Wednesday and bin day

Yesterday, was a relatively quiet day, Jane came and did her stuff and James went off to London but not before we had taken the dogs for a freezing walk.  The small pond that they play in was frozen over and Basso was not inclined to try skating.  His great big paws make excellent slippers and wellingtons but are rubbish as ice skates.  I plodded on with the cupboard cleaning and have now managed 19 of the 26 so I feel I am nearly there.  I also managed to get three loads of laundry done so that is dangling around the house.

I though long and hard about shooting today and decided that as we will be going to the pheasant shoot at the weekend I was not in the mood to get frozen and or wet today so I have cancelled.  It also gets me off the hook for lunch.  Mike and I had some chicken broth with pastina for lunch and for dinner I did a pile of sticky chicken wings which had been accumulating in the freezer. There are enough left for lunch today and they are as nice cold as they are hot.  All the stuff that had been cooked the day before is now tucked into the fridge ready for when needed.  It was a golden opportunity to clean out the fridge while I was at it so that too is nice and clean.  My vegetable delivery also arrived and I will now need to plan a menu around the contents.

Potatoes, carrots and onions are standard but this week we have curly kale, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and beetroots.  I must admit that beets are my least favourite vegetable and I really must find a recipe that uses them in a way I like.  Currently using them in chocolate cake is my favourite but it is a very limiting use of quite a lot of vegetable.  I have tried assorted borscht recipes but none of them were to my taste.
This time I will try this recipe.

An Earthy Beetroot, Apple, Pear, Walnuts and Stilton Salad

Serves 4 as a side or light main
  • 2 cooked beetroot – can be boiled or roasted until tender
  • 2 apples
  • 2 tbsp olive or walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, mince or very finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g salad leaves
  • 2 pears
  • 4 tbsp lightly toasted walnuts
  • 100g Stilton or soft, crumbly goat's cheese
Grate the beetroot and the apple using a large, course grater - the type you'd use to grate cheddar. Mix these two in a bowl.

Whisk the oil and vinegar together. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Dress beetroot and apple with 1/2 the dressing. Use the remaining half to lightly dress the leaves - you may not need all of the dressing – use your judgment.

Arrange the leaves on serving plates. Make a little empty space in the centre and add a mound of the grated apple/beetroot.

Core the pear and cut into 1cm thick slices. Arrange these through the leaves around the side of the beetroot/apple mound. Gently break the walnuts up a bit with your fingers and arrange them over the leaves and pears. Finish the salad with a nice crumbling of Stilton or goat's cheese and a good dusting of black pepper.

I like this combination without the beetroot so I may be able to hide it and make it less noticeable!!!  However as I don't have any apples, pears, salad leaves or Stilton it will mean a bit of shopping first.  In the mean time I can at least get the beets on to cook.  If you have any brilliant ideas please let me know!!!

It is marginally warmer this morning at 5 degrees so no frost but apparently we are due for rain - which we haven't had for ages.  Still I suppose we should just be grateful it isn't snow.

Have a good day all and don't forget the bins!!!!

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