Monday morning

The big boy on his way home after his fleeting visit for mothers day - you can't see but in that jacket he has secreted a fish pie, a shepherds pie, a cauliflower cheese and a batch of Welsh cakes.

Yesterday was a really beautiful day and it was so nice to have James home for a while, I have such mixed feelings about the motorcycle, I know it is the most sensible type of transport for him in London but I have spent too many year working in an operating theatre putting motorcyclist back together to see them as a safe.

Today Sandi is coming to visit with her dog Yoda [black Labrador] who is having a problem "running in".  That is when he hears a gun shot he sets off to look for a fallen bird rather than waiting until he is sent to collect it.  I have a starting pistol which we can use for a bit of training but it is very difficult to use unless we do so in the garden.  If we were to use it in a field there is every chance that some member of the public would phone the police and we would find ourselves with the armed response unit surrounding us.

As you can see the pistol is bright orange to denote that it is not a real gun but people don't know so they get a bit worried.  Anyway we will give it a go in the garden and see how we get on.  It will be good practice for Basso also.  I have got one of the larger fish pies out of the freezer for lunch which I can reheat and brown in Hal.  

I am glad to say that Mike is continuing to improve though he is still coughing quite badly it is gradually diminishing in both strength and frequency.  At least his nights are now not too badly disturbed which is always a good thing as being tired as well as ill makes you feel so much worse.

I had a good wander round the garden yesterday and have spotted large numbers of weeds so a serious weeding session is on the cards if I am to keep them under control before the summer comes.  I also planted up some cucumber seeds - they are a variety which will grow outside but it doesn't state on the packet if they are female only.  Just one missed male flower and you end up with really bitter horrid cucumbers.  By way of belt and braces I will also plant some for the greenhouse to make sure.  Mark is due tomorrow so I hope we will get the greenhouse dug over and some compost added so that it is ready for the tomatoes which I will get later this month.  I also usually plant a good variety of herbs for culinary use.  The mint and chives have survived the chickens but things like thyme, parsley and basil will need to be started off again.  The potted supermarket plants do very well once they are transplanted into good soil.

Now here is a recipe for gnocchi de semolino "gries" which I have promised

250 ml milk
125 gr semolina [dry polenta]
30 gr butter
1 egg 
salt and pepper and parmesan and nutmeg to taste

Bring the milk to the boil and then off the heat add the semolina very gradually stirring all the time.
Return to the the heat and stir until it thickens
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes then add the butter, salt and pepper and the parmesan cheese and finally the egg yolk.  A grating of nutmeg is also a good addition at this point.
Beat the white of the egg until stiff and then fold in gently.
Form the gnocchi into teaspoon sized pieces either with a teaspoon or your hands and drop into boiling stock where they will take approximately 30 minutes simmer until ready. 
This is by far the best recipe I have found for these delicious gnocchi.  They can be served in the stock or fished out and served with any sauce of your choice or even with just butter and cheese.

This recipe has been taken from "La cucina Triestina" and translated by me.....

I found a similar recipe on the net and let google translate it 

■ Preparation

Prepare 1 liter of broth with meat or nut.
Put on the heat in a saucepan with the milk , when boil, add the semolina in a heap, mixing well with a whisk, until mixture is very thick.

Turn off the heat and add a large knob of butter : stir until the mixture comes away from the walls and take the consistency of a ball.caned_sem_uovo_ric.jpg

Add the walnut grated nutmeg, egg beaten with previously caned_sem_crudi_ric.jpga fork, stir to mix the ingredients together and then let the mixture stand.

When the mixture is lukewarm, trained, helping you with your palms wet, balls the size of a tangerine , which then dive into the boiling water and drain when they float to the surface.
Put in a bowl two ladles of broth and dumplings two Lie down meal, and serve immediately.

■ Council

To make it even more tasty meal of dumplings , you can add to the mix 2-3 tablespoons of grated cheese (Parmesan or Grana).

I had to add this for a laugh!!!!!


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