Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Busy, busy...!

Sorry for late start. Norma left half an hour ago, and since then have had several emails to reply to, also load up new photos from my camera to show you today. Have already made another batch of yogurt this morning (and sorted out the necessary pans etc that I'll be needing over the next few days. From now on it's all go.

Just thought you'd like to see the batch of multi-grain bread baked yesterday. B started it in the evening, and already it has half gone!! I did have a couple of slices of toast, so it's not all B's fault.
The bread is standing on the loaf tin to cool after baking. Behind you can see a tall can that holds my muesli (it has pictures on it to look like a muesli factory), and at the side of that you can just see my bread machine (used to make/knead the dough). The bread is baked in the oven. Whilst waiting for the bread to bake, decided to cut up the tray of coconut 'ice'. It was a bit crumbly, but I waited until more at room temperature and it then cut far more easily. It is rose-essence flavoured and absolutely lovely, although a mite crumbly. In the photo below you can see some cut into squares, the pic below shows it as made in the tray before cutting. I will give the recipe today, just remember I made a double batch to fill the tray.

Next pic shows the chocolate fudge I made, this very easy as 'no-cook' (other than heating the sugar with the milk to dissolve it). It is very firm when chilled but softens enough at room temperature to be able to be rolled (if wished) and then coated in nuts etc.

Still have more sweets to do, rolling some of the fudge in sesame seeds, making marzipan sweets etc. Stuffing dates, and still may make those date slices. If I have enough time!

Watched the second episode of 'The Mighty Mississippi" yesterday evening. This time they moved up to Memphis where the BBC presenter - Sir Trevor McDonald (himself a black man) - met up with Morgan Freeman and later visited the studios where Elvis Presley recorded many of his songs.

One very poignant part was the visit to the Lorraine motel (or hotel) where Martin Luther King was assassinated (this is now a museum to his memory and his room has been left exactly as it was at that time). Also the church where he gave his last speech (we saw all this in play-back).

Further north was a visit to Elvis' first girl friend, who had many memories and photos we 'shared' with her. Also the trip took a step into Missouri, was the area called the Great Plains? It certainly was very flat. In the fairly recent past it had flooded badly and a lot of the farms had been under 14 foot of water and many properties washed away or virtually destroyed. What I did love was the very broad accent of that region, also the way of speaking was very 'good mannered' (as we would say), the farmer calling the presenter 'sir' when he spoke to him (not because he was a 'Sir', but because he was a man). Perhaps they call ladies 'mam' or something). Anyway, it sounded so respectful especially as there is not a lot of that about these days. I'd quite have enjoyed visiting that area had I been younger.

The conservatory plants are growing in leaps and bounds and I have to remember to check them each day to see if they need watering. On sunny days they dry up rapidly, it can be quite warm there, and whatever the weather has been, the sun always seems to shine here after lunch (at this time it has just reached the conservatory and shines in there until sunset). Today began sunny, but has clouded up now although doubt there will be rain. Although this has been forecast.

Tonight will be going out for my 'birthday meal', so have to make the most of what free time I have to get on with my 'curryfest'. We are eating early so that B can return in time to watch a football match. So at least will have some time in the evening to catch up if I've not done something (although after a meal doubt I will feel like working).

The surgery visit went well apart from the taking of blood. The nurse made a bit of a mess of that and left me with a bruise in the crook of my elbow that continued to grow for a couple of hours (as she said it probably would). However, it eventually stopped and this morning am now left with a reddish black bruise close to changing colour to jaundiced yellow.

As expected my weight hadn't gone down very much (only 1kg in fact since last time) but better a slight loss than the major gain that had happened since Christmas and that I managed to (just) get rid of. In two weeks I'll be getting the results of the above test, so finger crossed....! At least now I've had the dreaded 'weigh-in' can stuff myself with food tonight (although doubt I will as my stomach seems to have shrunk (other internally as well as externally!).

Thanks to Campfire and Lynne for their birthday greetings. Can't say I did much on the actual day other than slave away in the kitchen. I'd actually forgotten it WAS my birthday until B reminded me. Of course I did have cards sent by the family/friends but they arrived the week before to make sure they arrived in time.

Today am giving the recipes for the above sweets. There are probably better recipes, but none so easy as these are basically 'no-cook' and suitable for children to make (as long as mum heats up the milk sugar as and when necessary).

I made up HALF the recipe below (in case it didn't work) this amount you can see in the photo above, and I used two-thirds white chocolate and one-third dark choc mixed together.


1 lb. 2 oz chocolate (see above)

1 x 14 oz can condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 - 3 tblsp chopped nuts (opt)

Melt the chocolate then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Spread into an 8" (23cm) tin. Chill for three hours before turning out and cutting into squares.

Coconut Ice:

3 fl oz evaporated milk

8 oz (225g) sugar

8 oz (225g) desiccated coconut

pink food colouring

few drops rose essence (opt)

icing sugar (opt)

Heat the milk and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, then add the food colouring and essence and stir in the coconut. Line a tin with paper and tip in the mixture, pressing it down firmly. Chill until set. Cut into cubes and - if you wish - dust surfaces with icing sugar.

As the grocery delivery should arrive mid-morning, there may not be time for me to write a full blog tomorrow (if time at all). So it might be you won't hear from me again until next Monday (Thurs will be busy sorting out 'order of play' and preparing what can be prepared, Friday will be making curries and lots of other things. Saturday will be reheating, frying, baking and preparing the cold stuff. Sunday I feel will need to have a lie-in for once - this is something i normally never do). But then might be glad to escape from the kitchen and have a sit down in front of the comp, so you never know, I might pop up again between now and Monday.

You could try logging on tomorrow just in case, but don't hold your breath. Otherwise it will be next week before we get together again, and I hope you will remember and not drifted off to pastures new. See you then.