Tag Archives: baked potatoes

Almost According to Plan…

Well, it rolled out almost as I expected.

I loaded the pictures, I had lunch and I read a couple of chapters of the book  I’m currently reading. That wasn’t actually in the plan but I like to keep the momentum going.

Things ground to a temporary halt. Just as I entered the surgery some ferrety type slipped round me to beat me to the desk. I hate it when people do that. If they get there first, that’s life, but why treat it as a race? Naturally he had a complicated matter to sort out. I dropped a few hints, like leaning on a convenient pillar and whimpering.

I was just on the point of suggesting (a) he accepted the “wrong” drugs on his prescription and (b) he took them all in one lot when the receptionist called for help.

Shopping was easy enough. The kids like breaded chicken and it’s cheap. Add salad and baked potatoes and it’s easy, cheap and mostly healthy.

Then it was time to get home for Pointless.

You may have noticed a few omissions, but I forgot the ice cream (and the brown sauce) and decided it was too hot for duck ponds.

I see I got my sons mixed up. It was Number Two son I coerced into doing the washing up and Number One who was coming to visit. He made his own way from the station, which was a bonus. We had tea, they mumbled, I dozed off.

It’s comforting to know that in an ever-changing world that some things remain the same.

Nature note: Julia was walking along the embankment in the afternoon on her way between the garden and the office, when she saw a Cormorant catch an eel. It was quite a big eel, and kept thrashing about until it wrapped round the bird’s neck. This is understandable, as things were clearly going to end badly for the eel if it couldn’t escape.

After a certain amount of thrashing about and diving, the bird won. I’m not sure what the diving was meant to accomplish, the eel clearly wasn’t going to be inconvenienced by it. Eels like water.

When I asked if she’d managed to get any photos on her phone…

…well I’d have been too interested watching too.

Tomorrow I will tell you, with photographs, what Number One son brought back fron Vietnam.

Potatoes, computers and portion control

We served lunch for 40 today. It was only baked potatoes with a variety of fillings, but it seems to have gone down well. We had a few left over at the end and nobody wanted seconds, which hopefully means they were full. If not, it means they were lying about liking the potatoes.

We served them with the cheapest marge, the cheapest tinned chilli, the cheapest coleslaw and the cheapest ready-grated cheese I could find. The only things that weren’t the cheapest were the potatoes and the beans. The beans were still cheap, but I bought the ones we normally use in the cafe, and the potatoes were nearly 30 pence each instead of four for 50p. To keep costs down I served them in small paper dishes that were big enough for the potato (though only just, in some cases) but didn’t leave too much room for topping. When you are cooking to a budget it all helps.

As usual I was so busy dishing up then clearing away that I forgot to take pictures of happy diners, or even a baked potato (for those of you haven’t seen one before).

It’s a good thing I went shopping in person, because if I’d shopped on-line and ordered the  cheapest potatoes I’d have been badly disappointed. When something is described as a “baking potato” I expect certain things – good skin and matched size for easy cooking are two key points, but mainly I want a decent sized potato that will fill someone up. The cheap baking potatoes from ASDA fail badly on this last point. They aren’t much bigger than a golf ball. Couple of chews and they’d be gone. A big spoonful of topping and they would be buried. You get the picture. Hang your heads in shame ASDA. (That’s Walmart for my American readers).

Of course, life here is never simple and although all is squared away I’m now sitting in the kitchen using a dodgy internet connection to blog while I wait to close up.

The connection isn’t too bad today, which is probably linked to the weak sun.  Confused? So am I, but from observations we have made it seems that the photo-voltaic panels on the roof cut off wireless reception when they are generating electricity. We first noticed that a digital radio wouldn’t work in here and after trying the lap tops we noticed that the signal cut out in strong sunlight, returning as clouds blew across the sun.

I have checked on the internet and apart from learning more than I wanted about solar power I cannot find any reference to this problem. Part of me says it can’t be happening, as all houses with solar panels would suffer the same problem, but another part of me says I have seen it happen.

Has anybody else noticed this? I’ve asked various people but they all look at me as if I’ve just said the earth is flat.