Wednesday morning and bin day

Yesterday my new toy arrived - having read loads of glowing comments about the advantages of a halogen oven and as the prices are reduced I decided to go ahead and purchase one.  It seems to make sense as we are now only two people and cooking small meals in a big oven has always grieved me.
 As you can see it is a much smaller space to heat than a conventional oven and the baked potatoes took approximately 40 minutes to cook through and were lovely and crispy on the outside.  In future I would blast them for a short time in the microwave first and thus reduce the cooking time even further.    This is not really a fair test but I will keep you informed of my progress using this device.  I was heavily into making pancakes yesterday and made three portions of leek and ham cannelloni in a cheese sauce one of which Mike will have for his lunch tomorrow while I am at Crufts then for supper he can have a fish pie.  I have given him instructions in how to use the new oven so lets hope he can manage it OK.  The one good thing about it is that all its bits and pieces can be stored inside the glass bowl when not in use and it also has a self cleaning facility or you can put the glass bowl in the dish washer.
Once Jane had done her stuff we took the dogs for a nice run and they all decided to go in to the water pool for a dip - the water comes up to the chest of the small dogs but only reaches Basso's ankles anyway great fun was had with a stick which I was allowed to throw into the water repeatedly.  The weather was gorgeous with lovely warm sun and no biting cold wind so it was a very pleasant experience rather than a chore.
Pasta and meat balls were on the menu for lunch so the baked potato and some pancakes were fine for supper.  I had mine in the traditional way with sugar and lemon juice but Mike had his with lashings of marmalade.  Every time I mentioned pancakes Basso went crazy which at first I couldn't understand but then I realised that he understood the word "cake" to mean liver cake his favourite treat.  It comes to something when you have to start spelling words so the dogs don't understand!!!!

I have been watching a series of programs on BBC2 at 6.30pm about Queen Victoria's visits to country houses in which Rosemary Shrager looks at the sort of food that was served and how it was prepared.  Last night they showed a pheasant chartreuse from Marie-Antoine CarĂªme which looked most appealing and as I have all the ingredients I may well give it a go at some time. It looks very time consuming and is quite a feat of engineering to assemble but all good fun and should taste good as the ingredients are nice.  Then I watched the Hairy Bikers program which had a recipe from Argentina for preserving partridge which also looked like a good idea for dealing with a glut of birds so that is one for the recipe book and next shooting season.  I see no reason it would not work with pigeon breast so I may well try it out on them.

Well that about it for today I am hoping to have a fairly restful day today as I am going to need all my strength for tomorrows day at Crufts which I know from experience is a long and arduous.  I am being picked up from a meeting point at 6.30am so it will be a very early start for Mike who wants the car so he will have to get up and run me there.

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