Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Oh, dear, it feels just like Tuesday here.

That's because Sunday was a nothing day, Beth and Alex came round for Sunday dinner on Monday, so that was Sunday.  As a result, yesterday was Monday so today is Tuesday!  Perfectly logical.

I didn't venture out yesterday after having a bit of a coldy crash.  In fact, I didn't even get dressed which is shocking!  All that coughing and spluttering can't be good for those around me and now I'm retired I don't HAVE to generously share my bugs with others any more.

What was sad was that not only did I not get to a funeral to which a dear friend had invited me, partly because of sharing bugs with vulnerable folk but also, because of the aches and temperature, another friend also decided not to come over to stay.  Actually, I say sad, but really it was a very sensible decision of hers as she has some important interviews coming up and there's no way she needs a cold right now!  Sad for me though.

In between whinging, knitting, watching rubbish telly and snoozing, I did some kitchen stuff, mostly connected with Thermione and her varoma and mostly extremely frugal, using leftovers and old veg.  I'm starting to use the varoma a lot more now and it's opened a few doors in terms of convenience.
The varoma is the thing on top.  It is basically a steamer with two layers and it sits snugly on the thermomix lid.  It holds more than you would think.  
I made my broccoli soup from the stem of the broccoli we had on Sunday - I mean Monday!  While that was bubbling away, I popped the leftover bones from the lamb plus a couple of spuds cut into four in the varoma and put it on top.  When the lamb was hot, I removed it and it was easy to pick off all the last bits of meat.

I mixed that meat with the leftover gravy and the few leftover roasted and chopped veg (parsnip, carrot, a roasted potato and some onion) and added a chopped mushroom which needed using up.  That all went into an ovenproof dish.

When the potatoes were done, I peeled and mashed them, mixed the mash with some seasoning, some grated cheese and some butter and topped the lamb and veg mix with some of it (the rest I will use for something else.  At dinner time, I heated and browned the pie in Handy Andy.

So that was lunch and dinner (I also had some broccoli left so I microwaved that while the pie was browning) sorted.  It all took not much time and very little effort as equipment either went into the dishwasher or just needed rinsing and draining.

I had some hot cross bun loaf drying on me and wondered if I could use the varoma to steam a bread and butter pudding.  I looked it up and it appears that you can so I will have a go, probably today.

As I was resting quite a lot, I got on with the aran cushion cover I was knitting and got it more or less finished.  I just need buttons now.  I posted a photo on Facebook and it caused quite a stir.  What do you think?
How I started it.  The ribbing is too wide but it is underneath and doesn't show.  The next one will be OK now I know.
Finished.  Different light so the colour looks different but it is a very nice subdued teal that goes perfectly with my furnishings.  It fastens with buttons across the back but as I don't have any appropriate buttons, that bit isn't finished!
It was fun to work out the pattern myself.  Very simple, I know, but one has to start somewhere.
Last night there was a new kind of Bake Off called Creme de la Creme.  Basically it was teams of master bakers making what Jack Monroe would call arty farty poncy sweet stuff.  I'm sure it was all very clever and expert and fiendishly difficult but I was disappointed.  It was so far removed from anything I would make, there was so much specialist equipment and nowhere near enough detail about what and how that I felt disengaged from it in a way I have never felt with the proper Bake Off.
I really couldn't care less which team got through and sorely missed the banter and joking of Mel and Sue and the usually gentle but critical comments from Paul and Mary.  There was no sympathy, no empathy, no 'I'd like to make that' reaction in my soul.  A shame . . .

(I've come back in to say that the online reviews seem to agree with me.  I LOVE the Telegraph's headline:
Bake Off Creme de la Creme review: 'a soggy-bottomed disaster.
Couldn't have put it better myself!)

Today is a craft day.  Beth is coming over and we are focusing on owls.  Maybe photos will appear tomorrow.  I have also undertaken to knit a little doggy coat.  I've never made anything like that but have all the measurements and I think I have got the structure clear in my head.

B:  Fruit loaf toast (it has to be used up, it's far too delicious to waste - next time I will make half quantities!)
L:  Probably soup
D:  Something with chicken, I think.

And now I need my coffee.

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