Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Glad to be back with you again, although did enjoy my half-day at Barton Grange.  Managed to work my way round the Cook Shop (part of their complex) without buying much more than a small funnel (useful for pouring oil from larger containers into smaller ones), and a reduced-price book giving Tapas recipes (as this summer the sailing club is planning to do a tapas evening).

As usual, we stopped for a snack at the cafe, B and daughter sharing a tart and a cheese scone between them.  I chose to fill a bowl from the 'salad counter' (keeping away from the carbs), and probably got more than my money's worth as I was free to choose from various containers, ending up with a good dollop of Coronation Chicken, coleslaw, black and green olives, sliced odd mixture, 'different' but it tasted good.

We went into the garden centre part of B.Gr. where my daughter had set her heart on a garden 'ornament' that was a life-size Labrador dog (my birthday pressie to her).  They hadn't the brown coloured one that she had seen before, only a black and another 'yellow'.  So they have ordered one - which is good as we can then go again to collect it and have another trip there. 
There were all sorts of different 'animal ornaments', and I was very tempted with a life-size gorilla that would look PERFECT in our 'jungle' corner of our garden.  Unfortunately it was £400 or thereabouts.   There was an even bigger one, about 12ft high, that cost £4,000!!!   Very nearly bought a very life-like hedgehog, and tempted by the hens with their chicks, but - apart from having the gorilla - would prefer to own real animals, not models.

En route to the Farm Shop (close to the exit), I passed by a selection of books and bought three that I couldn't resist.  One was about living in the Blitz, another was about life of a '50s housewife, and the third was about life as a cook.  Began reading the latter whilst under the hair drying this morning, and it begins with the cook's childhood years (she was born in 1907) in rural Norfolk.   As I've only just reached the chapter when she was 12 and about to have a Saturday job with a local farmer, have yet to come to the 'in service' part of the story, but what I have read so far has been fascinating.

My mother (born in 1902), after her own mother had died very young with TB, went to live with her aunty in the country, and quite a lot of what she told me is similar to life in the book.  Wish I lived in Norfolk for I'd be hoping to trace some of the farms/houses she lived and worked in.  When I've finished the book will give the name, author and the ISBN number in case anyone wants to get it from the library.

At the B.Gr. Farm shop was lucky to get some good-sized pieces of fresh root ginger.  There was a boxful there and I picked each one over to find those that had a 'bud' on it so that I could cut this off (attached to a chunk) in the hope that these will grow when planted.   I needed quite a bit of ginger as am intending to pickle the ginger (this is eaten with sushi).  The recipe for making this is very easy and it will keep for up to 6 months. 

As I now have plenty of space in the freezer/s, decided to buy more bulk packs of meat from the Farm Shop and so brought home a 5lb pack of boneless chicken thighs (had purchased these before but used them all for the recent Indian feast at the club).  The cost was £10.99p but as the pack contained 22 really good-sized thighs (50p each), felt this was exceptionally good value, as one thigh per person was more than enough, and if made into a curry, two thighs would serve three.

Also bought a 5 lb pack of minced beef, and a 5lb pack of minced lamb.  B asked if I wanted to buy a 5lb pack of stewing beef (cut into chunks), but I thought as stew/casseroles were better eaten in cooler weather, then the packs of stewing and braising beef could be bought later in the year.

Cooler weather I thought was behind us, but today it has turned much cooler, and yesterday saw the first of the rain (although we didn't have much).  It rained early this morning, nothing heavy, the garden needed it, but we now have quite a high wind, and am just hoping the temperature rises again as tomorrow am planning to go to a more local garden centre to buy some bedding plants to put into our numerous containers.   

As always, thanks for comments.  Sorry to hear you now have diabetes 2 buttercup, not that it caused me much of a problem, although don't think you should do that low-cal, high protein diet because this is almost the opposite of the correct diet for diabetics.   The reason I changed was because I have never been able to lose weight on a high-carbo diet (probably because I ate the wrong carbos), and only successful losing weight when on a high-protein diet.   Had to ask my doctor if I could change (the diabetic nurse was not happy about it of course), as I was so overweight that losing weight was essential to bring down my b.p. and also would help reducing the blood-glucose level - which did happen once I had lost several stone. 

Most people do seem to manage to control their weight without having to give up carbs, so first follow the diabetic guidelines as to what should be eaten and what shouldn't (diabetics are always given a list of 'good and bad' foods).  Exercise (esp walking) is very good, but that is something I have difficulty with.

Like yourself jane, it does seem that eating bread can cause us to gain weight, but have found that the wholewheat bread is less likely to pile the pounds back on.  Suppose it is how much we eat.  I can make a sarnie (with two slices of bread) then enjoy it so much I go off an make myself another one. And occasionally, make myself a third.  And by then I'm not even hungry.  I just WANT it!

Think about eating high-protein foods is that they are very 'filling', and however good they are to eat, myself find that once I've eaten my 'serving', have no urge to want to a second helping, but shocked today to find out that a year ago to the day I was exactly the same weight as I am this morning.  Only discovered this because I'm having to use a last year's diary because B brought me in a massive desk diary for this year when I asked him to bring me in a small pocket one.  So as I'd hardly used last year's, have gone through the whole year marking each day with the new date, but did discover on this week's page that I'd written down my weight.  At least don't weigh any heavier which is some small comfort (although I had lost over a stone since then and now gained it all back).

Don't think towing a caravan jane, is too difficult.  The hardest part is reversing into a parking space as the car has to be turned in the opposite direction to the one the caravan has to take.  I did once spend an hour towing a boat on a trailer (we were in Scotland) while B had a nap, and had quite a bit of (very naughty) fun driving several miles along a road where cones had been placed down the centre, knocking several over once I'd discovered that by turning the steering wheel slightly, the back end of the boat/trailer or it may have been the mast, would swing across and hit a cone over, so I kept trying to hit one cone over every minute or so, which I nearly always managed to do.  Let us hope this didn't cause any problems to other drivers, but never saw any traffic the whole length of that particular road. 

Don't think I'd enjoy towing a caravan these days, would much prefer to holiday in a camper van, which can possibly be hired?  Most of the times these can be parked anywhere (allowable), not necessarily on a camp site.   Would love to tour round the US in those things called 'Winnebagos'.  We have one of the top motorcyclists (as a competitive sport) in the country (can't now remember his name) living in the next road.  He has a MASSIVE mobile home in his drive, think he lives in it wherever he goes when racing, looks as though it has room to carry his motorcycle as well.

Good to hear from you Noor.  Not sure why, but didn't expect that cauliflower would be a vegetable common in Malaysia.  Ate some myself yesterday for supper as really fancied Cauliflower Cheese, but couldn't be bothered to grate cheese, so in the end used half a tub of Philadelphia 'light' cream cheese, blended with some peanut butter (trying to make a satay-type sauce), plus a few spoons of chipotle sauce.  Heated this in a pan until it flowed easily (having to add some water as well) and this poured over the cooked cauliflower tasted rather good. 

Don't think I've come across 'corn crackers' Sarina, unless you mean those triangular crispy tortillas.  Myself find that 'rice cakes' (very low in calories) are quite 'filling'. Not very interesting when unflavoured, but I do like the Tesco salt and vinegar ones.  These are quite large, like small saucers, and good eaten plain or spread with a 'topping'.  'Snack a Jacks' are also rice 'cakes' but smaller, more like potato crisps.  They come in several flavours but work out more expensive.

Although I've mentioned avoiding carbos in my 'diet' at the moment, think the problem of weight gain comes from not just bread, but most foods that contain wheat.  It's not that I'm allergic to this grain, it just seems to absorb water within me, and it stays there.  So anything made from wheat I avoid (pastry, pancakes, Yorkshire Puddings, biscuits, pasta, naan bread, chapatis, Oriental noodles....). 
When returning carbs to my diet (after being on the high-protein for a couple or so weeks) have found that rice, pearl barley, potatoes seem not to put the pounds back on.  They may cause me to stop losing weight, but at least I don't gain as ALWAYS happens once I eat bread.  

This is dreadful.  Just the thought of hot buttered toast, or a pile of sarnies is now making me want to dash to the kitchen and make myself a plateful.  Why?  I can think of a lot of other foods I would enjoy eating, probably more so, but this very moment I want a sarnie, and especially a Spam sarnie.  Suppose I could eat Spam without the bread, but it wouldn't be the same. 

As it is now nearly noon will go and make myself another big mug of home-made tomato soup, this usually satisfies my appetite, then should manage to keep away from food until late afternoon when I can prepare myself a carbo-free supper.   Have enough books to read, and when reading usually find eating is the bottom of my list of 'things I should be doing'. 

B is at the club this evening, so also wants an early supper, and he can have that meat pie he put into the shopping trolley at B.Gr. yesterday, only because on the label it said 'Shirley's Steak and Kidney Pie'. 

Due to a late start today, have no time to sort out recipes, but hope to be able to offer some of interest to you tomorrow.  Please join me then, as you are always in my mind when I write.  TTFN.