Friday, January 31, 2014

Working Hard!

Apart from stopping for half an hour to watch Doctor's yesterday (1.45pm - 2.15pm) I worked non-stop from the time I finished my blog until 3.45pm, and all of it done in the kitchen. 

Mind you, I did get quite a bit done.  What took time was preparing the Tagine.  That's the problem with trying a new recipe, the instructions have to be read a bit at a time, the ingredients gathered, then prepared....  I needed to stop between each bit to see what should be done next.   Not surprising that most home-cooks have about five favourite meals they prepare, and these can be done without referring to a cookbook. 

Once the tagine had been completed up to the point of leaving it to simmer, I could then move on to rolling out pastry and blind baking a couple of cases.  One used to make a quiche, the other has been frozen.  To the pastry trimmings I added a few more (saved and frozen then thawed), and made 50 cheese straws for B to snack on (I think he has already eaten most of them, if not all).

There was a lot of washing up to do, a tedious job as our sink is so small, as is our draining board, and I do like to leave the washed pots to drain rather than dry with a cloth (learned this was the more hygienic way when I took the food hygiene course/certificate).  So it's wait a bit for everything to dry off (using very hot water this doesn't take long) then it has to all be put away, and the next bit of washing up done...

Quite a bit more tidying up also needed to be done, also a load of washing - this then had to be placed on airers to dry, and the larder also needed checking out.  All shelves in the larder have now big gaps where tins/packets have been used and not replaced, and it is now coming to the time in the challenge that I enjoy the most:  making instead of buying.  B fancies a pork pie, I'm now going to have to make one.  Bread of course IS made.   All I need at the moment is a large tray of eggs, B can get me one from M'son's when he goes tomorrow for his Health Lottery ticket.   He tells me that M's have a lot of things on offer that he thinks I could use (and I could), but I firmly say NO!

Pleased that you are managing to remove most of the grease from your gloves Kathryn.  And of course you are right, animal behaviour would be triggered by the longer hours of daylight we are getting now.  If the weather acted properly it would be getting close to spring - aren't birds supposed to mate on 14th Feb (Valentine's Day?), that's only two weeks away.

When I went into the garden yesterday to fetch some rosemary, I noticed that it was already beginning to produce flowers - that's at least a month earlier than normal.  The daffodil/tulip bulbs are also beginning to poke through the soil.  Have yet to see any snowdrops/crocus, but the bluebell leaves are appearing, and they flower in May.

Yesterday was reminded of a book given to me when first married.  It was all about how to look after a house, and I tried very hard to follow the instructions.  Each room had to have a light clean every day (dusting, carpet cleaning - usually with a Eubank), cushions plumped up, books put away, everything left tidy etc.  One room (a different one each day) had to have a really deep clean, furniture and windows polished/cleaned, carpets vacuumed,  wood floors (in those days we didn't have fitted carpets) also polished, mirrors and light-fitting cleaned.

As well as doing that had also to do all the laundry (and I had no washing machine then), the ironing, the daily shopping, the cooking and the caring for our children.   Most men believe that women who stay at home, raising a the family, have a very easy life.  Let me tell you that 'keeping house' is very hard work indeed. 
Today, those ladies who go out to work and still have domestic chores to do have all my sympathy.

After my day of culinary activities (and that was in only one room) I felt exhausted by the end of the afternoon, much in the same way as I used to feel some 50-60 years ago, even so it still felt good, in that I had achieved at least something.  But couldn't do it every day now - or could I?  Maybe that is the exercise I need.

Watched a couple of very interesting programmes on TV last night.  One was about fat v sugar, and the results were very interesting.  It didn't mention this, but it does seem that the easiest way to keep our bodies healthy is to eat that 'balanced meal', and if wishing to lose weight, just eat less of it.  The foods to avoid are those that carry both fat and sugar, as eaten together (as ice-cream etc) they can really do harm. 

Do remember watching Billy Connelly touring Canada, Barbara. He probably did cover the prairies, but all I can remember is the more scenic routes he took (mountains, forests, rivers...), and many thanks for giving me more details about the various regions of Canada, I will spend a few happy moments with Google Earth having a virtual visit.

Thanks to Sairy and Emma for agreeing that the Riverford boxes are good.  I must check out the seasonal boxes to see how they differ from the normal large box, although at the moment I do need the basic veg (spuds, onions, carrots...).

Have to go now as a busy day (coffee morning and then hair...), but should be back tomorrow.  The comp is playing up a bit, had a hard job to get on this blog site again,  but hopefully Steve can get it sorted in due course.  TTFN.