Monday morning

Well we are still sub zero this morning and the snow fall is still as it was with no addition or significant thaw.  We did have a couple of avalanches yesterday as the snow fell from the solar panels and came crashing down in large lumps.  The dogs were in their element and ran about the garden with sheer joy.  So, bright and early we cleared the snow off the car and piled the fit dogs in and headed off for the rugby field.  This is a great place to put the car through its paces and check that the ABS is working well.  The dogs had a very good time as the only other people there were other dog walkers, presumably the children and their sledges were still at home having breakfast.  While we were out the bread was left to rise in the warmth of the central heating.  I did the mash according to Heston and I have to admit it was delicious but a very messy method with copious pans, sieves and ricers to wash up.  Worth the mess?  I would have to say yes!!! but not for every day use only for special occasions.  The slow cooked shoulder of lamb was also very tasty and as it was very small the left overs were just enough to make some scotch broth for supper.

Tuc had a good day and was constantly begging for food which I take to be a good sign.  He is having three meals per day but of only about two tablespoons worth of food which he considers insufficient!!!  In desperation yesterday he decided that the snow was ice cream and was to be eaten in lieu of food.  This we discouraged as the last thing we wanted was a chilled stomach problem as well.  Today he is having couscous as his carbohydrate mixed with some Chappie which is the lowest fat dog food we can find. Yesterday was basmati rice.  Today I will try to increase the carbohydrate to Chappie ratio from 2:1 to 1:1 and hope he can tolerate that and may feel a little more satisfied.

Today I am finally getting round to doing the macaroni cheese recipe which the men keep asking about so I guess they are keen to give it a go.  While we were out yesterday morning we also got a copy of the Heston booklet that was in the Telegraph, there was also a general knowledge crossword puzzle so that kept us happy for a while.  In the booklet there is a recipe for a sort of salad which is presented in the most stunning way

Garden salad with sauce gribiche -  The soil is made of a very thin layer of black olives chopped very finely and dried off in the oven.  I just love the presentations and given that it is just vegetables and mayonnaise it should make a really good starter....

Although it is not exactly the weather for it I will have to get the washing machine going and do some laundry as the basket is getting very full.  I also noted that my very warm puffer jacket that I keep for snow is a little grubby to say the very least so that too is heading for a good wash.  Our friends are arriving on Saturday so bed changing will have to wait until later on in the week in the mean time I can get the clothing done.

Now with all this cold weather I feel I must keep you up to date with the silk duvet.  It is quite remarkable that despite being so thin and light it is very warm and has kept me toasty warm through the coldest of nights.  I must say I am surprised at the thermal insulation value of the silk.  My bed room is pretty cold as it doesn't have a radiator and I always have a window open if not the outside door.  You probably think I am mad but I like my bedroom cold but my bed warm.

Well that is the plan for today - hope you have a good one and my sympathies if you have to struggle in to work.......
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