Sunday, 22 March 2009

First ever blog post!

. . . if that's what one calls it.

This is absolutely new to me but I suppose everyone had to start somewhere, so here I am. Starting.

A bit about me. I'm a teacher, a primary teacher, currently teaching a year 1 class. I love it. Retirement looms somewhere in the next decade and I don't want to!

I have a family. A daughter, son and grandson. You might hear a bit about him in here now and again. He's bright, funny, lively, kind, loving and quite autistic. It's a brilliant mix. I'm very privileged to know him.

I have some very good friends, many of whom I met online and would never have come across if it hadn't been for the Open University and its conferencing area, FirstClass. A good place - well worth the course fees you have to pay in order to get access! :-)

I have a weight problem - and I mean problem. You might hear about this too, if you keep reading. Also, I've just been diagnosed with high blood pressure which makes the healthy eating something of a necessity now. It's time to stop playing and start learning, fast!

I like taking photos. They're just ordinary photos, nothing more. It looks like I can put photos up here so I will. The one I've chosen for today is one I took a couple of years ago when on holiday at Streele Farm.

I'll finish with a recipe, modified from one sent to OUSA Virtual Slimming by Sue (thanks, Sue).

I need to explain - my recipes are not 'authentic', not haute cuisine, would never get me on Masterchef and wouldn't necessarily appeal to lots of people, but I think they taste OK and seeing as I usually cook just for me, no problem!

Sort of curry: ingredients are all to own taste really and it makes enough for two

a dash of olive oil - maybe about 2 tsp

some finely chopped onion

some grated ginger

garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped

some curry powder, garam masala, cumin and cinnamon.

a small sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks

A small carrot, peeled and cut into small chunks

can chopped tomatoes, zizzed to a semi smooth consistency

Marigold reduced salt vegetable bouillon powder

a handful or two of red lentils

A small squidge of chilli puree or some very lazy chilli or a real, deseeded and chopped red chilli (the best option, but I didn't have one)

2 baby corn, cut into chunks

1/4 red pepper, cut into chunks

some sultanas (sorry, but I like them)

black pepper and a very little salt

40g basmati rice, well rinsed

Heat the oil, add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry for a while, stirring regularly. If using fresh chilli, add that now as well. Add the sweet potato, the carrot and the spices, stir well, reduce heat and allow to simmer away for a little while.

Add the lentils, the tomato, black pepper and the marigold powder with some extra boiling water - the lentils and the rice will absorb liquid so keep an eye on it and add more, if necessary. If using Lazy Chilli or chilli puree, add now. Cover and simmer until the lentils, carrots and sweet potato are all cooked.

Add the rice, the sultanas, the corn and the red pepper with a very little salt, if wanted. Bring to the boil and simmer for on minute, covered, then just turn off the heat, don't lift the lid and leave the pan on the ring. The rice should cook nicely in the residual heat. It will take about 15 mins or so.

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