Category: Food & Drink

Sunday Limbo…

I am sure I am not the only one who thinks of Sunday as a bit of a limbo day.  I find Sundays a real pain in the arse.  The shops open their doors late, and close early, there is bugger all of the worth on the TV, and if feels like a wasted day, and by the time we get to bedtime, most of the day has been wasted from being busy doing nothing.

I like to relax on Sundays, but for some unknown reason that only the gods seem to be privy to, I never get the chance.  Today is no exception.  After waking at just after 5am as the dogs wanted to go out for toilet duties I ended up quite literally coughing my guts up, which went on for close to an hour.  After coughing, blowing my nose and retching and being close to vomiting, I eventually managed to go back to bed for a few hours sleep.  My sleep was broken yet again by the dogs, namely Mazikeen, who thought it was a good idea to lie on my head and pillow and promptly lick my face.  I endured this for a few moments, then got up and let her out in the garden for 5 minutes.  M was still in bed, so I decided to let him sleep as he had his sleep disturbed by me coughing.

I ate breakfast at my iMac whilst reading blogs and trying to keep the dogs from making too much noise as they played rough and tumble.  When M got up we had a brew and took the girls out for a walk.  That was followed by going to get the car washed.  I would do it myself, but it is a big car, and it is cold, so the high-tech automated car wash did the job for me.  The car is sprayed down and pre-jetwashed by a man, then the car goes onto the roller tracks and gets all its foam, wax, shield treatment and finally drying.  This we are used to as I use this from time to time when I do not get it valeted, but I forgot that Harper hates the jet wash and is quite aggressive towards the windows when it hits, and Mazikeen had never been in a car wash before and was totally terrified as she sat on M’s knee.  Needless to say, I will be going on my own next time.

When we got home I cleaned out the inside of the car as it badly needed it.  There was so much muck from the forest and sand from the beach that really the inside could have been considered outside.  I was not up for doing it after the bad night sleep and this cough that seems to be plaguing me, but, I had to do it as it is going for its first service on Tuesday as it is coming up to being a year old.  I do treat my car as a workhorse and the last time it was valeted was September before going to Ireland.

Next on the agenda was cleaning the house, then a big bowl of scouse.  For those who do not know, this is like a stew made from beef, potatoes, swede, carrots, onions, water, salt and pepper, it can be made with lamb too.

I had planned to sit about watching movies, sewing my sweater and generally relaxing, but that just has not happened.  Again, only the gods know why I cannot do what I plan to on a Sunday.  It is now dusk and I have not managed to do what I wanted.

On a more positive note, my diet is going okay and I have managed to lose 2 pounds this week.  Fingers crossed it keeps going that way.  It turns out that having no sugar is not that hard.  I have had decaf coffee and tea.  However, I have had some milk, a touch of skimmed in tea and semi-skimmed on my cornflakes this morning (along with chopped up banana and a drizzle of honey), but the point is, no refined sugar.  I did think that I would have lost more than just two pounds as I have cut out so much, but I am sure being early days it will keep dropping off me.  I still feel fat though!

January Diet…

So far, so good.  Although I really fancy something sweet apart from fruit.  As well as watching what I eat, calories lowered greatly, I have also given up sugar and caffeine too.  The caffeine is not a problem, although I do miss my coffee, however, I do have some decaf espresso that will be sufficient.

Usually, in the evening M and I eventually get to sit down and relax on the sofa, usually with a mug of tea each and either some biscuits or a bag of sweets/candy/chocolate.  Sugar is a something I consume too much of, along with full-fat milk.  In tea and coffee, I tend to have two spoons of sugar, and I drink copious amounts of both, but when I get into bed I switch to milk, sometimes normal milk, sometimes sterilised, but both full-fat.  Add a tube of smarties or a bag of jellies and that is my standard evening reading in bed.  But the glass of milk tends to be two or three glasses, or in the case of sterilised milk a whole litre.  Yep, I am addicted to milk.  It is my only real vice, and ever since being a kid I have consumed pints of it, and in adulthood, the pints have increased far too much, roughly 21+ pints a week.  Not that milk is a bad thing.

Another love of mine is peanut butter.  I could eat a whole jar of it in one go, but 3000 calories in one go is a little outrageous, but I could do it in a heartbeat.  I hated peanut butter and could not even bear the smell, then one day a few years ago I decided to eat a Snicker bar, then I decided to try some peanut butter, and realised what I was missing, and since, like milk, have not stopped eating it.

It is only a few days in so things could change, but I am hoping that I stick to this.  M even binned my Christmas cake, which I was totally gutted about, as I love it, but, in the end, it had to be done.

 

Local Produce…

I love my food and I love growing vegetables.  I grew up in the country and worked on farms, and I had a career in the agriculture industry, or to be more exact, everything from the ground to the mouth.  But never have I been able to grow a pumpkin like this bad boy.  This was at our local Booths which is a Northern supermarket that only sources local produce and is incredibly green and ethical.

Needless to say, the products they have are delicious.  My all-time favourite is their store baked Mince Pies, which has crispy pastry and the mincemeat inside is amazing.  I have never really liked mince pies and found the Christmas tradition of eating them something that I turned my nose up at, but Booths, WOW.  I bought 8 of them and will be enjoying them later with some extra rich Jersey cream.  I also bought a rather large custard tart, lemon cheesecake and a strawberry cheesecake so it will be a sweet night.

Baking – Soda Farls

My Hubby is Irish, so many many years ago I learned how to make proper Irish Soda Bread, Wheaten Bread & Soda Farls.  Since winter is well and truly on its way, and it is lashing with rain outside I thought I would make us some.  I thought I would share my recipe and do a show and tell.

Ingredients

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (I use sea salt)
  • 250ml Buttermilk

 

Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Make a well and add the buttermilk, although do not add it all as you can keep adding whilst mixing rather than make it too wet.

Mix and knead the dough on a floured surface, but be gentle, you really only want to knead it into shape.  Slice a cross into the top with a sharp knife that has been floured.

Pop the farl onto a hot griddle pan, or if you only have a frying pan, that will work nicely, but again, be gentle, don’t go in at too high a temperature or you will end up with a crispy dough ball.  I use a tepanyaki grill plate to make mine and have the temperature about 150c.

Partway through cooking flip it over and cook the other side.

Again flip it over, and tap the base to see if it is cooking, it should make a hollow sound, and if not carry on cooking.

As you can see the farl has split where the score marks were and have browned nicely.  Finally, when you are happy with it, wrap it in a tea cloth and set aside, this will ensure that it finishes off cooking and traps moisture, and makes it chewy, and brings out the subtle soda taste.  I used to use a proper Irish Linnen tea cloth, but alas it bit the dust some time ago.

It should take about 20 minutes to cook through.

Once it has cooled split it into four, then slice through the side horizontally, so you end up with 8 quarters if you cut it all at once.  Toast and enjoy with lashings of butter and a slice of mature cheese like cheddar.  Also delicious with bacon and egg.

 

So-called plans…

rain-122691_640

We joined the national trust this week and thought, what the hell, let’s go to Lyme Park, spend the day there, and of course, take Harper with us. We have not been there for about 6 years. Even though we would not be able to go into the house with the dog, we were happy to walk around the grounds and deer park, go to the dog-friendly cafe and just have a relaxing day.

We woke just before 7 and the weather had not turned out the way it was supposed to be. So, we stayed in bed for another hour and waited for the sun to pop out. He did not turn up, and the rains started, and have not stopped all day. The road is flooding, not too bad, but all the same, it is relentless.

What will we do with the day? Shopping was already done, walking Harper between the early showers was not exactly going to do much. Rather than sit waiting for the weather to break, we decided to change the master bedroom around, move the bed to the gable end of the house, then a bit of housework. This was all done by about 12pm. So, what now? I planted more plants in the aquarium, did a small water change, and went to the supermarket again, this time for salty snacks and beer.

I made scouse yesterday in the slow cooker, which we ate some of for lunch, and are having the rest of it tonight for dinner, so cooking is out of the question.

Today feels like a Sunday, and we have the real Sunday tomorrow. May have to relieve the boredom of the weekend with a back to back box set watching of Lucifer, Preacher, Frasier, Big Bang and of course Moonlighting.

Real Milk

I love milk, it is one staple that I have to have in my life, and under no circumstance would I give it up. I always get full-fat milk but have yearned for proper raw (unpasteurised) milk for many years now. I found places that would send it by DHL, but all in all, for 12-pint pack we were talking about the best part of £30, so I never bought it, and I really wanted to find a dairy farm local that sells it. The problem was that raw milk is sort of shunned by the general public as they have been brought up thinking that pasteurised milk is proper milk and we should only ever drink this. However, having worked in the farming industry I know that is a load of bull (pardon the cow pun).

A few weeks ago a farm not far from here started selling raw milk. M and I decided that we would go out for lunch to one of the pubs on the canals and then pop up to the farm for the milk. The pub we went to does not do food on a Monday or a Tuesday, so we just had a pint there, sat in the sun, looked at the boats then headed over to the farm. I decided to not go mad as I know that I would just drink it all in one go, so bought 2 litres, and what a bargain, only £1 per litre.

Needless to say, I could not wait to get home to drink some. I made M try it, he thought it was just okay, and didn’t like the after taste. He prefers the heat treated watery rubbish from the shops, I, however, am in love with it, it’s creamy, rich, and tastes amazing.

Tips and Beyond

Daily tips for success, business, lifestyles, self-esteem,...

The Prison of Betrayers

Fulfilling a Destiny freely chosen of Poetic Justice

Cosmicknitter

A little about knitting and a lot about nothing...

Backstage Knits

Random knitting thoughts from a theater lover. Hartford, CT

Endless Roaming

Australian Traveller that loves to "Roam" our globe, creator of ENDLESSROAMING.COM sharing the experience through word and photography. Currently residing in my home of Newtown Sydney

Kitty Payne Knits

Knitting pretty in the North East

WOOLLY WEDNESDAY

Crafting and wellbeing

Flavor Smasher

The ultimate place for smashing flavors

Rain Coast Review

Thoughts on life... by Donald B. Wilson

bookerworm

So many books, so little time

rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

knitsbywhit

Exploring the world one fiber at a time

Kidb.co.uk

Inspiring you with fresh original music and amazing mash ups. Mental health/psychology guides and the occasional funny video.

RTW Roxy

A girl travelling around the world on a motorcycle.

The Happy Book Blog

Books,fun,humour,music,happiness and my thoughts.

USA Writes

Simple Blogs