Wednesday morning bin day

 Now you see it 

Now you don't

The huge tree peony is gone and in its place is a big hole which is going to be filled with some good compost before we plant the wisteria which is due to go in its place. Poor Mark nearly bust a gut getting the plant out but he was not going to be beaten.   Denny went through the house like a hurricane and James and I took the dogs out for a walk.  On the return journey we stopped off at the butcher and bought some lamb rump chops.  Then just as we were leaving we bumped into my old bee guru and ended up chatting on the pavement for quite some time!!! this meant that we didn't have the time to go to the garden centre so yet again it got put on the back burner.  Lunch was a simple affair of spaghetti carbonara which only takes as long as it takes to boil the pasta.  For supper I made the :-

Gratin de Jabron.

1kg maris piper potatoes
150g unsalted butter 
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 
salt and freshly ground white pepper 
200ml milk 
300ml whipping cream

1.Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4
2.Wash and sort the potatoes. They need to be steamed in their skins, so it helps if they are about the same size. Steam until they are only just cooked, so they are still slightly firm in the middle.
3.Melt, but do not brown, the butter with the crushed garlic in a saucepan. Mix together the cream and the milk.
4.When the butter has melted, scoop out the garlic pieces and spread them around the bottom of your baking dish so they form a buttery garlicky base layer.
5.Peel then slice the potatoes and lay them into the baking dish. Generously season with salt and pepper and spoon over the remaining melted butter, then pour over the milk and cream
6.Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

This dish makes the most magical accompaniment to grilled lamb chops and results in something like a cross between mash and dauphinoise.  Well worth the extra bit of effort. 

The weather yesterday was hot and humid with not a glimmer of sun just heavy clouds and reminded me of being dressed in damp clothes after swimming.  Over night we have had some rain which was to be expected as I had spent some time watering things in pots.  Today, is set to be even warmer but resulting in thunderstorms later in the evening.  Currently the sky is leaden and the light levels low so I guess we are in for another dull warm and damp day.  We are going over to Shiona's house this morning which means that for once I don't have to think about what to have for lunch. 

James had his first appointment with the new physio who was very impressed with the progress he has made following such a severe injury and she was pleasantly surprised at the amount of work James has put in to getting himself back to normal.  I have been pleased with his progress but then again I would be, wouldn't I, I'm his mother, so it is nice to have it confirmed by a professional. 

Tomorrow Sandi might come over but it does largely depend on the weather as one of her labradors is terrified of thunder and goes into a terminal melt down.  However, we will have to see what tomorrow brings.  

Now its time I went and put out the bins and got myself into the shower but first just one more cup of coffee!!!


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