Thursday, April 11, 2013

Short and Sweet...

For some reason the comp is being irritatingly slow this morning, even though I left it on 'stand-by'.  Think it has reached the end of its life, but will still keep using it until it stops altogether.  It's not as though having to wait 15 minutes for it to wake itself up makes much difference, as I take the time to 'speed-read' one or more of the recipes books piled by my desk in the hope of finding a recipe you might be interested in.

Thanks to all for the comments sent it.  As ever, always something said that gives me a chance to reply to.  Having that 'personal chat' that I so much enjoy (and hope you do to).

Thanks Kathryn, for sending that link re Scottish recipes.  The mention of Gaelic reminded me that only a couple of weeks ago our daughter (who lives in Scotland and works for the Garda) sent me an email from her office (normally she always sends from her home comp), and at the end was a long sentence in Gaelic, probably one that would always end an official document or something, the comp sending it automatically.  Have no idea what it meant.

Good idea about putting frozen meat in baps, as it thawing by lunchtime.  Have you thought of making up a number of baps with the meat filling, then freezing these, all ready and waiting to be taken for lunch as and when required? It does save a bit of time, if saving time helps. Pre-frozen meat filled baps are really useful during the hot summer months we (hopefully) will have.  These  help to keep salads crisp and yogurts/chocolate cool in a the lunchbox (as will a small pack of frozen fruit juice).

If the weather forecast is correct (and sometimes it is), next week will be much warmer, but to have that we also will be getting wind and rain.  At least for seed sowing we can do with the rain.  Seeds like to be sown in warm ground, and I remember my dad used to cover the ground with cloches etc a few weeks before he began sowing, so any sun during the day would start heating up the ground, but this year seed sowing has be delayed and we don't have time to let it warm up naturally.  Have just had a brilliant idea!  Why not take a bucket of hot water out into the garden when seed sowing? some of the water along a seed drill so the little darlings can comfortably be tucked up warm in their bed and left happily alone to get on sprouting.,

Not sure how thrifty you are Dottiebird, but if you have plenty of dandelions you could make good use of them, as they are a bit like a pig - "every bit can be used but the squeal".  The flowers/petals make excellent wine, the leaves used in salads, the sap from the stems make good 'glue' (a bit like 'Gloy'), and the roots can be dried to make a coffee substitute (often used in wartime). 
I've even gone one step further and sprayed some dandelion clocks with hair lacquer, then cut them - still attached to their - stem, pushed a cocktail (or longer) stick up the stem, then pushed this into flower arranger's 'foam', with leaves, fir cones, and anything that will make an attractive 'flower arrangement'.  These 'clocks' look really pretty and when lacquered won't blow away.

Can't remember a photo of the shelves in my Leeds kitchen being on one of my books Pam. Maybe on a back cover?  Did show the photos of the shelves on this blog many months/years ago,, and think the original photo of me on this stie blog showed the shelves, but the  photo was changed after we moved to Morecambe.
The bottles used did contain a fruit juice, this being orange, and they were really useful for storage  as the both the 200g and the 300g Nescafe Original Instant Coffee jars that I now use (I prefer matching jars, but if push comes to shove, any large glass jar with lid would do).   I've given up sticking labels on the jars, just write the contents directly onto the glass using a marker pen (that I keep in my apron pocket).  Easily washed off when I wish to use the jar to hold something else.

Yesterday evening (actually it was the early hours of this morning) was watching the global news and saw several minutes from an American news channel where they were talking about the wastage of food in the US.  Apparently 40% of food is thrown away, mainly due to people being served too much (even at home), the 'left-overs' then binned, and of course, buying too much in the first place so edible food was also binned.  When hearing this it crossed my mind that 'left-overs' too could still be edible, or is making use of 'yesterday's supper' to make 'tomorrow's dinner' not done much in the US?
Here in the UK it would be rare for our plates to have any 'left-overs' because servings over here are considerably smaller than they appear to be in the US.  In America it does appear that huge amounts seem to be served in diners, and the Barefoot Contessa and other US cooks give the impression that feel that a lot should be made even when serving only two people, although readers of this blog would  probably not follow this trend.  At least, if only for financial reasons, do hope so.

How interesting Margie, that the Native Canadians as well as the Aborigines are now prone to diabetes. No doubt the same is happening to Native Americans.  Proof positive that a few generations of eating processed foods instead of 'natural foods' can do considerable amount of harm.  Perhaps if this was more widely known, people may think twice about eating the rubbish that is on sale, and go back to eating mainly fresh (and sensibly preserved) produce.  Read the other day that many of the the younger generation of today are expected to have a much shorter life than their grandparents, due to their way of life (processed foods, drinking, and with some perhaps, drugs...).

Liked your idea of colour-coding Margie.  This tugged at my memory-strings, as I remember doing something similar, aiming to have a 'decor' of cool colours during the summer months, and warm shades during the winter.  When making cushion covers, I used to put a light coloured (sometimes floral) material on one side, and a plain, warmer coloured velvet on the other, so instead of changing covers, would just turn them over according to the time of the year. 
We used to have orange flannelette sheets and pillowcases on our bed during the winter, and cool greens and blues during the summer.  I even used to change the shade of the loo paper according to the season (and the bathroom towels). 

Have not done very much colour co-ordinating in Morecambe.  The living room is nothing much but shades of cream, cream carpet, and cream upholstery and curtains.  Even the cushions are too pale and 'ordinary' to be worth attention (very boring, must do something about that).   In here (the dark oak  panelled dining room/study), we have a cream carpet, but I've 'covered' a single futon/chair with Black Watch tartan (actually a single sheet I used to have on my bed, now just 'tucked' into and around the futon mattress/cushions). Over once corner of the futon is laid a small Red Stuart tartan 'throw', this picking up the stripes of red in the Black Watch.  At the side of the chair, standing by the fireplace is a tall brown vase (shaped like a tube) that holds imitation thistles, and several imitation red poinsettias (put there at Christmas but will keep them there as they 'match' the 'colourways').

Horrors!  I've just noticed a huge cobweb, covered with dust, draped across the corner of the small window above the chair, and I bet the two ladies who came yesterday couldn't fail to notice it.  Of course the ledge below is also covered in dust.  I should have sat them the other side of the table facing the other direction facing the sideboard which I HAD dusted, just in case. 
Why I hadn't noticed this I don't know as the day before I was tidying up in here and did dust the sideboard, and other woodwork, then got distracted when I noticed some lovely foliage lying on the floor in front of the patio doors, stretching across the carpet, and found it had also begun to twine itself round the far legs of a small table set in front of the window.  Puzzled, I traced it back to the start and found it was growing through a tiny crack between the panelling and the wall behind.  This means there must be a hole in the wall for it to get through.  Either it grows rapidly or I hadn't noticed it.  I would have done had I bothered to clean the inside glass of the patio doors.  Another thing I have to remember to do, but only notice windows need cleaning when the sun shines on them.  Have to be in the right place at the right time.

I pulled the plant away from the panelling, but now I wish I hadn't for who knows, I could have trained it right round the window to make a feature in its own right. We don't have curtains in here (two oblong windows overlooking the garden have coloured leaded lights, and each does have a blind as overlooked by the houses at the back) but the side wall with the patio outside is not overlooked by any windows, and being double-glazed we haven't needed to bother with curtain (although I still have a Black Watch duvet and two pillow cases that could frame the window, with maybe enough material left to cover the dining chairs). Above the patio doors is the original coloured stained glass window, presumably below that was once a set of French doors.

At least we don't seem to have any slugs dashing across our carpets recently.  At one time we seemed to discover one or two each morning.  Perhaps, during the winter, they hibernate. 

Time has moved on, and because of my late start will give recipes a miss today.  Should be back at normal time tomorrow, so do hope you will be able to find time to 'drop in for another chat' as I (and all other readers too) love these regular 'get togethers'.  One of the things I really enjoy is hearing more about life in other countries, and for that matter other counties in our own UK, for even in our small isle, there can be a vast difference between one and another.  

So until tomorrow - enjoy your day, and make the most of the sun before it hides its face behind rain clouds again. TTFN.