Tag Archives: cooking

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.

 

 

From Bleak Breakfast to Boring Birds

Breakfast was a touch bleak at 5.30 this morning – we burnt the toast and lost the marmalade. The first was due to the unwritten natural law that the chance of burning your toast rises in inverse proportion to the amount of bread available.

Thus, when you only have four slices of bread left you are almost guaranteed to burn it.

It’s the child effect – when they are both visiting, as they were this weekend, food simply seems to disappear. I’m sure we had half a loaf when I went to bed. I can’t even attempt to work out what they’ve done with the marmalade.

After that it was time to do laundry (and start a new book), go shopping, walk round the duck pond, answer blog comments, and cook for the evening (a highly untechnical dish of vegetables (mainly courgette) to be eaten with wholemeal pasta. Some times I’m so healthy I frighten myself.

It’s the first time I’ve been able to walk round the pond without my stick since April, so I’m happy with that, even if it is only 500 yards.

The ducks, I’m sad to say, were not very interesting.

The wooden sculptures are looking good.

It looks like things are getting back to normal, which is clearly a mixed blessing. I now have more domestic chores to do, but it’s nice being able to walk without the stick. Next week I will have to walk round twice.

The final picture is my shopping list, as people seem to like shopping lists.

You may notice that it’s not like other shopping lists that people show after finding lists that have been lost. There’s not much chance of me losing this list, and if I do, let’s face it, I will have more to worry about than lack of a list.

It’s not a proper list, just the things I’d forgotten from yesterday.

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Shopping list

 

 

 

Time to Sit

I’m having a rest now and feeling virtuous. This really should be the action of a man who has filled his day with industry and is now taking a well-earned rest after a hectic day of cooking, shopping, polishing, dusting, hoovering, gardening…

I’ll stop there. Just thinking about it makes me feel tired.

In reality I dropped Julia off at work, came home, went back to bed, read more of The Most Perfect Thing, wondered why the author decided to have a quick pop at battery cages (as so many people do), then cooked three fish pies, two vegetable curries and Sheep’s Hearts with Plums.

I’m just starting to get my head round tonight’s tea – carrot, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potato (for the topping)- that should about do. I already have onions, peas, sweetcorn and mushrooms in the pie. It’s not easy, this ten a day.

Just about to start reading  A Corner of a Foreign Field. Guess what it’s about? Yes, war poetry, how original. It looks quite good, with some poems I’ve not seen before, so I’m looking forward to it. It cost £2.50 from a charity shop in Whitby on Friday. I’m telling Julia it’s part of an economy book project I’m doing for the blog.

She may believe me…

 

 

The Week Ahead

I have an appointment to see the Practice Nurse late on Wednesday. I’m going to be weighed, prodded, bled and, probably, lectured. If I’m very unlucky, and I often am when examined by the medical profession, I will also be diagnosed with something I didn’t know I had when I walked in.

That’s pretty much all there is to my week. I think of it as Broken Tooth Syndrome. You may have 31 good teeth and one with a rough edge, so the chances of catching it with your tongue are 31 to 1. But in practice I always catch the rough edge with my tongue and I find it difficult thinking about anything else. So although I have seven days ahead of me I can only think of one 20 minute spell on Wednesday afternoon.

The new recipes are going well, though the bean burger testing has hit the buffers. There’s only so many tasteless bean burgers you can eat. After doubling the seasoning without producing an edible result I’m going to have to find a new recipe. I don’t mind them being bland, but I do mind that they seem to make my head pucker. There are few things as truly tasteless as badly seasoned beans.

I’m making meatballs again this week, using the other half of the mince from the Post House Pie.  The meatballs need a bit of work on the favours but the construction and sauce were good.The Post House Pie was very good last time I made it. This week I have added the tomato sauce from the meatballs to the spicy meat then layered left-over vegetable curry and roast vegetables on top. Makes a change from soup or bubble and squeak, and it’s always an adventure.

We’ve already had two meals of Parsnip and Ginger soup, another new recipe which worked out well. Unlike the beans it doesn’t suffer from lack of seasoning.

Last week we had boodles. They are butternut squash that has been spiralised into “noodles”, but you have to give them a made up name if you have a marketing department. Nutritionally I’m sure they are great, but the texture and taste aren’t quite as good as proper noodles. This week I’m going to have a go at either courgetti of cauliflower rice.

However, the big event of the week is going to be the unveiling of the telescope. I finally got round to buying one from the RSPB Shop at Carsington Water. Hopefully I’m going to be getting a lot of use out of it, because after the house and car (and kids, if I’m being honest) it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought.

Stand by for reports of me getting really great views of birds I can’t identify.

 

 

The importance of being accurate

I used to work for an auctioneer, and some years after that I ran my own postal auction.Yes, I have had an indirect route to where I am now. However, the point in telling you this is not to discuss my lamentable career planning but to talk about accuracy.

When you prepare auction catalogues you have to be extremely accurate. Today I fell short of this standard when I found myself telling people I’d cut my thumb with a Sudoku. In fact I had cut my thumb with a santoku. The two things are quite different, as you will know.

Put it down to old age and getting up at 5 am.

As a result there are a number of people who now think that I have a paper cut of legendary proportions.

It wasn’t the only thing I did in the day but it was the one I will remember longest. The hedge will grow again, the weeds will reappear and the herbs in my new Mediterranean planter will fade and die. But people will remember my error.

Apart from the ones who will remember my massive paper cut.