Friday morning

First to answer a couple of queries.  The recipe for the belly of pork was a Gordon Ramsey recipe and yes it was worth all the preparation time.  

Now for the sprout recipe which came from Riverford.
Quarter your sprouts and toss in a tablespoon of duck fat then put in an oven at 160 until just tender.

Meanwhile fry off some diced bacon then add a clove of chopped garlic some thyme and some sage.  Add the bacon to your breadcrumbs together with pepper and salt and the grated zest of an orange.  When the sprouts are ready add some chicken stock and the chestnuts then cover with the breadcrumb mixture and return to the oven until well browned and crisp on top.

We had this for supper last night and it was really lovely....

For lunch we had a big stir fry with the strips of lambs heart and that too was very acceptable and I don't think many people would have guessed what the meat was.

Now for the not so good news I too have succumbed to the chest infection and am coughing and spluttering all over the place.  This doesn't bode well for the shoot on Saturday, Basso is fine but the rest of us are disintegrating at a rate of knots.

Mark the gardener came yesterday and he and I worked well in the garden and got plenty done.  The Rubinia  pseudo-acacia tree has been bobbed back to a decent shape and the tree peony which was threatening to over take the garden has been cut to the floor.  The weather was lovely and mild so it was an absolute pleasure to get in the garden and get the jobs done.  The pots on the patio have been reinstated and I have put the washing line away for the winter as my chances of drying things out of doors are limited.  Over the last few days I have been washing and drying some goose down pillows and once they are more or less dry giving them a blast in the tumble dryer.  They have come up beautifully and are all soft a fluffy again.  I am still waiting for 2 new pillows to arrive which I ordered on a special offer but after a phone call yesterday they assure me that they are on their way.  I am also waiting for my duvet to arrive from china but I expect that that will take a while, however, the satin sheets should arrive soon.  What luxury!!!!I don't think I will ever want to get out of bed!!!!!

Today, I thought I would make some sushi for lunch so I will need to get on with the vinegared rice if it is to be cold enough to use.  I also need to make some soup ready in case we are fit enough for the shoot on Saturday.  Even if we are not it will be nice for lunch if we are feeling poorly.  The kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it as none of felt much like clearing up last night so that is where I will make a start while I still feel human.  We have run ourselves out of lemons with hot lemon and honey drinks so I guess a trip to the shops is in order to restock.  I don't think hot toddies are actually beneficial but they do make you feel better so why not!!!  I have the distinct feeling that I will run out of gas quite quickly so I am going to push on now while the force is with me....

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