Saturday, 7 January 2012


“ If your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough”

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Friday, 6 January 2012

Frugal Friday - stew

I love stews!  Anything goes..............  last night's supper was a big bowl of Irish stew I made on Wednesday. I got a decent size pot out, and in went - three bendy carrots and 4 soft potatoes 3 sprouting onions and a packet of very good diced British lamb picked up for only 10p our of the reduced section the other week; add in a dash of Worcester sauce, some value gravy granules and some water. Cheap, filling, nutritious  and very good - there's half of it left for tomorrow too :)  Can't really ask for more, can I?

That's a Wikipedia Irish stew lol - but looks almost identical to mine, and I liked the table cloth!

Words failed me on this one!

Men, eh?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

All foodied out

I've had my fill of foodie food I think. Since I started out with my own home and garden, the change over the years concerning home cooking has been, and continues to be quite phenomenal. Ingredients that were once considered very exotic have become commonplace, same with dishes themselves, fruits and vegetables that can be flow half way around the world before breakfast time. There is a huge ,probably bewildering to novice cooks, range of recipe and cookery books, DVDs, programmes, internet pages, you name it, likewise equipment and gadgets. There is a lot in the press too - every paper has a cookery/recipe column, often contributed by celebrity chefs and the like; our local free paper has several pages per week devoted to all things food. I am fortunate to live in Dorset, where there is an astounding variety of easily available local food and produce - cheeses, daury, bread, fish from the coast, meat from the Vales,  fruit and vegetables, community gardens and orchards - all sorts of things going on - but sometimes it's definitely overkill.
However,  a lot of it has become tired,  lost its gloss and excitement for me, I've become increasingly irritated over the past two years or so and being urged to add ingredients to otherwise perfectly good food, often looking as if it was just for the sake of it.

Take for instance ,  the perennial 'problem' of Brussels sprouts! Now, this is one of my all time favoruites, and when I eat them I want to taste them, only them. I don't want to be fishing around in bits of crispy bacon, pine nuts or chestnuts, thankyou, I just want the sprouty taste, or what's the point?
Or pizza -  ham/pineapple/chicken/chilli/sweetcorn?  NNNnnooooooooo   - tomatoes, basil mozzarella, that is all, on a good well made and well cooked PLAIN base.
Or a ploughman's lunch (might have done this before lol) - chunk of good bread, pat of fresh butter, piece of really good local cheese and an apple, pint of cider/beer. Nothing else - no Branston, nothing in a wee foil box, no salad, no grapes, no green pepper or coleslaw.


I do enjoy reading cookery magazines and books, watching clips etc, but I don;t necessarily want to try the things, I just like being kept appraised of what's going on, what's happening out there. I liken it to when I was younger with fashion and make up - read all the magazines, knew what was in, what was out, who were the up and coming designers, the names, the catwalk shows and models. I'd no sooner wear a lot of the stuff than fly through the air though lol
I love knowing what's going on, what the younger people are doing, their thoughts and ideas, so have enjoyed reading and 'keeping up'. I think, now though, where food is concned, I've had enough, and I want to get back to really simple, not that I've ever been outrageous in a sort of Heston way lol
I was mulling this over this afternoon when I was cooking - I made a big beef casserole, and Irish stew and a fish pie. Good wholesome food, nothing fancy at all, but with the best ingredients you can find for your kitchen there is nothing fancy needed.
This year, I'll be using my older cookery books more I think, harking back to a time when scones were scones and biscuits tasted of somethingother than just the fancy icingsand chocolate chips and things - back to the Victoria sponge, where you can taste the butter, and the soup where the stock was the main and vital ingredient.

 I'll still make curry, and lasagne, but I use  traditional and fairly plain recipes for those, but I really hanker after some good, basic cooking where you can taste the ingredients and the quality of the finished dish is dependent on the quality of the ingredients.
Anyone got  a use for half a packet of pine nuts and a jar of tamarind sauce?

Today's beef casserole bubbling  away - not an ounce of polenta or smoked garlic in sight..................


Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Apologies for not being around for a while; illness has taken its toll, have had a couple of days in bed, almost unheard of for me, and my voice is dodgy to say the least.
I'm on the mend however,  breathing has eased, and cough is lessening by the day, even got a bit of sleep last night too, but physically wrung out feeling persists. Stuff still needs to be done though, but am taking it easy and doing things slowly, so will be back to normal soon - think I miss  being able to sing the most lol
Lots planned to be getting on with - knitting (ofcourse), sewing, decorating and gardening; planns for writing and recipes, cooking and de-cluttering, spring cleaning,  general changing things around in  the New Year type things.
I haven't made resolutions as such, just carrying on with what I do, but a bit more of it and try to keep on top of things better.
I hope you all had a lovely time over the festive season, how ever you chose to celebrate or not, and I wish you all a great year to come, hoping it brings you everything you wish for and more :)