Tag Archives: recipes

Writer’s Block

A proper post on writer’s block would, I suppose, be blank.

What I really mean is that I’m having trouble concentrating and writing anything coherent that has a chance of being interesting for people to read.

Got up, complained about knees, procrastinated, ate breakfast with wife, avoided washing up, watched TV, moaned about weather…

It’s not riveting stuff is it? I’m hoping it’s just the normal dull stuff that everyone does. You do all have mornings like that don’t you, it’s not just me? If you don’t, please don’t tell me. It’s bad enough that I’m having a bad day without finding that I’m the most boring man on WordPress.

I’m supposed to be planning, but that didn’t go well either.

The 50 new recipes I’m planning to make by the end of the year have ground to a halt because I have limited enthusiasm for poorly seasoned veggie burgers. It’s the fault of the recipe, but that doesn’t make them taste any better. The Mark 2 version with double seasoning, plus lime juice, lime zest, Henderson’s Relish and half a teaspoon of chilli powder is still bland, though a definite improvement on Mark 1. I may have to resort to using salt, but if I do that I might as well just buy them from a shop.

The killer CV (resume to those of you living in the New World) lives only in my imagination because I’m leaving job applications until after I’m sorted out health-wise. There’s no point getting a job interview if you then have to tell people you’ll be needing time off for medical reasons as soon as you start.

Then there is the redesign of the garden. We’ve neglected it badly for the last few years and it needs some serious attention. It’s an embarrassment. So I’m going to avoid talking about it.Yesterday I bought one of those tools for weeding between paving slabs without bending down. Tomorrow I may get round to using it. Then I will have to decide on the future of the slabs – they aren’t very permaculture…

Finally, fitness and diet.I’m doing more walking and birdwatching so that’s going OK. The diet seems to be working too, but when you think of the failed recipe experiments that’s not a surprise. I suppose some good is coming from those veggie burgers…



First day of the next week

It’s the end of January and the first day of a new week. Being accurate, I suppose it’s the second day of the week, but it always seems like the first. It’s certainly the one that I treat as being the first working day of the new week. Julia, working from 6.00 to 16.30 on Sunday, doesn’t really share my enthusiasm for Mondays.

We originally said we’d have January off, and without us actually doing anything it seems like it’s going to work out just right.

Julia is looking about 10 years younger with the responsibility of running Quercus and the Centre lifted from her shoulders and is slowly becoming more cheerful. Meanwhile, I can feel my enthusiasm returning.

Julia has already had a couple of enquiries from people about her availability for work, but we’re taking things slowly and making sure we only take on work that suits us.

Nobody has asked me if I’m available yet, but I’m trying not to take it personally.

Julia decided to do the laundry this week as she doesn’t altogether trust me with delicate whites. I don’t either, to be fair, which is why I don’t own any. I do own a white shirt, which I wear with one of my two ties for special occasions. White shirt and black tie for funerals. White shirt and rugby club tie for weddings etc.. Everything else can be taken care of by a coloured shirt. (For these purposes lightish grey counts as white).

I went to the park and then shopping. They have been cutting trees on the island in the duck pond. Moorhens, Black Headed Gulls and Wood Pigeons were feeding on the grass around the pond, whilst nothing much was happening on the pond. The Mandarin, the Greylags, the Heron and about half the Tufted Ducks were all absent. I’m not sure where the next nearest pond is – I will have to look into it.

I’m currently perfecting some new recipes as part of my new commitment to eating a better variety of healthy food. We had tragically under-seasoned bean burgers bean burgers on Saturday, excellent sweet potato, ginger and chilli soup on Sunday (even if I do say so myself) and Welsh Rarebit for lunch today, which (after three weeks of trying) was just about right.

Now all I need to do is make it again, note the measurements and write the recipes. That’s the worst bit of the job. Apart from eating badly made bean burgers…


I can’t remember quantities

I made soup for the bread group on Thursday and for Men in Sheds on Friday. Both lunches were very enjoyable for me and people ate all their soup so they probably enjoyed it too. I was just thinking, though, that I don’t actually have a recipe for soup.


Men in Sheds

I have a range of ingredients, and a size of pan, but no measurements or fixed ingredients. Normally it doesn’t matter, but at times like now, when I’d like to write down a recipe, I can’t.

Basically, for Spicy Pumpkin you want some potatoes, garlic and onions lightly fried till soft, then you add some pumpkin you’ve roasted in the oven, half a biggish red chilli and a a chunk of ginger slightly smaller than one of my thumbs. Add ground cumin if you have any (I didn’t so I decided to use nutmeg but I’ve lost the grater so I ended up using thyme). Boil it up with a couple of litres of water and two stock cubes, check the seasoning, blitz it and you’re done.


Spicy Pumpkin

If you think that’s vague you won’t like the Leek and Potato soup, which has fewer ingredients and features a few onions, some potatoes (enough to justify their place as a main ingredient) and some leeks (ditto). Ignore where books say “white parts only” as that is pathetically short on most bought leeks, and the green still tastes good. Stock etc, blitz, done.


Leek and Potato

Not sure what sort of cook this makes me but I do know it makes me a lousy cookery writer.

Today I made soup for the shoot, but that was easy, I just opened cans. They had canned soup (supermarket), bread roll (local baker), sausage roll (local butcher), fruit pie (supermarket) and cream – all for under £1 per person for 28 people. I’m not saying it’s good food, but it isn’t that bad either, and it’s cheap; i couldn’t feed them for that.

The soups I just made run out at around 50p per person when you press the supermarket button on recipe websites.

I’m going to pause now and remind myself why I make home-made soups.