Tag Archives: cookery

Another Lesson

It’s just taken me five hours to start the computer after many false starts and a variety of labyrinthine attempts.

At times like this it is, according to Julia, useless to threaten the machine or use language “like that”.

The lesson I learnt was simple. If you learn a lesson once, profit from it.

Do not, as I did, put it off until tomorrow.

I’m off to cook now.

While I am cooking I will reflect on my capacity for stupidity.

And my declining appetite for turkey sandwiches.

Tomorrow we will be having turkey and ham pie. The picture is of a previous attempt.

Another Limerick

Another Limerick? I’m spoiling you with all this culture aren’t I?

This one is devoted to the people behind two of our most prolific bloggers – Jackie and Mrs Tootlepedal.

The juicy jalfrezi of Jackie,

The toffee pudding of Mrs TP,

are both justly famous

and you cannot blame us

for wanting an invite to tea.

I’m still struggling to fit Tootlepedal into a poem. I can get the rhyme but I can’t get it to scan. I may have to resort to crafty manipulation.

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

Why have my hands turned purple?

Well, we’ve wrapped presents for the bran tub on Saturday, sorted out the Santa presents, put up more decorations, eaten sweets, fed the animals and chased a duck in the half-light to get it back in the barn. Turned out to be a wild duck attracted by the duck noise, and duck food, of our resident group.

I had a go at photographing the poultry, but as you can see, they have a sixth sense for spoiling a photo – almost like the auto-focus alerts them. Then it’s head down, turn round or do something else unsuitable.  I gave up after these shots. That’s why I’ll never be a top wildlife photographer. That and the lack of lions in the Screveton area.

 

I now have enough red cabbage in the oven to feed a large group of visitors, and by good fortune I also have a large group of visitors booked in for tomorrow. They are planting trees and having lunch. There will also be sausages on the menu (including vegetarian and gluten free options), baked potatoes and those posh little carrots I can never remember the name of.

The words “red cabbage” will have alerted you to the answer to the title question I suppose. It was simple, but I am, as ever, short of inspiration for titles.

The Woodland Trust sent us copies of their report with pictures of the Quercus group in it, which will cause some excitement on Wednesday when we hand them out. They would have caused some excitement today but the postman delivered them to the wrong address and we didn’t get them until after they had left. There were only 60 houses in the village at the end of the 19th century and I’m willing to bet there aren’t many more now. What are the chances of a wrongly delivered letter?

Apart from speculating on that all that is left to do is clear up and do some last minute shopping for tomorrow.

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Cookery Book – 0ld style!

Countryman’s Cooking

by W. M. W. Fowler Excellent Press Ludlow 2006 Hardback  157 pp

ISBN-13: 978-1900318297 

£16.95 but there are plenty available for £00.01 plus £2.80 P&P

It’s a cookery book, not a recipe book, as Fowler is keen to tell us several times. It’s also a book for men, and men of a distinctly unreconstructed sort. For killing, hanging, preparing and cooking this book has no equal. If you are looking for fancy stuff like recipes you aren’t going to find them here. You’re not going to find much in the way of pastry here either because he has his own way of providing pie crust. I won’t tell you how he does it because it’s one of the highlights of the book, even though other reviews seem happy to spoil the punchline.

There is a short section on vegetables at the end, sharing the final 14 pages with batter, shellfish and eggs. That’s about the right proportion according to my thoughts.

Originally published in 1965, it’s definitely the product of a different age, as his women are treated like cooks and he assumes you have a firearm handy if you ever wanted to shoot your own sheep. Originally the book didn’t sell well and it was only when Ludlow based publisher David Burnett bought a copy of the book for 50p in an Oxfam shop that things took off. He tried the recipes out, found they were popular and decided to reprint the book. An initial print run of 1,000 sold out in a morning and he eventually shifted 10,000 – well over his estimate of 600 in three years.

I was a little disappointed at the lack of cat recipe – he makes mention of eating the Camp Commandant’s cat with a black market onion whilst he was held as a prisoner of war but there are no further details. This mirrors my other experience of cat in wartime, muttered rumblings from my mother about never buying a rabbit in the war unless it still had the skin on. The two animals, it seems, are identical when skinned.

I confess I haven’t tried the recipes yet, but you don’t have to, it’s well worth reading for the entertainment, or as a social history of  an English gentleman, without getting involved in giblets and gizzards.

Treat yourself. It cost me £2.81 from Amazon, what else provides such value?

 

Ramblings, art week and the first post of the day

It’s Sunday and this is just a few random thoughts to get me warmed up so don’t worry if you have a feeling that you’re trapped in an overgrown garden of rampant verbiage.

Belly pork tonight, a NIgella recipe. I made it last week and it turned out well so tonight is to test bif it was a fluke or a repeatable result. If it works again I may add it to my regular recipe selection. There is a recipe on the internet where she marinades the pork and stuff – but as this is great in its plain form why mess with tahini and lime juice? Air miles, Nigella, air miles. We’re going to be eating ours with the first broad beans of the season. I am looking froward to it.

We’ll be having radishes for lunch tomorrow – there are four of us here tomorrow so we can have a couple each. I’m not a great radish fan, but I do love stuff straight from the garden.

Sunday started, as always, at an unreasonably early hour. I then did laundry; wondered if this was what my life will be like for ever (there’s nothing like using a launderette at 7am on a Sunday to make you examine your companions, ambitions and lack of success in life); went home to tidy and make sandwiches, and then went shopping before coming to work.

I’ve used semi-colons there because it’s the right thing to do, as I recall. I’ve also had a go at sticking in an Oxford comma. It’s probably a little late in my life to start worrying about such things – particularly when my normal habit is to use commas, dashes and brackets in a manner that looks like a chimp has thrown a bucket of punctuation marks at the screen. On the other hand, what is life if it isn’t a series of attempts at self-improvement?

Well, having just had a quick look round the last day of Sherwood Art week in the Nottingham suburb of Sherwood, life might be a journey to self-improvement through the medium of novelty knitting – check out the pictures.

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