from the wonderful shop.  They have large bowl of it and you just fill a tub with as much as you like.  The good thing is because it is freshly made it freezes really well and makes a good standby for a quick and easy meal.  

This week seems to have flown by but I have had lots to do so I have been occupied.  My credit card suddenly refused to work and after a couple of phone calls it was decided that the best option was to put it through the shredder and they are going to send me a new one so for the time being I am on the debit card  so it shouldn't cramp my style too much.  

Well thats about it for this morning time I had a second cup of coffee and got myself going.  The dogs are going crazy asking for a walk but they are due for a day out which they don't understand.

Have a good day all ......

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all - Yesterday was a good day I had a lovely scrambled egg breakfast washed down with a big fluffy cappuccino.  I was quite restrained in my shopping but I couldn't resist some wonderful cheese and I also bought some nice shin beef.  There were as usual tomatoes going in the £1 section so I bought a bag of cherry and one of large tomatoes.  Once home I converted some of the large tomatoes into stuffed tomatoes for grilling for supper and the rest into a pot to make tomato sauce.  I have put the sauce through the mouli legumes and currently it is more a soup consistency than a sauce so it will need reducing today.  The shin beef has had a blast in the pressure cooker so that too will need a little work to finish it off.

Sandy brought me a brace of partridges which have been frozen with their clothes on so I can use them for dog training.  They are an ideal size to start the dog off on as pheasants are a bit large.  As I walked in the house with the bag Dan went crazy sniffing the bag.  He knew exactly what was in there and was desperate to get at them which is a really good sign.

On the return journey I had a bit of a fright, I had a person in a small car right on my back bumper so I decided to pull in and let her go if she was in such a hurry.  Once she had passed me I pulled back out to pass the slow traffic and she immediately stood on the anchors and braked really hard in the fast lane.  Fortunately I have good brakes and I don't like being to close to other cars.  I wonder if she realised just what a crash would have ensued if I had hit her doing 70mph as she was now on the bumper of the car in front.  It would have been a multiple pile up and my 3 ton tank would have reduced her car to scrap metal.  There are some crazy people out there!!!!

Today we have Mikes CPN coming to visit but not until late this afternoon so I can get on with my cooking this morning.  The house is clean the laundry done and put away so a few days rest from the drudgery of house work and I can play in the kitchen which is much more fun.  Tomorrow I am off to Shiona's for the day and I will take the dogs with me as they love to play in her garden and tire themselves out charging around with her dogs.  It will be nice to catch up as I haven't seen her since before christmas.

Well thats about it for today it is very cold outside this morning we seem to swing from double figures back to freezing every couple of days most odd!!!  Have a good day all......