Friday, 29 April 2016

Friday morning

No sun this morning, rain over night and heavy clouds this morning.  The dogs and I had a lovely time at Shiona's and spent hours just charging around her garden while we sat in the warm sun in her conservatory watching and chatting.  She had made a lovely fish pie for lunch and I managed to drive home before the ankle biters had been turned loose.  It is not the kids that cause the trouble but the those picking them up who have no idea of how to drive or park.

Denzil has a second day off today and is just about to take the dogs for their walk so they are going mad with excitement.  I have a busy day today as I need to do some shopping and then I need to get in the kitchen and do some cooking.  Fortunately I remembered to get the mince out of the freezer last night so it is ready to go and with the new slow/pressure cooker it takes no time at all to get a bolognese sauce underway.

I bumped into our next door neighbours and had a chat so I now know that they are moving because he has a job in Brighton so they need to move closer.  They are a bit cheesed off about it having just spent shed loads of money on the house.  Now we will have to see if they get the asking price.  It is a shame that they are going as they have been very quiet and nice neighbours.  They have 2 couples coming for a second viewing so fingers crossed for them.

Well time is marching on an not a child in the house washed!!! as Terry Wogan would say.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Thursday morning

Good morning all another bright but cold start to the day.  It really has turned back to winter temperatures again.  Today I am off to Shiona's for lunch which will at least get me out of the house for a few hours.  I usually take the dogs as they love to play in her very large garden and with her two West highland white terriers.  I will have to see if I can get a bit of video to show you but given the trouble I had yesterday I am not sure if I can get the film from the phone to the computer in any sensible way.  I even tried to post the film to myself as an email but that didn't work either so I guess I will have to do a bit of serious study on this issue.  I'm sure it is probably very easy if you know how!!!!  When I tried to reply to Joy I couldn't even get it to let me leave a comment it kept coming up with an error message.  Computers are wonderful when things go well but sheer hell when they don't.  I suppose it all boils down to the fact that I have no idea how they actually work, binary might just as well be Chinese to me.

Denzil has a day off today so he is having a nice lie in. Of course his first full week of work has come as a bit of a shock but it is nice to see him employed again.  I'm sure the first pay day will be most welcome too.

I have left the men some fish cakes for lunch which should keep them happy while I am out.  Then what we will be having for supper is in the lap of the gods.  Tomorrow I am going to make a big pot of bolognese sauce as we have Richard, Mikes youngest brother, coming to visit on Saturday and he has a healthy appetite and will eat whatever you put in front of him which makes him easy to cater for.  As the father of three children I don't suppose fussiness was tolerated.

Well that about it for this morning time is rushing away with me and I need to get going soon if I am to leave on time.  Have a good day all but don't let the sun fool you it is still cold out there.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Wednesday morning

no luck with this

Yes yesterday we had the full panoply of British weather including a 5 min snow storm.  We had the lot rain, hail, sleet and snow coupled with wind and sunshine.  Don't ask how long it has taken me to get this bit of video from my phone to the computer.  Anyway this morning is freezing cold but sunny at the moment.  

I had another disjointed night so I am up late but I have had enough sleep and I don't feel shattered. Dennie did her stuff but she was feel a bit stressed so we worked together and chatted at the same time.  James made us a lovely sea food risotto for lunch and for supper we had the chicken and chips from the notorious take away and yes I know how bad it is but I don't care.  Once in a while is OK by me.

I have been messing around with face book and have joined the Spinone appreciation society where I have made contact with the owner of my beautiful Basso's dads owner.  What a small world it is.  

Denzil has had another early start but he will be home around lunch time so I had better look to my laurels and do a decent lunch. Pork chops with Mediterranean vegetables I think.  As the chops are in the freezer I had better get a wiggle on or they will still be frozen at lunch time.

Have a good day all and I hope the video plays

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all the weather forecast has said rain rain and more rain this week however it is bright freezing and blowing a gale this morning but knowing how fast the weather can change it is not over until the fat lady sings.

Yesterday for lunch I used up the left over belly pork with the sweet and sour sauce and a nice big pile of rice.  I then had a quick tot up of what the meat had cost me per portion £0.98 anything below a pound per portion has to be good value for money these days so I was pleased.  The man came and fitted Mikes glasses for him yesterday but he was a dog man so he was frankly more interested in Dante and Tubby neither of whom need glasses.

James made us a nice supper of tortillas with an onion and tomato salsa hot with chili and coriander and rashers of crispy bacon.  A dollop of sour cream brought the whole thing together nicely.  

I woke at 4am as usual but have now learned to go back to sleep and I don't seem to be suffering with headaches if I do.  I seem to be sleeping in two hour slots, but what the hell, so long as I get the sleep I need I don't really care how it comes.

Denny is due any second so I will have to get a shift on as the sink is full of washing up that got left last night.  I really don't want to be paying her for washing up not that she would complain she just gets on with whatever she sees needs doing.

Anyway have a good day all and lets hope this early sunshine lasts longer than predicted.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Monday Morning

Good morning all here we are at the beginning of yet another week. Yesterdays roast belly of pork was a huge success with acres of crispy crackling which is of course the best bit.  I cooked it on a trivet of vegetables which made a wonderful gravy.  I have 4 ribs worth left over so they are going to be put in some sweet and sour sauce which is ready made and in the freezer so that will make a nice easy lunch for us today.  I did some experimental cookery for supper.  I saw, on the internet, an idea of freezing eggs out of their shells then making poached eggs direct from frozen.  Don't bother it doesn't work you loose about half of the egg white to the water and I can poach eggs much better direct from the shells.  Oh well you never know until you try and it did sound like a good idea.  Now I come to think about it freezers have been around for a long time and I am sure someone must have tried this before.  If it worked it would be common knowledge. 

Yesterday was viewing day next door and there were several sets of people wandering around the house so we will have to see if they have managed to sell the property.  I still don't know why they have put the house up for sale and my nosey gene is driving me mad!!!!  I can't very well go and knock on the door and ask them straight out so I am hoping to bump into them in the garden when the question will not be so obviously nosey but they are pretty elusive and the weather has not been exactly garden friendly.

The laundry got done and now I have a nice pile of ironing and/or folding yes I am still in folding mode.  Sometimes I wish I had a whole day to accomplish something but my days are punctuated with family meals which don't cook themselves.  Most of us would be happy with a sandwich but Mike insists on a proper meal a lunch time.  I comply purely to to keep the peace and I know if I did an evening meal Mike's portion would end up in the bin. However it does cramp my style somewhat!!!

Well thats about it for this morning the weather is cold and miserable so a day for staying indoors I think.  

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sunday Morning

Everywhere looks wet with beads of rain clinging to the garden furniture so I guess it rained overnight however it is dry now but still very overcast and pretty chilly.  I spent an age yesterday searching for a photo on the computer but as I have failed to individually name each one do you think I can find it?  I think I may have to set myself a task of spending an hour a day naming photos so that I can find them.  Currently they are divided into years and months but that doesn't help when you can't remember when you took the photo.  This will be a major task as I have in excess of 10K to go through.  Many years ago I dismantled the photo albums and scanned in all our photos which took several months to do.  The originals are in a box in the loft as I couldn't quite bring myself to throw them away.  In the days I did this computers were pretty unstable and frequently crashed so I was always afraid of loosing the lot.

Today I am going to slow roast a big chunk of belly of pork which has not been scored so I will have to get my scalpel out and do a bit of surgery first and then pray I get the crackling right.  Sadly Denzil starts work at 12 and his portion will have to be put on a plate for him to eat later.  It is a fairly large chunk so I think it will be doing more than one meal.  The left overs might get either some sugar free sweet and sour sauce or a homemade barbecue sauce added.  I must say that I like leftovers as they do give you room to experiment.  

Next door had an open day yesterday but I didn't see crowds of people coming to look at the property and if it sells for the asking price it will be the most expensive house in the road. They are looking for offers in excess of £400K and nothing has sold for more than £350K so far and it all seems crazy to me when I think we paid 17K for ours.  House prices are just crazy.  Fair enough ours was a total wreck when we bought it and we have spent shedloads of money and put in many hours on it over the years.

Well if my pork is to make it into the oven in time I need to get going and make some preparations.  I have a shrewd idea I have no apple sauce so I might have to send a minion to the shops for supplies.  What are you having for Sunday lunch?

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Saturday morning

Good morning all, well it is bright but really cold this morning. Denzil was off to work at the crack of dawn but he should be back around lunch time. I need to do some shopping this morning as this is now a cheese free zone.  I also need to get the laundry underway as the basket is brimming over.  

Yesterday we had some of the diced lamb that came in the meat box it was very nice so far I have found the items of good quality and I may well use this  company again.  I have used Donald Russell before but I found that very expensive.  This meat is of good quality and more reasonable in price and I like the fact that it is all British meat and traceable.  I only bought things which were cheap or on offer as this was a trail run.

I made a big batch of pikelets yesterday as I had plenty of discard from my sourdough starter and rather than throw it away it went into the pan.  I added the salt and bicarbonate and the mixture went mad and I had to get it in the pan quick as the container looked like an erupting volcano.  Perhaps I was a bit heavy handed with the bicarb! anyway they are nice and light.  I thought I might top them with some tomato and mozzarella sort of like mini pizzas as a snack type lunch.  James made supper last night and did a whole batch of pot sticker dumplings and deep fried mini spring rolls which we had with sweet chili sauce.  I love it when someone else takes the reins of control and makes something that I haven't had to think about.

The organisation of the caravan is going well. The people who want to buy the van are trying to arrange to be up at the farm while we are there so hopefully the sale can go ahead with the minimum of fuss. They seem very keen to have the van and it will save me having to trawl around the dealers. So fingers crossed!!!!!!  I am now daring to look at cars.  I absolutely love my Landrover so I may well just go for a newer version but I will have a good look round at other makes before I decide on the make and model.  Size will still be an issue with the dogs but I will no longer need the 3 tons of weight required to tow the van.

Time for a second cup of coffee as I am quietly freezing to death here and I think a hot shower is in order.  Have a good weekend all.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Friday morning

I can hardly believe that we have gone past yet another week.  The lovely sunny weather seems to have disappeared and today it is very grey and blowy.  I now have a date for the caravan clearance 17/18 May so I shall be going up to Suffolk for a couple of days and staying in the B&B while I deal with the van.  I am going to be so relieved to get this out of the way.  It has been hanging over me like a big black cloud.  

The dogs next door had me awake during the night with their barking and then I had trouble getting back to sleep.  I finally dosed off at about 3am and slept until now.  Talking of dogs I have been monitoring the Spinone Appreciation branch of Facebook and finally I put a couple of pictures on and have been completely bowled over with the responses.  Not quite viral but close!!!  

Todays lunch is already made I have done lamb with flageolet beans which was done in the slow cooker so all I need to do is heat it up.  The bavette steaks we had for lunch yesterday were very nice and I cooked them as I thought fit which is to frighten them with a griddle pan then let them rest for 5 minutes and slice across the grain.  I did a caesar type salad to accompany and some potato croquettes.  As you can imagine this was a very substantial lunch so supper was a non event with each of us making a sandwich or an omelette.  

James is making me breakfast as I am naughty and seldom bother so I had better wind up this blog for today have a good one all. 

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Thursday morning

Lovely sunny day yesterday and the fur babies had a nice time swimming they seem completely immune to cold water.  Denzil was home in time for lunch after his very early start but his shift pattern is all crazy hours so I will have to look to my laurels if I am going to get meals organised.

The meat I ordered arrived at lunch time and was beautifully packed each item gave the history of the animal concerned from date of birth to date of slaughter etc.  talk about traceability.  We had some cumberland sausage from the box for supper and that was most acceptable but not really a good item to judge by.  Today I am going to do the bavette steaks for lunch and that will be a better way to judge.  Flank will be tough but should be tasty and with some nice accompaniment will make a good meal.  

Today the sky is a bit overcast but bright as the cloud is very high.  I have a chiropodist coming to do Mikes feet today. It normally falls to me but occasionally I think a professional is called for and this is it.  He is coming at 1pm so it had better be an early lunch and Denzil doesn't start work until 6pm so that will impinge on supper time.  It looks like a good day to do a bit of laundry as it should dry nicely outside.  

Time for the second cup of coffee and off to the freezer for inspiration!!!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all a nice chilly but sunny one here.  Denzil set off for work at some ungodly hour this morning as he is doing the early shift and Dan howled the walls down because he has got used to Denzil taking him for a walk early in the morning and today he was left behind.  It must be infuriating when you don't understand I'm sure he thought Denzil was just going walking not to work. I usually tell him I am going shopping then he knows he is not coming.  As it is I will have to go shopping today as the staples are running low.  With four adults in the house we get through quite a bit of stuff but at least they are mostly capable of helping out with the chores.  However I feel the weight of responsibility none the less.

I am going to be so relieved once the caravan is dealt with and I can start the hunt for a newer car.  It is going to be difficult to clear it as essentially I don't need any of the contents however I am not prepare to throw everything away.  At the same time do I need any more stuff at home just as I am trying to jettison the excess? I think I am going to have to be ruthless which is not in my nature, I lean towards hoarding and repurposing.  Quite a bit of stuff has come from home in the first place as hand me downs but there is also stuff bought specifically for the van.  Thank goodness Sandie is coming with me so she can keep me in order.

Today I have some meat coming from an internet company I thought I would try out. The prices are reasonable so if the meat is good I will reorder.  It will be nice to have the freezer full so I have lots of choice as to what to cook.  The meat I have bought from Aldi is good but the variety is limited and I feel like a change.  It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and cook on autopilot.  Yesterday I had a bit of a disaster I put on the pressure cooker to cook up a load of black beans and went upstairs to shower etc. when I came back down I discovered that the valve was in the open position and my kitchen was full of steam and black water - lesson learned always check the valve!!!!!

Well time is marching on and I have loads to do today so I had better get going have a good day all.