Sunday bright and early
Yesterday went well though I never did get to the garden. I did manage to get the hens sorted out and have given them a heavy ceramic dog bowl for their food as they have been tipping the other one over regularly. I also cleaned out and refurbished their nest box so hopefully they will all lay in it. One has been laying elsewhere so I have to have a good look around when I collect the eggs. I swung by Tesco on the way to walk the dogs and bought some packets of gnocchi which I fried as seen on Nigella and made into fairy roast potatoes - well worth a try. Then it was off to the butcher for a chicken which I cooked to perfection with the thermometer, what a great toy!!!! The last of the runner beans completed the meal. By the time I had cleared everything up and done the general knowledge crossword to keep my brain alive it was time for a siesta, I am trying not to push myself until I am 100%. For dinner we opened one of the jars of pate which had not sealed well and had that on toast - the figs gave a very pleasant sweetness to counteract the strong flavour of the pigeon breast and the pork belly lubricated everything. I was interested to watch Henry prepare the spices for the pate as I would have had no idea how much was needed for that amount of meat. I reckon he put about double what I would have put and yet it is not too spicy. We used Marsala and brandy to moisten the mix before packing into the jars and tightening the lids and placing in a bain marie and cooking in an oven of 125 degrees for about 2.5 hours. the jars I refer to are the French equivalent to kilner jars with a metal insert under the screw on lid. The one that failed was very old and decrepit so it was no surprise that it failed. Part of the mix went into a terrine and that has been taken out after being aloud to ripen for a few days in the fridge and is now wrapped in foil and in the freezer. I now feel competent and confident enough to make all sorts of things in jars!!!!
Today I am off shooting with Shiona and her friends but first a bit of ironing is needed as the laundry has been piling up and now I really need to get going with it. I hate it when the next load of washing hits before the first is done and out of the way. I have decided that as the weather is due to be good for a few days the gardening can wait until Monday when I have nothing else planned. I also need to take a pair of trousers up to the dressmaker as they need a bit of alteration and the hems taken up. I bought them on the spur of the moment as they were so cheap - they are for hunting and are moleskins in a dark green but they are men's trousers, so big in the waist to account for larger bums!!!! However, they will do splendidly for clambering over brambles......
Now here is a tip that came from shooting that might be useful to the cooks - I have a screw that keeps working loose on the fore end of my gun and I was advised to put the screw in with a dab of nail varnish which will hold it without making it a permanent fix. I then though that it would come in handy for several of my saucepans which have a similar problem of screws working loose over time. Therefore, I now have a pot of nail varnish in my kitchen "crap" draw!!!! you know the one with the elastic bands, paper-clips, dead biros and all the other things which will come in handy one day!!!!! I must admit that I have a set of tools in that draw that Mike is forbidden to touch that way they stay there and don't end up in his tool box. The small hammer I used on crabs, the pliers are excellent for pin boning and the Philips and single slot screw drivers have more uses than I can mention and have saved my dinner knives being used as screw drivers by those too lazy to get a screw driver....no names no pack drill!!!!!!
OK time for my second cup of instant coffee "yuck" and on with the ironing have a good one everyone.