Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cauliflower and the hairy Bikers , and a Murder at Pemberley

Watching TV and listening to the Radio do inform me. I am really grateful to have found out on the Book Programme ,BBC radio 4 , that Phyllis James in her 91st year,has  written in the style  of Jane Austen a Detective novel  and set it as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. It has climbed to No 3 already in the Times H/B best Sellers. I have just finished it. In fact I hope she considers this  a worthwhile genre as I am ready for Death in Lyme Regis, Sir Walters Body in the Library and The Highbury Poisoner. 

So too I have really appreciated the series on BBC TV ,Great British Food Revivals. Do See it on iplayer  if you have missed any of the programmes. Last night The Hairy Biker's recipe for a Curry of Cauliflower and Potato or Saag aloo with roasted gobi curry, had me straight round to Angela's  our local greengrocer for a Cauli (and only 59p for a huge one).I was looking for an excuse to pick some spinach ,(chard actually) . Since C's visit to the Practice Nurse , we are taking her advice very seriously. We try to  do everything  Sister Rose suggests.

 We are trying to eat from smaller plates to reduce our food intake. I am still cooking in my mind for all the children and their friends, old aunties , and frequent visitors. In reality I am cooking for Colin and I , and hordes only on Sundays and school holidays. My curries last for days , I buy several pineapples when 1 will do and usually have a harvest festival  in the fridge. SO Today I divided the ingredients for the curry by 3 , except for the spices, I always double them, now that our palette is getting very accustomed to hot , sour , spicy ,bitter and unusual.
Thank -You BBC.

Monday, November 07, 2011

A sit down with the Crossword

This is the first minute I have really had for a few days. Small boys (and parents)have spent weekend here to access all that Filey has to offer in way of Bonfires and Fireworks.
This morning I have been refuge too for poorly boy ,who couldn't go to school and had to spend an hour or so with what is forbidden fruit at home, but allowed in Kiaora on a ration book basis, Grandmas 'puter'. Miniclip has replaced Moshi Monsters.
Working backwards in my timeline, We had a good weekend . It began with a very successful burn up of all out Tax papers from the last 20 years, all Colins Case Notes from work for the last 20 years, and all same for our son-in-law, but just for 5years. A smouldering incinerator is a fascination for small boys, and although we just couldn't work out how to toast Marshmallows on it, it was great for lighting sparklers, and was still going in the morning.

Burn up no 2 was in the Car Park in  West Road. Bonfire food full, four adults and 2 small boys joined the hundreds of families enjoying our annual Bonfire and Fireworks (to music)  organized by Filey Lions on Saturday Night. Even Colin , a reluctant reveller enjoyed it. Coup de grace was the music of the Finale , The Dance of the Capulets from Prokoviev's Romeo and Juliet.
The Children were soon back here and asleep and Sunday was a great success as all the lunch was eaten without incident.
So today to recover , and although R arrives from Scarborough at 8am , by 11am Colin and I have earned a sit down . R is enjoying Miniclip, and now on Level 4 of something, Colin has hung out the washing , and I make coffee for us and pick up the Crossword. Colin reads a bit from todays Times saying today marks the 25,000 Times Cryptic Crossword.  2 vintage puzzles are online today, from 1946 and 1978 but they are behind a paywall. I cant get the hang of Times Crypic Crosswords , although I do try sometimes, and have spent hours trying to follow the tutorials they published about 10years ago.(Keeping them for times of immobility ). I sat down with Times 2 as usual, its not difficult, and now that I have found a 2B pencil it is a real pleasure.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Quince Japonica (Chaenomeles japonica)

Quince Japonica
Always good value in a small garden is  the Quince Japonica (Chaenomeles japonica), for the bush has very early blossom, a welcome sight in any garden in Spring, but then goes on to be home to sparrows, a thorny barrier to cats, and bearer of green then mellow yellow hard waxy fruits. These make easy preserves; chutney or jam.
This year I have made Quince and Ginger Jam.
I am a terrible messy cook. I never prepare properly and do everything at a whim, so yesterday thought 
"I'll do something with those quinces" whilst Colin was having his  weekly prayer time with his Prayer Trio, and I knew I needed to be out of the way of the sitting room and gainfully occupied.  I washed jam jars rescued from the crate for the Recycling Bins at Rudston, and then remembered I had decided to throw lids away this time  . 
The jam  was a pleasure to make, so easy-put fruit  in the pan , cover with water boil til soft , strain off all the pips, cores, and unknown bits , then 1pint pulp to 1lb Sugar, and as much ginger as you can grate. 
The prayer trio had long  gone, I was still testing for set on a cold saucer until after the BBC 4 radio play about Elvers had finished. Then I accidentally splashed all the jam pot covers with water so they looked wrinkled on the jars. It was silly enough that I had to empty 2 jars of gravy mix into small plastic containers  to get more jars. I think I know which is chicken and which is beef as they are 2 different shades of brown but I don't suppose anyone will notice if Chicken Gravy accompanies sausages, they will just think Its a foretaste of Christmas Dinner heaven.
Call round if you want some jam, and I still have 5 pots of Quince Chutney from last year . No comments about the taste might be awful, it isnt ,any of it, just not made in factory conditions, and might only get a 4 in the window.