Tag Archives: cooking

Now, where was I?

As far as the blog is concerned I’m eating cake in Derbyshire. In real life I am back in Nottingham, where I passed three increasingly unpleasant days at work and finally had a day of rest.

Today, Sunday, I had a lie in, read, shopped, snacked, snoozed and cooked.

As I speak, I am on the verge of serving ratatouille with Lincolnshire sausages, and also have a pan of vegetarian cottage pie filling simmering away. Tomorrow we will have the pie, with a topping of mash, and on Wednesday we will have the remains of the ratatouille, probably with a baked potato.

We used to serve Italian style sausages with the ratatouille (Italian style meaning British sausages with Italian flavoured fillings) but they cost more and didn’t taste as good as a Lincolnshire sausage.

They are also better for use in sandwiches, and tomorrow we will have sausage sandwiches for lunch.

And that, for the benefit of future researchers, is the way middle-aged  men and their wives spent their winter Sundays in the early 21st Centuries. By the early 22nd Century you will probably need a license to own a sausage, or at least pay a punitive tax, and the use of plastic wrappings will be superseded by the use of potato-starch substitutes which can be composted or used as a topping on pies.

TESCO Top Valley - an hour later

TESCO Top Valley – an hour later

While I was looking for a potato starch/plastic links I found this one. It’s one of my favourite subjects, but I wouldn’t advise reading it if you are eating. In the 22nd Century people will probably wonder why we ever thought cremation was a good idea.

Back to work.

On Thursday I was referred to as “disabled” by my co-worker. It’s funny what goes through people’s minds. We were discussing whether coin dealers would have made it to heaven in Egyptian times as we spend a lot of times destroying dreams when people ring up with a “valuable” coin. I checked this up – I think we’re OK. If you read this, it’s about doing good deeds, not necessarily about valuing coins.

We moved on to Christianity and he asked me if I thought I would still be disabled in Heaven or if all would be corrected. This was news to me, as I didn’t realise I was disabled. Anyway, as I pointed out, we don’t go to Heaven after we die, we have to wait for the general resurrection and, theologically, only need a skull and two femurs (the Skull and Crossbones) to gain eternal life, so I’m not sure a dodgy knee comes into play at any time.

I then asked him if he saw me as “disabled”. He changed the subject.

We then move on to a couple of days of him continually arguing with the shop owner about minor details of what we do. It’s like being in the middle of a divorcing couple. Fortunately I was given a set of ear plugs last week (the reason is too long and involved to explain) so on Saturday afternoon I put them in. It helped cut out some of the noise.

 

Sometimes, when there is no other subject, I take pictures of wheels.

A Short Trip through a Shallow Mind

So much to do, so little time.

I’ve just looked at my life, recoiled in horror, and tried to write a “to do” list.

Wash up

Cook tea

Clear my “desk” (which is a dining room table)

Watch TV and relax

Write a blog post

Write a poem

Dream up a way of making money

Start putting stuff on eBay

Cook the ratatouille for tomorrow

Wash up after cooking

Browse eBay

Do the photographs for my talk at the Numismatic Society (six weeks away!) Eeek!

Declutter

Organise my collection

Organise my underwear. Some of it is older than the kids. There is a definitely diaphonous quality to some of them, caused by the material wearing so thin a good sneeze might make them disintegrate. But I’m a married man, so I don’t need to impress anyone with the quality of my undergarments.

Read

Write another “to do” list – this one is getting too long

Read up on growing food from scraps as recommended by Higgledy Piggledy Mom

Visit Derrick and Tootlepedalto check on new developments in how to age disgracefully. A quick scan indicates that Derrick looks set to drown in pursuit of photography and TP has been watching a helicopter move a portable toilet. Jackie, the saint who is married to Derrick, has been photographing his antics, presumably for an entry in the Darwin Awards.

Write a list of all the other blogs I need to catch up with.

Lavinia

Clare

Charlie

Laurie

Lots of others.

Procrastinate. It’s not an entry you expect to see on a “to do” list but if I don’t procrastinate I’m going to have to start the washing up and make ratatouille.

Wrestle with conscience – Julia is out. If I ring for a Chinese takeaway she won’t know. I can wash away the evidence, mask the smell and…then I’ll tell her. I always do. I just don’t seem to be able to keep a secret. It means I lead a blameless life and never have anything on my conscience very long. I  would make a dreadful criminal.

Ah well, washing up it is then…

The featured image is completely random.

Where does all the time go?

Last night I came home, did the washing up I’d left to mature for a couple of days and prepared the evening meal. We had some leftover chicken, wrinkly carrots, bendy parsnips, over the hill mushrooms, softening onions and sprouting garlic. I then threw in some stock cubes, pearl barley and water.

I’m thinking of marketing a line of cookware with the motto “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here” featured on the logo.

With hindsight more water or less barley may have been better. And less cooking. I lost track of time and it ended up with a couple of hours on a very low heat. The result was a pearl barley risotto. I liked it, though I was surprised. Julia was equally surprised, and not quite so keen. She doesn’t always appreciate my deviations from the culinary norm, or the fact I hate wasting vegetables.

I watched TV with Julia, replied to comments on the blog, wrote 1,100 words in two parts, did the washing up again and made the sandwiches for today.

Then I fell asleep.

It really doesn’t sound like a lot of work when you consider it took the best part of eight hours. There was a slight nap involved (about thirty minutes – that’s all) and the TV probably took up two hours, so I suppose it becomes a bit more understandable.

Then there was today, which just seemed to fade away. I got Julia to work for 8.30, was at the shop for 9.00, bid on some ebay items by 9.30 and had several parcels packed by 10.00. After that it all became a blur and suddenly it was the end of another week – just one more day to go until Sunday.

Where do the days go, and the evenings and the weeks? In fact, where did this year go? Or my life, come to think about it. If the next twenty years go as fast as the last twenty I really don’t have time for naps.

Now I’m off to find photos for this post and to prepare myself for more postcode facts.

The picture is part of my collection that I found recently after some years in a dusty box – it’s a fund-raising flag used by the Foresters to raise money for their regimental war memorial at Crich.

New, but Not Improved

Sorry about the lack of activity in the last few days. It seemed like I just went out like a light. I fell asleep in my chair on Friday night around 9 pm and didn’t waken until 3 am, despite the efforts of my family to wake me and make me go to bed. By that time I’d missed both my blogging deadline and my time for taking anticoagulants.

After that I developed a new snivelling cold, multiple aches in the joints and a need for more sleep. I managed to get to work on Saturday, including running the shop by myself on Saturday afternoon (as the other two sloped off for afternoon meeting of the Banknote Society) and slept all day Sunday.

I’m now re-launching the refreshed, but completely unimproved, new me.

It’s a modest relaunch because I’m also cooking roasted Mediterranean vegetables and, at 10.15, will be off to collect Number Two Son from work. This gives me twenty minutes to complete the cooking, serve it up, eat it (quickly) and get going.

It doesn’t give me much time for composing literary masterpieces.

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Nickalls the fencer in action – we just sold his medals (as seen in the featured image) to a collector in China. He was the first fencer to win two titles in one year with the Universities Athletic Union – Foil and Sabre in 1935.

 

 

 

Quick Post

We got stuck in traffic this morning and Number Two Son texted to say he’d seen us from the bus while he was on his way back from the night shift. Great use of technology!

Fourteen parcels to pack and a long slow queue at the post office. There was some light relief but I have no time to describe it.

A reasonable afternoon and some cooking.

A good talk at the Numismatic Society.

Chicken stew for tea. (Cooked earlier – good planning).

A fight with the new editor, which keeps throwing me out of the photographs.

Taking Number Two Son to work in the next few minutes.

I’m going to see what pictures it lets me use.

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Crocuses

Loose Ends

The header picture shows the bag of oats Julia bought from Heckington. They are produced at the Maud Foster Mill in Boston (yes, American readers, we have one too). She is determined that I am going to benefit from slow-release carbs and extra roughage in the coming year.

You’d have thought they would have stocked oats from their own mill, but it seems not.

I’m thinking of doing a series of posts on mills as there are plenty in Lincolnshire, and the surrounding counties, with many of them having tearooms attached. I’m trying to work a joke into posts/mills, or post mills but it’s not quite working yet. I’ll work on it as I think the world of mill blogs needs a joke or two.

Today’s work consisted mainly of washing windows and serving customers. This is a picture of the new shop, illuminated by sunlight streaming in through the newly cleaned windows. Once the building work is finished they are going to allow me to clean all the glass in counters and cabinets. As you can see, there will be a lot of work.

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The new Collectors’ World in Nottingham

 

After work, we had roasted vegetables with belly pork and kale. It marks the start of my new healthy eating campaign. Well, healthyish. It’s a start.

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Belly pork with roasted vegetables and kale

A Day for Small Jobs

I started off by delivering Julia into servitude at 8.30 this morning. She’s not fond of Thursdays as she has to rush across town at 4pm to get from one job to another before finally being allowed home at 8pm.

Then I went to Newark. It was cold, business was non-existent and the tale of the last two weeks was one of cold, snow and poverty. After an exchange of cards, a cup of tea and a laugh about old times (there’s nothing to laugh about at the moment) I went browsing in W H Smiths looking for writing paper. I didn’t find any. The notes in my Christmas cards will, as a result, be written on paper torn from a spiral-bound notebook. To be fair, this is a more accurate reflection of me than smart writing paper.

A trip round Wilkos netted a tin of Vaseline lip-care products for Julia, a bucket of fat balls for the birds for £4 and a chicken and stuffing sandwich for £1. Yes, I know, I’m not supposed to be eating bread. However, as I’d already treated my self to a sausage and onion cob for breakfast I didn’t think a chicken sandwich was going to do too much extra damage, either to my waistline or my digestion.

From there it was a quick trip to the doctor to put in some prescription requests and on to TESCO for healthy veg and new gloves.

Resisting the urge to go home I visited the shop to drop off Christmas cards to my new colleagues (I’m such a creep) and helped with the delivery of two new cabinets for the new shop. It’s starting to take shape.

I then went home, supposedly to post on the blog but actually to engage in a variety of displacement activities, including sleeping in front of the TV, watching TV, checking ebay, picking Julia up from work, browsing the internet, writing notes to go in Christmas cards and warming up soup. I was tempted to say “cooking” but I’m pretty sure preparing soup and a sandwich isn’t cooking. We normally have something more substantial but after a day that saw us both deviating from our diets we thought we’d cut back a bit.

I even managed to do a bit of reading, having bought the Kindle edition of Maya and the Book of Everything by Laurie Graves. It’s going quite well so far. We’re right into the action and moving along nicely and there’s no boring stuff about chivalry or whales. She is therefore already ahead of Cervantes and Melville in my estimation. On the minus side there’s a definite lack of talking animals, though Sir John Oldcastle is about to make an appearance. I like Sir John.