Saturday Morning

Yesterday saw me in the kitchen cooking for most of the day first there was the carrot cake to make. That was done using a combination of Mary Berry's recipe and the Thermomix to get things underway.  Once baked and cold then the cream cheese icing was used to sandwich the cake together and coat the top.

Next the Thermomix was used to make the pasta dough which was 200 g of "00" flour 2 eggs and 1 tsp of olive oil.  After 30 minutes in the fridge I was able to play with it and make the various shapes.  This was a learning experience as I had never used the gnocchi board before and it was not as easy as it looked, however, it did make the nice shell shapes rather well.  Then some little worms and finally a couple of rings.  The cooking of the various shapes was a bit hit and miss as the shells were rather thicker than I would have liked and therefore took longer to cook.  Anyway after an absence of carbs for so long we were all just delighted to have some pasta back on the menu.

To serve with the pasta I squashed down some cherry tomatoes [home grown] with a little bit of oil and some greek basil which made an adequate sauce.

Lunch had been some of the breaded veal which I served with the first pickings of the runner beans and a remoulade made with kohlrabi.  This is not a vegetable I am accustomed to using so I peeled and grated it then soaked it in saltwater for a while to remove some of the strong cabbage flavour.  It was then squeezed out dry and mixed with some chopped onion and a little mayo just to bind.  It was pleasant enough in a sort of bland way and the leftovers were eaten by the dogs who thought it was fine.  Even Nip who is not a vegetable eating dog finished his portion much to our amazement. Following on from our strict diet it was a real treat to eat normal food but the quantities were much reduced as we are now accustomed to much smaller portions.  I am going to try to keep the portion control down to a sensible level and to gradually introduce the odd bit of carbohydrate here and there.  

Today I fancy making a chicken curry with a very small portion of rice.  My japanese neighbour gave me a good tip for portion control with rice and that is to cook a pot of it but then divide it up into portions and freeze so that you are not tempted to eat what you have cooked which always tends to be too much.  I am also going to make some garlic, ginger and coriander which also freezes really well and is a great standby for any oriental or asian dish.  In the same way I do garlic, lemon zest and basil/parsley which also freezes well and is useful for continental or mediterranean dishes.  It is also a good way of dealing with a glut of any of the ingredients.  

As I planted my courgettes very late they are not yet in flower so we are some way off the glut of courgettes.  However, these are relatively easy to deal with as the family have a passion for courgette pancakes again something that freezes well and makes a good standby to bulk out any meat based meal.    

Today being Saturday I have a whole raft of chores the orchids get their weekly watering, then all the young stuff in the garden is given a bit of a feed with tomato fertiliser and for the clematis there is a dose of epsom salts.  Yesterday's rain was most welcome but it was nowhere near enough we could have done with a good couple of hours of heavy rain but we only got about 20 minutes of downpour.  It seems to me that every time I despair of any rain and spend time watering we then get a deluge.  The hens are also due for a good clean out and their run is a bit of mess so that could use a good clear up.  The branches of leaves that I have given them to play with have been stripped to a bunch of sticks which can now go on the bonfire and the ashes added to the compost.  It is quite pleasing to see everything processed through the animals and finally ending up in the compost which once spread on the beds should give us a good start with next years crop.  

I woke at 3am this morning so I am going to go back to bed and see if I can't get a couple of hours more sleep before setting forth on the marathon chore fest.  The kitchen looks like Hiroshima so that too could use a good clean before I get stuck into another cooking session.  Anyway enough scribbling time to try for more sleep.  Have a good weekend - for me the weather is now perfect cool enough to make it pleasant working conditions.
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