Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Keeping Warm..

Thanks to all who wrote in regarding my blog.  Seems to suit all, will keep to a daily blog and try and get it completed by mid-morning (certain days such ass today it will be later, but before lunch-time). 

A couple of comments on how to keep warm.  Yes, Les, we have very heavy double lined floor to ceiling curtains in our large living room,  the radiator has a reflector.  Myself feel that a lot of cold seems to come from underfoot, and we don't know what is there - maybe the 'footings' are filled with water (we get loads of slugs coming into the room from somewhere).
Our dining room (the room I am in now) is not much smaller than the living room, and as there is a large dining table in the centre, not really much room to put easy chairs near the gas radiator.  Anyway, the TV is in the main living room, we only use this room for entertaining and as a 'study'.

Think the 'American' way of heating is much the best.  This seems to be either heating underfloor, or hot air ducted at skirting level.  This keeps the warm air low down, and when our feet are warm the rest of us is warm.  With c.h. radiators, although warm air does flow across the room, most of it will probably rise.  We have an insulated ceiling in our living room (probably to keep both the upstairs and downstairs apartments from annoying each other with noise (this does work as I found out when they have a karaoke party), so this probably helps to keep our warm in from rising upwards.

I have to say that I think I've found a really good way to keep warm when the weather is cold and the heating is not on, but more about that tomorrow, as with writing a later blog today (due to having my hair done earlier), want to get the recipe written up for Jane.  I've also laid out the jam jars (all 24 of them) ready to make the jam, marmalade, and lemon curd for the 'fayre' this weekend.  I've already done some jars of pickled red cabbage (in the hope that someone may like it).

Have finished Alan Sugar's book, and have to say he and I certainly sing from the same hymn sheet. There is so much written in there that I have said myself over the past months/years.  As probably most of us have.  If you can get a copy from your library, then it's well worth reading.  The title of the book is "The Way I See It" by Alan Sugar.

Here is the recipe using chestnuts.  It's a good one to make after Christmas, when we can use the turkey carcase to make a great stock for this soup, and strip some of the flesh from the bones after to add to the broth.  But nothing stopping us making it now if we make it with a chicken stock (home-made of course!) and add chicken scraps.  If you haven't a leek, then use a chopped onion.
Pearl barley is a favourite grain of mine, as it is one of the cheapest grains on sale, and a little goes a long way.  If in a hurry to speed up the cooking, pre-soak the barley in water for an hour or two before cooking. 
Believed to be the world's oldest cultivated grain, barley is low in fat and rich in carbohydrate, and although it does contain traces of gluten, useful for those on a wheat-free diet.
Chestnuts are high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat (Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts have 20 times as much fat as chestnuts.  Chestnuts also provide useful amounts of Vit E and B6.
Turkey, Chestnut, and Barley Broth: serves 6
3 pints (1.7 ltrs) turkey or chicken stock
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large parsnip, chopped
3 ribs celery, chipped
 4 - 6 Brussels sprouts, chopped
1 leek, chopped
4 oz (100g) cooked or canned chestnuts, chopped
3 oz (75g) pearl barley
4 oz (100g) cooked turkey or chicken, shredded
3 tblsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Put the stock into a large saucepan with all the vegetables, chestnuts and barley, then simmer for 40 minutes or until the pearl barley is tender. Add the parsley and turkey (or chicken) and heat through thoroughly.  Add seasoning to taste, then serve.

Will leave you with this so that those who wish to read before lunch, then have time to do so, but expect to be back at the normal (earlier) time tomorrow.  Hope you'll join me then. TTFN.