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Showing posts from May, 2015

Sunday morning

Good morning all it looks like a wet start to the day as it is currently raining.  Still hopefully it will clear up in the afternoon.  It is one of the joys of being a gardener that rain is not always a bad thing. I was able to get a bit of work done in the garden yesterday.  The tomato plants are doing well in the green house and have just started to flower. I finished knitting the wool shawl which I think would make a good bed jacket but not much else.  I notice that many of the charities want blankets for kittens, puppies and people so I am now using up my remaining wool to make a blanket. I find knitting very therapeutic so I am happy to knit but I don't really want anything complicated.
Yesterday, we had more of the wagyu burgers for lunch which I did with salad and gherkins in a bun and topped with a fried egg.  Supper was every man for himself and I had fresh air as I wasn't hungry enough to bother. Today we have a piece of pork shoulder which I am going to roast and h…

Saturday Morning

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Well here we are at another weekend and the weather looks grim.  Yesterday, we had the mother and fathers of downpours so I guess my veg beds are now well watered.  The garden looks as if it has been newly laundered.  The morning was not too bad just very dull and overcast but I did manage to get a few jobs done.  Dan got put on the table for a grooming session and he looked lovely by the time I had finished but within a few minutes he had managed to make himself look as scruffy as usual.  He had now got a nick name and gets called Axminster given his carpet for a coat!!! I will have to try and get a picture of him once brushed and before he can make a mess of his coat.  Over the week end I would like to get in some training as he is due to go to senior school on Monday and I would like him to behave and not make too much of a fool of me.  He is now at that teenage stage where he knows everything and wants to make his own decisions.  Making mischief and being disobedient is a new gam…

Friday morning

Good morning all, gone is the sunshine and we are wreathed in cloud which looks ominously like rain.  Well it would rain wouldn't it, given that I watered the vegetable beds yesterday.  Trevor came at 10am sharp and collected the Eglu which was an interesting exercise as I dismantled it to it constituent parts he carted them down the garden and to his waiting Landrover Defender.  Fortunately it all fitted in with a little pushing and shoving.  He asked me if I had hand fed my hen as she is so friendly and is keen to approach all the people.  When I say all the people the farm has stables and grazes about 60 horses so there are always people at the yard.  My friend Elaine keeps her three horses there so that is how the connection was made.  Anyway, that is another chapter closed and for the time being while we have the caravan poultry keeping will have to go on the back burner.  It will however make clearing out of the end shed a bit easier as I can get rid of lots of the stuff li…

Thursday morning

The sun is shining and boy does that lift the spirits.  Yesterday was a mundane normal day the two £1 bags of vegetables got used the peppers made a lovely salad and the tomatoes made some pasata which made a lovely tomato risotto.  I have finally finished the last shawl and it is due to go in the post today. While Mike was in the clinic I took the opportunity to visit the butcher and bought a nice piece of pork shoulder for the weekend. I fancy roast pork with crackling and stuffing.  Today I am going to make the Mary Berry quick lasagne made with sausage meat.  However, first I need a couple of ingredients namely creme fraiche and mushrooms.  I am expecting the guy to come and collect the Eglu at 10am and I need to get it tidied up a bit first so a late start was not what I had in mind.  As I am giving the Eglu away free I think it only fair that the guy dismantles it himself then he will know how to rebuild it when he gets it home.  Besides I don't know how big a vehicle he wi…

Wednesday morning

Yesterday morning was lovely I met Sandy for breakfast: the usual scrambled eggs on toast and a large cappuccino coffee. Poor Sandy is in a terrible state with her back for which she has my heart felt sympathy anyone who has had a really bad back will know what she is going through.  I bought some asparagus and then got caught by the £1 bags, one full of tomatoes and another full of the bright orange mini peppers, well who could resist those.  The tomatoes have been made into pasata with which I am going to make a tomato risotto and the peppers were roasted off and today I will skin them and make them into a nice salad to go with our tempura battered bassa fillets which are on the lunch menu.
This morning I am due to take Mike to the clinic and I have just about got enough knitting to keep me occupied for the hour I will be in the car park.  Although it is not far from home it doesn't make sense to drive back home for 10 minutes only to turn round and go back so sitting in the ca…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, yesterday was a bit of a non day we just relaxed and pottered around.  I made a large shepherds pie from the remains of the roast leg of lamb.  I did make one small foray out to the shops as I was bereft of Worcester sauce which I particularly like on shepherds pie.  While I was out I bought a couple of ivy plants to grow up the new trellis and hopefully I will be looking at a wall of green rather than the bare wood.  I have been dithering about what to grow up the fence as I really want something that is not going to require lots of tending, pruning and tying in.  I have lots of clematis and wisterias in the garden as well as roses which doesn't leave much to choose from.  The plants will need to be sturdy as the dogs are frequent visitors to that part of the garden.  Anyway fingers crossed now I need to dig a couple of substantial holes to plant the ivy in.  In my experience it is all but impossible to kill ivy!!!!
As there was so much meat left on the leg of …

Monday morning

Well here we are at the late May bank holiday but it is still very cold here we are only just in double figures. It still feels like winter or very early spring.  I was hoping by now that the temperature would have risen somewhat and we might be thinking of summer..
Yesterday, we had a lovely roast leg of lamb with carrots, peas, flat beans and roast potatoes - a real Sunday lunch so today I have the makings of a sumptuous shepherds pie something we all really enjoy.  For supper I made a sort of ratatouille minus the aubergine to which I then added some pasta and shed loads of parmesan.  I was, however, a very naughty person and left the kitchen in a complete mess so my first job of the day is to make some sort of order out of the chaos.  I have 2.5 sinks and they are all full to overflowing with dirty stuff.  The dish washer is full of clean stuff but none of us had the will power to empty it last night.  I don't understand why we all hate emptying the dishwasher.  
On the shawl f…

Sunday morning

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A bit of a grotty night last night I ended up giving in and taking a tablet at 2am so I have slept in late and feel a bit groggy but at least I got some sleep.  The weather here today is much like yesterday cold and damp with rain on the cards for later.  I had several chores to do yesterday so I was out for most of the morning but as luck would have it I found not only a leg of lamb [the last one] in Aldi but they still had wagyu burgers so I bought more for the freezer and last night for supper that is what we had stuffed into brioche buns with salad.  These have to be the best burgers I have ever eaten they are well seasoned and just delicious I melted a slice of mozzarella on top of each one so they were extra scrumptious. 
I have started my final shawl this one is being done in "stary night" When I posted off the one for Joy it caused lots of discussion in the post office as everyone wanted to have a look and were surprised at how light it was.  I had taken it loose as…

Saturday morning

Good morning all last night was a bit of a hit and miss affair of waking and sleeping and sleeping and waking.  This morning I feel a bit wrecked but no doubt I will perk ups as the day progresses.  The sky is very overcast with no sign of blue but it is dry so no real complaints.  Yesterday I made inroads into the ironing and got it finished for a few days sadly you can never get ahead of laundry it is always chasing you!!!
I gave my tomato plants a good drink as they don't benefit from the rain in the green house and if it doesn't rain today I will need to water the veg beds which are drying off really fast.  
I have all but finished the shawl for Joy just a few more tassels to add to the fringe and it will be ready to go into the post.  I then have one more to make as I gave one to Denny as she took a shine to them. Then I will have to look around for another project.  
Yesterday's lunch was the dover soles which have been on and off the menu all week.  To go with them…

Friday morning

Well miracles do happen I took the Landrover over to the main dealer in Maidstone yesterday at the crack of dawn and while I had to sit for quite while as luck would have it once they had diagnosed the problem namely that the air bag warning light was on they fiddled with it and it went out so it was just a loose connection.  I did have to laugh as that was the problem I took it in with but they had to put it on the computer first which caused the waiting time.  And guess what it showed that the warning light for the air bag was on!!!!!  wonderful what they can do with computers!!!! anyway the miracle is that they didn't charge me a penny.
We had the chicken curry for lunch and for supper we had wagyu burgers from Aldi which I had tasked James to go and buy.  Fortunately it was a fine day and the last of my washing got dry on the line so now I really must set to and do the ironing and get it all out of the way.  The tide was up in the afternoon so James took Dan and Tubby for a s…

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday saw the yarn arrive and I have started the shawl for Joy it normally takes only a few days to knit so I am hoping to have it finished by the weekend.  I then have one more to make and I am finished.  Actually what takes the time is adding the fringing around the edge the knitting part is easy.  
Mike had his hours appointment at the clinic so I had a good hours knitting time while I waited in the car park.  This morning I am taking the landrover to the garage as I have an airbag warning light on and I hope they will be able to fix it in short order.  However, my knitting will be with me so I can while away any waiting time.
For lunch I had made some scallops with black pudding and crispy bacon and supper was a chicken curry but Zoe, James friend, came round and brought some chelsea buns and a piece of cheese cake so the curry got put on hold and we ate desserts for supper.  The curry will be on todays lunch menu which is just as well as I will be out most…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all, it is pretty chilly here this morning following the heavy rain and massive thunderstorm we had yesterday.  Fortunately it stayed dry long enough for me to get my washing dry on the line.  Now I need to get to grips with the ironing which has piled up and is shouting at me from the corner of the room.  
My two shawls found homes I took one to Margaret and had a coffee with her while Denny did her magic and she took the black one.  Now I am waiting for the yarn to arrive so I can start the one I have promised Joy.
Lunch was a bit of a clear up of left over vegetables and some sausages which kept us going until super time and the chilli con carne and rice.  As usual I did a bit too much rice so the dogs had an extra supper not that they were complaining you understand.  
I was awakened at 2am with a full blown panic attack but I have all the strategies in place to deal with it and so I managed to get to sleep again.  However, what I would really like is not strategies …

Tuesday morning

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Good morning all.  I just spent ages typing this up on my iPad only to loose the lot when I tried to add a photo.  Yesterday was a mixture of sun and rain followed by sun and rain which of course is just what the garden needs.  I managed to get the dogs walked before the first rain fell and dumped them back at home before I hit the shops.  We ate the last of the microwave meals for lunch and I am really glad that it is over.  How do they remove all the flavour from the food?  and how do people actually live on these things. Truly they are so bland it reminds me of baby food.  Supper was a pasta carbonara and I have to admit I bottled out of dog school last night.  I was tired and the dog definitely doesn't need that level of training so it is all a bit of a waste of time.  I would prefer to do some real gun dog work with him and for that I would need to join Sandy on a Monday night.  I finished off a shawl in the afternoon and Joy has asked me to make her one which I am delighted…

Monday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday was another of the sloth days I felt tired and listless so I did little but knit.  Lunch was the wiener schnitzel made with pork steaks and once batted out they were so huge that we had half for lunch and the other half cold with a tomato salad for supper.  My dry breadcrumb store is now empty so the tail end of the loaf will be dried out to replenish that.  The weather was fine and I was kicking myself for not doing the laundry especially as the rest of the week is due to be wet.  
Today James has an appointment in Maidstone at 10am so I am on dog walking duties then tonight Dante is due at school.  I also need a trip to the shops for milk etc.  I must admit that since my break I feel somewhat rudderless and feel as if I am just treading water with no aim in mind.  I think I need to knuckle under and get on with some of the outstanding jobs instead of avoiding them.  I must admit I felt much better once I had completed my gardening jobs which were prayin…

Sunday morning

I have had a bit of a lie in this morning but I am happy with yesterday's  gardening exploits.  I got the greenhouse planted up with the tomatoes and the runner beans, French beans, courgettes and globe artichokes are all planted.  Now it's a case of waiting for nature to do its thing and an attempt to keep the weeds under control.  According to the weather forecast we are in for a very wet week so hopefully no watering will be needed except the greenhouse.  I finally got round to making the patatas bravas and they went down well with the lamb chops.  Today I have some pork steaks to play with and I think I might pane them and serve with my kohlrabi and some courgettes.  
At the moment the sun is shining but it is still very chilly outside.  Now I need some coffee to get myself underway.  I'm not sure when the rain is due so James has taken the dogs out for their walk while the sun is still shining.  We have been trying to get Dan's coat a bit more tidy as he tends to …

Saturday morning

Yesterday I did a very good impression of a sloth and apart from knitting and sleeping I did very little else.  We had the goose eggs for lunch with a big pile of buttered toast.  If you like boiled eggs then there is nothing better than a goose egg with its deep rich yolk which seems to go on forever.  I did take a trip to the post office to collect a registered letter which was the lasting power of attorney document.  I am glad this is done now if I am incapacitated in any way James can at least handle the finances for me.  Given the problems I had sorting out his finances when he was in hospital I hope this will make things a lot smoother.  In a crisis the data protection act is a real pain in the backside.  
Today the weather is looking grim but I really would like to get my tomato plants into the green house and get them underway.  I took some Barnsley chops out of the freezer which we will be having for lunch with the patatas bravas that I have been itching to make and some spr…

Friday morning

Good morning all. What a miserable day it was yesterday we had continuous rain for the whole day and it was freezing cold.  I took a trip to Maidstone and bought my tomato plants and I was just in time as they were all but sold out.  I had intended to plant them straight away but after I had cooked the lunch I was shattered.  I seem to be devoid of energy at the moment and every thing is a massive effort.  Lunch was lovely as I egg and breadcrumbed the brill fillets and we had them with steamed asparagus.

The rest of my yarn turned up in the post so now I can finish the shawls.  I may well have a restful day just pottering and knitting today perhaps a bit of rest is in order.  I don't think I have fully recovered from my two courses of antibiotics and still feel pretty washed out.  I suppose it is one of the joys of getting older that everything takes longer to resolve.  I'm not ill just very tired.

While I was out shopping I bought some nice goose eggs which will make a nic…

Thursday Morning

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Well here we are at the far end of the week I spent some time taking Mike to the clinic but while he was there I had the opportunity to pay a visit to the butcher and the fishmonger so my freezer is back to its more usual state.  Today we have some lovely brill fillets to have with our asparagus for lunch and supper will be the left over meat balls and tomato sauce from yesterday.  The weather is supposed to turn very wet today so I am hoping to get into the greenhouse and get that sorted out at least it will be dry in there.  Yesterday I got the poles erected for the runner beans so that is ready for planting up.  Everything with the exception of the tomatoes will be from seed so I really do need to get going. I also have the pond pump to sort out and clean as I missed the first of the month when I usually do these jobs. My box of bits made it to the charity shop and I started the third of the shawls I am knitting.  I also had to order more yarn so that I can finish the project.  My…

Wednesday Morning

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For those of you who were worried about my lonely hen you will be pleased to know that she is now housed on a farm with lots of other hens and has complete freedom to roam through the paddocks where the horses are kept.  So that is that problem solved.  I think given my current situation I will not be having chickens for a while.  It does give me the freedom to have the odd weekend away without having to make huge contingency plans for someone to look after the hens.  The dogs are not a problem as they come with us to the caravan but chickens are not welcome on camp sites!!!!

It may be difficult for you to see in this photo but my wisteria is blooming like mad and is completely loaded with blooms.  This is the first year it has had a chance since the neighbours have not only removed a very invasive vine which used to smother the wisteria but have now put up a decent bit of trellis to replace the tumble down pile of sticks they previously had. For years the plants of that side have st…

Tuesday Morning

What a very warm day it was yesterday.  My washing dried almost as fast as I could hang it which makes a pleasant change.  I had a pile of errands to run in the morning so I got those done and out of the way - lunch was yet more microwave meals - how do people live on these?  They are both tasteless and bland, they lack seasoning and flavour in a major way.  Anyway, we are making our way through them and hopefully they will soon be finished.  I really don't understand Mike's preference for them except the easy of cooking.  I popped up to visit Elly who had kept an eye on Mike while I was away and gave her the triangular shawl that I brought back from Scotland.  I have almost finished the one I am knitting and I think this one will go to my Japanese friend.
Now as for the hen I am at present trying to re-home her with a flock of birds she can join being on her own is not a happy situation for a chicken.  They are very social birds and need friends so keeping her on her own is …

Monday morning

A really late start for me today as I had a rotten night and finally fell asleep around 6am .  Now I am all behind schedule.  As we had had a very light lunch for supper we had a steak with mushrooms and some mash I found in the freezer.  Today my mind is completely blank where food is concerned on the vegetable front I have some spring greens and some carrots which doesn't bring any inspiration to mind.  Perhaps some lamb chops would go well with what I have left so I will have to have a shop and get some.  Tomorrow my vegetable box is due and I will be restocked with the following:-   potatoes bunched carrotsbunched onions butternut squash pointed cabbage courgettes kohl rabiasparagus  I have to go out as I need to get a prescription filled for Mike and I need a trip to the post office so I might as well have a good shop and restock on the meat and fish as well.  
Dante blotted his copy book yesterday. Our new neighbours though they would have their roast beef and Yorkshire pudd…

Sunday morning

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Yesterday was a day of general pottering around.  I dismantled a chicken which I then made into chicken paprikas which I served with spaetzles which I have never made before. They are kind of like a cross between pasta and dumplings.  There is a special piece of equipment to make them but I improvised and used the steamer tray from my halogen oven which worked just fine.  The mixture needs to be sloppy but not runny so you can scrape it through the holes and into boiling water.  Once out and drained they are then fried off in some butter.  It made a pleasant change from the usual carbs.  The mixture is simple, 1cup of flour to 2 eggs and sufficient milk to make it the right consistency.  We had the remaining paprikas with spinach and some rice for supper.  

I finished the shawl I was knitting so I have now started a second one this time in the triangle shape. The pattern is somewhat crazy as you start by cutting the tassels; in this case 87  40 cm lengths and then you knit with what …

Saturday morning

Well I for one am glad that the week is over I seem to have spent much of my time at the hospital with Mike for various appointments.  Next week is stretching out in front of me as a completely blank canvas with the exception of dog training on Monday night.  Today I fancy making chicken paprikash which I suppose is basically a goulash made with chicken.  As I have a whole bird and some peppers which came in my veg box I have all the ingredients except the sour cream which is stirred in at the end.
The chest infection has dragged me down and I am finding it hard to work up the enthusiasm to get stuck into some of the outstanding chores. Actually there seem to be so many that I feel somewhat overwhelmed and I am not sure where to start.  In the mean time I am knitting the stole/wrap and have nearly finished it.  I have sufficient yarn to make another one so I think I will just go ahead and make one of the triangular shaped wraps.  The yarn knits up very quickly but it is not the easie…

Friday morning

Well that is the election done and as yet I don't think the results are fully in but I will have to have a read and see what has happened.  Yesterday I managed to get to the shops and restock on cleaning products and top up the food stores.  Sadly we all had to have a microwave meal as Mike seems to have hardly touched the ones I bought for him while I was away.  The meals were OK but lacked flavour and were generally a bit on the bland side.  Supper was nice and easy too it was some salmon fishcakes with baked beans so nice and simple.  
My yarn turned up so I have started the stole and as it is knitted on telegraph poles [10mm needles] it is knitting up at a good rate.  There is no length given on the pattern you just knit until you run out of yarn, could it be simpler? It takes two 50g balls and the first job is to cut the fringe then you just knit what is left into an oblong and bobs your uncle.  
Today is going to be a bit chaotic as I have to drop James at the Dentist at 10…

Thursday morning

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The sun is shining for a change this morning and after the rain yesterday everything looks lovely and fresh and clean.  Yesterday, Mike had an appointment so I took the opportunity to pay a visit to our bank which is close to the clinic.  Imagine my surprise when I got there and it was in complete turmoil as they had a water leak and the bank was flooded so there were no services available.  So to waste a bit of time I called in at my lovely fishmongers.  Here my luck was in as the night fishermen had landed three large dover soles - well I didn't need to think about that; supper was soon decided. Now when I say large dovers I mean large enough to require cooking in the oven as I didn't

have a frying pan big enough.  I do have some nice oval plates which are perfect for a big fish.  I made a large bowl of salad to accompany the fish and added a hot boiled potato to salad just at the last minute.  
Lunch had been a chicken and mayo sandwich so we were all ready for a nice sup…

Wednesday morning

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What a great way to use up leftover mash.  1lb of mash plus 4 eggs, yolks in with the mash and whites beaten to stiff peak. Make as for any soufflé. Grated parmesan on top 220ºC for 25 minutes. The dish was a bit too large and the mixture barely made half way so it rose very well.  Would go really well with a nice tomato salad and/or some crispy bacon.  You could always hide the odd prawn or two in the mix or anything else that took your fancy.  Good base recipe asking for flavourings of your choice.  Yesterday was a  bit of a busy day Denny and I set too to give the kitchen a good clean and together we managed about half of it.  I am not yet at full strength but a least the washing is now all done and it is just the ironing to go.  Mike and I had the soufflé for lunch then we had to go to the hospital for Mike to see the chest specialist which took up a good few hours as we had to queue to get into the hospital and the again to get into the carpark we had to leave home an hour befor…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, it is pouring with rain this morning but I hope the old adage rain before 7 dry by 11 proves true.  I made a start on the laundry yesterday but I felt really disconnected from the house and its stuff.  I searched high and low for a new filter for the Bibo machine which I know is somewhere safe [never to be found again]  and what have I done with the Brasso that too has vanished.
The book I ordered from Amazon arrived in the post so I was pleased to have a read through the recipes.  It is a very old book but full of useful things and is called "In praise of potatoes", by Lindsey Bareham.  As it turned out I had lots of spuds which were beginning to sprout so I set to and made a potato soup using the stock from the chicken carcass from the day before.  It was thick, warming and comforting and just what I wanted.  Today I though I might have a go at potato soufflés as I have abundant eggs.  The soup was super easy with just an onion and clove of garlic sweate…

Back home at last

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Now to fill you in on a bit of the story.  We had a very uneventful journey up to Inveraray exchanging drivers every 3 hours.  However when we arrived Dan was in a bit of a state as he had drooled so badly that the whole of the back of the car was awash.  I thought it best not to give him too much water in one go so I offered him about half a pint then put him into the garden for the necessary!  There he found a bucket of stagnant green water and drank the lot so when we let him back in he projectile vomited all over the kitchen floor.  Some of the water must have got through as then the problems came from the other end.  Too much information???? He then refused food for three days until his stomach had settled.  Then he helped himself to some rather nice venison burgers that had been put out to defrost!!!! He obviously thought it was a self catering establishment.
As you can imagine we were ready for an early night and I was feeling pretty rough with what I thought was a cold.   The…