Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Cut the Chat!"...

You wouldn't believe how busy my life has become after months (and years) of almost nil activity.  At the moment seem to be having to cope with one thing after another, not that 'cope' is the right word, it's just that so much seems be working for me (culinary wise) at the moment.  This means - at least until the end of this month - I won't be rambling on so much, and towards the end of next week will need to take several days off blogging to get that Indian 'feast' prepared/cooked to my satisfaction.  Am sure you will all understand.

Yesteday we did go to Barton Grange, leaving early enough so that we could return in time for B to go to the gym in the early afternoon.  We called in at Glasson Dock on the way back to see when the next delivery of the cheaper fresh salmon would be.  Seems this would be towards the end of June, early July, and have left our name and phone number for them to let us know so that we can collect on the day of their delivery. 

Normally I enjoy a visit to B. Grange, but not yesterday for they had made the serious error (at least I thought so) of changing everything round, at least in the Cook Shop.  NOTHING was in the place where it normally used to be, although in a back-handed way this worked for me as I would have bought more had I known where they were.  Regular customers prefer things on sale to be always in the same place, isn't this so?  Every time I've gone into a store (usually a supermarket), and the goods are not where they normally are, then I tend to buy a lot less than I would have done normally.  As I said, good for the pocket, but not a lot else.

At least, in the garden section the rows of seed packets were easily visible, and I was able to buy a pack of tomato seeds (tumbler type) for 99p AND get a pack of free seeds (I chose yellow bell peppers).  So that's the May weekly 25p extra pension spent.  Hopefully growing enough tomatoes to be worth more than 99p, and not forgetting 'free' bell peppers as well.   Seeds should have been sown March/April, but with the weather being about six weeks behind itself, think sown this week they should soon catch up.

Yesterday, although the sun was shining, there was a very strong - and cold - wind.  Yesterday evening there was torrential rain, I went into the kitchen and thought the back door had been left open it was so noisy. But the door was tightly shut, the rain just bucketing down and spilling over the gutters.   The weather is so cold at the moment we have put the heating back on again.

Managed to buy a bulk pack of chicken breasts and also a bulk pack of stewing beef at B.Grange for a reasonable price.  Was not planning to buy any other meat, but this time they were selling bulk packs of boneless chicken thighs that I thought would be perfect for the curries, so bought a pack of those as well.  Put the bags of meat into the fridge when I got home (we brought them back in chiller-bags anyway, so they stayed mega-cold), and today I will be slow-cooking the beef curry, tomorrow the chicken curry, and today will freeze the meat that I won't be cooking.  All I need now is to find freezer-space to put it all!!!

Have also decided to reorganise the kitchen and want to do that before the end of this week so that next week everything will be 'in place' and this will make it easier for me to do my marathon meal.
In between I have to fit in at least 5 more trips 'out', some to the health centre for appointments already made (six month and annual checks), also need to go to Morrison's next week AND I'm also going to a cookery course my bought gave me as a birthday gift.  It's all go.  But I'm loving it.

Thanks for your comments.   Sorry buttercup, I didn't see 'Skint' on TV,  didn't even notice it was on.  It sounded as though it would have been something I would have enjoyed seeing.  Perhaps it will be repeated.

Yes, did hear some of the ladies at the Cake Club swapping recipes Eileen.  As I tasted only a couple, these not being anything out of the ordinary, wasn't that interested (how mean does that sound?).  Maybe, if I was able to eat more cake then perhaps I would have tried to sample more, but somehow being diabetic and eating cake together don't make a good marriage, so whether I go to the Club again remains to be seen.  Much depends on the results of my blood test (taken next week, but won't hear results until I meet up with the diabetic nurse in early June).  If my blood sugar still stays way below diabetic level (as it has done for the past couple of years - even when I've eaten cake and other naughties), then maybe I will become a compulsive cake baker and eater.

Liked the sound of your 'Lunch Club' Sarah.  My friend Gill (the one who phones me on Sunday mornings), has three friends who - once a  month - take turns to provide lunch.  So Gill hosts her lunch three times a year (think I've got that right).  Really liked your idea of having a 'craft afternoon' after lunch.  Have heard that a local craft-shop in Morecambe have a 'knit and natter' on one Wednesday afternoon of each month, it doesn't have to be knitting, any craft could be done.  It's the chatting bit I liked the sound of.  Must pull myself out of my chair and go and join in.

Came across two recipes recently, similar but different.  The first is more 'adult', the second certainly 'child-friendly'. 
The adult 'meal' is basically an omelette, but a useful dish in that other ingredients could be added (peas, ham, chorizo, sweetcorn...).  Also this can be eaten freshly cooked and warm, or cold, and any leftovers perfect for the next day's lunchbox. 

Omelette Wedges: serves 6
2 tblsp sunflower oil
4 rashers bacon, chopped
1 shallot, finely sliced
6 large or 8 medium eggs
1 tsp English (or Dijon) mustard
3 oz (75g) Cheddar cheese, grated
7 oz (200g) new potatoes, cooked and sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced, then each slice quartered
Put a teaspoon of the oil into a frying pan and fry the bacon until beginning to change colour (but not yet crispy). Add the shallot and fry for a further couple of minutes, then tip the pan contents into a bowl.   Set the pan to one side.
Break the eggs into another bowl, whisk in the mustard, then fold in half the cheese, the bacon and shallot, and finally the potatoes.  Put the remaining oil into the set-aside frying pan, place over the heat and when hot, pour in the egg mix, stirring a couple of time as it starts cooking (this allowing the runny egg on top to flow through to the base). 
Cook the omelette over low heat for 6 minutes, then scatter the tomatoes on top, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the surface.   By then the omelette should be set and golden underneath but still slightly 'runny' on top.  Place under a pre-heated grill and cook for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and also turning golden.  Cool for 5 minutes then slide out of the pan and cut into wedges.

Second recipe is a 'tortilla' (this being a type of omelette) but with ingredients that youngsters really seem to enjoy (can't say I do, but it takes all sorts....!). 

Chipolata Frittata: serves 4
1 tblsp sunflower or olive oil
1 x 340g pack chipolata sausages
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
6 eggs
2 slices bread, torn into small pieces
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in an 8" (20cm) frying pan.  Add the sausages and cook for around 8 minutes until browned all over. Add the shallot and garlic a couple of minutes towards the end of the frying time.
Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl and beat well.  Stir in the bread and seasoning to taste.
Either leave the chipolatas whole, or - if you prefer- remove from the pan and cut into chunks, then return to the pan.  Pour the egg mixture over the sausages and continue cooking over the lowest heat for about 7 minutes or until the egg is almost completely set, then finish by placing under a preheated grill and cook for a couple or so minutes until the top if golden brown.
Good served with baked beans, and a crispy green salad.

Sorry, I know it's early and normally I'd be rambling on for another two hours before I publish, but -as I said - my life suddenly is full to bursting, and to do things properly (without causing myself too much stress) need to spread the load.  This means an earlier start to each day and the thought has just occurred to me that all this 'activity' may help me to lose more weight (on the other hand I may improve my muscle tone, and muscles weigh heavier than fat).

Have an appt. at the health centre tomorrow, but not until mid morning so hope to be able to find time to have a quick 'chat' with you before I leave.  See you then? TTFN.