Tag Archives: potato

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

 

 

Man, Mirror, Monkey, Selfie

They say that if you give typewriters to a roomful of monkeys they will eventually write Hamlet.

If you give a single monkey a mirror the results will be more immediate and more amusing.

If you give a man with time on his hands a digital camera, despite the supposed gulf in evolution and technology, you are firmly back in mirror/monkey territory.

I generally try to strike a pose that marks me out as a leader of men. This is easier with a camera than a phone as the phone invariably shows me looking sideways due to the placement of the lens. That makes me look shifty. Depending on the angle of head and camera I can also look like Mr Potato Head. Or a shifty Mr Potato Head.

I also find that I look older from one side than from the other, and serve as a terrible warning about cutting your own hair.

Having said that, if you buy cheap clippers you only need to cut it twice to be in profit. Once I qualify for senior citizen offers I may let a barber do it again as the costings will change.

I’m going to gloss over the matter of nasal hair (though I won’t be shooting from that angle again) but there can be problems with the degree of zoom and with holding the camera steady.

So that leaves this one. To be honest it looks less “leader of men” and more “pining for a decent haircut” but it’s the best I can do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Best of a bad lot

Julia says next time I pick her up from work she’s going to leave a mirror outside and see what develops.

Raindrops on Petals

It rained yesterday while we visited the farm, which put an end to thoughts of blue skies and panoramic nature photography. This grey end to the visit was a suitable background to a slightly depressing visit (though Men in Sheds were all cheerful) and an excellent example of the pathetic fallacy. That, in turn, is an excellent opportunity to apply the word pathetic to the way the farm is run. However, I really should rise above that sort of thing. So I will rise, and I won’t make further comment.

As one door closes another door opens, and so I took some pictures of water drops on flowers. Same goes for projects – Julia will be starting work with MENCAP next week and is already making plans, while her permaculture course is in its final third and she is planning our garden redesign.

Here are a few flowers from the front garden, including a potato that has grown from one of the pots. It’s depressing to have to start again, but such is life. We shouldn’t have put so much effort into a garden where we didn’t have a proper tenancy agreement, and we shouldn’t have neglected our own garden. I’m sure there’s a moral in that, if not an entire homily.

Off to Sheffield now, bringing back Number Two son and his luggage. Will the fun never stop?

 

 

Worn out!

We haven’t had a school visit for a while and I have become soft with inaction. After two groups baking pizza and discussing a range of subjects from why people eat guinea pigs, what to do with a dead ancient Egyptian, why Henry VIII didn’t eat chips and how yeast works, I’m feeling tuned up mentally and tired physically. Making pizza, trying to educate and standing with your back to four fan-assisted ovens can be a bit of a trial at times. It wasn’t so bad today because it has novelty value and because the day is quite cool.

Tomorrow and the day after, when temperatures are higher and the novelty has worn off, will be the real test.

The answers are (a) people eat gunea pigs because they are easy to raise and easily available in the Andes. (b) you cover him in a pile of salt (not “dump him in the sea” as one child suggested) to dry him out and inhibit microbial action (c) because he didn’t have potatoes – which is why the Romans didn’t have tomato on their equivalent of pizza and (d) they eat carbohydrates and produce carbon dioxide which is the gas that makes bread rise.

And yes, the proper teachers that accompany the groups spend a lot of time looking rolling their eyes when I get going.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That’s all I can show you – due to modern restrictions I’m not able to show you happy flour-covered faces, so here are two tables instead. I’m going to be taking action to ensure I can take more lively pictures in future – watch this space!