Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Now the Nightmares Begin!

Arrived back from the surgery before 9.00am, so able to begin my blog early enough to allow me more 'free' time this morning.
Won't know the results of my blood test until two weeks when I have an appt. with the diabetic nurse, but my b.p. was OK, and my weight slightly less than it was 6 months ago. There should have been more loss in that time, but as I'd gain back about a stone due to Christmas etc, had to lose that before losing more. At least there is a loss. Really hope to lose another stone before my next check in 6 months.

Thanks for your comments and b.day greetings. It's quite unnerving to realised I've now begun the start of my 80th year! Don't feel anywhere near as old as that (although am sure outwardly do look a mite 'old', white hair and all that, not to mention hobbling around with a stick). Inwardly I still think 'young' (around 35 on a good day) and that's all that matters.

Am intending to take photos of my 'curryfest' foods Les. Trouble is I make something and put it away before I've remembered to take a shot of it. If I can't do 'individuals', will at least can take a pic on 'the day' at the venue when the 'help yourself' table is loaded, and probably a photo of a curry or two if I get a chance.

Sorry you are having trouble reaching this site Susan G. If you try it through 'favourites' or something and it doesn't always work, then you could go to Google 'search' (or similar) and type in Taste the Goode Life and the current posting should then appear. If you just type in Shirley Goode it will then mention this site and you can click on that to reach it. Not sure whether it is the same with all computers/search but my name seems to come first on the list of many other Shirley Goode's. Does that mean I'm 'popular'. Don't get me mixed up with the rest of the Shirley Goode's as many of them are very well known in other fields. I'm not that clever, so they should come first.

Your garden sounds very 'English' Lisa. All the spring flowers you mentioned are blooming in the UK gardens, but not yet roses. These usually begin flowering in June, then carry on until late in the year. If we have a mild autumn/early winter we often find a rose bush flowering in December.

After a day or two of beautiful sun (but still very chilly), late yesterday it clouded over and began raining, it is still 'spitting', and it has turned very windy. If the wind continues up to and over the weekend this may cause the sailing Open Day to be cancelled, but they will (surely!!!) still have the curry meal for the 'locals', but with less numbers. That I don't mind.

Last night had a nightmare where - at almost the last minute - was told the numbers had increased and they needed the full curry meal for 80 people. I was panicking, in desperation making up extra curries from all sorts of odds and ends that were in my fridge/freezer and Gill (still in the dream) had come to visit and for some reason she decided to shallow fry a batch of mince pies to serve with the curry. Thankfully woke up then.

Yesterday made a batch of banana halva (fudge) but silly me let it cook for too long and it ended up more like toffee. Still lovely to suck but not soft enough to be called fudge. B can work his way through that. Have made another batch of (this time) no-cook fudge which seems OK. It has yet to be cut into squares. Also made a batch of rose-flavoured coconut 'ice' - also needs cutting up. Today am making date and apricot 'bites' they look a bit like mini Fig Rolls. Will photo them (if I can remember) and if all are worthy enough to serve/eat will give the recipes tomorrow.

Have discovered a slug trail all over the mouse-mat on my desk. No sign of the slug. There was a similar trail a couple of days ago, but there are more today. Where do the slugs come from and where do they go? There was one in the middle of the carpet the other day and I thought by the time I'd finished my computer work (no more than 5 minutes) before I watched to see where it ended up, and when I looked there was no sign of it at all. They must be able to move at speed,

Beloved is so thrilled at me doing this 'curryfest' he is now asking me if I can do other (complete) meals for the club. He suggests Mexican (yes I can do that), Chinese? (I can do, but it is not my favourite and not really anything that can be prepared ahead if done correctly). Italian I would love to do, but they have already had an Italian meal (I did the desserts). There must be other meals I could provide. I do a great cold buffet, perhaps they would like one of those.

We are out of bread, the long uncut loaf bought at Morrison's all gone, and although better than the normal 'pappy' sliced, the crust dried out rapidly and almost impossible to eat, so we needed to use it up as rapidly as possible. Even I made myself sarnies with it.
So the first thing to to this morning is put the bread 'mix' into the machine and make the dough. Then make those date 'biscuits', while the dough is rising, then bake the bread. By then it will be lunch time.

Thankfully today I can eat anything today I want and a gain in weight is not a problem now I've had my check. Easy gain is always easy lose, as long as I make sure I do lose it. It's nice to have a binge now and then. Tomorrow we 'eat 0ut' as my 'birthday treat', so had better starve during the day or I won't feel like eating much - and I would hate to leave half when it's been paid for!!!

One recipe today, this for readers who might find the thought of making a souffle a bit daunting. This one is twice-baked so no need to worry about collapsing when carried to the table. Serve these as a starter, or eat as a light lunch or supper dish.
Just remember that a souffle is only a white sauce in which egg yolks and the chosen flavour (usually extra cheese or a different cooked veg) has been folded in, and finally beaten egg whites. Simple as that.
These souffles are made in two parts - the first being the initial cooking, when that is done they can be kept up to 2 days before the second part, this being the final cooking and serving.
Made in Advance Mushroom Souffles: makes 8
5 oz (150g) button mushrooms, sliced
2 oz (50g) butter (plus extra for greasing)
1 oz (25g) plain flour
11 fl oz (325ml) milk
4 oz (100g) hard cheese, finely grated (pref Gruyere)
salt and pepper
3 eggs, separated
creme fraiche
chopped chives
Fry the mushrooms in the butter for 3 minutes then remove from heat. Remove a good tablespoonful of 'rooms'' and set aside.
To the remaining mushrooms in the pan add the flour, give a stir then blend in the milk. Heat gently, stirring to prevent lumps forming, and when thickened, stir in 3 oz/75g of the cheese and add seasoning to taste. Set aside and leave to cool.
Prepare 8 x 150ml/5fl oz souffle dishes by greasing well with butter, and line just the bases with baking parchment. Place in a roasting tin ready to be filled.
When ready to bake, stir the egg yolks into the cheese/mushroom mixture. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold a little into the mix to slacken, then carefully fold in the remaining whites. Spoon into the souffle containers (already placed in a roasting tin), and fill the tin with warm water to halfway up the sides of the dishes. Place in the oven (preheated to 200C, 400F, gas 6) and bake for 15 minutes until golden. Leave in the tin to cool (they will sink). These will keep up to two days before continuing.
When ready to cook/serve, heat the oven to slightly lower temperature than above (this time 190C, gas 5). Turn the souffles out onto a baking sheet lined with 8 squares of paper, peeling off their base lining paper. Top each with a small teaspoon of creme fraiche, and sprinkle over the remaining cheese and reserved mushrooms.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until risen and heated through. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately (still sitting on its square of paper).

And that's it for today. The clouds have now nearly departed and the sun is shining again. Depending upon my time of rising, with Norma the Hair coming tomorrow I may not start this blog until she leaves (this could be 10.30am). Just so you know.
Will probably manage to squeeze in another posting early Thursday. After that will be rather busy as you can imagine, so will be taking Friday and Saturday off 'blogging'. Not yet sure about Sunday. All depends if I need to sleep in after a very busy day followed by a late bed-time.

Will be back tomorrow with hopefully a few photos....and now time for me to gird my loins, roll up my sleeves and being a days solid work in the kitchen (with an hours break for lunch). TTFN.