Sunday, July 01, 2012

Moving Around...

Starting today with another photo of one of my plants. This is to show how that small shoot that fell off my Jade Plant (Crassula?) has rooted and growing nicely. Like the other two plants shown yesterday (Avocado and Lemon), the three have roots growing through the holes in the base of their pots, but as this Jade Plant likes to be 'pot-bound' am leaving it as it is. Yesterday spent quite a bit of time finishing moving things around the conservatory, getting rid of a lot of things that really didn't need to be kept in there, and also re-potted the above mentioned 'fruit trees', and some others as well. Cannot stop my belated 'spring clean', and as soon as Gill has finished her call (and my blog is published, hopefully before she phones) then will roll up my sleeves again and do more tidying and cleaning.

As Tesco groceries arrived before the 'booked' time, apologies for a speedy finish to yesterday's blog. At least managed to be there to unpack (with B's help) the several crates that were filled with bags and bags of groceries (we return the bags).

When putting them away realised that I'd re-ordered some items that I'd order the previous month (still not used), and really felt that perhaps now I need some councelling when it comes to my grocery order. What I need and what I want is now getting a bit mixed up, and admitting this when I'm trying to convince everyone to buy only what is needed and not wanted is making me seem a real hypocrite.

One or two interesting things. I'd re-ordered some sweet peppers, not the normal 'bell' peppers, but some smaller, pointed ones as I have discovered these keep far longer (in the fridge) that the 'bells'. They come in packs of about half a dozen or so, in red, orange and yellow (no green thank goodness), and are much better than the larger ones as they are easy to prepare and have few seeds. I've only just begun the first pack (bought several weeks ago) and they are 'as good as new'. So now have a second pack waiting in the wings.

Managed to get nearly £10 off my bill, all 'offers' of course (and all of these were wanted if not needed. We don't really NEED cream, but my B would be very unhappy without several tubs in the fridge for him to pour over every dessert served). Bought loads of fresh fruit and veg, as am planning to have a carbo free week or two to get rid of those excess lbs gained recently. B can eat the home-made bread (he is making bacon sarnies for his breakfast with it as I write - no sailing today as it is too windy).

Yesterday cooked some hard-boiled eggs to go with my salads and tried the Heston B method of removing the shells. I did know that eggs should not be new-laid when wishing for hard-boiled as it is almost impossible to removed the shells without breaking the whites, but even then to get a perfect white without a crater here and there is not easy. I've tried the Jamie O method of tapping the shells to first craze them, then rolling them on a work surface to crack them further, but even this can break the whites occasionally.

Heston's way is wonderful. First crack the shells lightly, the prize away a little shell with the end of a teaspoon, if necessary break the membrane beneather as the spoon 'scoop' should then be slide under the shell and membrane and then carefully slid round the egg. Hold the spoon so the tip is pushing the shell up, or it could cut into the white. Once round the egg the half-shell then just slides off. Do the same with the rest of the egg. Easy as that. Saves an awful lot of picking egg shell with the fingers.

As I ordered another ham (B likes home-cooked ham so much I now hardly ever get a chance to slice 'n freeze) yesterday put it in to soak and today it will be cooked, cooled in the liquid (always do this anyway but was pleased to hear Heston say we should do that will all meat cooked in liquid as it prevents it drying out). Then will wrap tightly in foil and chill in the fridge before slicing.

As I'd bought more apples, decided to use up the four (by now very mottled) Bramleys in the fruit bowl, hadn't time to bother with making a crumble or pie, so just peeled, chopped into chunks, put in a bowl with a little sugar, then into the microwave for four minutes. They cooked perfectly, kept their shape, and will be made into something today.

As B chose sausage, egg, and chips for his supper, all I had to do was put the sausages in the oven, the oven chips ten minutes later, and tell B to go and fry his eggs (he can do that himself) in 20 minutes, then everything would be ready together.

We missed watching the end of Andy Murray's match as we wanted to watch 'Richard II' - a true adaptation of Shakespear's play. B fetched his Shakespear and followed it. Word for word accurate (apart from the occasional lines cut out), and although I don't normally like Shakespeare 'as written' (film adaptions can be OK), found this episode very good. There will be more following, a total of six consecutive kings I believe.

Was very annoyed yesterday when I looked out of the conservatory window and saw the redcurrant bush had been stripped of all its fruit. A week ago it was loaded. Either the very bad weather knocked/blew it all off, or the birds ate the fruit. If the latter I don't mind so much. At least have a bagful in the freezer of last year's fruit so will have to make do with that.

Seagulls had built their annual nest between the chimney pots of the house at the back of ours. Yesterday B noticed that their chick had fallen onto the roof and was not able to climb back up. The parent gulls were frantically flying around, but really there was nothing anyone could do but just hope. During the night I could hear the gulls clucking softly to their youngster, so hoped it was still alive. It wasn't small - about pigeon size, but covered with fluff maybe looked larger than it really was, it didn't seem to have any tail yet and was not able to fly.

This morning it is still on the roof but has managed to reach the base of the chimney where it can shelter luckily because the weather has turned from warm and sunny (yesterday) to wet and windy again.

With time moving on must now reply to comments. Suppose the American weather (seemingly worse than ours) is - sort of - expected, and dealt with more sensibly than over here where when heavy rain falls etc, no-one seems to be able to cope.

Having dry soil five feet down here Lisa would mean the water would not soak away but just 'fill up' on the surface and cause major floods. Maybe because we have now too many 'water meadows' concreted over as industrial sites, carparks, supermarkets etc, so there is nowhere for the excess water to flow. In America there is probably a lot more open space for the water to go.

Chicken gizzards don't sound very appetising. We think of these as chicken necks I believe, so maybe in the US the name means something different.

Have myself made pineapple jelly using a bottle of ginger ale, the two flavours go well together, and in this country we rarely make a 'solid salad' - this being salad veg bound with a jelly and mayo. Have seen several of these in American magazines, and myself quite like them, but never see a recipe for them in a British publication.

Sorry to hear that you had a wet holiday Catriona. Think that most of the country is having the same problem (this being the month that many UK citizens take their hols). Let us hope we at least have an Indian summer in the early autum otherwise half the nation will feel like emigrating.

Must publish now as Gill will phone in a couple of minutes. Hope you can join me tomorrow. See you then.