Saturday, 13 October 2012

The road to hell...............

..............   is paved with good intentions.  I was full of good intentions to declutter some more of the kitchen and 'sort stuff out' again this morning; nothing too arduous, mainly craft stuff and wool, get it put away and tidied and to make sure I know what I've got.  All going to plan, coffee finished, then...................

........the postman arrived.
One of the bits of mail was a book, which I'd actually forgotten I'd ordered for literally pennies from Amazon or Abe, can't even remember which...........

It's this one

- a non-fiction account of a ten day visit to Dumfries & Galloway  by Americn author Liz Curtis Higgs and her friend.  Well, seeing as that's where I was brought up, I had to read it didn't I?  Lots of great details about places I know and love well. Like real life for me, the interest is in the day to dat details of ordinary folks' lives rather thn the grand historic gestures, and there's plenty of this sort of ovservant detail in this book to keep me happy. She visits Benny Gillies' bookshop in Kirkpatrick Durham, where I lived; his home and bookshop is next door to where my granny lived, and I knew Benny and his wife Lyn, and have had books from him. I recognised the Reverend Bill Holland too as I went to school with one of his daughters. A joy, for me, from start to finish Yes, I  sat down and read right through it, stopping only to make and drink a cup of tea.  I now need to get on with what I intended doing this morning, but what a lovely way to spend a dreich Saturday - albeit unintentionally

ps the postman also delivered  Sea Change by Mhairi Hedderwick, but I've hidden that! lol

Friday, 12 October 2012

Starting to bite?

I think it is now, yes, the efffects of global warming and climate change are becoming apparent at the supermarket checkout and food shops apparently

Bad in some ways, good in that it might finally wake folk up to what is going to happen in the really not too distant future. Sadly, this was all being discuused over 30 years ago, back in the 70s when I was growing up and just becoming aware of ecology/environment/food/global issues. Seems we haven't really moved very far forward at all.

I am trying to do all I can to build resiliance into my life in all sorts of ways - storing seed, buying bulk grains and flour, keeping a well-stocked store of everything, (not just food) saving money, etc.  I predict tough times ahead, not an 'end of world' scenario (well, not yet anyway!), but tough, globally,  in our daily lives of just putting food on the table, getting enough water for our needs and yes, basic survival. It's scary stuff, but I won't be the one with my head in the sand. Your kitchen table might look pretty, but you can't eat Kath Kidston mugs and a cupboard full of gadgets. It's time for priorities now, in all areas of home life.
What will you do?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Squishy and wrinkly.............

.............. doesn't always mean inedible!  Tonight's supper was a combination of squishy, wrinkly and cheap. Here's the sort of recipe for Chunky Smoky Leek and Bacon Sauce with pasta twists

Take a bag of pasta from emergency stores as too much time spent knitting to make your own today; Get a heavy bottomed pan and scrape off the runny butter from the packet that someone left out overnight in the warm kitchen, put in pan. Delve into veg basket and rescue slightly elderly and wrinkly leek that is about 9ft long.....................   top and tail and peel off the outer skin (rather rude looking), slice thinly and put into pan with butter over a highish heat. Enter fridge of doom............ discover 3 tomatoes at the back that have been frozen and thawed, when someone insisted on turning up the dial as things'weren't being kept cold enough' - frozen cold enough for you? Add in big squishy tomato from the bottom of the salad drawer and remove mouldy bit  from half tomato left from sandwich maker the other day. Chop all roughly and messily on kitchen table. Mop up all the watery juice that got everywhere.  Pile tomatoes into pan, stir round with leeks and re-enter fridge of doom to extracate ends of bacon bits from slicing up home cured bacon the other day; chop roughly into chunks and add to the pan. Leave to cook down decide it's looking a bit peely wally, so open the wine. After one glass, remember what  you were doing and add a slug to the pan, then tip in a generous helping of smoked paprika. Pop lid on and have another glass of wine - this is a cork bottle, not a screw top, so might go off.................
Back to the fridge of doom to unearth cheesey ends in cheese box - bit of Double Gloucester and some pensioner parmesan, grate finely and mix together.
Put pan on for pasta, take your turns on FB Scrabble, then top up pan as it threatens to boil dry, get it back to boiling and cook pasta. Drain  well, failing in attempt to keep hand out of way of boiling water. Portion out pasta into bowls, ladle on generous amount of sauciness, pile on the cheese and open another bottle.
Bon appetit :)

*actually this was very, very good lol


Monday, 8 October 2012

Simple food

More often than not, simple is best; Definitely the case with tonight's supper - boiled bacon with parsely sauce, buttery mash and cabbage. Teh secret to good simple cooking is the ingredients - always get the very best you can buy or grow or otherwise acquire. Quality is everything. The bacon here is a bit of home cured pork from a friend's wild boar X pig, which I bought half of recently. The taste really is something else. Real butter and full cream milk in the sauce and plenty of fresh parsley (full of iron), butter, top of the milk and salt in the mash, cabbage cooked through but still slightly crunchy in as little water as possible. Yes,  it's real butter and full cream milk, but a little goes a long way with veg, and makes all the difference.
I first had this in Ireland about 7years ago, in a pub for Sunday lunch; I make it occasionally now but it should really be on the menu more often I think.