Saturday, October 06, 2012

Biting the Bullet

A bit of a late start again this morning due to having to read/reply to emails that have arrived since yesterday.  Have I done a stupid thing I'm now asking myself after suggesting a range of 'posh nosh' eats for the sailing club's forthcoming 'Gourmet' evening, and THEN offering to make the lot myself?  But being me will just bite the bullet and get on with it.

Can already feel the adrenaline working and this week have to meet up with the 'catering committe' (all two of them) to make final arrangements and (hopefully) give an idea of how much it will cost.  They want to meet here, one evening, so am hoping to fix a time when there will be a footie match on (so we can at least be able to have a chat on our own).  This (dining) room will be the best place as I can then lay out the photos (recipes) of what I think might be appropriate food, and this means the room needs a good 'bottoming' as the saying goes.  In other words a massive spring-clean!!  I have books everywhere (in between the dusty patches), including the floor.   Need to make a good impression.  

So, for the next couple or so weeks my mind will be firmly fixed on 'gourmet fodder', and you may find my blog slightly shorter than normal (already I hear great sighs of relief from you all), as I need to now make those lists, then keep working through them so there is no rush on the last day, although much will have to be done last minute (as ever).

Had a 'thanks for reminding me' comment from Linda who I believe is a new 'commenteer', so welcome (or welcome back if not so 'new').
Also a comment from Lisa who mentions her favourite cakes. In America, do they eat the traditional rich fruit Christmas cake that is iced with marzipan and royal (or fondant) icing as we always have in this country? And mince pies? Possibly also a 'Buche Noel (aka Chocolate log).  Or is there a US alternative.  In Australia believe their Christmas cake is topped with glace fruits, not iced.

Had to smile Jane when I read that the 'juice from mince' would normally be discarded. Well, probably it is in most homes, but in the Goode kitchen have to say that virtually nothing is ever thrown away that has a possible use. 
This week I've noticed that our waste bins have less in them than usual (and normally they don't have much anyway), probably because now I've stopped opening cans and packets as the meals now are all made from scratch (D.R. meat, Smokehouse fish, and Riverford veggies).  The only thing that goes into the bin is the packaging.

Yesterday made B a steak and kidney pie, served with carrots and string beans.  As there were more kidneys in the pack than needed, saved half the meat filling (once cooked) to freeze for a later pie.  The puff pastry 'top' was cooked separately as B likes it crisp underneath. 
Think that B obviously enjoyed his meal as when he came in (I had retired to the living room to watch Gordon Ramsay's final 'Ultimate Cookery Course') and sat down, he said "I eat like a king". I looked up, surprised, and said "I'm pleased you think so", and he said "yes, I bet there is no-one else I know who has meals as good as I get".   B rambled on a bit more, and then I said "you've had some wine with your meal haven't you?" and he nodded.  I always know when he's had a good meal with a drink as he then says nice things.  Wish he would drink every day!

B did ask if I enjoyed cooking for him and I told him I did, pointing out that I sometimes feel taken for granted when I've spent time making a lovely meal and he doesn't seem to appreciate that.  He said of course he appreciated it.  Well, let's hope he let's me know more often.

Your mention of Quorn 'in strips' was interesting Jane, I might try it sometime but first MUST use up most of the meats already bought.  I do so wish I could have a 'scoot' round Morrison's as there are a few fresh items need replacing, but know I'd give in to the temptation of bringing home food that has been reduced.  I'm a real 'shopaholic' once I step into a supermarket (or any place that sells food), and as I KNOW I've enough food to keep me going at least until Christmas (and probably until next summer if truth be known), what's the point of buying what I don't really need? As I keep telling myself.  Another case of 'biting the bullet' and getting on with what task I've set myself (in other words "....make it do, or do without".

Anything that is used up and needs replacing (milk, butter, cheese....) I can safely let B buy as he too loves wandering round he supermarket, and as long as he pays for anything else that is not on my list, but what he fancied buying (for himself to eat) then I'm happy with that.

Yesterday whizzed up the fennel leaves in my little blender, then mixed quite a bit with some softened butter, rolled into a 'sausage', tightly wrapped in cling film then frozen.  This can be sliced and popped onto the top of fish when grilling/baking.   The remainder of the chopped fronds have been dry-packed into tiny plastic containers (think these originally held Knorr jellied stock that I once tried and never again as it is far too salty, but of course saved the containers!!!).  This should then come out much as it went in, to make a bed to lay fish on when cooking 'in a parcel'.

Not sure what supper will be today being Saturday.  B usually likes something 'simple' like boiled eggs with soldiers, or a bacon sarnie.  He is out tomorrow evening with our daughter - and believe they are going to 'eat out' before going to a concert (was asked but the music is not my 'thing', and anyway Downton Abbey will be on and I don't want to miss that!).

Watched 'Hotel GB' last night, it was 'sort of'' interesting but blow me, as always, I nodded off close to the end so never got to find out who were the chosen two 'winners'.  Think one might have been the girl in the kitchen, the other might be the blonde girl (who has cystic fibrosis) who worked mainly at the concierge counter.  Am I right?
Don't know if anything was later mentioned about the girl who walked out, but well rid I say.  She just wouldn't take instruction or (constructive) criticism without having a hissy fit.  She is her own worst enemy.  All I can hope for is that she has learnt something about herself from this, and tries to improve.

Didn't even watch 'Strictly' as more interested in watching a programme about 'servants' (BBC 2). Not that it was THAT interesting, but I'm always keen on learning more about 'below stairs' as I feel that in past lives this is where I most belonged.  Also how several of my ancestors must have lived (our 'family tree' shows many girls becoming servants from quite a young age (13 etc).  B's mother and aunts were also in 'service' when younger (his unmarried aunt until she retired).

This weekend will be fairly busy for me as there is much to do (other than normal) so forgive me if I love you and leave you for today.  Gill will be phoning tomorrow, so unless I get up early enough to 'blog and publish' before 9am then my blog will have to be written after her call (published nearer noon). 

Our weather is very hit and miss, some sunshine, then heavy showers, more sunshine, more rain... the forecast good for this weekend (they SAY) only so far not in Morecambe.  Maybe it will improve later today/tomorrow, then (they SAY) it will go downhill fast and next week will be cold and windy and wet.  So what's new?

Whatever the weather, enjoy your weekend and if you find time, then drop me a line (comment), it is always good to hear from you, especially those who have not been in contact for some time.  Am still waiting to hear from Kathryn how her 'dressage' event went.   For those of you who have found the site and have time to log on 'for a read', then hope you will continue.  TTFN.