Saturday, September 15, 2012

Get Organised!

A brief blog today as am busy making desserts for the sailing club, B will be collecting these some time during the afternoon, so need to get on with those that need chilling first. Like NOW!
But at least can spare half an hour to reply (in part) to your comments.

Firstly let me say that I did make B that ham-wrapped leek under a coating of cheese sauce as suggested by Sairy, and my Beloved really liked it although the cheese was a bit over-powering he thought. Mind you, I'd put plenty of Parmesan over the top to bubble and brown, so perhaps that was it. If I hadn't put cheese on top he'd then have said it was "too bland". A man that is sometimes difficult to please.
Now that I've got into using the organic veggie box and trying out new recipes he feels it is essential that he acts as a food critic and points out every little thing that isn't quite right, if he carries on like that he'll find himself slapped around the head with a wet kipper!

Thanks Jo for letting us know that Elizabeth West has written a four book in her 'Hovel on the Hill' series. Will see if I can find a copy in our local second hand book shop.

Les has come up with many useful hints and tips, and with his concise instructions he really should start a blog site of his own on 'cooking the professional way' as he is far more a 'teacher' than I'll ever be. Some people prefer to be told what to do without all the 'padding' that I tend to add. But then I've always favoured reading cook-books that tell a story rather than just give facts. Each to his own.
Was surprised to read that your chicken stock needed FIVE hours in the pressure cooker Les to end up clear and 'tasty' (a bit 'fuel-costly' I would think). Myself find that as long as the stock is kept on a very low simmer (barely a burp on the surface), and cooked for around 2 hours on the hob, produces beautifully clear soup that has all the lovely flavours of chicken and the veggies (carrot, onion, celery, plus a bay leaf or two). Also uses less fuel than the pressure cooker method.

A welcome to Anne K (from Wales), we look forward to receiving more comments from her. It is always good to hear from everyone who reads this blog.

Two comments requesting ideas for a birthday 'bash' this month. First from Morgan who would like some suggestions for a birthday 'afternoon tea'. It is always a bit difficult for me to make suggestions unless I know how many would be there (and a 'mixed bunch' - in other words just ladies, or young and old male and female etc, and whether 'tea' is the traditional sort (assorted sarnies; scones, jam and cream; shortbread; cakes - maybe even a trifle) or whether it would be more a buffet to include savouries (vol au vents, quiches, pate....). If you have time to send me more details Morgan, this will give me a chance to come up with more ideas.

Second request was from Shayna. That is giving me much food for thought, and feel due to the very many different 'diets' that your guests have a buffet would be best. Sandwiches could be assorted, meat filled for those that can eat it, salmon or tuna, maybe cheese and pickle, egg mayo..., salad sarnies for the vegetarians.

Gluten bread can be bought at supermarkets, so a plate of sarnies made with this would be useful, and can give several recipes for gluten free cakes if you wish (everyone but the dairy intolerant could eat these).

With both 'parties' (above) will need to give a bit more thought, so hope you both won't mind waiting a day as today I really am too busy to concentrate on anything other than the club's desserts.
And with that reminder to myself really will now have to depart for today - and hopefully the weather will stay fair enough for the barbie (forecast is good, but worse tomorrow). B has already left for the sailing races set for this morning, but there isn't much wind. Usually more wind at sea-level than up here on the higher ground where the garden is protected by houses and high fences., so hope enough breeze to make good sailing.

The final (Christmas) episode of Downton Abbey is on tonight, and a new series begins tomorrow. It's been really great having the series shown back to back from the start without a break as it is then so easy to remember the story-line. Just can't wait to find out what happens next, and let us hope this will not be the last series, and we can look forward to more. Just as long as Maggie Smith's character lives long enough to keep appearing. It wouldn't be the same without her. She is just wonderful.

Enjoy your weekend, I'll be back again tomorrow (maybe having to start after 10.00am as Gill phones at nine, but if early enough might be able to blog and publish before her call). See you then.