Monday, 18 January 2010

Monday morning

. . . and it's delightful out there. Freezing fog - well, freezing mist anyway. The ten day weather forecast I use says that the current temperature in Chelmsford is 3 degrees - well, not here it ain't - and with a chance of sleet showers today! It makes me shiver just thinking about it!

I've just checked over the planning before going back up to wash my hair, etc, and all seems prepared and ready. I feel strangely 'disassociated' from school at the moment. Of the two weeks of this term, I've only taught for less than half of it, snow, illness and SEN responsibilities taking me out of the classroom the rest of the time, and it's a very strange feeling indeed. I've just worked it out and I've been with my class for three and a half days. Not good, not good at all.

As far as cooking is concerned, I finally have managed to make pastry worthy of the name. I used my mini chopper, butter and as little water as I could get away from and it was actually quite nice. This is possibly the first time in my life that I have produced 'quite nice' shortcrust pastry: in the past you could have used it for the foundations of a house, it was so solid! Thank you to all the lovely people on the Food and Drink conference on FirstClass for their advice in this most serious of culinary issues!

I still have the last portion of pork fillet to use up. I suppose I could freeze it, but it's so long since I had pork that I've rather enjoyed it. Seeing as the last two days have both resulted in fruity, although different, creations, I think tonight I will make an old favourite. Fry sliced onion and a little garlic in a bit of butter, add sliced chestnut mushrooms and cook until soft. Remove from the pan, add the pieces of pork and fry until just cooked through. Then it's decision time - do I use low fat creme fraiche or Philly light for the sauce. At the moment the Philly is winning but I'll see how I feel when it come to making the dish. And a little bit of grain mustard or maybe some smoked paprika. This is one of those concoctions where you can add all sorts of different vegetables - I might add some chopped red or orange peppers for colour and flavour when I cook the onion/mushrooms. Decisions, decisions!

Photo: Another messed about clivia! Something mosaic-y but I can't remember exactly what the effect is called.

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