Monday, 3 December 2012


What a weather change.  It's gone from very cold, frosty and sunny to milder and wet.  Yes, it's raining again!  I suppose it may have started off as snow, I don't know, but it's just rain now.  We really didn't want snow so it's a great relief.

Yesterday was quite a culinary day one way and another, with some good food and a recipe rewrite!

Firstly, I was gently pottering around in the kitchen at around ten when I saw Beth and Alex making their way to my front door.  Very surprising - except that Beth texted me on Saturday about it!  I totally missed her message.  Never mind, not a problem, the house wasn't so bad - which was just as well because she then informed me that Anna would be arriving for Alex's science tutoring!  Anna is my son's partner and she is not only a lovely lady, she is also extremely intelligent and a good teacher.  Al really enjoys his sessions with her.
When they arrived I was right in the middle of shortbread so I just carried on and Beth came in to help while Anna taught.

I ended up rewriting some of the shortbread recipe after the first batch came out slightly too brown for perfection.  I was being very careful too, after the same thing happened last week.    It could be my oven, of course, but I don't think so . . . anyway, I reduced the temperature to 140 (from 190), used the lowest shelf, baked open for fifteen minutes and then covered the sheet with greaseproof for the last five minutes.  And that worked a real treat, so that's what I will do from now on.

Beth helped me make some more mini mince pies, some of which promptly got scoffed.  They are lovely!

Then it was time to sort out dinner.  The slow roast pork was indeed absolutely delicious, the cider, stock and meat juices made a delicious gravy and the potatoes were - mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
And, Annabeth, the crackling was very successful.  I the end I didn't use a high heat, I put it in with the potatoes and kept pouring off the fat as it rendered out.  So now I have some nice pork fat too.
Alex scoffed a whole lot of pork - he's making up for lost ground now and is constantly hungry - and he also took some home.  There's also enough for at least two more meals for me, probably more like three, so I will eat well over the next few days.

I'm not in class today as I'm involved in interviews.  A great shame because I wanted to start off the advent calendar with my class.  Maybe I will leave it until Tuesday.  It's also a shame because I have sent my class an email link to a Jacquie Lawson card each day next week.  They're interactive and great fun.

Better go and get ready for the day!  Hope we all have a good'un.

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