Good morning, gentle readers. It is a cool, dull misty start to the day here in mid-Essex - the sort of day that might go either way so I'm hoping for sun, obviously, like yesterday.
Yesterday was another gloriously sunny day that was quite warm late morning and afternoon but chilly at the start and and of the day. Very autumnal, very colourful.
Before my swim I had been quite busy with bread and marmalade - and clearing up stickiness! What happened was that as I picked up one of the filled jars to tighten the lid, it came off (the lid, I mean) and the jar dropped, caught on another jar and spilt some of its hot marmalade over the other jars and on my hand! Fortunately, it wasn't as burning hot as it could have been as I always leave marmalade in the pan to cool a bit so that the shreds of peel are evenly distributed, so it was just ouchingly and under- the-cold-tap hot but not blister creating. A little goes a long way and although it looked a right mess, in fact I only lost under half a jarful. As I put my jars into an oven roaster before heating and then filling them, the mess was mostly contained and I was able to pour it back in. It did take a while to clear up the stickiness though.
Once home I set to and made a chicken dish from a recipe that Diane mentioned and which I looked up. You can find it here, on someone's blog. http://www.jackiewrites.com/2010/02/chicken-thighs-normandy.html I adapted it a little bit, of course. I only had one leek, I added a chopped onion and some celery and I used cooking bacon bits rather than 'Canadian bacon'. I used some new potatoes I had in the fridge and cut them into four without peeling.
Also I cooked it a lot longer than the recipe demanded.
Well, what can I say? It was totally scrummy as recipes of this ilk usually are. The chicken thighs held their shape but became melt in the mouth-y and the potatoes had absorbed the flavours brilliantly.
It made enough for four substantial portions. I separated them out before reducing the sauce and adding the creme fraiche, finished off one portion and the other three are in individual pots for the freezer. They will do me next week when I am going to be somewhat busy.
In the afternoon I popped into school to see a colleague whose class I will be taking for four days next week. We had a good chat and I wandered around getting to know the children a bit. They know me more than I know them and I gather they were pleased that I was going to be their teacher. That was nice.
If you watch Eat Well for Less, you might remember that a few weeks ago they were talking about lesser known types of steaks which are, nonetheless, delicious. In Morrisons I noticed that they had (on the bottom shelf) some bullet steak, some flat iron steak and some Denver steak at very reasonable prices. I bought two nicely marbled bullet steaks at between three and four pounds which, for steak, is brilliant. When I got home I googled and yes, it is well spoken of and you cook from room temperature for a short time in a very hot pan. I shall try that this evening and I shall make a sauce to go with it as I have some creme fraiche. I will try the others too at some point. At £12 a kilo I'm not complaining.
Of course, if many people do what I'm doing you know what will happen to the price . . .
Come the evening I watched a lot of cookery TV plus an old favourite, Gardener's World while dipping into a book from the library. While I was at school earlier I had popped into the library and asked about their reading group, found when the next meeting was and was given the book they will be talking about (I'm enjoying it too). I also returned some books and stocked up with a new pile of books so I will have plenty to keep me occupied in the evenings.
Today will be making bread, freezing bread dough and giving the garden some TLC, I think.
Lunch: scrambled eggs on toast
Dinner: steak, chips and salad (more info to come on the steak.