Tag Archives: casserole

21-21-21-21 and Bacon and Potato Hotpot

Nine o’clock last night was, Julia tells me, the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st Century.  Unfortunately she didn’t tell me until later so I was unable to savour the moment. I will have to wait until 10pm on 22nd January 2122 for the next similar event. I suspect that despite advances in medical science I’m not going to be around for that.

I had another go at bacon casserole this week. The last attempt, the Panhaggerty, wasn’t quite right so I looked for a new recipe and gave it a try. I didn’t make a note of the recipe and can’t find it again. However, don’t despair – there are hundreds of them if you want one, or try this.

Cut potatoes into slices, I used about five potatoes of about medium size. Par boil. I did them for five minutes, I may give them 7 next time, though five worked.

You probably should cut onions into rings as it will look better. I had some ready chopped onion and three small leeks so I used them.

Bacon bits.

Black pepper, stock cube, grated cheese.

Fry the bacon  and then soften the onions/leeks.

Put in a layer of potato, the onions/leeks and another layer of potato, then bacon, then potato. I used freshly ground black pepper on each layer of potato (it’s easier to see how much you put on if you add it that way. The dishes I used are about an inch and  a half deep so that’s enough layers.

Make the stock and pour it in until it nearly covers the potatoes. Cover with foil, cook for an hour at 200 C/400 F for an hour. When I prodded the potato at the hour mark it was still a bit hard, so I may give it an extra couple of minutes boiling next time.

Uncover, put the cheese on top and put it in the oven. I gave it thirty minutes and turned the oven up. The recipe suggested 15 minutes for browning but I was watching a half hour programme on TV. At least it cooked the potato properly. It also formed a nice golden crust and reduced the gravy nicely.

It was a bit salty for our low salt tastes, probably due to the bacon.

Next time I’m going to make a vegetarian version with carrots and parsnips, and possibly without cheese.

I haven’t made hotpot for twenty years, and am not sure why. Looks like we will be having more of it from now on.

Potato and Bacon Casserole

 

 

Thoughts on Poetry and Bacon

That’s Bacon the foodstuff, not the artist or the pioneer of frozen food.

I suppose, after all the events of the day, I should have spent the evening juggling with casseroles and torturing myself with self-doubt. However, I didn’t.

What’s hit is history, what’s missed is mystery, as the old ornithologists used to say. That’s a saying from the days when they used to shoot birds as a prelude to identifying them. Th same goes for submissions – what’s accepted is gone and what is rejected needs work. Or, possibly, a bin.

In some ways I’m more like a mechanic than a poet. The one that was returned yesterday, with comments,  is going to retain the original engine and chassis, but will be getting new bodywork and a respray. It will start out as an observational haibun and, probably, end up as a piece of fiction. It will still be a true piece about man and nature, but it will have fictional elements added for effect.

A second is in for a total rewrite. I’m going to keep the haiku and the original idea. All else will be new. The third of that batch will be completely dismantled. I will re-use several of the images to write haiku and park the rest in the file marked “Multiple Rejections”. It has, to be fair, been rejected three times, so the editors obviously agree. One day I might find a use for the carcase.

Nothing is ever wasted, it just isn’t used as originally intended.

Moving on to casseroles – the panhaggerty was a funny colour and the bacon had no flavour. I will be having it again as it’s easy to make, and because there’s enough left over for lunch. It was not as good as the normal vegetable stew we do, but it was quicker to prepare. Part of the problem may come from the fact that I over-browned the bacon. I think it also needs bacon bits rather than rashers. Not sure if you can still get bacon bits, I suspect they all go off to be cubed and sold as a premium product..

There’s another recipe I want to make, which I haven’t made for years. Instead of boiling for twenty minutes you cook it in the oven for 2 hours. That fact has always made me wonder if it’s worth it.

I will check online. Then I am off to write a book review…

Friday. Guess where I am?

OK, so I’m actually writing it on Sunday, but cast your mind back – where have I been on the last dozen Fridays?

Yes, in the Mencap garden again, drinking tea. It was nice and warm in the sun, though chilly in the shade.

There were Great Tits on the newly erected feeder, though not after I raised the camera. Same goes for the Robins singing in the trees, the Magpies perching in high places. A flock of about 60 birds kept flying  round the main building – Julia has a theory they are after the warmth.

I had a typo in there for a moment – Magpires. They are post-apocalyptic blood-sucking crows.

So, in the garden, drinking tea, trying to photograph birds and spelling badly. It’s not how I imagined my life developing, but there are worse places to be.

Julia has given me instructions and I am now gathering my equipment as next week we will be assembling the example nest box and marking them up for the group to build.

Saturday started earlier than usual, as Julia was filling in for someone. I then went to visit a jeweller and bought ingredients for the evening meal. These are two different activities, and an example of sloppy writing.  I visited the jeweller and then went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for our evening meal.

It will be Julia’s birthday soon and I need to find a present. So far I’m not having much success.

In the afternoon I went to visit my Dad with Number One son. We did a jigsaw, played Beetle and lost to my sister at Snakes and Ladders.

Does Number One son realise this will be his destiny, I wonder?

On Friday (moving back in time again) I watched Dr Phil on Countdown. He was talking about measures we should take to ensure continuing good health. The mnemonic to remember is clangers.  This year has shown I can easily slip into bad habits so I’m going to ensure that I don’t do the same again. If it means I have to be nice to people I suppose it’s a  sacrifice worth making.

It’s very much along the lines of Green Care, Green Gym, Blue Sky Hospital or whatever else you want to call it. You get out, meet people, exercise, learn and end up better for it.

Back at home (Saturday evening) we reheated the casserole and ate it with samphire.  This was, as they warn, salty, but also crispy and fresh. It reminded me of a time when I was young and broke. I picked samphire when camping, boiled it and ate an entire mess tin of it to save money.  Today that would be a disaster, but my youthful digestion had no problem.

It was a bit too salty for my taste at the time and it has taken me 40 years to eat it again. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it this time. round.

Just a Short Post

It’s been a strange day. I spent most of it sorting through a pile of junk. As a result, I have a neater and better sorted pile of junk. It takes years to make a proper mess, so you aren’t going to set it all to rights in a day.

I’ve found some interesting items, but have also managed to start a bag of things for the charity shop and another couple for the bin.

It’s slow but it’s moving in the right direction.

I will be writing about ebay at greater length soon, but for now I have to say I’m now feeling much better about it. I’ve just had a day when I bought everything I bid on at minimum price. This is a mixed blessing, as all the items were cheap (which is good) but I bought eight items and the bill soon adds up.

We had another casserole for tea after Julia came back from work. This was stewing steak with carrots, parsnips, small onions, garlic and thyme. I also used two stock pots, cumin and black pepper. I then covered it, chucked it in the oven and fell asleep in front of the TV. When I woke up it was ready. What’s not to like with a laid back recipe like that? I could have woken up an hour earlier or an hour later and it would probably have been OK.

I dropped Number 2 son off in Sheffield yesterday and we have the house to ourselves again. This should be relaxing, but it isn’t as Julia is now wittering on about hoping he’ll be alright. I’m sure he will be. He has money, he has stationery and he has access to kitchen, shop and pubs. He’s a student, what more does he need?

One adjustment I will have to make is portion size, I cooked for three tonight.

 

A Pale Rainbow

First of all – a correction. I cooked the chicken and vegetables in the oven, not on the hob, so it was actually a casserole and not a stew as I stated in a previous post. It’s a small point but important if you value accuracy.

Apart from that, there’s been drizzle, a poor attempt at a rainbow and cheesecake to follow the casserole. (We bought it on the way back from the leisure centre, my cheesecakes are better than bought ones, but tend to be runnier and crumblier and harder to eat with panache.) Though it’s tangy and lemony, and makes you tabs laugh, as they say round here, it does tend to get spread down your shirt, in your beard and on the table.

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Casserole – before

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Casserole – after

You may be wondering why I’m posting three times today, when the first was sufficient. The truth is that it helps me avoid hoovering, and gives me an excuse to use some of the photos I took this afternoon.

My latest way of improving my life is to take photographs every day, declutter  every day (even if it’s only a small amount) and to write every day. That means you have to look at photos of a drizzly day, but I’m sure there are worse things.

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Pale Rainbow over Mapperley