Rare moments in my kitchen … so rare, I must share them with you
Plan A; bacon sandwich
after discovering no bread in bread bin and leaving bacon in grill too long….
Plan B; carb-free breakfast 😃
Plan A; bacon sandwich
after discovering no bread in bread bin and leaving bacon in grill too long….
Plan B; carb-free breakfast 😃
We haven’t cooked together for ages have we?
This huge cauliflower was from a resident in the village who grows them and sells them in one of those cute wooden huts at the end of their drive; 70p each!
I always support local businesses where I can. Don’t you just love the greenery a cauliflower delivers? No need for a whole second/third veg.
So I’ve had an idea. I’m going to ban myself from ALL social media tomorrow!! (Bet you fail) Seriously, although I’m breaking out in a cold sweat just picturing not touching any of my four main apps (FB, Twitter, Insta and WordPress – you note, all blue and white logos and they’re my two favourite colours together, but that’s irrelevant).
Steamed. Let’s make a cheese sauce ….
I feel it might give me the headspace required to sit at laptop instead (in those spare hours between horse rug tasks…. and Man of the Woods conversations … and meal/snack times). Days are ticking by. Tick tock.
We know I can produce words (total blog post wordcount for 2018 is now up to 62,000) but I need need them to be going on the WIP. Or it will all have been a big joke.
I’m over half way through ‘after you’ by JoJo Moyes and absolutely loving it. She must be around 30 now, (Lou the main character), and dealing with life after Will Traynor.
The minute I read the first page, I was reminded that humour can very happily nestle among serious wording (but JoJo has the skill down to a fine art. Ok, I’m working on it 🙄).
So here’s my goal.
2,000 words tomorrow minimum. Now I’ve shared this with you, I’m pretty sure I’ll achieve it.
I am worried about one thing.
Tuesday I am driving mother to London to stay the night in an Airbnb. I’ve been hinting I would take her to see the area where her granddaughter now lives and works but have managed to put it off so far 🙈.
I anticipate we will get on fine for the first …. (stop pursing your lips and sucking in)…. mile and a half?
The second she mentions dad being boring or an old groutch I have two choices;
The habit of a lifetime and say very little; perhaps a mild nod so as not to rock the boat of her mood within a confined space,
Or tell her straight, calmly, that I would rather not discuss my father thank you, that their relationship is their business and I refuse to ‘take sides’….
Both options will result in discomfort… I’ll try and let you know how I get on. (It will be a miracle if we arrive in London still talking).
(Miss you already 😳)
Nothing much grab-able round here because I’ve eaten it all, bar one measly frozen battered cod fillet in the back of the Birds Eye box. I know!! Let’s make a homemade fish finger sandwich 👌🏼
Yup I’ve got nice bread so things are looking up.
Today I’ve been putting the finishing touches to a piece for a competition. I printed it off convinced it was as polished as I could make it. Then I spotted a flaw. Then another. They crept off the page like small slugs, laughing at me at how well they’d been able to hide for so long from my scouting eyes.
Seven times I think I printed it in the end.. what a waste of five pieces of paper each time. Don’t panic – I’ve made small notepads of those sheets, cutting them into four and stapling the corners 😇
I love bread with nuts and seeds in it… ok this sarnie works well. Try it!
So the finished piece is now in an envelope and I shall send it today. You may recall I entered three or four competitions around Christmas time for flash fiction or potential openings of a novel. Needless to say I’ve heard nothing back, but I have not let it put me off. On the contrary, I feel I’m improving weekly and I’ve got some exciting days here and there booked at conferences and courses to meet like-minded peeps and learn more writing skills. Very excited about that.
Man of the Woods continues to be supportive.
“I see Matsu’s made the bed this morning!” he grinned as he walked past the bedroom earlier to find me in my writing room. I was not offended by his need to register a not too common event.
“Yes!” I smiled back and took the comment with positivity 🌸
Shall we? Blueberries… be rude not to wouldn’t it.
Drop them in the batter or sprinkle in the mix as starts cooking…
Love the sizzle don’t you?
I made 11.
I ate 4 (my son managed the rest).
Now we are off for a walk for extended family member birthday. Man of the Woods sadly cannot join us as weather is dry and hence crops need drilling, or the ‘drill by‘ date will have passed, making it too late for the corn to grow properly during the spring.
Farming is not something you can simply ‘put off til another day’.
I couldn’t be bothered with wellies but it did rain last night, so I’m preparing myself for soggy feet, about which I shalt not sweat. I’m thinking it through an damage limitation exercise in place to keep mental state intact 🌸
Enjoy your day off work if you are fortunate to be so. 🐣
I watched Mary Berry whizz up a fresh raspberry mousse the other day while I lay idly on the sofa, one eye admiring her ability to look a million dollars in her stunning kitchen, the other keen to keep up with the goings on in and around The Samuri’s Garden.
Grabbing phone from somewhere under my thigh, and opening NOTES I managed to get the majority of the instructions down (while arguing with auto-correct a few times) as Mary effortlessly showed us how it should be done.
Today I thought about the recipe again and delighted in discovering most of the ingredients were to hand. I’m pretty sure gelatine sheets are not that essential? (I know I should be creating the lunch scene between Lucy and Vittorio but they are never far from my thoughts I assure you, and today has been mainly spent carrying out my day job, collecting dirty and delivering clean horse rugs).
Its really rather simple; blend the raspberries, then push the results through a sieve to catch the smooth juice while leaving the pips behind. Whisk caster sugar with egg yokes til pale and fluffy (are you going to tell them you only have granulated sugar and it never reached the ‘pale’ stage? No).
Add the raspberry juice to the sugar mix and stir. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites. Amazing this process; always did fascinate me how after a minute or two of effort, be treated to an immense amount of air-filled creation from such a small amount of, well, that peculiar stuff.
Fold this in slowly to the waiting pink treat, fold being the operative word. Cooks will know about this method of attempting to mix egg whites into something else without knocking out those air bubbles which can easily happen with a fast beating action …. air bubbles rather a necessity in mousse!
Oh Bollocks – forgot to keep a few whole raspberries back for decorating the tops! I think Mary even had mint leaves. Anyway, this one’s for Patty (who writes rather clever and on-point poems) and is one of my top supporters .. enjoy my lovely xx
I’m thinking that Vittorio, while essential to the plot, will not be Lucy’s love interest. He’s too … how can I say … too predictable a character with his sports cars and high powered job in Milan. He’d be perfect methinks for a Mills & Boon story line, fabulous in fact with his moody attitude towards the old vineyard in that beautiful foreign country that is Italy. He wants nothing to do with a winery and as soon as he was old enough to leave it, he did so.
No … the love interest for Lucy will be someone you won’t expect. Not 100% sure whom yet, but as I was driving round the country lanes thanking the Lord for snow-free land, it dawned on me that Vittorio could have had a brother, younger than himself and maybe with an issue or two, perhaps been inside but due out soon and in need of work … and where better than? You’ve guessed it!
While dessert is sorted, what shall we eat first? pffft (I learnt that ‘sound’ from the previous book I read! Clever author LT Marshall used it two or three times throughout Part 1 of The Carrero Effect, and I loved coming across the letters. I knew exactly what noise the character was making … a sort of air escaping, forcing its way through closed lips resulting in a faint horse-whicker!)
I’ve got some old large potatoes that need eating up, will they do? Yeah … let’s make wedges.
Damn. Let’s just call them thick chips! This sea salt, by the way, is amazing. It’s almost pink and large flakes stick to food in a rather tasty manner.
I threw some cherry tomatoes in with them for the final ten minutes. Apologies for the lack of elegant photos of the final dish. Fried eggs sunny side up, slices of ham and these not-so-bad boys. Man of the Woods (my farming husband for any new readers) dived into the oven tray and ate his portion while spooning coleslaw on top of each forkful because I hadn’t done the eggs at that point. His ‘window’ to consume tea was approximately 4-5 minutes in-between tractor jobs. We rarely sit down as a family during busy times like spring when all the crops need to be drilled, or sprayed or fertilised, but this is not a negative. It keeps me on my toes and there’s never a dull moment.
I was happy to share my afternoon with you but now must return my attention to equestrian wardrobe items.
Have a great evening x
Happy Sunday everyone. I know its not yet Easter and that means we can do this all again next Sunday, oh and the next. I prefer to slice mine into three layers so there is more room for butter. I know that’s bad for my arteries.
When did Easter Sunday last fall on April Fools Day? eeeek – can’t help feeling uneasy about that. I’m not particularly religious I admit, but I’d rather put my faith into the Big Man in the sky (which is how I see him having grown up with those Good News Bibles) than a random old wives tale which has become a commercial vehicle.
What is it about butter oozing onto your tongue while the crispy edge of the bun finds the space between your teeth, followed by an explosion of sweetness from a raisin. Good Lord, I shall be as sick of these by the time Easter comes just as I am sick of mince pies by the time December rolls round. Why do shops tempt us all so far in advance? Am I meant to have bought these and frozen them until the ‘correct’ day? Sod that (excuse my language Lord). I’m eating them. Now.
Do you mind if I make a cauliflower cheese while we chat about the itinery and list of clothing you’ll need to pack?
Assuming the airports have sorted the backlog of flights this snow will have caused, we fly out of the UK next Wednesday – I’ll save you a seat although cannot promise a window.
This trip is not a holiday as such, although my dear friend has told me I’ll need to pack shorts and T-shirts (can you picture wearing those right now?? 😃)
I’m so hungry but look! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the smaller lasagne I froze from last week – result!! 💃🏼
Cauliflower cheese should not be served with this, of that I’m fairly certain. But this football size innocent vegetable needs cooking so cheese overload we shall have today… (don’t start a sentence with ‘but’ I’ve told you before).
My friend has asked if I might accompany her on a flight to Portugal and destination Vilamoura (which is the southern edge of the country), where her 16 year old son is presently show jumping some wonderfully bred horses alongside and under the watchful eye of his UK-based but Portuguese trainer. Exciting times! (This is the same family to whose home we drove to Kent last month with that sticky toffee pudding).
The idea is we arrive and watch him for a couple of days; I’m taking my laptop so am hoping for lots of time to type and the sunshine will help me picture Lucy in Tuscany 👌🏼
When the final jumping weekend is over… we load up the lorry (in which we will be staying by the way) and drive home. That’s through to Spain and through to France and through the channel tunnel!!!!
I fancy chopped spring onions in the cheese sauce.
She asked me to bring my driving licence so we could share the driving. We have scheduled stops en route for the horses (we continue to sleep in the lorry). I am simultaneously excited and nervous, but I am a 21st century citizen and a modern woman who wants to explore the world. What better way to cover this european corner?
I ADORE being out of my comfort zone and trying new things. Luckily I have driven in Spain many times over the past three years, but a big lorry on the outskirts of Paris could well be something else.
Having drained the cauliflower (and I like to keep much of the greenery too) I am pouring over the thickened cheese and onion sauce before popping it back in to crisp up…
You HAVE to come. Iinsist. 🥂
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