Sunday, March 01, 2015

May the Force Be with Me....

Sad to hear of the death of 'Mr Spock'.  Let us hope that some of the 'force' he spoke about still has power for us all.  I could do with it.

Last week has not been a good one, a mixture of depression, perhaps due mainly to my gout.  There is nothing worse than having painful feet.  OK while sitting down, but sooner or later have to stand up and move around and at times like that life doesn't seem worth living.

It's not been all bad.  Did enjoy watching 'The Best Marigold Hotel' (and I bet I've got that title wrong).  Even watched some of the repeat yesterday evening, mainly due to it having some of our best actors.

'Bake Off' was good, so was '...Sewing Bee', also other cookery progs.  Maybe I've already given them a mention. 

Decided today to take the bull by the horns and this morning have sent off my details to Contact the Elderly (re hosting tea-parties, and also volunteering to give talks on cost-cutting cookery).  At least it will give me something to plan for/think about if they are interested.

Reply to comments, am realising that perhaps I don't give enough information when I talk about some things.  Les has sent good advice, but the difficulty with me is that my freezer is full of food that was bought for my B (and that I don't like - kidney's etc). Also the freezers cost less to run when they are kept full.  I could - of course - fill boxes full of water to freeze to fill any gaps when the food supply runs down.

Another problem is that I have lost most of my sense of taste, this means I've also lost my appetite, so end up eating less anyway.

Regarding Wiltshire Farm Foods.  The ones mentioned were going to be a present from my daughter, but probably I'll ask not to have them anyway - at least until my appetite returns.  Of course they will be more expensive than home-made, but a great deal cheaper than eating something similar at a café.

Yes jane, it was John Seymour's book on self-sufficiency that I was thinking about.  We had a copy of that and I used as much of the advice as I could. As to (the other) Jane, keeping goats, myself would prefer to keep a Jersey cow, but suppose much depends on how much milk we could manage to deal with - each day.

The chemist wouldn't let me have Ibruprofen/Neurofen to help my inflamed foot as they clashed with pills I already take.  Was told paracetamol was best to take - which I do - but these don't take much of the pain away.  Just have to wait a few more days for it to subside.  It is getting better.
Am fed up with continually having to contact the doctor re things like this Sairy, so am coping with it on my own.

Last week watched a programme about supermarkets, Tesco being the one mainly talked about.  It brought to mind how much we now seem to rely on supermarkets, and the trend is to turn to the discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl - perhaps because they carry a far smaller range of each product - and of course, cheaper.

Maybe we need to change our way of cooking rather than where we shop.  Go back to the old and more traditional meals that we call 'farmhouse fare' in the UK, and 'peasant food' in other countries.
So many inexpensive ingredients can make really tasty dishes.

Here is one of my favourites.  Make the savoury version by using left-over ham or cheese sarnies, or a sweeter version using jam sarnies, and for those who want the best of both worlds, this uses both cheese AND jam.  As we also use eggs, then what seems nothing special could turn out to be quite nutritional.

Before I give the recipe, must mention eggs.  My daughter brought me some free-range large eggs from a Lancashire village where some friends kept a few hens.  Each egg was a different colour, one was blue!  Considering the size and quality, the cost £1.25 for the six was remarkably cheap.  Not only that, each egg yolk was the deepest orange, the like of which I haven't seen in decades.  Almost thinking of keeping my own hens.

The original 'Poor Knight's....' were just jam sarnies dipped in egg, so you could omit the cream cheese if you wished (or use less of it).  If you prefer you could use Nutella instead of jam, or smoked salmon with the cream cheese.  The basic idea (fried eggy bread) can have many fillings, both savoury or sweet, so a good way to use up bits and bobs.

Poor Knight's Of Windsor:  serves 2
2 - 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 fl oz (100ml) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract (opt)
2 tblsp caster sugar
4 oz (100g) cream cheese
2 tblsp icing sugar
2 tblsp strawberry (or other) jam
4 slices slightly stale white bread
1 oz (25g) butter
Put the eggs, milk, vanilla and caster sugar into a bowl and whisk together, then pour into a wide shallow dish.
Beat the icing sugar into the cream cheese and spread this over 2 slices of the bread.  Top this with the jam, covering each with the remaining slices of bread.
Place each sandwich into the egg mixture, and leave to soak for 30 seconds, then turn over and soak the other side.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan, and when beginning to foam, put in the soaked sarnies and fry for 3 - 4 minutes on each side until golden.   Serve with extra warmed jam, using this as a sauce, if wished.

Now I really do have to deal with some chores (not that I want to, but needs must....) and am hoping, now that we have got rid of February, that the onset of spring will bring more cheer into my life. It's my own fault, I must stop feeling sorry for myself.  Life goes on and it's up to me to make it work. 

Intention is I will be blogging more often, so keep watching this space.  TTFN.