Monday 13 May 2013


Good morning, everybody.  Monday again and it's pretty dull outside at the moment.  A bit like yesterday minus the rain, but it does look as if we might be getting rain at some point.  No complaints about the rain but I do wish it would warm up a little bit.  The heating clicked on during the day yesterday!!

I enjoyed the roast chicken yesterday (as did Alex!).  Handy Andy does cook it so well and the brining prevents the bird from drying out as it might normally.  I make up a mild brine solution (not too salty but I'm not totally accurate regarding amounts), submerse the whole chicken into it, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.  Then the next morning I take it out, rinse it, pat it  dry and leave to get up to room temperature.  Then it is into Handy Andy (my halogen cooker) for 25 mins upside down and then 25 to 30 mins the right way up.  Then leave it in the oven to stand for about 15 mins.  No covering with anything, no need for butter, oil or anything else (although butter does give a lovely flavour).  The chicken is perfectly done, moist, tender and easy to slice.  The flip side is that so little juice comes out of it there's nothing for gravy!
I carved half of it plus the other drumstick and between me and Alex we accounted for the lot (Alex more than me, needless to say).  With chips, broccoli and carrots and a tomato sauce instead of gravy it made a most colourful meal, good to look at and good to eat!  And I have loads left over for this week.

With any luck the pressure cooker I ordered will arrive today or tomorrow.  If it does, its first job will be to deal with the carcass.  After doing a carcass in Thermione, never again.  Even with reverse low speed all the bits of meat got shredded and thoroughly mixed with the gunk.  You live and learn, don't you?

While Beth was round we got going with the cosmos seedlings dad brought over on Tuesday - hundreds of them!  Of course, we don't want or need hundreds, so we pricked out the most likely looking ones into little home made loo roll pots. Beth will take most of them but I will plant some in the back garden and perhaps a few round the front too, although they do grow very large so it might not be the right place.  However, I can but try and if it's not right I can have them up again.

Cosmos in the garden two summers ago
When Beth and Alex turned up they came bearing gifts - several sticks of rhubarb, fresh picked from their allotment, with the leaves still on.  As soon as they had gone I set to and stewed them up with some demerara sugar and some root ginger and it was delicious.  Several little individual portions are no nestling in the freezer.  Thank you, Beth and Alex - lovely!

Today I have my PPA time, missed last week.  Perfect timing for me, no complaints whatsoever.  A great start to the week!  Fingers crossed that it brightens up a bit though.

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