Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Busy Time of Year

Funny how days, weeks and often months can go by with me having time on my hands, but this week the pendulum has swung in the other direction and I'm finding I've little enough time to do what I want, so am now trying to make a start before I write this blog, then carry on the chores after.
This morning woke later than intended (did wake much earlier but still dark and pouring with rain so decided to stay in the comfort of my bed for a further hour, obviously a mistake as I woke 3 hours later!!!). So now am having to rush my blog in order to get it published at least before 11.00am.

The rest of the week I expect to also 'be rushed', so expect shorter blogs if I've again slept too long, but I will write sometime during the morning, although it may now be later rather than earlier.  Tomorrow is Norma the Hair day, Thursday I may have to be out of the house early, and Friday - well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Thanks for your comments.  The shutting down of the Internet might be because I'm on an old Windows system, they did warn about this some time back and my computer literate daughter, on a visit from Ireland, did set up 'Chrome' for me, and so far I've been able to reach the Internet through that but only on one of the three 'sites' set on this comp.
As to shutting down the comp. Les, and then also the 'router', would try this if I knew what a 'router' was.  Please enlighten me.

Problem with this comp. is that my grandson set it up for me and I just don't know how he did it. On the rare occasions he's been able to visit, he has re-set when problems have occurred, but does it so fast (switching from on thing to another) that even though I watch closely, I cannot remember what he does.  Our son - who was also able to help sort probs, has now moved even further away although our grandson (Steve) has moved closer, so hopefully he'll be able to eventually come and sort it for me.

As you say Sairy, Marmite and scrambled eggs on toast go well together.  Think it is the saltiness of Marmite that works so well with eggs.

Noticed this morning a comment from Jane that I'd forgotten to read.  Sorry about that.  She mentions using the cheaper instant potato, and have tried that myself.  Don't find it quite as good as 'Smash', but as Jane says, making it with butter and milk (I like to add some cream), this does make it taste much richer.  Adding grate cheese or crushed crispy bacon (and/or fried onions) also adds an extra special flavour to the cheaper 'instant' spuds.
The good thing about instant potato made up into 'mash' is that it freezes so much better than 'proper' mashed spuds, and so I like to use this (made fairly thickly) to cover Cottage Pies, Fish Pies, and used for making fish cakes - in fact anything that needs mashed spuds that is intended to be frozen.

I've not heard that dried beans should be soaked in salt water Les, although bicarbonate of soda is often added.  Did know that salt should not be added to the water when cooking the beans as this toughens the skin. 

Yesterday cooked a couple of D.R. beefburgers (from recent order) for B's supper, served with oven chips, organic chestnut mushrooms, and peas.  Having watching numerous 'Man v Food' episodes, had noticed that in the diners they fast-fry their beefburgers, then push them to one side and cover each individually with a metal 'dome'.  Assumed they they continued cooking more slowly and also 'steamed' slightly.
So this is what I did with B's burgers as although they were made with best minced steak, we are always warned to cook beefburgers thoroughly.  Possibly supermarket burgers DO need thorough cooking this way but I've always found they ended up like leather.  However, I didn't want to see any pink 'middle left in the burgers yesterday, so seared them for a couple of minutes on each side over very high heat, and then topped them with the mushrooms (that had been frying alongside), and covered the frying pan with a lid and reduced heat to lowest.  After 15 minutes they were cooked through but really moist and tender under the fairly crispy coating.   So will cook them that way again.

Donald Russell have sent details of their most recent offer - an 'Everyday Stew Selection' (D639) Pack', this containing a variety of different stewing meats: Diced Beef Steak, Beef Rib Trim, Ox-tail, Minced Beef, a 950g Beef Brisket, and Shin of Beef.   Plus 1.14kg box of lambs' liver and kidney with every order, AND free meat bones (but you have to request this when ordering).
They give the offer " as up to 30 servings for less than £1.65 a serving "  - and as their servings are always generous, know that I'd be able to get at least 50 servings for the price (less than £1 a head) which is pretty darn good for such quality meat.   Offer ends on 14th Oct and it does say free delivery on the leaflet, but not sure if that applies to all or only previous customers.  Always check before ordering.

Unfortunately I don't have room for this offer, so am really annoyed, but as there will be still nearly two weeks left to order, and as long as I'm within the time I could arrange for the order to be delivered a few days later, I might just be able to find space.   Let us hope so.

Today will be having the third delivery from Riverford, one of the small boxes as although this does work out more expensive (by quantity/weight) compared to a larger box, the large box has too much 'really fresh, and to be used within a few days...' veggies, so have decided to pace myself and see what the boxes contain before I order.  This week will be a small box but not the standard, this one being 'seasons veg' and more interesting (I believe fennel etc included). More on this tomorrow once it has arrived.   Then should have no need to order again for at least two (maybe three) weeks, so the organic veggie boxes really seems to be working out more profitable for me than buying non-organics from the supermarket (mainly because I'm not ordering other non-fresh products at the same time as I would normally do).   Am hoping that for the next couple of months my 'quality purchases' will have taken over almost completely the on-line ordering of supermarket foods, with just the occasional visit by me (and B) to Morrison's to 'top up' the fresh.  Riverford do sell organic milk, cheeses, meats, and loads more store-cupboard 'needs',  and I've this week ordered eggs from them, but can I afford to buy EVERYTHING from them?  We will have to wait and see.

Forgive me.  Time has caught up with me, and if I'm very good I might just be able to do today wht I should do tomorrow, and that means I'll be able to spend more time with you later this week.  As it's a really miserable day, am happy staying indoors finding work to do.

Did manage to grab half an hour yesterday to watch the first episode of 'Nigelissima'.  Not sure whether I thought her loss of weight suited her.  She looked gorgeous of course, but also older (which of course she is), but seemed also to lack something, as if she was tired.  Not sure about the meals she cooked (I understand no Italian would cook food that way), but who cares - she is very watchable and don't I wish I had a kitchen like the one she works in.

Gordon Ramsay - as ever - was good, but gave up watching 'Hotel GB' later that evening as he was reverting back to his four-letter mouthing, and his way of seeming to push the 'juniors' on at speed is not the way I believe it should happen to get good results.  Maybe the producers think it makes for good viewing.  But not for the likes of me.

Enough said, I really HAVE to get on.  Hope you will keep logging on until I get my house in order, and you get better weather than we have been having at the moment (although at this very moment the rain has stopped and the sun is trying to peep through).   Enjoy your day. TTFN.