Tag Archives: dumplings

A Packed Monday

This morning I dragged myself from bed reluctantly and groaned as I felt the arthritis in my finger. I had, just days before, been wondering if I’d get to spring without more trouble. It seems not. I went down for my blood test. For the second time in three visits I had a learner. She was heavy-handed but accurate and relatively painless.

Because I was late Julia took the bus to work and left me to fill in an hour before going to work. A full breakfast at Sainsbury’s filled the gap.

I then started on parcels. There were fifteen, several of which we had packed on Saturday afternoon and two of which were for collection. Then we had two people in to sell things and things to put on the eBay shop. We also had a lost parcel to deal with. It had been posted by ordinary post and had disappeared. The way eBay works means we have to send the money back and pay 80 pence to PayPal. In the old days we’d have shown the reciept from the post office to prove we’d posted it and told the customer he should have paid the extra for insurance. Experience suggests we’ve been had over, but who can tell?

Finally the lady who wanted two coin sets came in. She was buying them for presents as they represent birth dates. Seeing that we had more, she bought three others and left the shop after we planted the idea of coin collecting in her head.

It was then time for sandwiches, packed by Number Two Son the night before, and a trip to Newark. I caught up with an old friend, which is always good, and treated myself to a Fry’s Peppermint Cream. It’s a long-established chocolate bar – I remember my great-grandmother eating Fry’s.

On the way back I saw a few good sunset pictures, but couldn’t find anywhere safe to park and photograph, so I’ve used adawn shot from last week for this post.

The rooks seem to be gathering at their nest sites, I’ve seen two largish gatherings this week. Looks like spring is coming, though all the weather reports are forecasting cold weather and snow this week.

We had stew for tea. I’d made it last night using up a lot of slightly wrinkled vegetables so we reheated it, Julia made dumplings and I managed to eat my five a day out of the same bowl.

Then Julia produced a bar of Thornton’s dark chocolate with chilli. She didn’t know I’d already had chocolate and I seem to have forgotten to tell her.

That’s about it. On balance it was a good day.



Looks like a curry…

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.

Douglas Adams,  Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Most people are familiar with the Duck Test. but how many people can tell the difference between a stew and a curry?

For instance, I cooked a spicy dish of beef and vegetables tonight, what was it?  I ate it and I’m not sure.

It included carrot, sweet potato, parsnip, onions, mushrooms, ginger, chillies and lentils. With the exception of parsnip I’ve had them all in curries before – either from Indian or Chinese restaurants.

So was it a curry?

The ingredients don’t seem to be a reliable indicator. You can make curry without using curry powder. You can serve either dish with a variety of breads and rice, though the jury is out regarding potatoes.

After giving it an evening of thought, and discussing the nuances of potato cuisine, we’ve come up with the following guidelines (which probably don’t apply outside the UK).

If you serve it with dumplings it’s a stew.

If you use a recipe (no matter how vaguely remembered) it’s probably a curry.

If you use the random ingredients you happen to have to hand, it’s probably a stew.

As a result of this discussion I’ve also identified  a possible gap in the market for a takeaway stew restaurant, but that’s a discussion for another day.