Sunday, 29 March 2015


Good morning, everyone!  Sadly, it is not a nice day at the moment with grey skies and wet stuff.  It's mild, which is good as the heating hasn't clicked on, and fingers crossed that it clears up because I have decided that just half an hour each day working in the garden over the Easter break will sort out the mess issue in two shakes of a ducks tail.  Quite an appropriate simile, as it's great weather for ducks out there right now!

I didn't get everything done that I planned yesterday because I was thoroughly idle and slept more than I was awake.  Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but not very much so.  I knew I was worn out but not as much as that!  The good thing is that I slept wonderfully overnight and although I did wake at the usual 3:30 (spit), I went back to sleep again, proper sleep not dozing, and woke properly at 7:00 (today's time).  It felt brilliant.

I did get that last bit of takeaway sauce used up though.  I thawed out a chicken thigh, fried some bacon, onion, mixed peppers and mushroom with a bit of the bacon fat that came out of my breakfast bacon (wonderful flavour) before adding the sliced chicken.  When that was cooked I added the sauce and heated it up.  I had intended to have a salad and the coronation coleslaw I blogged about yesterday in Teacher's Recipes, but at the last moment I had the salady stuff first as a sort of starter and then had the chicken part afterwards.  It was jolly nice and I was pleased that absolutely none of the takeaway was wasted.

I've done a few bits and bobs already:  the dough is rising and the beef is slow cooking.  Now, here's a thing - I'm never too confident with roast beef.  None of us eat it 'pink' although, on the occasional times I have had pink beef it has mostly been delicious and only once downright unpleasant and that was probably the quality of the beef, not the cooking thereof.  The beef I'm cooking is from a joint hopefully labelled as 'roasting beef'.  It was long and it was cheap and Beth and I cut it into four pieces, two for her and two for me.  I am not at all confident that it would be good roasted the usual way so I'm slow roasting it on a bed of onion, carrot and celery with some stock.

And here's another thing.  I do have a slow cooker which I love but it is really extremely old, almost suitable for Flog It.  I'm talking about thirty plus years old.  I remember that the instruction book warned against forgetting to add water and about covering all the contents in liquid.  Lots of modern recipes talk about not adding liquid or just having a little in the bottom.  I'm just not sure whether I can do that.  It's a lovely old ceramic pot and I'd hate to crack it.
So I am being totally unfrugal and using the oven to slow cook.  Sorry!
The question is do I look for a modern slow cooker that I can slow roast in?  I think I possibly do, while I can still afford it.

Beth and Alex are over for dinner today (hence the beef joint) and Beth and I intend to finalise our plans for Breadline month and do some cooking.  Should be fun!

You know what I am NOT doing today?  I am not planning, marking, evaluating, assessing or report writing.  Many cheers!

Here's an addition to that list of things to do.  On a fine and sunny day I shall drive over to Hyde Hall.  I shall take a packed lunch with me because Breadline will have started, plus my camera, and I will have a wonderful time wandering around the gardens at my own pace enjoying the spring planting and the warm spring air.  Bliss.

And on that happy note I must stop and get breakfast ready.  Porridge today and, as I have some bananas that need using up, I will pop some slices in the cooked porridge.  Yum!


  1. Glad you got some proper rest and thoroughly approve of the addition of a 'Hyde' day to the list!

    My original Kenwood slow cooker went to the slow-cooker-sky years ago but the crock makes a jolly useful mixing bowl, especially for large celebration cakes. Would your halogen oven or Thermione do slow roasting?

  2. Not Thermione but I never thought of the halogen. It might on a low enough heat but the timer would mean I'd have to remember to go back and reset it regularly.
    I'll try to remember that next time.
    J x

  3. Thought you'd like that one, Annabeth! :-)
    J x

  4. What's with the 'can afford it'? Tsk, tsk. Upon retirement overheads diminish considerably. House insurance drops because the house is occupied during the day, or rather is not empty for significant periods of time during the working day. If you're like me, your wardrobe becomes what you want to wear, rather than dressing for school. Then there's car insurance that also comes down in price because you no longer 'must' drive in the rush hour. Apols for such a long post. Jx

  5. I don't have that many 'overheads' as such, Joan. School is just around the corner, I would dress the same anyway - comfortable and practical - as I've never had to dress up for my job, if I'm at home all day the heating may need to be higher during winter (at present it is set to 16 during the weekdays), car insurance isn't based on commuting because of above . . . etc.
    I'm not sure my needs will be any the less . . .
    J x

  6. The Hyde Day sounds wonderful, what a lovely idea. :o)
    You don't need to apologise for using your oven to slow cook, Joy - I mean that's what it is there for and a very nice oven it is, too. :o)
    Have a lovely time with Beth and Alex - I am sure the beef will be absolutely delicious. :o)

  7. It is, but a slow cooker is much better 'value' in that it is far less costly to run.
    J x