Saturday 13 October 2018

Oh What a Day!

We had it Large yesterday, rain and wind that couldn't make it's mind up as to what direction so went round in circles.

I did get the dogs out without being drowned, but only just.

I did all the necessary chores and then sat down for some knitting after lunch. I put Gemma Stafford on you tube making cinnamon rolls, an hour later I woke up to Preppy Kitchen and spiced apple cake.

I had a cuppa, of course, and then had to bake. Cinnamon apple cake x 2, 1 for us and 1 for W. The same with apple crumble. The kitchen smells were intoxicating as the slow cooker was on as well.

I hauled a pack of braising steak out of the freezer first thing, then when I was ready to prep the meal I discovered that it was in fact Pork. I just did not read the label, it must have been put into the wrong bag.  Hmmmm, change of plan. This is what I did.

Clockwise from the top left corner, 2 sticks of celery, 3 small carrots, half a small onion, 3 mushrooms, 5 bacon medallions the dark red blob is tomato puree. I buy it in biggish cans and freeze in dollops. I gave it all a grind of pepper and salt at this point.

While the veg and bacon were browning I decided to add a sweet potato. Everything was diced quite fine.

This is what it looked like after about 10 minutes.

Clockwise from top left, 1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup cider and the pork, 5% fat mince. 

The pork went in for a few minutes till it started to colour.

Then all the liquids and the tomato puree went in and had a good stir round, a little Sage and Thyme joined the party. Once it came up to a simmer it all went in the slow cooker on low.

It will be a one pot wonder for dinner tonight, very SW friendly, although that was accidental. Not a bad thing as there is crumble and cake in the kitchen.( Not to mention the Christmas puddings SHHHH! don't shout, the SO has a thing about Christmas pudding.)

This is the end result and it was delicious. There is enough left for another meal and it is safely tucked away in the freezer. I will be making it again but next time will leave out the milk, it did nothing to enhance the taste, a dollop of Greek yogurt added when serving will give a creamier finish.

I did get the fisrt Wild Orchid sock finished and have started the second. I am feeling the call of the blanket yarn from the sewing room. I will try very hard not to touch it till the second sock is at least as far as the heel turn. Give me strength to resist temptation.

It is still wet this morning but not as windy, at least so far. The forecast is not good though, lots of knitting time so all is not lost. 

I want to get to the post office this morning, I have a little parcel of the squishy variety to send off to someone that I have followed for many years. You know who you are and I hope that you have fun playing.

Apart from that there is nothing that I need to go out for, shopping has been done for the week and I can concentrate on all the little jobs around the house.

I am still humming and hahhing about the sofa in the sewing room, The only "person" who sits on it is Ben, I 'fess up to using it as a dumping ground. If I do get rid of it there would be so much more floor space and the SO could build me a drop down table for cutting. It has to be drop down or it would just take over as another dumping ground.

The lovely Jess from Buy Less Live Slow left a comment on my Kitchen gadget post. It has compelled me to stack my pots and pans on the work tops and take a long, hard look at them. I am certain that a few could go, there is not enough room for them in one cupboard. Again I have to 'fess up and say that I am not really sure how many I have. My kitchen is the one area that I find hard to simplify, it comes from being a professional cook for so many years.

When you cook in a restaurant kitchen you have dozens of pans of various sizes. I have gone through 30 and more in a single lunch service. Now I do not need that, even when I batch cook for the freezer.
That is a whole other can of worms, Why Oh Why do I still feel the need to have stacks of ready made meals squirrelled away?

I am stuck in the comfortable rut from my working years, it was so easy to double or even quadruple a recipe and freeze the meals. That way I could pull something from the freezer before going to work. Once back home dinner was all but ready and washing up was minimal.
That mindset leads to another can of worms, I have my tall fridge freezer, a small under counter fridge and a small chest freezer! If I could break the "cook and freeze it" habit I could lose the chest freezer. Maybe. 
My fridge freezer is getting on in years and at some point will need replacing. If I find one with a larger freezer to fridge ratio then that would be sufficient. However that is in the future, I will not go down that route until I have to. I do need the second fridge, I cook from scratch and keep many ingredients in the fridge. The under counter one has fruit and veg and various jars of ginger, garlic, lime leaves, lemon grass and other herbs in vinegars and oils. I use the flavoured liquids and the solids in many recipes.

I think that I have rambled on for long enough this morning.
I hope that you all manage to enjoy your weekend and I will see you all on the morrow, all being well.

                      TTFN                                         Pam


  1. Our kitchen habits are ingrained, I do alot of things my mum did, when we moved here 9 years ago, we had to sort our kitchen was half the size of the old one. Everything has to earn the space it takes, hubby has a love of sharp knives and we always have more than we need. We still overcook, but it is nice to have a cooking free night, eating leftovers.

  2. That looks a nice warming meal Pam.

  3. I am not sure I need to batch cook quite as much as I do, an old habit when the girls were all at home and I worked full time.

  4. We had the same weather here, Pam, just across the Bristol channel, hence why we came home from hol Thurs afternoon, didn't fancy spending all day stuck in a rocking noisy caravan! Your impromptu pork stew looks lovely, and the cinnamon apple cake...oh yum.

  5. Ah yes, trying to cull the was a big wakeup call for me when we had to move into a small rental when the house was being built. A huge box of kitchen stuff was packed away and only the essentials were kept out.nearly a year later aftervbeing in the new place for 6 months I only took,out a few things and the rest went to the charity shop.
    A lot of baking things and extra stuff you use when the kids are small or still at home.
    Good luck with letting go, the more you do the easier it gets.

    If you decide to have a cutting / work table made , make sure it is bench height not table height, much better for your back and ease of working.I had a breakfast bar or island bench built in the kitchen remodel, and it is my big work space for lots of activities.
    Good idea to get your work space sorted before all the Winter weather keeps you inside a lot more.

  6. I'm the opposite, don't have many pots and pans, just enough to get us through a big meal..I'm more a one pot kind of gal !

  7. I know I have way too much kitchen stuff. DH likes to have spares of things if he/we like them Consequently, in the garage rafters are a spare toaster, bread maker coffee maker and who knows what else. I don't have a very big kitchen but I do have a big storage room in the basement. Often though things get put down there and it becomes'out of sight, out of mind'. Also can't be bothered getting whatever from down there so just use what is already in the kitchen. We are both really bad for hanging on to things and desperately need a good declutter!!

  8. Christmas pud fan here too.
    Today we made our Christmas cake and had our wish stir so it can mature over the next weeks. Taking advantage of the staying in with the wet weather to get ahead.


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