Sunday 28 October 2012


Autumn colours.  A neighbour's wall was covered with these glorious leaves.  No longer though - the strong winds have seen to that!

Welcome to GMT!  The clocks going back meant that I didn't sleep in.  Waking just before five would have translated into just before six yesterday and that's late for me to wake.  The holiday must be biting!  And yes, I know that to any sensible person, it's still ridiculously early but there you go!

My no-work day turned out surprisingly busy but it was all productive and jolly good fun.  My frolics with the potato ricer as mentioned yesterday, plus some creativity with some veg in the freezer, some canned mixed beans and a carton of chopped tomatoes ended in a most delicious looking 'gardeners pie' and for Alex, who likes his meat, I used three single portions of the Hairy Dieters filling (originally made for their skinny pie) to make a cottage pie.  I will have a bit of each, as is my right, being the cook!
Confession time - when I'm doing potatoes for this sort of thing where I want it totally smooth I use instant mash!  Shocking, I know, but I do and you know what?  It's not all that bad really.  So I am keen to find out how the real mash compares in terms of taste and texture.  I shall be most disappointed and surprised if the former isn't better, but the latter . . . well, we will see.

Also as described yesterday, I had great frolics with the plaited loaf which looks and tastes scrummy.  I'm having a friend round for lunch tomorrow and am wondering if I could do some individual ones with very thin strands of dough.  The nice thing about dough is that if it doesn't work you can always bash it all back together again and have another go, so if it doesn't go right there's no loss!

The onion gravy also worked out well although at first it tasted much too sweet.  However, after standing for a while it became more savoury so fingers crossed that it will be OK.  The recipe made loads so there will be some to freeze: I'm pleased about that because bisto gravy just doesn't wing it for me and making a proper gravy just for one, always assuming I have the right stock, is a bit of a nuisance.

After they've been tested properly (i.e. eaten) I will post a few recipes in case anyone is interested.

Wasn't it cold yesterday?  We did have some snow, I gather, but earlier than when I looked out and it didn't settle.  This was followed by driving sleet/rain in a wind that was bitter interspersed with glorious sunshine.  And now there's a frost.  I gather that it's going to warm up soon, but it's very early for this sort of weather and I do wonder what winter has in store for us this year.

I notice that my visitor counter is nearly up to the next thousand.  That makes a lot of visitors, some very regular, some who catch up now and again and some, I am sure, who arrive here via a Google search result, read incredulously and pass on quickly!  I am very grateful to all you lovely readers who stick with this rambly, inconsequential, meandering effort.  May I encourage more of you to leave a comment now and again, please?  I love reading your comments, they put a smile on my face, and I do my best to respond to each one.

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