Sunday, June 10, 2012

Busy Day Ahead

Have just an hour before Gill phones, so want to get today's' blog published before the as I have loads to do in the kitchen today as am finding it makes sense to 'bulk bake' (or rather slow cook) and then make up 'ready-meals' for my Beloved that can be frozen and then easily reheated on those (not so rare days) when I don't feel like cooking.

Yesterday thawed out a very large pack of 'Value' chicken joints, the majority of which were thighs (this pleased me). Will be turning some of the drumsticks (these slowly thawed in the fridge) into chicken casseroles today, roasting a couple to eat with other cold meats, and the thighs (thawed at room temp) have been cooking overnight in the slow cooker and today will be boned (already skinned) and added to fried onion and (maybe) some cooked carrots and will be making these - with the help of jars of curry sauce - into two or three different flavoured curries. These will be individually packed, cooled and frozen. By the end of today should have about 20 ready-meals of different kinds made and stored.

Also have been soaking a smoked gammon overnight to get rid of some of the salt, this will be cooked today, cooled in its liquid, then chilled in the fridge to slice later. B loved the last gammon I cooked, ate it quite rapidly so never did get any slices to freeze, so thought I'd cook another one as it was on 'half-price offer'.
As about 90% of my grocery order were products that were either bogof, half price or reduced (and everyone was 'needed' not bought because...), with the points vouchers used saved over £33 on the order, and although my order was larger than normal, this meant the total was still less than my 'average'.

'Jimmy's' sausages were in a very attractive packaging (this alone must have cost a bit), and the sausages themselves looked really good. Despite the stores 'buyer' saying people would probably not buy the sausages when they saw they contained offal, there was no mention of this on the pack, the ingredients listed on the back just said "British Free Range Pork (90%), with other ingredients normally in sausages listed. For one thing 90% meat in a sausage is pretty good, usually it is less, and 'free-range'? Am really hoping these take off as it could be that certainly Tesco will be the front-runners in the race to get 'quality' meats back on our table at prices we can afford. And then the other supermarkets will follow.
The pack gave a web-site (think it was or something like) where we can read more about the sausages and presumably the other foods mentioned on the TV series).

Tonight's supper will probably be Cold Meat Platter (corned beef, sausages, pork pie, roast chicken drumstick, and a cheese quiche),with salad. Only the quiche will be home-made, but mixed salad leaves growing in the conservatory will also be used. The 'afters' will probably be a hot dessert, probably an apple and blackberry quiche. So today will be another busy one in the Goode kitchen.

Something strange happened last night. I was sitting in my chair watching TV, wrapped up to my nose in my crocheted 'throw' and patchwork quilt and I still could not get warm. It seemed to get colder and colder. When I got up to get a painkiller, the rest of the room seemed warm as I walked through. When I returned to my chair I was cold again.
Mentioned this to B and he said it was cold yesterday but would get warmer today, but then I stuck my arm out in front of me and about where my hand reached could feel the temperature much warmer. Moved my arm round to each side of me and again the temperature was warmer with a definite 'edge' to it. Inside this 'bubble' it felt icy cold, so am now wondering if where I sit is haunted or something. It certainly had almost a 'bad' feel about it last night. Other than that there must be a source of cold air coming in just where I sit, and this seems unlikely as the walls next to me (I sit in a corner), are not outside walls.

It is good to get the larder shelves filled again, but still have gaps, so I've not gone 'hoarding mad', just (hopefully) buying sensibly when the price is right. Did make a couple of mistakes, bought some English mustard and whole grain mustard when I discovered (to late to change the order) that I already had a jar of each on my shelf, but then we do eat mustard regularly and the 'jar in use' is just about empty, so the ones bought previously will be started this week and the most recent taking their place as 'back-up'. With me it is always 'one in use, one in store, and one other as 'back-up' (or in the case of cans of baked beans, chopped tomatoes, sardines, tuna etc, it is several as back-up'.
Also bought some quick-cook pasta when I later discovered a sweet jar full of pasta penne (again in the larder). Normally keep pasta in one of the kitchen cupboards over the units, and as that had all been used thought I had no more. Mistake!

Of course forgot to order the one thing I really did need. HP sauce. The one bottle we have has only a couple of inches left in it, but B can always get one from Morrison's next time he goes to buy his lemonade.

Forgot to mention the day before yesterday B had lamb's liver, bacon, cabbage and potatoes for his supper (one of his favourite meals). He also enjoys lamb shanks but this time Tesco had none of the frozen two-in-a-pack shanks that are really good value. They didn't even have fresh ones, so this probably means the price will go up as all meat prices seem to be doing. Still have one lamb shank in the freezer so will keep that on hold for a week or two in the hope that Tesco (or our butcher) has them 'on offer' (what's the betting they don't).

Pork shanks seem to be the 'new lamb', and these are very much cheaper. Haven't tried these yet but as B likes pork (I tend only to buy the cheaper belly pork) will probably give them a go. These might be what used to be called pork 'hock' (sometimes spelled 'hough'). Anyone know? Anyone eaten them?

Glasson Smokehouse emailed me on Saturday to let me know they were having a delivery of fresh (farmed) salmon on Monday (tomorrow). £12.50 a whole fish, and this might be the only delivery this year, so I've ordered two (they will fillet them for me). One fillet will be delivered to my daughter (on our way home), the other three will be brought here and I will pin-bone them (using my eye-brow tweezers), then cut into individual servings (usually get at least six from each side). The tail end and side trimmings saved for 'fish pie mix', risottos etc. Wrapped tightly in just kitchen foil, these freeze perfectly so should be enough to keep B happy for the next 12 months.

When it comes to fish, myself prefer the chunky fillets of cod or haddock, these used to be one of the cheapest fish on sale, salmon one of the dearest, now it is the other way round. Some people would think this was good news, but I miss my 'chunky whites'.
Dare say if tripe suddenly became 'fashionable' it would then become very expensive. Luckily most offal is avoided because most people don't like the thought of eating it. This means B (at least) can enjoy eating liver and kidneys, and no doubt I might even be able to persuade him to eat sweetbreads, heart etc., although not sure myself whether I fancy preparing them.

Just time for me to reply to a couple of comments sent. There was another from an Anonymous (no name) and this sent on an older site, mainly promoting another site, so will ignore that one.
Sounds as those those Approved Foods are worth having Jane. Certainly cheesecakes make good eating, especially when we add 'things' to them. I tend to start of with a bought cheesecake 'mix' then make this up with cream cheese or creme fraiche and/or cream instead of just milk, then maybe add flavourings or fresh fruit purees etc. One favourite is Rum 'n Raisin (just soak raisins or sultanas overnight in rum then fold into the cheesecake mix.

As you say Alison, it is worth making up scone and cake mixes in bulk then they are ready to hand when we want to make them. Scone mix is especially useful as we can bake just a few when the oven is on for something else, and eaten freshly baked they are at their best. Saves baking a full batch when some may have to be left and then tend to go a bit dry.

Have to go as need to edit this before publishing, and only 4 minutes before Gill rings. Hope you can join me again tomorrow when hopefully I will have more of interest to write about. See you then.