Monday, 29 February 2016


Here we are at the start of a new week and the end of a month.  It's very cold outside and there's quite a heavy frost, I'm up not too early and the coffee tastes wonderful.  Bliss.

Well, first things first - the third attempt at a sourdough loaf crashed and burned - well, it didn't burn but it was a dismal failure.  To comfort myself, I set to and made my weekly four little loaves for my customers which turned out very nicely indeed.  I shall have another sourdough go today as I have been asking some questions and received some answers and a friend (thanks, Rachel) has given me her recipe for a spelt loaf which I want to try, also today.  I still haven't made the crackers and I have a recipe for sourdough English muffins which I have, simple HAVE to try at some point soon.

The weather was pretty pleasant yesterday so I got two loads of washing pegged out on the line in the sun and a fresh breeze.  I love the smell of washing that has been line dried - so fresh and clean.  I think it irons better too.  I'm not sure whether I will be able to do the same today.  The sky is quite pink and that usually means bad weather is on its way.  Tine will tell!

Beth came round for lunch and then, as I expected, we settled down to getting on with the Tonk sock cats.  It takes longer than you would imagine to stuff them but we got there.  Beth has taken the heads home to sew on the faces and then we're nearly there.

Today is housework and baking day.  I have no other commitments and there are various things that do need doing so I may as well set to and get it all done.  I have to pop to Aldi with a list of mainly non-food items too.

Today's food:
B:  toast and marmite, fruit yogurt
L:  home made soup, apple
D:  burger, fries, coleslaw, fruit

Better get going then.

Sunday, 28 February 2016


Good morning, gentle readers.  Can you believe it's nearly the end of February already.  Just two more days to go!  One sixth of the way through the year.  They'll be putting out the Christmas decorations soon!

It's dull out there this morning.  I have no idea how cold or otherwise it is and can't be bothered to get up and look, lazy thing that I am.  I'll find out soon enough when I go to Aldi at ten.

What did I do yesterday - I can't think.  Oh, yes, I started another sourdough loaf which has just come out of the fridge and is sitting on the radiator warming up before baking.  I'm trying different ways to do what is, by its very nature, a long process and, at the moment, proving overnight in the fridge seems to work.  I hope it freezes OK though as I haven't started on yesterday's loaf yet!

I had a broccoli stalk left over from Friday so I made a batch of my broccoli soup.  It makes a lovely soup, does broccoli stalk, and there's the satisfaction of knowing that there's minimal waste.  My guests liked it very much (or said they did!!!) and there's a portion left for the freezer.  What could be better?

I got the ironing board set up, got a chair, turned on the telly and set to with the ironing and now I have an empty ironing basket.  It feels great, even though I know there will be more by the end of today as I have bedding to wash.
Thank you, Google Images!
The evening meal was pizza but, while it tasted fine, the base hadn't cooked enough.  Maybe I made it too thick.  I will have to have another go and experiment, I think.  This might sound odd but there were three slices left so I think I might take off the toppings (onion, pepper, mushroom and sweet corn) and use them in the toasties I plan to make for munch today - in one of them anyway, the one for me.  I think the base would need more than just a reheat!
I will try that recipe again and if the same thing happens I'll ditch it and look for another.  It wasn't the yogurt and flour one, it was a proper yeast based dough so I guess more heat and slightly longer or perhaps a preliminary bake before putting on the toppings.  Having said that, the pizzas you get in the restaurants can have a pretty floppy and soggy bottom at times.

Today, being Sunday, Beth is coming over for lunch and we will do some sewing together, probably.  The stuffing has arrived for the Tonk sock cats so I bet that's what we will do - get them made up and all finished.

Before then I will be popping over to Aldi as I want to take advantage of their very good Super Six this week.  Then I will need to deal with the washing.  After Beth has gone I shall continue with the crocheting and see if I can get the second blanket finished, more or less.  Also I didn't make the sourdough crackers so maybe I will have time today.  That would be nice, if I did.

Food today:
B:  poached egg on sourdough toast (sourdough bread toasts beautifully!), apple
L:  toasties with coleslaw and crisps - just like the pubs do it!  Fruit yogurt
D:  there will probably be some topping left over (I do like a pizza loaded with veg) so I will boil up some spaghetti, mix in the vegetables and top it with some not-Parmesan.  Natural yogurt with maple syrup.

Another no-meat day - great!

Saturday, 27 February 2016


It's Saturday.  The weekend.  Not that the weekend means all that much now but I still feel a little more free.  Silly, isn't it?

As you will have gathered, the first loaf I made with my sourdough starter was OK.  Not brilliant but definitely OK.  That being so, I started another, wholemeal this time which proved overnight in the fridge and will be baked when I have finished this.

I make little loaves so I have treated myself to a couple of 250g bannetons to make my loaves look prettier.  I can use them with my normal dough too so I can give my customers loaves of different shapes.  Ordered last night, hopefully they will arrive soon.
Banneton Cane Oval 250g (17x12x7cm)

An oval one

. . . and a round one.

Looking forward to a nicely shaped sourdough loaf soon!

In the afternoon I set to and made the Perfect Pulled Pork Pot Pie (try saying that after a couple of glasses of vino) and it was rather nice.  The pastry was some shortcrust that was yellow stickered in Morrisons and it was a lot nicer than the pastry I make, not to mention that what I didn't use is now in the freezer in single portions.  Puff pastry would looked nicer, I expect, but it wasn't reduced!  I did um and ah about doing the lattice top Mary Berry did last Monday but laziness won out over ambition!
I fried some onion, peppers, carrots, celery and mushroom, adding some garlic near the end of the frying time.  Then I added a splash of white wine and some water and when that was bubbling I crumbled in less than half a pork stock cube.  Then I added the pulled pork and some of the stock from the roasting and thickened the whole lot with some thickening granules.  I drew off some of the sauce for gravy and put the rest into a high sided lasagne dish, topped it with pastry and cooked it.  It went down a treat and Sonja and Milli were most complimentary.  As there was so much vegetable in the pie, I just steamed some broccoli on and I can use the stalk for a soup this morning.

I've found a recipe for sourdough crackers so I'm going to try that later on.  They look quite nice and not too complicated.   I will report back!

That's about it really.  Another partially lazy day, especially as the house was cleaned yesterday, but I do have a stack of ironing that is refusing to go away, sadly.

Today's food.
B:  apple, orange, natural yogurt
L:  soup, fruit yogurt
D:  pizza with garlic pizza and a little salad

Friday, 26 February 2016

For Chrissie . . .

Tasted great too.


Good morning, gentle readers.  It's a warmer morning than the last few days and although I have on dressing gown and slippers because of my visitors, I doubt I would otherwise!

Yesterday was a bit of a frustrating day.  I made (or tried to make) my first sourdough loaf from this starter I have been nurturing over the past week or so.  All went well and the dough felt good but would it rise?  Would it heck!  I comforted myself with two thoughts - sourdough is slower and the longer rise would result in the better loaf (or so they tell me), but it was frustrating, all the same.

Eventually, just before bedtime, it had risen enough to shape and place in a bowl for proving so I popped it in the fridge, covered, and this morning it was just about right for baking.
The house is now smelling wonderful and I look forward to the first cut when I discover whether it looks like sourdough on the inside.

Here it is.  Quite a small loaf, just 200g flour.  Fingers crossed.

I also cooked the pork I got the other day, lo-o-o-ong and sl-o-o-ow.  Over six hours, in fact.  It was worth it though - the results were luscious.  I ended up having loads of it crammed into a roll (very healthy!!!!!) and have loads to freeze in single portions today.  I might post the recipe at some point as it is very much out there in the public domain.

The rind got cooked longer and did crackle nicely but it was very rich so I didn't have much of it!

I did such a stupid thing.  I tutor a little one over the road from me and before setting out I picked up my file of work, my key ring and my phone, deciding that I really didn't need my coat.  I even stood on the door step to check I had everything before closing the door.
When the session had finished I picked up my keys and realised I had the wrong set.  I had picked up the keys that are not needed terribly often and which I don't need to carry about all the time.  I'd got them out to transfer a key over.
Fortunately, Beth was at home and she came over with her key.  What a stupid thing to do though!

Thank you, Beth.  Hope you enjoyed your wine.

Today?  Well, I might go swimming and I might not, it depends.  I have to do something with the mess because the cleaners are coming.  I have no set plans so we will just have to see, won't we?

Today's food:
B:  yogurt and fruit
L:  soup with bread (sourdough? - probably), fruit yogurt
D:  I think something like pulled pork pot pie (what an alliterative name) as I have some pastry to use up.

A message . . .

 . . . from Google was waiting for me in Blogger this morning.  It said this:

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

So basically, if you don't have a Google account, in a short while you won't be able to follow my blogs or any other Google based blogs.

Obviously, I'm not saying get a Google account, but if you don't have one and enjoy reading Google based blogs including this one, you will need to sign up for an account.

Now on to my proper entry in a new message . . .

Thursday, 25 February 2016


It's awful cold out there again . . .

I forgot to mention yesterday that on Tuesday I had a lovely little surprise.  When we retired last summer (there were three of us leaving), various photos were taken at the party and on Tuesday I was handed a little book with some of the photos in.  Really lovely memories.

Yesterday I cooked a very nice carrot and lentil soup, recipe in Teacher's Recipes, and in the evening went to a school governors' meeting which was very interesting and informative.  Apart from that it was a kind of Lazy Day really.  I did get on with my second crochet blanket though and there are now spaces in the stash cupboard which is what it's all about.  I'm having to fight the temptation to be anal about colours and rows and things like that and keep telling myself it is to use up yarn, not buy yarn in specifically!  Oh, dear.

Today I want to make bread with the starter for the first time.  It's all fizzy and bubbly and in the peak of health so here's hoping, eh!  I have to go out in the afternoon but my impression is that rising and proving all take ages so that should be OK.

I also indulged in a nice looking pork shoulder the other day and today I am turning it into pulled pork.  I've not made that, ever, so I have a recipe and fingers crossed!  Do you have any pulled pork recipes you could share?

That's about it, really.  I'm thinking that maybe next week I will take some time out to go to Hyde Hall and see the gardens in winter.  The bulbs should be very attractive and it will get me out and walking in the open air - always a Good Thing.  I should make better use of my membership.

Today's food:
B:  poached egg on crumpet
L:  soup from the freezer
D:  pulled pork but not sure what with.  I need to google around and see what's suggested.  If I can't find anything it will probably be with broccoli and maybe sweet potato fries.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

. . . on a cold and frosty morning . . .

. . . I popped outside and took a few photos.


Looks prettier in reality!

Bet the aquilegia is finding it pretty chilly

Unfortunately, my poor, long suffering tayberry got 'weeded' a short while ago (not me!).  However, I noticed this - could it be a bud forming?
Maybe I will get fruit one of these years!

Pretty patterns on the shed.


Brrrrr . . . another very cold morning, cold enough for dressing gown and slippers.  Cold enough, I suspect, for putting the heating up.  Until this winter, as I have usually been out on weekdays, I have the heating set to lower than comfortable during the day because there's no point heating up an empty house.  This year I have kept the setting the same and put the heating up only if really necessary.
I think today might be one of those days!
Wouldn't mind one of these on a day like today!
I enjoyed yesterday morning.  In school all morning hearing children read in FS.  It was lovely!  No pressures, just time with the children.

After that, at home, I baked and then got on with some clearing out and some crocheting.  Nice and relaxing.

Today I have no set plans until this evening when there's an important school governors' meeting which is likely to go on - and on - and on . . .

Better have a little sleep this afternoon!

Today's food:
B:  porridge
L:  some sort of carrot soup as I have a lot of them
D:  Something spicy to warm me up.  Maybe a potato and lentil dhal.

Coffee time!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016


Good morning again.  It feels jolly cold outside and I'm glad of the shelter and warmth of my home.  At the moment today's batch of discard crumpets are slowly rising and cooking in their rings on the hob.  They take for ever, do crumpets, and it is sorely tempting to make the much easier and faster pikelets but today, crumpets it is!  It is day 5 of the sourdough starter so in a couple of days I can stop the daily feeding and go on to a now and again feed and also start making sourdough bread.  I gather it won't taste all that sourdough-y because the starter is very young but one has to start somewhere!
Nice looking bread from Google Images.
Yesterday afternoon I went into another school to act as 'witness' to a world record attempt at the most people taking part in a book quiz simultaneously.  Where do they think these things up?
It was part of World Book Day celebrations and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Well done, everybody!

I then set to and made bread.  It was a bit of an experiment because I didn't really have time, but I decided to do just the one rise which made it possible.  It rose well and the loaves look magnificent on the outside so fingers crossed for the inside too.  Mr Hollywood would be turning in his grave, I am sure.

Talking of him, I really enjoyed Mary Berry's 'Foolproof cooking' last night.  That chicken pot pie looked fantastic and I must have a go at it, including the lattice top.  I'm not exactly sure how they got the top onto the pie but, dear me, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
The more I watch the programme, the more I want the book!  Oh, dear!

Today, once the crumpets are done and I am washed and dressed I will be going into school.  My Tuesday contract has come to an end now and I have promised someone I will hear readers for a while.  Then I need to top up with a few veg and I have heard that Lidl has a special on veg this week so I'll give it a go and see what they have.

That's about it really.  Plenty of time to continue getting some order into my dump of a bedroom!

Today's menu:
B:  crumpet with poached egg, fruit yogurt
L:  there's a little bit of curry left over from last night, not much but it will do for lunch with some fruit for afterwards
D:  Not sure yet.  I need to look in the freezer.

I wonder if the crumpets are done yet.

Monday, 22 February 2016


Hello, gentle readers.  So sorry for being late buy time ran away from me this morning.  My own fault for starting something knowing that it would take time and that I was going swimming.
Cute, isn't it?  Thank you, Google.
Yesterday was, as usual, fun.  After the usual morning stuff I set to and prepared things for pizza for lunch.  I used a recipe for the dough that just involves SR flour and yogurt and it worked really well although it was a last minute thing so I just got all the toppings ready - tomato sauce, onion, yellow pepper, mushroom, sun dried tomato and sweet corn with mozzarella on top.  It was delicious.  I did make the garlic pizza too - the same base with garlic butter and grated cheese.  As a sop to health I also served carrot and celery batons and some lettuce.

After lunch and clearing up, Beth and I set to and started making the Tonk sock cats that have been ordered.  There's no pressure but obviously we don't want to keep a customer waiting too long.

In the evening I got the crochet blanket thingy finished but there are a few ends that I missed that need sewing in.  Never mind, it's a great way to use up old yarn so I have started another on, much more random and not complete rounds before changing the colour.

On to today -  what took the time this morning was the crumpets.  I decided that I wasn't going to be beaten by a few crumpet rings sticking so I took my time, heating the rings up properly and didn't fiddle with them until the top had properly set and it did the trick.  Each crumpet slid easily out of the ring looking smug!  And then I had to rush off . . .

Now I have a bit of time to myself and then this afternoon I am popping into another school to help out with a quiz which should be great fun.

Today's menu:
B  yogurt and pineapple, apple
L:  crumpet, poached egg, bacon
D:  a leftovers curry, fruit yogurt

Sunday, 21 February 2016


Good morning.  Today is our traditional 'day of rest' which is why we often seem to be busier fitting things in that we ever do at other times.  Being restful can be very hard work as those of us who have retired will attest to!

Yesterday started off fine but by midday the clouds had descended and the drizzle fell after which it just got wetter and wetter.  It was milder, which was nice, but all in all a very gloomy day.

I had fun making barley bread.  It was delicious (note the past tense!) and I have blogged about it in Teacher's Recipes, if you'd like to take a look.

The sourdough discard made two proper crumpets and a pikelet.  Yes, I had another go at crumpets and this time, for some reason, they did not stick to the rings and turned out quite well.  There wasn't enough for a third crumpet, hence the pikelet!
It's now day four, the starter is looking quite healthy, all froth and bubbles.  It will soon be ready to bake with!

I digress.  Back to yesterday.  Beth came round and we continued working on a ladies' waistcoat we are making for someone.  The front is patchwork squares and the back and lining are plain.  We are joining the squares together, not as easy as it sounds, because we had to be so careful with the colours.  It will be my job to actually make the waistcoat and I'm a bit nervous about it but nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

We've also got a biggish order for some Tonk sock cats so that's what we will be working on today!

Beth and Alex will be round for lunch, which is nice.  I'm making pizza, I think, and I will have to see what I can provide as sides.  Bits and bobs, I suspect, like carrot sticks, etc.  I might make a garlic pizza too.  I have to make decisions!

I'm hoping to get the crochet blanket finished.  I'm on the last round now but it is taking for ever  - smaller stitches, you see, and more of them.  Fingers crossed.  It's looking nice though - as nice as a random thing can look anyway.

But first - into the kitchen, split the starter, feed one half and make something with the other half, make breakfast, clear up, etc . . .

Food plans for today:
B:  crumpet with poached egg - yes, getting a bit samey, isn't it, but it's very delicious.
L:  vegetable pizza, side salad, garlic pizza (maybe), fruit yogurts
D: I have rice left over from yesterday so I will probably bulk it out with some stir fry veg and make some sort of sauce to have with it.

Saturday, 20 February 2016


. . . yet again!  It seems to come round quickly, doesn't it.  Half term is nearly over for all our hard working and dedicated teachers and, if any of you read this, I hope you have been able to have a good rest.  This especially applies to Y6 and Y2 teachers who have a horrendous amount of new and probably unnecessary assessment to get through in the next month or so.

Yesterday was good.

In the morning I made soup.  Two kinds - another leek and potato on request and a ham and veg, where I used up some ham stock that wasn't too salty and cooked it with 'soup mix' that had been soaking overnight and some chopped onion, carrot and celery.  All very frugal and also very delicious.  Most will be frozen but I shall have some for lunch today - the pulses, grains and veg will make it very sustaining.

I also set to and made the curry.  It was jardaloo boti (lamb with apricots - but you knew that, of course!!!).  You know what curries are like - a great long list of ingredients, most of which turn out to be spices.  It was much easier than I expected: I left it on low in the oven while I went out for lunch and when I got back the stewing lamb was gloriously fragrant and tender.  I was going to freeze the other half but have decided to have it tonight.
It contained a lot of meat but no veg to speak of apart from onion.  If I had been more prepared, I could have made a few sides and split the curry into four which would have made it much more frugal.  Next time . . .   I did make flat bread and it went really well with that, as it didn't have a gravy, more a sauce, if you know what I mean

Lunch was great and it was lovely to be treated - thanks so much, N.
I chose chicken BLT and was astounded at the size of it.  More meat than I would eat in a couple of days plus the bread, crisps and coleslaw.  To cap it all, I had a dessert, which was also delicious.  When I got home I was so stuffed that I didn't have dinner until 8:00

Sonja and Milli are just leaving as I type.  I shall miss them but they will be back on Thursday!

Today I have bread to make, sour dough starter to tend, more pikelets to make, a bedroom to sort out (getting there but it is lo-o-ong and slow) and a blanket to finish.  I'm on the last round, then it's the edging and it will be done.
Then I can start another one, a more random one!  I'm enjoying it - it gives my hands something to do while I am watching telly and, as it's such an easy stitch, I hardly have to think about what I am doing as I crochet away.  Then, as it is now so big, there is the added advantage that it keeps my knees warm!

And Beth will be round to sew!

Today's food:
B:  poached egg on pikelet and maybe a slice of bacon as a Saturday treat, apple
L:  ham and veg soup, fruit yogurt, orange
D:  lamb with apricots, flatbread, yogurt

Tomorrow will have to be a non-meat day, I think - I've had too much over the last few days.

Friday, 19 February 2016


Good morning, everyone.

It was a lovely day yesterday, weather wise.  OK, a bit chilly, but loads of sunshine to lighten the spirits.  Hoping for more of the same today.

I seemed to spend a lot of time doing not an awful lot yesterday.  I made the pikelets and they were delicious.  I made soup and that was pretty good too.  I didn't make the lamb curry so that's on my list for today.  Also I have some ham stock so I popped some soup mix in to soak overnight and I must get that made today too.  Some for tomorrow and some for the freezer.

A friend is taking me out for lunch today to which I am really looking forward.  We're going to the Hare (where else?) so I will have a glance at the menu later on and decide what I fancy.

I shall now go into the kitchen and start the day's cooking/baking.

B:  Pikelet with poached egg. yogurt
L:  Out!!!
D: hopefully, lamb curry with flatbread.

Better get started then!

Thursday, 18 February 2016


Good morning, gentle readers.  It's a wet, chilly start to the day but no snow (shame).  The BBC tells me it might clear up a bit later but I don't think there's much chance of me getting any washing out on the line.

Yesterday I forgot to mention that I had a parcel on Tuesday.  Regular readers might remember that some weeks ago I bought a very cheap toasted sarnie maker in Morrisons with a view to seeing if I would get much use from it and, if so, then getting a better one.

Well, I did use it several times and there were decided disadvantages.
 One was that, however careful I was,  it leaked and made an almighty mess.  Another was that the plates could not be removed for cleaning (which I already knew) but it wouldn't have been a big issue if it hadn't leaked so badly.  The third was that it didn't toast evenly, seeming to steam rather than toast the bread in some places.  Not really what was needed and although the results were tasty, they could have been better.

Despite these annoyances, I found it useful and decided that it is something I will use, so I did my research online and ordered a better one which came on Tuesday.  Because of the barley leftovers, I couldn't use it yesterday so I shall plan in a toastie today!  Fingers crossed.

My baby sourdough started decided to make a break for freedom yesterday so today we move onto the next ' teenager' stage.  Half out and feed.  I'm going to make a crumpet (or a couple of pikelets) for breakfast with the bit to be discarded.  I know it's only flour and water but my frugal side rebels against just throwing it away because it has done the right thing.
And I like crumpets!

Edited to add that I got four out of my discard, had one with an egg and mmmmmmmmmm.  It wasn't very light (rye flour isn't light) and it was pikelet height, but the flavour, even at this early stage, was wonderful!  And there's three for the freezer!

I might be making quite a lot of them because I have to repeat the process for several days before the starter will be ready to use in bread.  Isn't it lucky that one can freeze crumpets!

Sonja and Milli arrived yesterday evening after making their way slowly and through some torrential rain around the motorway and up the A12.  They were very tired and I hope they have slept sweetly all night.  Sonja has asked me to make some of my leek and potato soup so that's on the list of Things To Do this morning.  Thank goodness for Thermione!

I'm still doggedly crocheting round and round and round the 'granny rectangle' blanket I am making.  It's working - I'm getting through a whole load of yarn in the process which was the main reason for starting it in the first place.
The colours in this one are in nice, neat rows but I am ending up with lots of little balls that won't do another roll, especially now it is quite large.  I know what I can do with some of them but the rest will make another blanket with colours that will stop just where the yarn ends regardless of where it is in the row.  Very rustic!
This is how it started, more or less (photo found on Google Images) but it's a lot bigger than that now!
Today's food:
B:  poached egg on crumpet (home made, sourdough, blah, blah!)
L:  soup, fruit yogurt
D:  might be a lamb curry if I can get my act together with the stewing lamb I bought yesterday.  I shall make some flatbread to have with it.

Better go and deal with the starter and have another coffee while I am at it!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016


Good morning, gentle readers.  It's a bit milder today - no frost and no slippers (yet).

Well, yesterday was a busy day in the kitchen.

I made barley flour for the pancakes which were absolutely delicious and I have blogged about them in Teacher's Recipes.

I used the rest of the flour to try and make pasta but let's move swiftly on without exploring that idea any further, OK.  No, no, no!  Fortunately, I didn't waste too much.

While I was rootling in the cupboard for the bread flour, I remembered I had a ready mix (sun dried tomato and Parmesan) packet.  As it needed using up, that's what I did.  Before then I had 'seasoned' the two terracotta plant pots which involved brushing them with oil and baking them a couple of time in a hot oven which made the house stink a bit but never mind.  I don't usually use these ready mix breads but this was rather good even thought they stuck to the flowerpot, even after copious oilings.  Next time I will try it with scrunched up lining paper.

When I made the barley flour, I sieved it and the little bits that didn't go through ended up in the lunchtime soup.  I was amazed at how much it lifted the whole thing and I decided not to zizz it but to have it a little chunky as the barley had thickened it beautifully.  Going to do that one again, for sure.

I have, of course, a bag or pearl barley to use up so I went a hunting and in the evening I made a chicken, mushroom and barley risotto which was also very delicious so it's in the other blog too, adapted and adjusted to serve one hungry person.  I used chicken left over from a roast that I had frozen last week so that was my bit towards reducing the freezer contents for the day.

So by the end of the day I was all barley-ed out and I bet my bowels are in good condition!!!  Barley is supposed to be very healthy.  A friend sent this link to me.

If anyone has scrummy pearl barley recipes, I would very much appreciate them, thank you!

Anyway - today's food which looks remarkably similar to yesterdays - good old leftovers
B  crumpet with a poached egg
L:  leek, potato and barley soup
D:  chicken, mushroom and barley risotto with veg on the side because there's not quite enough left over for a full meal.

I also need to go shopping for some fresh veg and a few bits and bobs like loo rolls and I want to make some bread - normal bread, not fancy bread.

After coffee, of course!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016


 . . . and here I am back at home after a lovely weekend away being thoroughly spoilt and loved by my Mum and Dad.  I love it there, very much, and I also love coming home again.  I'm so lucky!

It was flippin' cold yesterday morning when Mum and I went into town to do some window shopping.  Mum and I love window shopping but Dad hates it with an absolute passion so we left him at home, much to his relief - and ours.

First of all we looked in the local day centre charity shop and you know what, if I was trying to set up home on a limited budget, I'd be more than happy to get stuff from there.  There was a full set of china, beautifully retro, square plates, really nice, for a ridiculously small amount.  It was lacking small bowls but had tea and coffee pots, two jugs, sugar bowl, egg cups, gravy dish, butter dish - oh, so much.
We spent a long time browsing around and I reckon I'll be going back for another look at some point.

Then we moved on to Wilkos which we went in even though we have a Wilkinsons here at home too and I am glad we did because they had some small terracotta pots for 50p each.  No, not for the garden, I though I would try them to make flowerpot bread.  Fingers crossed.  I love flowerpot bread, such a quirky shape.
Add caption
Then on to David's Bookshop where I spent the grand sum of £3 something or other on four second hand books.  The first was a 'Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, large, heavy, colour plates on every page and really interesting.  Then I saw a couple of books that took me back to my teenage years.  Catherine Gaskin's 'Sara Dane' which I was thinking about only last week, and 'Jump for Joy', an autobiography by Pat Smythe (supposedly but probably ghost written).  People of a certain age will remember Pat as one of the best show jumpers in the world.  These two books were the spitting image of the ones I read as a teenager so, of course, I had to buy them.  Then, lo and behold, there are the sequel to the Smythe which I have not read so I had to get that too.  I was horse crazy as a child!

As I said to Mum, it's half term and I need some holiday reading.  Believe me, I could have spent a lot more.

That was it as far as spending was concerned, you will be glad to read, apart from a very good coffee each which warmed us up, inside and out.

It was a good, trouble free journey home too.

Today I have a few cooking plans afoot and some housework to do.  After some talk with someone on Facebook, I have started off a sour dough starter again in the hopes that this time it will be more successful.  This friend has simplified the whole process very much for me so I am hoping.  I also want to use one of the flower pots and make a loaf.

As well as that, I'm going to have a go at making barley flour and using it.  I have no idea whatsoever if it will work but let's give it a go and see.  You never know!

And finally, I have some holiday reading!!!

Today's food:
B:  barley pancakes with yogurt, pineapple and a drizzle of maple syrup
L:  probably soup, once I have seen what needs using up in the fridge
D:  I want to have a go at making barley pasta which I will have with some chicken and a tomato/veg sauce.  I think I shall have to mix it with other flour because of the gluten but I reckon it is worth a try!

Coffee is calling!  Have a great day and stay as warm as you can.

Monday, 15 February 2016


Well, here we are round at Monday again but this Monday is different because it is half term Monday when hundreds of thousands of big and little people will be rejoicing in the fact that they don't have to turn out in the bitter cold and go to school.

It is so, so cold here but no snow, despite the weather warnings.  There's a heavy frost - or there was when the skies were clear - but it is now clouding over (snow?  probably not) and that will lift the temperature a little.  Mum and I plan to meander around town this morning so I'm hoping it stays dry and warms up a bit!

Yesterday morning, while mum and dad were at church, I went to their local Tesco, a huge place in Baldock.  The thing I did go to look at wasn't in but I found several other bits and bobs as follows.
An external battery pack thingy for Alex so that when he lets his mobile go flat he can still use it.  It was reduced so that was great.
A veg chopper.  I've been looking for one for a while.  I used to have one ages ago and it was very useful but it disappeared at some point so I was well pleased to see it.
It's very similar to this.

I found some Knorr chicken powder (or it might be granules), a product that I used to use until the shops round our way stopped stocking it.  I'm not sure whether Knorr stopped producing it for a while because I couldn't find it anywhere.  Anyway, Tescos had it in so I got some.  It is low salt and makes a very acceptable chicken stock, I think.  I was so glad to see it.

I got some pearl barley after reading through Jack Monroe's description of their Live Below The Line recipes from last year where home made barley flour featured heavily  It sounds good, pearl barley is cheap and I have a machine that will grind it into flour without any problems.
Here's a link to the first of the entries.  Jack is very creative with food!

It was a good shop except for what I went for so when I got home I used Amazon instead.  More about that later on in the week.

As expected, in the afternoon I crocheted and crocheted and crocheted.  This blanket/throw thingy is certainly using up a fair amount of yarn and, as the sides get longer, it is growing more slowly but never mind.  It keeps my hands occupied, if not my brain!  And it's a rectangle!

Today's food:
B toast and toppings
L:  I think it's mini haggis with something.
D:  Most likely to be a couple of slices of pizza with a side salad.

Sunday, 14 February 2016


Welcome to a very chilly Sunday morning.  Well, it is here anyway - it might be gloriously warm and sunny in Chelmsford, a little south and east of here, you never know!

Stotfold Mill
Yesterday was nice and quiet and gentle.  We thought we might go to Stotfold Mill but it was closed and then it started raining so we stayed in and slept the afternoon away!  We've put it on the list of places to visit later on, next to Anglesea Abbey.

In the evening we went to the Millstream, a nice pub/eating place that mum and dad go to fairly often.  Ordinary pub fare, well cooked, great prices and very friendy (and popular).  Worth a try out if you live Hitchin way.

I was very virtuous, ordered chicken in a bun without the bun, ate that and the salad and left quite a lot of the chips.  To be fair, there were an awful lot of chips!  A most satisfying meal!  I probably should have gone for a lettuce and tomato salad after the lunch Mum cooked (bacon, tomato and fried bread and absolutely gorgeous) but they didn't have that on the menu or OF COURSE that's what I would have had.

What do you mean, you don't believe me?  Huh!

Today will also be nice and quiet.  I will continue in my quest to Use Up The Ridiculous Amount Of Yarn I Have In The Cupboard by relentlessly crocheting round and round and round to make the world's largest granny rectangle.  I will read the Sunday paper - a real treat beause I don't get one at home.  I will probably snooze several times.  And I will enjoy the dinner mum will cook.  Such a hard life.

You have a good'un too.

Saturday, 13 February 2016


And a very good morning to all my gentle readers.  I'm sitting up in bed here at my parents', safe in the knowledge that my home is being well cared for, laptop open, book to hand, crochet close by, sipping a steaming coffee and feeling entirely relaxed.  Very nice too!

It was a good drive up yesterday.  The roads were not busy but it was a bit slow at times, what with all the bin lorries, vans, etc, but I had loads of time so no problems.  I'm not a speed merchant anyway so am perfectly happy to chug along behind.

As mum and dad were out in the afternoon, I undertook to make dinner - a mince crumble which was rather scrummy!

I have no idea what we're going to do today (if anything) but there's plenty to do and I have my crochet so anything will suit me!

The garden is looking nice, what with all the bulbs, etc, so I took a few photos.  Unfortunately, something has gone wonky with photoshop on my laptop so I can't edit them as I usually do.  Here's a few anyway!

There's no point posting about food because I have no idea really, except that breakfasts will be toast and fruit!

So I hope you have a great day, gentle readers, and that it is not too cold for you!

Friday, 12 February 2016


Just a quickie because I'm in a rush this morning.

Lovely swim first thing.  In the water for well over an hour and it was great.

The shower is now in and my loo has a handle again.  Both look great.  Here's a photo of the shower over the bath.  It looks very tidy because all the stuff is in my bedroom, where all good stuff seems to go.  I might try and keep round the bath clear from now on, it does make a difference

Today's tuition went really well.  I enjoyed it, the child enjoyed it.  Lucky me.

And I had fish and chips.  It was nice but I think these things are better in anticipation than in reality.

I'm off to my parents.  Sonja and Milli are house sitting, lovely ladies that they are.

I shall test the shower!

So - today's food:
B:  poached egg on toast
L & D:  I have absolutely no idea whatsoever!  :-)

And now I need coffee.

Thursday, 11 February 2016


After a wonderfully sunny day yesterday, we had a most beautiful sunset so I rushed outside with my little camera and snapped away.  I was well pleased with the results so there's one at the top now as well as the one below.

It's getting pretty cold though and there's a frost - I love frosts; they are so pretty.
Last night I had the extra cover over my quilt to keep me warm which always works jolly well.

Yesterday morning I went over to a friend's for coffee and a chat.  She has the most adorable little daughter who was at her charming best so we both had a lovely time.  It's nice to chat and to catch up on things!  Thanks, Hannah, for your great hospitality.

Oh, and I did get the ironing finished!

Today is exciting.  By this evening I will have a new, improved shower and also some shower rails to grip, when needed.  Fingers crossed all goes smoothly and there are no hiccups.  I have transferred the money over to my main account and it's all go!  Woo hoo.

Because of the shower, I was going to cancel swimming but Matt (fantastic local plumber) said it would be OK if I went out, in fact he recommended it as there would be no water for a while.  Must remember to put some in a jug and fill up the kettle for him.
He's also replacing the loo handle that sheared off a week or so ago.  It'll be nice to be able to flush the loo properly again.

Usually I go into school Thursday afternoon to hear readers in Y2 but it's the last day before half term, the children will be getting their golden time so I'm not needed.  Right now I feel as if I've been given a holiday.  How long will it take to get out of school habits and reactions, I wonder?  Probably not until I stop any school based stuff and, frankly, I am not prepared to do that yet.

Today's food.
B:  poached egg on toast
L:  not sure, it depends where I am
D:  might spoil myself with fish and chips . . . to celebrate, you know!

I am a keen follower of Michael Rosen's blog and the entry I have just read has both saddened and sickened me.  But that's the way education is going.  Seems all wrong really.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


I was right.  I did feel pretty sad yesterday.  I left with a card and some flowers, which was nice, and it's not goodbye, just end of teaching contract.  I will be going in a couple of times a week to hear readers and I will take up supply if it is offered to me.

It was a lovely day.  No issues with the children and, while it was jolly cold, afternoon playground duty was sunny and it was lovely to get out.  Mind you, I seemed to do a lot of 'out' during the day.  In the morning they had a water play task to do - outside - and the class also had outside time in the afternoon.  A bit chilly but they are hardy types and I seemed to suffer a lot more than the children!

I did my last music lesson with the class.  I have so enjoyed delivering these lessons and yesterday's went really well.  I introduced the song and one little lass started putting actions to it so she came up to the front and taught the class her actions.  Very sweet.

Today is quite busy with coffee with a friend in the morning (Ms Gadabout, that's me) and plenty to do in the afternoon.  I didn't get all that ironing sorted and MUST do it today, really must!

Someone gave me a recipe for a sort of pizza dough made basically with flour and yogurt.  As I have both in plus everything else needed. I thought I'd give it a go.  That's my dinner sorted out!

So, food . . .
B:  poached egg on toast
L:  cheese and chicken toasties, fruit yogurt
D:  home made pizza, coleslaw

Better get started!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016


Good morning, gentle readers.
After a very blustery day yesterday, things have really calmed down today, and it's dry and still and really not too cold at all - at least it didn't feel too cold when I went out to the shed just now.  I hope it stays calm as I'm in school today and wind and children don't mix all that well.

It's my last contracted day today so I shall be feeling very sad come the evening.  At least I will be able to creep out without a great fuss and to-do at the end of the day.  I shall miss the work and I shall miss the children though.  It's just - well, sad.

Today's food:
B:  toast and marmite (yum), fruit
L:  veg curry and flatbread, fruit yogurt
D: probably cheese and chicken toastie, natural yogurt with a splash of maple syrup.

Now for coffee!

Monday, 8 February 2016


So sorry this is late for once.  After a late (late for me, anyway) waking, I rushed off to early swimming with Beth.  I've just got home.

The chicken yesterday was delicious.  I cooked it in an old fashioned dish with a lid, taking the lid off towards to end so it could brown.  Nice crispy skin and very moist, tender meat that was actually too tender to slice but not dry in the least.  Lovely!  Alex and I accounted for under half of it so I have a really nice amount to provide the main protein for several of my meals this week.  As the whole chicken was reduced to £3.00, I reckon it's a jolly frugal deal!

I also cooked more veg in hopes and there's enough left over for today.  The same cannot be said about the potatoes.  They were so lovely and crunchy that they all disappeared.  However many I make, my roasties always get eaten.

It was lovely and sunny for most of the day so I put some washing out for the first time in ages.  Very satisfying.

The rest of the day was spent resting, snoozing, social networking, and so on and so forth.  Lovely!

Today I've done my swim and it is so good to get back to it again.  I do wish they would heat the area up a bit more though.  Getting out of the pool was a shivery experience!  Maybe when the new pool is built . . .

Now I have to get the bread started and I found a recipe for meusli bars on another blog,
and they look dead easy so I shall give them a go.

After that I have ironing.  Quite a lot of it too so I shall check the telly listings and if there's nothing on I shall dig out a DVD and get stuck in.  Also the kitchen is not too bad after yesterday's roast but it could do with a bit of a tidy up.

B:  well, I had some lettuce before swimming which sounds odd, I know, but I fancied it.  I have some leek and potato soup left over from Saturday so I think I will have that shortly as I'm hungry after swimming.
L:  small chicken curry (leftovers again!)
D:  roast chicken with vegetables (leftovers yet again) and I might even rise to a Yorkshire or two, if I'm not too lazy!

So it's off I go into the kitchen to heat up the soup and make a coffee - the first of the day!

Sunday, 7 February 2016


Good morning.  The wind has died down, the rain has stopped and it is quite sunny out there this morning.  It's also a fair bit colder, as one would expect.  However, we are due a lot of rain later on and there's a weather warning out for wind tomorrow, all day.  Not nice.

My friends did get here after sorting out the problem, thank goodness.  It was so lovely to see them.  However, it was too late to cook the chicken so that's on the menu for lunch today and is already prepped and waiting for the oven.  Instead we had a leek and potato soup which seemed to go down really well.

I had a go at that curry as mentioned yesterday although, in the end, meal timings being as they were, I didn't eat it.  However, it tastes great, curries always improve on keeping and that's tomorrow's meal sorted out, isn't it?  Win/win!
I've blogged about it on Teacher's Recipes!
Now I have to trawl through the book to find another one to try!

Well, my friends have just left (they're coming again next weekend), the porridge is slowly heating and the dregs of the first coffee are now cold.  I think I need to get going and then prepare all the stuff for a good old Sunday roast dinner.  It's not complicated but it does take more work than many dinners.  The results are worth it though.
Mine won't look the least bit like this - it'll be nicer, of course!!!
Today's food:
B:  porridge with pineapple, yogurt and a splash of maple syrup
D:  roast chicken, roasties, maple glazed parsnips, sprout and carrots, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy; then a good, old fashioned rice pudding, I think!
T:  If there's any room left inside, I have the leftovers from yesterday's leek and potato soup to finish off.

Have a lovely, restful day.

Saturday, 6 February 2016


Two for the price of one today, you lucky things, you!!!

I've just popped out to the shed to get some bread in and it feels jolly cold even though BBC tells me it is 10 C.  At present it is still and dry but I gather there's some nasty stuff coming - strong winds during the day and rain overnight.

It's all a muddle at the moment.  I'm expecting my friend to stay but their car won't start so they may or may not be here now.  It's a right pain for them and my fingers are firmly crossed.

What with expecting them and also Alex coming for lunch tomorrow, I got a big chicken out of the freezer and it is gently defrosting as I type.  It won't be a problem.  You know that book '101 things to do with a defrosted chicken when your expected guests can't come'?  Well, I could have written that!  I shall roast it, dismantle it and plan the week's meals round it, if needs be!

I got an email yesterday from my lovely ICT friend.  He had a day off, could he come round and check the new PC was working OK and sort out any questions I had?  Well, of course he could so now I have that font on the new PC, I know what to do with other fonts I have missed and stuff has been sorted, added, etc!  I didn't get to have my bacon roll though, so guess what's for brekky this morning!

I don't know if you have heard but Aldi is now doing online stuff, just for wine, etc.  Having enjoyed a very cheap bottle from them last week, I went online and yes, it was there, same price, no postage, so I crumpled and bought some.  It arrived yesterday so now I have to get it out of sight, out of mind!

In the afternoon I went into school to do what I couldn't do on Thursday afternoon.  The teacher had got my message about Thursday but not the bit about being able to do Friday instead.  As they were doing PE with visiting sporty types I couldn't really whisk children away for reading so I disappeared into Y1 and heard some of them read instead and it was lovely!

Last Monday I bought some not terribly nice (rather nasty, in fact) plain yogurt from Aldi.  I used some of it as a starter for making my own natural yogurt which was ready yesterday morning and it really very nice indeed.  I think I might see if some straining and turning into a soft cheese improves the flavour at all and I can use the whey in my bread.  Fingers crossed because I would hate to throw it away.

So, all in all, yesterday was a really nice day!

Today's food:
B:  that bacon roll which I am munching as I type! Apple
L:  Home made soup, probably leek and potato, fruit yogurt
D:  I'm trying the basic curry from my new curry book!  It looks simple enough and I have all the necessary spices.  Then either fruit or yogurt and pineapple

Saturday's garden

Yesterday I popped out into the garden and took a few dark, damp, soggy photographs.

They're all a bit stunted this year, maybe because it is so early!

Very, very pretty.

Mini-daffs.  I wonder what they will do at Easter though - all the daffs will be over.  At the back of the photo you can see that the crososmia is starting to shoot.

The only ones I would expect to see right now.  They're very good this year!

The rosemary is flowering . . .

. . . and even the little rose bush is sending out shoots.

Friday, 5 February 2016


Well, yesterday was a busier day, for sure.

To start with, I was up early so I could get sorted out, tidied up and the rubbish out before meeting up with Beth at the pool.  The traffic was moving so we both got there earlier than expected but we arrived at the same time which was quite a coincidence.
No, we didn't, it's not allowed!
As it's been ages since we swam, we decided to take it easy but we still managed to do an hour of gentle up and down which must have done us some good.  Then Beth came back and we did our wrapping and packaging of the cat bum mats.  That's all done now!

One irritating thing was that the font we use for our labels isn't on my new PC and while I could find it, I didn't know how to get it on.  Fortunately, I have a super whizz ICT person (yes, Milli, I mean you) staying over the weekend so she will be able to do it for me, I am sure.  < smiles sweetly at Milli >

Later on I popped over the road to tutor my one private pupil and I really enjoyed it.  The child is coming on well, one can see real improvement in the work.  Most satisfying.

And now it is Friday.  Lots of housework to get done today plus the meal planning for next week so I'd better stop rabbiting on and get going.  Coffee first though!  One must get ones priorities straight.

Today's food:
B:  bacon and tomato roll (spoiling myself here, but it is value bacon!), apple
L:  soup, yogurt and pineapple
D:  fish, home made wedges, peas, fruit yogurt

Have a good day

Thursday, 4 February 2016


. . . and guess what.  I'm going swimming.  It's been ages since we went swimming for various good reasons (and because we like to go together)  but today we are going swimming.  Yay!

Yesterday was a bit of a nothing day really.  I pottered and meandered and achieved not very much.

The food was nice though.
Lunch - bit of pizza, bit of salad.  OK by me!

Dinner: mushroom rogan josh with cauliflower rice and a dollop of not terribly nice natural yogurt.  MUST get round to making my own again!

Apart from swimming, Beth and I are packing up all our cat bum coasters orders ready for posting tomorrow.  So nice that people like them enough to buy them, isn't it?

Today's food:
B:  nothing until after swimming, then probably fruit
L:  soup, fruit yogurt
D: tuna burger in a bap, salad, fruit

Now I must get ready!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016


Good morning and welcome to a sunny, frosty morning here in mid-Essex.  After a day in school, I was zonked come the evening but managed to stay more or less awake until after ten in the hopes of avoiding  a stupid o'clock awakening and, for once, it worked!

So now I am running late, but it doesn't matter.

It was a very pleasant day in school yesterday.  Someone made a really nice comment about my teaching which cheered me up no end.  Are all teachers as unconfident about their craft?  I have no idea but I suspect many are just like me, hiding behind a 'I can do this' veneer.
Afternoon playground duty was chilly but pleasantly fresh after a stuffy classroom.

Today doesn't have any particular commitments so I might just possibly see if I can tackle the dump formerly known as 'my bedroom'.  It is a singularly depressing place at the moment and needs some TLC.

Also, as mentioned yesterday, I'm making Jack Monroe's mushroom rogan josh for dinner.  I'm looking forward to that!

Today's food:
B:  I was going to have porridge but it's rather late and I'm not feeling hungry so I will see if I can last out until lunch time and maybe have an apple in an hour or so.
L:  a slice of pizza with some salad, fruit yogurt
D:  mushroom rogan josh, cauliflower rice, maybe a flatbread, fruit or yogurt.

Nice and healthy, nice and frugal too!

I'm just enjoying the first coffee of the day - aaaahhhh, lovely!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


Good morning, gentle readers.

It's school day today so I need to be bright and bouncy and ready to go.  I got that wrong then, didn't I?  Never mind, it's just one day and once I get there I will be fine.

Yesterday was OK.  I made bread.  I made some soup from a broccoli stem, the woody inside of a parsnip, a third of a sweet potato and a couple of very small ordinary potatoes that jumped out of the fridge after hiding in there for weeks - literally weeks!  Oh - and some coconut milk and some marigold stock.  It was delicious.  I'll never be able to reproduce it, of course, but never mind, using up those bits and getting something so lovely was most satisfying.

One of the groups I help to admin was a bit lively at times so that kept things moving.  Maybe it was the wind.  At school we know when it's windy without looking because the children are - well, lively!   It seems fine at the moment, thank goodness, and I hope none of you had any problems with the high winds yesterday and overnight.
Middle of the day I pootled off to Aldi and, three cheers, they had some haggis.  I was looking for it reduced in Morrisons after Burns night but no luck.  The Aldi haggis was better value and I shall portion it out and freeze it in single portions.  They also had beautiful chestnut mushrooms in their Super Six so I bought two punnets as I have planned to make Jack Monroe's mushroom rogan josh on Wednesday.  Some good timing there.

Did anyone watch the Mary Berry cookery programme, the name of which I keep forgetting?  She made a sort of tortilla lasagne thingy which looked so delicious I shall have a go sometime.  I can make tortillas so can get them the right size for whatever container I use to bake the dish.

Anyway, as I said, it is school today.  Y1 until playtime and FS for the rest of the day.  It's the class I had for three days last week so I feel I know them pretty well now - and they know me.  I'm looking forward to it.

Today's food:
B:  toast and marmalade
L:  veg curry and flatbread, fruit yogurt
D:  sausages in bacon, sprouts, broccoli, fruit

And now for my first coffee of the day!

Monday, 1 February 2016


A pinch and a punch
For the first of the month.

And having got that little bit of traditional violence over and done with, welcome to February, cold, damp and with a red sky that doesn't bode well . . .

I live in hope, even though snow days are in the past for me now.
Yesterday I spent most of the morning in and out of the kitchen concocting a vegetable curry that ended up absolutely delicious, even though I rather cheated with some rogan josh curry paste in a jar.  It was one of those dishes where you just keep adding bits and bobs as you think of them.  There's no way I could recipe-ise it but as far as I can remember I used onion, carrot, peppers, mushrooms, peas, sweet potato, broccoli, celery and sweet corn and the sauce was made of the aforementioned paste, garlic puree, passata, coconut milk*, some marigold bouillon, salt and pepper.
I think.
*  I have some coconut milk powder which you mix up one part powder to four parts water.  Very useful.

Anyway, it was delicious and I am thrilled that there are four more portions in the freezer and that I was able to give Beth two portions to take home.

With it, I ummed and ahed between rice and noodles and in the end made some flat breads instead.  Again delicious - SR flour, yogurt, salt and a smidgeon of baking powder and so, so easy.  It's on t'other blog.  Just follow the link.

In the afternoon Beth sewed and I crocheted.  The cat bum coasters are now all made and ready for dispatch as the dosh rolls in!
Not the best photo in the world but you get the idea!
After posting a photo of the runner and table mats that we made before Christmas as an order from a friend, we now have another order for a runner so out came the sewing machine and the ironing board and by the end of the afternoon Beth had sewn the strips together.  We now have to get some wadding so can't go on any further until that arrives.

These certainly brightened up someone's Christmas dinner table, didn't they?
I have no particular plans for today apart from bread making and maybe popping over to Aldi for some bits and bobs.  I will see what turns up as I meander through the day trying not to look too lazy!

I've been very good and planned my meals for the week in the hopes that it will keep me on the straight and narrow.  I can hope.
Here's today's
B:  Porridge with pineapple and maple syrup
L:  Odds and Ends soup, bread roll, fruit
D:  Home made smoky bacon pot noodles, fruit yogurt.