Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not Again!

Me and my big mouth!  It seems that often people misunderstand what I am trying to say, take offence at the very start so don't bother to read on or try to understand what is really being said.  Being accused of racism because I respect the many different countries and cultures of this world I won't accept.  Read my earlier postings and it will be seen that the qualities and beliefs of each and every race and religion have always been respected and admired.  It seems odd that someone like Anonymous feels so bitter about people even mentioning there are different cultures that he/she would want all nationalities to dive into one big melting pot and end up the same.  Is no-one proud any more of their roots, who they are, and what they are?

Thanks to Sarina and Eileen for fighting my corner. It is sad that when people have a chip on the shoulder (or bee in their bonnet) about something, they close their minds tight shut.  They are right, everyone who seems to go against their views is wrong.  'Nuf said I think. I'll move on...

Hope you manage to waterproof your pony blankets Kathryn.  It sounds as though that tent water-proofing paint would be perfect, and not expensive compared to the cost of reproofing professionally. Do remember buying an aerosol tin of ScotchGuard once, (cheap enough then), that I used to spray on old umbrellas and shoes that had begun to leak.  Probably this would be a lot more expensive now and not enough in a can to cover enough blankets to make it a worthy purchase.
Suppose stitching or fixing a strong plastic cover on top of each rug wouldn't be feasable?  Or cutting up and using a groundsheet (used for camping)? 
Knowing you, you will seek out the cheapest way to waterproof.  Let us know how you get on.

Not quite sure what you meant Les, but be assured once married I've never spent any money on unnecessary waste (food or otherwise). But know what you mean about Jamie, he seems to be showing people who DO waste food, how not to.

Good to hear from you again Pam, and very pleased that you can now get both Corrie and EastEnders, both having strong and somewhat stressful storylines at the moment.  Am sure you'll soon catch up.

Don't know if you've tried my (and it is my very own) version of choux pastry Janet, but it seems pretty foolproof.  Very easy to remember as it is just 'one of everything' (using imperial weights and measures).  I've given it before but here it is again...
choux pastry:  makes about 10 profiteroles.
1 fl oz milk
1 fl. oz water
1 oz butter
1 oz plain flour (pref strong plain flour)_
1 medium egg
Put the water and milk into a pan and heat until the butter has melted.  Bring to the boil then chuck in the flour, all in one go,  and - using a wooden spoon - beat well with a wooden spoon over low heat for one minute, then remove from heat and beat until the mixture has formed a ball and left the sides of the pan.  Leave to cool slightly then beat in the egg.  The mixture should end up forming a thick ribbon that falls from the end of the wooden spoon.  Much depends on the size of the egg, if too large egg you may need to beat in a teaspoon more flour.  If the mixture is too thick beat in a very little warm water.
To make profiteroles, use a teaspoon and put blobs of the paste onto a parchment lined baking sheet, then bake in a hot oven 180C or 200C (gas 4 or 6) for about 25 minutes, by then the choux buns will have risen dramatically and turning golden brown.  Quickly split each close to the base with the tip of a knife and return them to the oven, keeping the oven door open slightly if you can.  This lets the steam out of the oven and helps to dry the insides of the choux buns.  You could also turn out the oven to let them dry out if you have to close the door.   After five minutes the buns should be dry enough to cool on a cake airer. These can be filled with cream or custard when cold, and either dusted with icing sugar or the tops dipped in melted chocolate.
Make eclairs the same way but spoon/pipe in lengths about the same size as a middle finger.

Watched '...Bake Off' this week and this time fell asleep before the first 'traybakes' were even put on display, and I really wanted to see what they were.  Can only think that my lack of concentration might be to do with the contestants.  In the previous series they were all very different personalities, and there was a lot of 'hoping she/he will not be sent off', this time I don't even care who goes or wins as I can't remember them anyway.  Shouldn't feel like that, and it's the baking that matters, but a bit of personality and sometimes downright helplessness adds extra enjoyment to the prog.. Also think that P.H's shenanigans had slightly blighted my enjoyment of the series, but am getting over that, I don't HAVE to enjoy looking at him (like I used to).  Suppose now someone will write in and call me 'sexist'.

Was able to stay awake to watch a programme about materials last night (BBC 4 9.00pm). The first being on knitting.  That's one skill my mother taught me when I was about five I suppose, as do remember being able to knit khaki scarves (but only in garter stitch) for the soldiers when I was six (my mother held a 'knitting circle' in her front room once or twice a week during the war). The other ladies used to knit Balaclava helmets, gloves and socks.  Probably jumpers/sweaters as well.   I remember the khaki wool coming in hanks, and I had to hold the hanks for my mum as she wound it into balls, and it was quite thick and not that soft.  But it was real wool, so gave plenty of warmth (something than man-made fibres rarely do even now, although a 'fleece' seems to be one of the warmest things to wear, but still not as warm as real wool).

Now that our Hoover has gone to the great cupboard in the sky (well it had worked well for over 50 years), we need a new carpet cleaner.  We used to have another (belonged to B's sister), but week's ago B said we didn't have it, it wasn't in the cupboard. 
Yesterday decided to buy a cordless (rechargeable) vacuum that was much lighter, and about to order it over the phone when I asked B to take another look in the cupboard as I could have sworn it was never taken to the tip.  He got very annoyed and humphed and grumphed, but it still wasn't there. Deep inside me I knew we still had it. Somewhere, although B insisted we didn't.
I was in here, ready to pick up the phone to place the order when B came in holding the missing vacuum asking "is this it"?  And it was.  He had - for some reason - put it into a cupboard in the other lobby and forgotten he had.  It needed a new bag, and this I was able to find immediately because I tend to remember where I put things (at least in this instance).  But B was pleased, and it was he who suggested he try out the vacuum to see if it worked (even though he then managed to break the spring that - when pressed - pulls the cord back into the machine, but that didn't really matter).  The cleaner did work, so I suggested B should test it on all the carpets just to make sure there was enough suction (a 'scientific' test for B, but my way of getting the carpets cleaned without me having to do it).  It's giving off a bit of an odd smell that I put down to burning dust trapped in the machine - B agrees with this - it is not the smell of rubber burning.  So let's hope it continues to work.  Saved me a couple of hundred pounds if it does.  B doesn't pay for 'domestic' machinery, that's my department.  He pays for D.I.Y. things like electric drills, and hover mowers.

The other day - trying to make more space in the freezer - brought out a pack of diced lamb that must have been in there for a least two years.  After thawing, fried it with some onions, then poured over a Dopiaza curry sauce and let it simmer for several hours.  It was absolutely gorgeous, and enough for both B and myself (at least he left me a couple of spoonfuls - mainly the sauce - in the pan). Managed to make enough room to freeze 6 portions of Sticky Toffee Pudding, and not all the gaps are filled again, but have not yet had done the 'stock take' that I intended to.

B's sailing club are having a 'do' this coming Saturday, nothing I want to go to (a man talking about sailing with a pie 'n peas meal to follow) but they wish me to make a couple of desserts for them (I would have liked more warning), so these have priority.  Still not sure what I'll be making.  B suggested a Lemon pie. but no point in serving another pie, even a sweet one as pastry is part of the first course. Probably end up making a cheesecake and a trifle.  Or maybe not as 'been there, done that'.  I like to offer different desserts when I can.

The warm weather now seems to have left us, and our hot summer just a distant memory.  The temperatures are now dropping into single figures at night-time (and not a lot higher during the day).  Strangely it is B who is now feeling the cold, and says he is having to wear bedsocks at night.  He puts on a fleece when he sits in the living room, and although I too feel the cold, no colder than normal for me, and am quite cosy in bed.
My Beloved keeps asking for the heating to be put on, but I am trying to hold out until the end of the month, although perhaps may have to put it on for an hour or so during the evening if only to help dry the washing.  This does tend to dry quite well in the conservatory, but only when the sun is shining, and especially afternoons when it shines onto the washing, but  now the sun is lower in the sky it does not have as much warmth, and doesn't shine that much now anyway.

Hairy Bikers were making piccalilli yesterday, and that has inspired me to make some. B doesn't care for it, but I love it.  Maybe make it next week, need to get those desserts made first and do need to watch the repeat of '..Bake Off' at the weekend.  Not forgetting that the new series of 'Downton...' begins on Sunday. Can't wait.

As will be busy over the next few days, expect me when you see me, but keep those comments coming and I'll be back when I have a few minutes to spare, even if only to have a short 'chat'.  See you then.