Well who got their timing completely wrong then - I got a whole load of washing all pegged out just in time for the heavens to open. Fortunately the second load of duvet covers and king size sheets was still in the machine. They are for the tumble dryer!!! The gammon braised in Madeira was really rather nice and so easy with the slow cooker the accompanying creamed spinach was from the garden so also nice and easy. Our lunch of an egg and tomato sandwich left plenty of room for a more robust supper. The recipe is from Constance Spry and is a real one pot wonder. Any left overs make a wonderful soup once blitzed and with a little added stock. I also have a couple of bundles of nice english asparagus just crying out for some hollandaise sauce.
Gammon joint [currently half price in Tesco] soaked over night to remove the salt
drain and dry the joint then brown in a pan on all sides in dripping or lard. Remove meat and add a mixture of diced vegetables [what ever you have lurking in the fridge] I had celery carrots and onions to which I added some broad beans. Cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until softened then add a large splash of madeira, I used marsala instead and it was fine. Put everything into the slow cooker and add a good amount of stock and bouquet garni and simmer to destruction. Remove meat and veg and reduce sauce. Serve with boiled spuds and creamed spinach. Just delicious and perfect for a cold wet evening.
Today I am off to the nursery to pick up some tomato plants which will go in the green house until I am ready to plant them. I pass the green house twice a day to sort out the chickens so that helps to remind me to water and feed the plants. The ground in the green house is very dry so that will need watering for a while before the plants go in. It sounds crazy with all this rain we have been having but of course the green house is sheltered. I usually put a couple of trailing cherry tomatoes in the widow box out side the kitchen which just get eaten as we pass by. I also put only one cucumber plant in the green house as I have learned my lesson the year I put in three I ended up posting cucumbers through neighbours letter boxes in an effort to get rid of them. I have been keeping an eye on the broad beans as the tips will need to be removed at the first sign of black fly - as yet there is no sign but I am checking daily as the infestation seems to occur within seconds.
Today is supposed to be very wet again but it is due to pass and we may have a clear day to go shooting on Wednesday. I must admit that a couple of hours off is a great stress reliever and as my work has multiplied considerably I really feel I need it.