Tag Archives: stew.

A Lazy Day

We had a lie in this morning, though we did wake briefly at the normal time out of habit. After that I dropped Julia off at the laundrette and went shopping. This is all very depressing, as I’d imagined life would be more interesting after we got our Sundays back. This has not been the case.

It’s been cold for the last few days and we’ve had to have the fire on. I’m not sure if it was accurate, but one report said it had dropped to minus 4 C. It has certainly been frosty on a couple of mornings.

Here are some photos from the garden on Friday. One group shows the new (very) raised bed built frpm pallets. The others are blossom. Sorry it’s a bit repetitive, but I’m not feeling very original at the moment.

The final picture is a sign with a message. I suppose you could have guessed that without me telling you.

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Motivational message – Wilford

 

For tea we had corned beef hash, because it feels like a time for winter food. I included potato, carrots, sweet potato, onions and swede, then served stir-fried kale on the side.

Tomorrow we will be having chicken stew, with vegetable curry on Tuesday and Chicken tray bake with lemon and squash on Wednesday. With the exception of the tray bake they are just waiting to be reheated. At least we will be eating properly until the middle of the week.

And so it starts again…

A Day Passing in a Blur

Today passed in a blur. Perhaps you guessed that from the title.

First there was the blood test. In the absence of a panicky phone call I’m assuming I passed, though tomorrow’s post will bring the full details.

Things have changed over the last few weeks. When I had my blood test five weeks ago it was still almost dark when I left at around 7.15. Two weeks ago it was definitely verging on daylight. Today it was bright and springlike. Not only is it easier to see where I’m going but I’m feeling decidedly more cheerful.

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Irises in Spring

In the last month they have blood-tested 6,893 inpatients and 4,694 outpatients. The average wait is, they say, nine minutes. I’m dubious about the nine minutes but I’ll let it slide for now and start timing my wait from now on. I have a stopwatch on my phone and I’m obsessive enough to use it.

After that I took Julia to work and then went to work myself. On arrival I ate my sandwiches for breakfast because I hadn’t had time to eat anything this morning.

We had a dozen parcels, a couple of customers and put some stuff on eBay, but nothing particularly interesting.

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Crocuses

After that I drove to Newark, spent a few hours chatting, shopped, ate another sandwich and went home. Once home I read some blogs, answered some comments and started cooking in bulk for the coming week.

I’m now writing today’s post as tonight’s stew simmers.

Julia is out visiting a neighbour. She’s got the car keys so I expect she’s going to fill the car with junk and expect me to be happy about it.

It’s all part of life’s rich pageant for a married man…

 

Easy as a Monday Morning

On Friday I experienced an uneasy feeling, which grew through Saturday as I realised that I probably had a blood test this morning. I say “probably” as I had neglected to make a note in my diary and I had mislaid the letter giving me the next date.

Eventually I found the letter (which also counted towards my decluttering quota) and confirmed that I did indeed have a blood test this morning.

In the manner of these things, the plan suffered a set-back. I woke at 6.15, summoned by my bladder and then went back to my nice warm bed bed. That meant that instead of leaping into action at 6.30 I hauled myself out at 6.45 and the whole day started slower and later than intended.

There wasn’t much of a queue and the phlebotomist hit the vein first time. I bled well after they removed the needle and I’ve had no panicky phone calls so I’m presuming all has gone well.

As I left the hospital I noticed that the day was much lighter than it had been three weeks ago for my last test. Spring is definitely on the way.

I’ll leave out the boring bits – parcels, swearing at other drivers, TV – the normal stuff that makes up my life.

Tonight we had the beef stew I’d meant to cook last night. (We ended up with frozen veggie burgers due to time constraints). It turned out reasonably well despite my normal cooking technique of chucking stuff in and seeing what happens. I keep meaning to learn how to cook properly, but I never get round to it.

It’s cottage pie tomorrow. I made it while I was doing the stew. It’s good to be a day ahead.

That’s about it for today. Nothing interesting happened and I have 23 minutes left to post.

 

Progress of Sorts…

Make chicken stew. It’s in the oven. Several hours late.

Soup? Er…just about to do it. Veg are ready but I need to wash a pan as I’ve been storing compost scraps in it for the last few days. Yes, I need to empty a bokashi bucket.

Curry. It won’t take long.

Living room – I’ve moved stuff round, which is related to tidying, though not closely related. More a cousin than a sibling.

Hoover. Perhaps tomorrow.

Meanwhile I have washed up and done the recycling, which I’d forgotten about. I often forget the washing up, though not as much as Number Two son, who is a world class amnesiac. Also watched darts and discussed the finer parts of sports marketing and sponsorship with Number Two son. Had bacon cobs with mushrooms for lunch.

Cut up plastic bottles to make poppies. (and give me an excuse to re-use old photos of poppies).

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Poppies made from plastic bottles

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Poppies and corn wreath

 

 

 

Another Day, Another Plan.

It’s about seven hours since the last post, but I’ve managed to sleep and get Julia to work in that time.

I’m hoping that today will be better in terms of productivity, decluttering and writing.

I’ve just about shaken off the bad cold I had last week and there has been no repeat of the nose bleed. I have a weak nostril that often bleeds when I have colds (maybe two or three times a year – but I consider that “often” for an adult).  It was a notable nosebleed, and though I don’t have a proper marking scale I’d rate it as high volume, short duration. My normal nosebleed is low volume but longer duration. Maybe the anti-coagulants are altering the way my nose bleeds.

Practical advice. Forget pinching the top of the nose or putting your head back or all that stuff. Roll yourself a decent cylinder from tissue and shove that up. You can leave gaps, and you don’t need to ram it home, as it’s a nostril, not a cannon. Just make it big enough to stay in without help. I find it usually stops the bleeding quite quickly.

When I finish this post I’m going to sit and write my plan for today. Top of the list will be “make chicken stew” and second will be “make soup”.  Actually, it may be the other way round, as I need the soup for lunch. Butternut squash and roasted Winter Vegetable Soup is the plan. Ready cut butternut squash was on offer yesterday and the veg are left over from yesterday’s tea.

After that I will “make sweet potato, lentil and chickpea curry” and put it in the fridge for tomorrow, “tidy living room” and “hoover”.

There will be other things too, but I’m just trying to convey an impression of the day, and I don’t want anyone asking me if I’ve done it all. Short lists are better for that sort of thing.

Plans, like blogging, are a good way of delaying work, but they have their uses too. They are a bit like meetings -everyone does them but only some of them are useful. About half of all lists and ninety percent of meetings would have been better if they had never existed.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to start that stew.

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.