Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Catching Up...

Very late start to my blog this evening, only half an hour to go before it will be Wednesday.  My fault for staying to watch a film on TV.  The Australian 'Strictly Ballroom'.  Don't know why, but I do like Aussie films (and others of course), another favourite being 'Muriel's Wedding'.   Tonight's film reminded me (only slightly) of 'Dirty Dancing' - another favourite, if I've watched that once I've watched it 20 times AT LEAST.  Word perfect by now.

Thanks go to all of you again for your lovely comments.  Have to say I've missed chatting to you too, and it is good to be back blogging, although not a lot to write about at the moment, I'm still not quite back on track, it will take me several days to return to normal after the event.

Went to the 'Bright Hour Circle' at the church this afternoon,  think about a dozen met there, the most I've seen since I began, some were new to me, but as they all knew each other, assume they had other things to do in previous weeks. 
One lady (who was a medium, as were several others) had quite a bit to say about a wooden spoon that someone had brought it, this supposed to be the spoon that stirred the stews that presumably was laced with arsenic, some 100 years ago, and over the years killed several members of one family.  I suggested the spoon was tested to see if it still held any traces of arsenic, then if it did it was proof the poison was in the stew (the maid who served the stew was tried for murder, but not enough evidence, so she was released and left the country).  A long story, but interesting.

Again a blanket thank you to the comments sent in, and with a query about Rummicubs, this is a game using oblong tiles, each with a number (1 - 13), each number in four different colours (red, white, yellow, and black).  We draw a set number of tiles from a bag at the start, and try to collect sets of numbers, or runs.  To lay down the tiles we have to start with tiles adding up to 30, after that we can add to what we lay down, add to the other players 'lay-downs', until we have used all the tiles up.  There are two tiles marked with 'roundels' (circles), these can be used to take the place of a needed number, and if we have the same number and colour in our hand, then we can remove the roundel and put our tile in its place, but immediately use the roundel with another of ours to add to a run, or make up a three with two more from our stack.  The tiles are placed on a special rack in front of each player so we can't see theirs, only ours.
This game is played in Arabic countries, often between men in coffee shops etc.  Easy to play, quite addictive.  Gill's set is very solid, heavy wooden stacking boards, and thick, pale green plastic (or similar) tiles.  Newer sets are lighter in weight.
When our son saw the game being played between Gill and our next door neighbour at one of our barbecues, he immediately went and bought a set. 

We had a flyer from Farm Foods through the door today.  I've never shopped there, but it is always interesting to see 'offers', and was agreeably surprised to find several worth buying.  Couldn't believe there were trays of 15 eggs sold for just £1.  That's approx. six and a half pence each!!!  Obviously not free range, but feeding a large family on a small budget, then I would definitely say these were a good buy.  They also had a page of various foods (most of them meats), either 'any two for £7, or three for £10).   Other than the chickens (each 1.5kg each), everything else seemed to weigh around 500g.  Each would be enough (when cooked) to serve at least four people, some probably more, so at £1 a head (or less) possibly worth considering. 

Beloved made his stir-fry again tonight, based on the cooked chicken that we had been given in our doggie bag at the restaurant, that I then simmered with veg to make stock, removing the flesh to chill for the stir-fry. 
My freezer is full of veggies and some soft fruits, so myself am eating salads and more salads, made up of any veg that can be eaten raw (including courgettes). 
I'd gained 5lb over the two days of eating 'party food', all because half of it was carbohydrates (rice, naan bread, pastry, cake...!!).  Thankfully I've managed to lose three of those 1lbs, and with any luck will have lost the other 2lbs gained by this weekend.  Then start again to lose more.

The weather has been varied over the country, some parts have had heavy rain and thunderstorms, and we did have some rain during the night (best time) but it had stopped by the time I bothered to think about going outdoors, and this afternoon it was a wonderfully sunny day, and the view across the Bay was extremely clear as we drove along the prom (to the church).  We could see several ranges of the Lakeland hills, each behind the others, and as the tide was out, there was nothing but almost dry sand across from Morecambe to Grange over Sands - a distance of (B says) nine miles.  Too dangerous to walk on as a lot of it can be quick-sands.  But it looked so tempting.  Even if it was safe to walk on, dangerous for children to play any distance away from the shore-line as the tide comes in so rapidly (faster than walking pace) that occasionally people who have gone out too far, have had to be rescued by the life-boat.

This morning made another loaf using extended bread mix (1 x 500g bread mix, plus 250g of strong plain flour), this I make up with 2 parts milk, one part water, just under 500ml total).  This made one large loaf (not that large, but the right size for our toaster), plus 6 'baps' (for these I roll out the dough using a rolling pin, and cut them out using a wide scone cutter - then they rise evenly and keep a good shape - these also fit into the four-sectioned Yorkshire Pudding tins if I want them to look even more perfect and shop bought).  As well as the above there was enough dough left to fill five very small individual 'loaf' cases (when cooked they looked like miniature loaves).   Three of these mini-loaves I took to the meeting in the afternoon for their 'raffle' table.  Everyone takes something, and we are each given a ticket and then we can choose to take home what we want.  I noticed my bread was chose even before I got to the table (I was the third ticket picked).  My choice was a bag of Quality Street sweets that I gave to B so he could eat them while he watched the footie match tonight.

Just one recipe today.  An easy one, especially useful if we have managed to save two egg whites.  The supermarkets are giving single or double cream as a 'freebie' at the moment when we buy a punnet of strawberries.  So this could be quite an economical pud, but one worth serving to guests.

Lemon Mousse: serves 4
1 x 284ml tub (half pint) double cream
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 oz (50g) caster sugar
2 egg whites
Put the cream in a bowl with the lemon zest and sugar, then beat until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the lemon juice and continue whisking until the mixture thickens further - but not too stiff or you won't be able to fold in the beaten whites.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks, then fold these gently into the lemon cream, then spoon this mousse into 4 individual serving glasses and chill before eating.

I'll catch up with myself eventually, so bear with me until I pull myself together and become a boring human being again.  If there are any recipes you wish me to give, or suggestions for a seasonal veg/fruit, then please ask.   Otherwise you might end up getting repeats as I seem to be running out of ideas.

We should be getting more rain, probably during the night, and have to say the container plants look 100 times better after drinking fresh rain water, than when given water from the butts.  Saves me having to lug the watering cans around the garden, so I don't mind rain at all.  Then the weather is set to improve again, so hopefully more hours spent sitting on the garden bench enjoying the quite hot sun.  I want to soak up as much Vitamin D as I can to see me through the winter.

Did have a comment from Ivy, a name I don't recall, so welcome, and to any other new 'commenteers' that may have written in and I've missed mentioning.  We love hearing from new readers, and hope they continue to write in from time to time.

Time for me to go to bed,  so TTFN, and back with you around this time tomorrow (or maybe sooner).