Tag Archives: breakfast

Sunday Morning

It’s mid-day on Sunday and, as usual, or morning has not been marked by a frantic rush. We had porridge with blackberries as a healthy breakfast. It would have been porridge with blueberries but I seem to have hit the wrong button whilst shopping. That may be a good thing, but it might be a bad thing. To some people it may even be a matter of indifference, though to my mind there’s something wrong with people who keep calm in the face of provocation by their internet shopping. I suppose it’s a test of personality.

When your shopping goes wrong do you

(a) curse the evils of modern technology?

(b) welcome the opportunity for new experiences?

(c) blame the Government?

I usually go with (a). None of the new experiences I’ve had from internet shopping – frozen spinach, plastic cheese, sour blackberries – have actually enhanced my life.

There’s no point blaming the Government, or any Government, because with rare exceptions they aren’t really in charge of what is happening. They just talk about how bad the last lot were and shove their snouts deeper into the trough.

I just went off on a 200 word tangent about politicians. It’s clearly going to be one of those posts where much is written but not so much is posted.

I can’t help wondering if this makes it a stronger post and thinking of an article I once read about composing haibun.

It recommended editing until you managed to remove the subject of the haibun, leaving the reader with a feeling about the unspoken subject – the ultimate ‘show don’t tell’ technique. At least I think that was what it said. And I think it was about haibun. I really ought to make notes.

It’s a bit bit like homeopathic medicine where you dilute the cure so much it is no longer there. I’m on surer ground there because that was on Wikipedia.

There’s a big gap on Wikipedia when it comes to discussion on composing haibun. This is ironic when you consider a gap was what I was researching.

close up of eyeglasses on book

Photo by ugurlu photographer on Pexels.com

For details of the afternoon, check here.

Wednesday 8th July Part II

Breakfast didn’t quite go according to plan. I was going to treat Julia to avocados on toast with poached eggs. It’s not much of a breakfast but she likes that sort of stuff. Unfortunately the avocados were starting to brown and didn’t look good.I cut a few bits off, mashed it up with lime juice and green bits and it is now waiting to be spread on toast for lunch. It is just about acceptable like that, both in colour and as a foodstuff.

Plan B was poached eggs, beans, and sourdough toast. Still a bit trendy for my liking but such is life. Life can’t all be sausage, bacon and black pudding. Well, it could be, but I’d like to retain the use of my arteries for a while longer.

Unfortunately the eggs were also a little past their use by date and the first one spread across the whole pan. The second was OK, but the mess was made. Although one looked like an egg, with a degree runniness to the yolk (again – something she likes)  the other looked like a yellow blot. That’s the trouble with advance ordering in lockdown.

We seem to be commemorating the Battle of Britain this week and there were some insultingly easy quiz questions on TV this morning. That set me off looking at trivia about the Italian Air Force in the Battle of Britain (yes, they were there) followed by biplanes in WW2 (yes, there were some), Jeremy Vine, the Curse of Strictly Come Dancing and, finally, about SMART Planning.

I have to admit that I haven’t heard of all the ‘celebrities’ caught by the curse and, as Rachel Riley and Pasha have just had a child I’m not sure it’s really a curse. As all parents will know, it’s a mixed blessing, but not really a curse.

That’s the trouble with ‘working from home’ (as I am describing today, because I have things to do) – always so much distraction, plus cooking and washing up.

Just before I sat down to start work the post arrived. It contains notice of a planning application from the people next door who want to extend their lower storey half way across their drive to accommodate a downstairs toilet and extended kitchen. It will involve noise, disruption and, possibly, a loss of light, but on the other hand it won’t really affect us in the long run and I can’t be bothered to object.

It took me half an hour to find the plans online (the letter from the council lists a council webpage that no longer exists) download the plans and examine them.

Considering that they have asked me to cut down a tree in the garden because it shades some of their garden for some of the day, I can’t help feeling that I’d like the same concern from them relating to the light in my kitchen. Such is life.

It’s now 12.23 and the last phase of my day has not really seen anything that could be described as work. Oh dear!

Wednesday 8th July Part I

Wednesday 8th July Part II

Wednesday 8th July Part III

Wednesday 8th July Part IV

Wednesday 8th July Part V

Wednesday 8th July Part I

Today I am going to use my time wisely, and am going to blog about it at the same time. That way I will end the day with a list of jobs I have done and will also be able to get three or four blog posts out of it.

At 3 am I woke to the sound of swearing and argument. I’d fallen asleep in my chair with the TV on and Gordon Ramsay was offering foul-mouthed advice to an American restaurant that needed turning round in 24 hours. I don’t watch the programme when I’m awake. If I need cursing, conflict and criticism I can get all that at home without having to watch a celebrity chef behaving badly.

You can’t deny that he works hard, contributes to charity and is very successful. But he doesn’t present himself well and he did, let’s be honest, run off to Cornwall when we had to go into lockdown, despite the government guidelines telling us not to leave home.

At 4.59 and 7.46 I woke again. My prostate is playing up again. I’m hoping that it corrects itself as the thought of an examination is actually worse than getting up during the night.

I decided not to go for my regular blood test today. I will go tomorrow before work as I like to be there before 8.30 when it opens – you can’t always get a parking space if you get down later.

The Methotrexate seems to be working for the arthritis and I actually got my trousers on this morning and didn’t even think about it until I typed this sentence. The side effects seem to have gone away. Apart from the bent fingers the only noticeable sign of arthritis is that the little finger of my left hand is stuck out and one of the joints in it  is rather stiff. Considering that in March my hands were unusable and I could barely dress myself, this is a good result. I f it means I have a finger like an elitist tea drinker.

I have now checked my messages, read a few links and written 400words. It is 9.16 so I will add photos and post this before making breakfast. (Later – it is now 9.26 after loading a photograph and doing a touch of editing.)

I really ought to take pictures specifically to go with this, but will re-use one of the garden poppies. For one thing, it is a dull day, and for another, I am lazy. I am also adding a layer of complexity to the task by typing without glasses, so will get them while I am up.

Wednesday 8th July Part I

Wednesday 8th July Part II

Wednesday 8th July Part III

Wednesday 8th July Part IV

Wednesday 8th July Part V

Monday, a Day of Promise

I rose at a moderate time, washed up and made breakfast. I tried to make Julia a heart-shaped fried egg but the egg didn’t quite spread inside the frame and then it started to stick to the pan and in the end it looked like three-quarters of an egg, as long as you knew it was supposed to be an heart. If you didn’t know what it was meant to be you wouldn’t have known what it was. My own egg was much more successful as I set out to produce an odd-shaped free-form fried egg with crispy bits, and that was exactly what I ended up with.

Once they were shoved into a cob with bacon and mushrooms it didn’t matter what shape they were. All that matters to me is that my yolk is hard. I don’t really like runny yolks at the best of times but they are a hazard to shirt fronts when used in a sandwich. Julia likes her yolk soft, but as my wife of thirty years, she is accustomed to disappointment.

 

I have read the comments on my posts, added the word ‘cyanosis’ to one and added a couple of lines to another.

My first post of the day is now done, my new medication has been delivered by a hospital volunteer and Julia is clinking with menace as she sorts jam jars and emanates expectations. She wants me to start filling the skip with bits of shed. She has dragged it to the driveway and it is now time for me to do my bit. I will potter out to offer support and supervision in a moment, then come back to this.

By the magic of WordPress I am now back.

She had been struggling to dismantle a bookcase which had suffered from years of standing in a leaky shed and is therefore un-salvageable. This is the sad state of quite a lot of stuff, including things that had been safely stored in the dry garage last time I saw them. Married men will recognise the note of pain in my writing.

Anyway. the bookcase fell apart from a few taps with a rubber mallet. If I had been able to access a proper hammer it would have taken considerably fewer taps. With a proper Enoch I reckon one blow would have done it. That’s right, when I am in full swing, we are never far from a Luddite link.

Last night, whilst relaxing, I started to read WordPress. I haven’t really done that for years now. It was a very pleasant experience. I’m going to write another few posts to top my total up to two thousand then I’m going to cut back on posting and increase my reading.

Don’t get me wrong – I like all the blogs I read, but I’ve been limited in the last few years and have struggled even to keep up with sporadic reading of my regulars. Given a little more time I’m going to enjoy more reading, particularly as I was able to catch up with a few people I haven’t read for years.

Despite the weather, which features a cold breeze and a threatening low grey sky, I’m feeling quite sunny today, and am hoping that this frame of mind persists.

I’m going to throw in a few cheerful flower photographs from Harlow Carr Gardens and make beans on toast for lunch.

All photographs are irises in spring from our visits to Harlow Carr Garden, apart from the header which is Julia in the Mencap garden at Wilford.

All is Right with the World

I had a great night’s sleep last night, and woke ready for my weekly shopping trip. We travelled across town, past the empty university and arrived at the supermarket at 8.15. There was already a queue.

Fortunately we had ordered the shopping via Click & Collect and there was only one car in front of us. As we finished packing, another car drew up behind us. Annoying as it is that I can’t get another slot, you have to admit that they are working to capacity. It looks like I will be having to queue with the oldies again next week.

Government advice is that the best thing to stop coronavirus is your front door. Next best, I suppose, is collecting your shopping from a Click & Collect bay where the two staff on duty stay well away from you. Shopping, even once a week, is a very poor third in the list – despite the limits on entry, the one-way system and the supposed social distancing. Last week I estimate I had around 20 people getting far too close, which defeats the point of staying isolated all week.

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I have just finished breakfast (bacon, mushroom and black pudding in white cobs). It’s not a healthy breakfast but as long as I don’t eat it every day I don’t suppose it will do me too much harm.  I could have eaten high fibre cereal and brown toast (again) but there is little point in being the fittest corpse in the coronavirus ward.

The best thing is that I was so hungry I could eat it all again. There’s something that always seems so virtuous about finishing a meal and still leaving room for more. I really ought to try it more often.

I’m considering beans on toast for lunch, possibly with tomatoes and eggs, which will mean I have managed a Full English Breakfast by installments.

The picture is a much-missed Little Chef breakfast. I would have been better off photographing my own breakfast but, let’s be honest, it never seems to last long enough to give me time to fetch the camera.

 

Breakfast, Banknotes and Bad Cookery

Yesterday, when I finally prised myself from the grip of my nice warm bed, I found that Julia had left me porridge and a bacon sandwich. It’s at times like those that you realise how fortunate you are in your choice of wife.

It seemed only fair that I reciprocate this morning, so I took her to McDonalds. It’s slightly less impressive as a gesture but it’s a lot easier and there is no washing up.

Tonight we are having our traditional vegetable stew with dumplings. It’s low in calories, low on additives, cheap and delicious. It’s also a reliable recipe we have now been making for some months.

I have not exactly covered myself in glory this week, with a couple of new recipes that went slightly wrong. I say “slightly” but in one case we’ve been staring at it for five days. I would feel bad if I threw it out, as it’s a terrible thing to waste food. On the other hand, I will probably feel bad if I actually eat it.

What I did was to make a base for a vegetarian cottage pie by using small diced vegetables, onions and beans. It looks good and the texture is good. If only I hadn’t followed the advice of jamie Oliver to use a teaspoon of Marmite all would have been well. If you follow his recipe exactly it may well have worked, but I didn’t. I mixed and matched and ended up with a dish that is abominably salty.

If I boil a potato or two in it I’m likely to reduce it to soup. If I dilute it and pour the salty liquor off I can’t guarantee an improvement. And if I add more ingredients I just risk wasting more.

It looks like it will be heading for compost, and a valuable lesson will have been learned regarding recipes, though it’s not the first time I’ve been let down by a recipe from a celebrity chef.

The second was nothing like as bad. In fact I quite liked it, though Julia was less keen. I made a root vegetable hash and baked it with four eggs on top. I didn’t quite get the balance of vegetables right (too much swede/rutabaga), and the baking dried it out a bit but I think it has potential. The problem is mainly that it didn’t have corned beef in it, which keeps it moist and gives plenty of flavour.

At work, we finished the banknotes. AS you can see from the note below, I reached Zambia. Eddie did Zimbabwe, and we both heaved a sigh of relief.

Banknotes - Zambia

Banknotes – Zambia

Birds, Breakfast and Books

We weren’t quite sure what to do this morning, so we turned over and went back to sleep. By the time we awoke, blogged, ate a slice of toast with Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade and stepped outside, the frost had melted from the car and the birds were singing. We appear to have several Great Tits in the garden and I feel that avian romance is in the air.

First call was breakfast at Sainsbury’s, but I’ve covered that before. It was good today. I’ve scored it so that you can compare them, but it would feel like cheating to do a full write up again.

Portion size – good

Sausages – excellent and herby

Hash Browns – crispy and delicious

Beans – average, after all opening a can and heating beans is not a skilled job

Mushroom – excellent

Toast – average, another unskilled job that is difficult to do badly

Eggs – excellent to the point of “almost perfect”. Much better than last time.

Bacon – succulent, thickish and almost perfect.

Service and cleanliness were also better than last time.

After that we went shopping at theEast Midlands Designer Outlet. It wasn’t too crowded, though the shops aren’t that exciting, a bit of a re-run of our recent Springfields visit.

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East Midlands Designer Outlet – though it could be anywhere

We went to a few shops – Julia bought some new slipper socks, some bedsocks and some new socks for me. It was a sock sort of day. These were the only things she could find of interest in M&S. Her slipper socks are pink and white hoops with a gold thread in them. I remarked that they were rather girly and would look good in a disco. This view was received coldly as she pointed out that they were the only pair left.

In The Works I asked if they would be getting more stock in soon as I had yet again failed to find three books for the 3 for £5 deal. The assistant positively looked down her nose at me and informed me they had a good selection that was replenished weekly. I begged to disagree and we left it there. She looked offended and I felt patronised.

I’ve been to five of their outlets recently. In one I failed to buy a book. In one the covers are curling up because of damp. In two I have failed to buy three books for the deal.

It’s getting to a stage where I might as well buy off the internet – there are some really cheap deals out there on books I actually want.

We had coffee too, but that is a different post.

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East Midlands Designer Outlet – though it could be anywhere

 

 

The New Project

It’s nothing grand, but I will shortly be embarking on a fortnight of writing two posts a day. This is an effort to catch up both with my material, and the target I set myself some time ago. If I do one week of two posts a day I catch up with the things I missed in the week I was cast into the wilderness by WP. If I do two weeks of it I should return myself somewhere on course for the target I set myself a while back. Unfortunately I can’t remember what the target was or where I wrote it down. It probably isn’t that important if I can’t remember it.

Anyway, the new project is two posts a day for fourteen days.

This isn’t one of them because I’m going to prepare myself overnight and start tomorrow, refreshed by a good night’s sleep and provisioned with a suitable breakfast of eggs and bacon. I may have gone a little bit veggie recently, but a serious project requires a serious start.

In the old days they would have employed a haruspex to check the omens and probably have made a small sacrifice. In this case we will use the eggs rather than the entrails and I’ll let the pig make the sacrifice. Having just linked to Wiki I’m amazed at just how much I didn’t know about such things – I didn’t know, for instance, that they also used sheep for divination and specialised in livers. There is always so much to learn. I also learned a new thing about Thomas Becket. Who would have thought that a Christian saint would have dabbled in entrails? Didn’t do him much good in the end, but such is life.

The new posts will be at least 250 words long and will include photographs and links. They may. on a good day, include wit, humour and wisdom.

I had thought of writing it in an upbeat tone, just to make it more of a challenge, but even as I wrote the words, I shuddered. It is, frankly, more likely that if I need a challenge I will write in Latin. I am not a Classics scholar, but I am even less of an optimist.

Today’s photos are recycled. They are photos I took 12 months ago and serve the artistic purpose of highlighting the cyclical nature of life. Or they may highlight the amount of waffle talked by artists, and be reused because I’m too lazy to walk to the other room and fetch my camera card.

Breakfast at Sainsbury’s (Scone Chronicles XXVII)

I’m going to have to up my work rate after what I said in the last post. This is therefore going to be the first of two posts today.

We have not had a good time at Sainsbury’s at Arnold recently. Twice before Christmas we went in and ordered Beef Baguettes. The first time we tried, we were told there there were no baguettes. I pointed out that they had a shop full of baguettes. It seems that they aren’t allowed to use them.

The second time it was a lack of beef that interfered with the plan. We had festive toasties instead, which allegedly contained turkey and stuffing, but tasted of cotton wool and ketchup.

When we found that the place was crowded at 11.30 I nearly didn’t bother stopping, but I’d promised Julia a day out, which, in my view, means that she doesn’t have to make breakfast.

The cafe was full, many of the tables for four being monopolised by a solitary coffin dodger who was on first name terms with the staff. Say what you like about quality of a service (and I will cover that fully in a later paragraph) , they know how to treat the elderly and I may well move in when I’m a few years older.

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Tea – note the cup for a milk jug

i got a table for two while Julia ordered the food. It needed clearing and wiping down. So did many of the others. A member of kitchen staff emerged at one point, cleared the pots off one table, left the crumbs and went back into the kitchen, never to be seen again.

One lady went as far as to get the table wiping equipment from the staff and wipe her own table down, also wiping the table for a lady in a wheelchair. To be fair, we are supposed to take our own pots away, and it must add more work when people are too lazy, or too arrogant, to clear the table after eating. On the other hand the staff should keep the place clean – I’m paying enough and should have a clean place to eat.

When Julia arrived with the tea I noted the milk was in a coffee cup, rather than a receptacle designed for pouring milk. Again, we paid enough for them to provide a small jug.

It’s just minor details, but it’s annoying that people can’t get the simple things right. For an echo of these thoughts seethis post, though I note there are one or two typos in it – sorry for that.

The food arrived quite quickly, and a member of staff took it on a tour of the cafe before finding us, so we were never in danger of burning our mouths.

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Big Breakfast – Sainsbury’s, Arnold

The breakfast report –

Portion size – good

Sausages – excellent and herby

Hash Browns – crispy and delicious

Beans – average, after all opening a can and heating beans is not a skilled job

Mushroom – excellent

Toast – average, another unskilled job that is difficult to do badly

Eggs – borderline – a hint of snottiness to the white means they were slightly undercooked

Bacon – this could take some time. There is a division of opinion on whether bacon should be crispy or pink and juicy. I favour pink and juicy myself but if the cook does it crispy I’ll eat that too. However, I’m not aware that there is a school of thought that says bacon should be cooked until hard, tied in a knot and basted with grease before being dumped on the plate. If there is such a school of thought I can recommend the cook at Sainbury’s in Arnold.

The bacon actually looks quite nice in the photo. But trust me, it wasn’t. And it was salty too.

So, despite the lack of cleanliness, mediocre efficiency and patchy breakfast, how was it?

Pretty good, to be honest. The good bits of the breakfast were very good, the staff are always friendly and cheerful, even if they do get behind with the cleaning and, judgingh by the way they get on with their regular ancient customers, they are providing a valuable community service.

I suspect the staff are great and the management is poor.

Would I recommend it despite my sarcasm and criticism?

Yes, though its constant failings with cleaning and detail are a bit wearing. On a good day it’s probably the best local breakfast, but the good days are, at the moment, in a minority.

The Scone Chronicles XXV

The one with McDonald’s…

Yes, we’re back at the budget end. With a day full of errands stretching to eternity (the whimpering about seals having produced no effect on my hard-hearted wife) I decided on the easy option to give us a solid foundation.

There’s not much I can add. We had sausage and egg McMuffins, hash browns and coffee. It’s what we always have, because we’re predictable. As usual, it was very good. There’s not much else to say.

The most interesting thing was the coffee cup, which has changed over the years from a receptacle for coffee to a medium for messages – more like a billboard than a cup.

Apart from two robins chasing each other round a tree there isn’t much more to report. That’s why you have a picture of Julia’s feet for a header – I was looking for a photo, they seemed bright, so I took the picture. This evening I used it because there was nothing better.

Moving from food review to diary, I can then report that we went to drop clothes and books off at a recycling point before going to look for a gas heater. Despite what the Homebase website says they don’t sell them.

Recycling - Sainsbury's, Arnold, Notts

Recycling – Sainsbury’s, Arnold, Notts

We then went to Currys. They don’t sell gas heaters, but they do sell tablets. That’s in the sense of small computer type things (which I don’t really understand) rather than a bottle of pills. We had to hunt down a sales assistant because nobody seemed interested in making a sale, and when we got one we needn’t have bothered.

It seems the tablet we wanted was out of stock and they clearly weren’t interested as they advised us to try on-line.

So today’s hint is that if you’re looking for a useless, apathetic excuse for a salesman, try Currys. If you’re looking for a tablet, don’t bother.

And if you try to order on-line, prepare for a long and frustrating experience. I ordered three items – it took nearly an hour as it repeatedly refused to accept the order details, delivery details and filled the screen with useless pop-ups.

I’m going back to Amazon next time.

We stopped off at the park next, as Julia went looking for a municipal employee to browbeat into helping her garden group. One was on holiday and the other was in hiding. I sat in the car park and photographed damp leaves.

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Not my finest moment as a photographer, but I was bored

We eventually bought the gas heater from B&Q. They had a choice of one model, but it was in the right price bracket and the staff were all cheerful and helpful.

After that it was the garden centre. But that is another story…