Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Meanderings in the Morning

Good Morning all and a welcome aboard to a new follower, solstitches, glad to have you join us.

I spent part of yesterday dozing on the sofa, not like me, and had a couple of woozy moments so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am not coming down with the Lurgy. 

I did manage to make the pasties.  

This is Michael,s  dinner. the pasty filling is beef casserole with onions, carrots and swede and as you see is not a tiny thing.Michael asked for "a bushel" of peas with his pasty!
 The pastry was a packet of AF dumpling mix with half a packet of their herby dumpling mix. This gave me enough pastry for three large pasties and no potatoes were needed.

I made a big pot of Pork Goulash as well yesterday, enough for two meals and a packed lunch for Francesca, and the same amount of Chili with the braising beef.We will have noodles and cabbage with the pork and plain rice with the chili.
There were several carrots starting to get soft, half a head of celery, 3 half onions? and 2 peppers slightly wrinkly lurking in the salad drawer so with a head of garlic and another onion added I turned them into veg hash and used it all as the base of both recipes. I added the spices and herbs 2 packets of chopped tomatoes, 2 tubs of homemade passata and some veg stock and let both pots simmer, 1 1/2 hours for the goulash and 3 for the chili. They have been portioned up and all but the goulash for tonight are in the freezer.

I have half a loaf of bread that will be breadcrumbs soon ready to go into a big batch of meatloaf mix, some of which will transform into meatballs, I use half and half beef and pork mince and add half a packet of "cooking bacon" from Mr S. I soak the bread in milk, add veg hash and an egg, a good dollop of tomato ketchup, spices and herbs. I do not follow a recipe and it is different every time, I use what I have. 
The meatballs get sealed off in a drizzle of oil and plopped into a pot of my tomato sauce with some extra garlic and fresh chillies and lots of smoked paprika, half an hour simmering and they are good to go, I cool them in a sink of cold water, lots of ice cubes, and then portion up, chill and freeze.
The meatloaf  portion gets put into loaf tins lined with parchment and a slick of tomato ketchup poured over, I cover with a dome of foil and cook for 1 1/2 hours. These are cooled and removed from the tins, cut in half and wrapped in fresh parchment and foil and frozen. 
I make this every month and we have one or the other every week, sometimes both. This is one of the few meals that does not appear as a packed lunch, the meatballs are poured over tagliatelle and would be messy to eat plus I am not sure how the pasta would fare. I freeze the meals and Francesca takes them frozen, by lunchtime they have defrosted ready to be zapped. 
The meatloaf we have with mashed potato, veg and gravy and the half loaf does the 3 of us.
I have never costed this out but I the packs of mince that are £3 or thereabouts, the bacon is £1.10 a pack so the meat cost is £6.60.  If I am lucky enough to find the meat packs on offer or RTC I stock up. There have been occasions when I have had 6 packs of each at £1 a pack. This gives us 4 lots of meatballs and 2 meatloaves making 8 meals. Every few months I have enough in the freezer so do not have to cook these "free meals".
I also picked, and cooked a bucket of apples and they are packed away in the freezer, I add a good pinch of cinnamon and some brown sugar to them. It becomes pie filling, crumble base, apple sauce and goes into fruit cake mix, Dutch apple cake and apple sauce bread and if no one is looking it goes straight into my mouth. Yum Yum Yum.

My shoulders and back are still achy and stiff so I hope that work tonight is not manic. I will have a soak in the bath later if it does not ease off and get Michael to massage some arnica cream in.

It is a bit cooler today but it is early and the sun is shining, we had rain overnight, just enough to lay the dust and wash the leaves.

If it stays dry I have some raspberries to pick and some more blackberries, these will be cooked with some apples and elderberries and turned into jelly.

Reasons to be grateful

1. A bounteous harvest of goodies.

2. The sunshine turning raindrops into jewels.

3. The house filling up with good things to eat.

4. Friends who will share these with us.

5. The feeling of slowing down as the season moves forward and nature slows all growth down.

I am slightly hyperactive and in the spring will be running all day every day but in the autumn I find myself slowing down naturally and when picking apples yesterday spent several minutes watching a squirrel chasing around the Pear tree in the next garden.
 The rooks were reeling around their nests at the bottom or the orchard, I know that they are waiting for the walnuts to be ready. There are 3 trees close by and the Rooks are so greedy, I have to be quick to gather what I want and they swear at me the whole time.

I am now in dire need of more tea so it is.                TTFN      Pam


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