Saturday, 24 August 2013

Signs of advancing age

Now that I've reached another decade, the first public acknowledgement of this arrived today - an invitation to take part in the bowel cancer screening programme, in the privacy of my own home.  Oh joy!   I'm glad that didn't say in the comfort of my own home. 

What other excitements can I look forward to, now that I've passed the magic 6-0?

Friday, 23 August 2013

I can cheat but I'm not going to PAY to cheat

Back in 2008 I made DVD copies (legitimately) for "Delia's How To Cheat At Cooking". 

One of the recipes was for Shepherd's Pie and when she got to the mashed potato topping she revealed the cheat for that particular dish.  It involved using frozen discs of mashed potato which you placed on top of the mince.  The next week I discovered they were part of a new range of her frozen food and that they cost an inordinate amount of dosh. 

Ever since then I've been making my own.  It's dead easy and means I always have mashed potato available at the touch of a microwave button.  I've been doing quite a bit of that recently as we are now into potato digging up season and I rather overdid the seed potato ordering at the beginning of the year.

Suffice to say that last weekend I dug up 35lb of potatoes (the result of one bag of seed potatoes) and that there's rather more to come.  When I sort them through all the ones that have been accidentally speared by the fork, or which don't look like they'll keep I turn into either mash or sauté (wow, that accent appeared like magic) and then freeze them.

What cheats do you have?

Friday, 16 August 2013

Shrinking wrinklies

Before they changed the rules, I could have retired next Tuesday.  Now I have to wait another 4 years, 2 months and 17 days.

As they're slowing down the rate at which people retire, but not also slowing down the rate at which those at the other end die, does that mean the grey voting population will diminish, and does that mean the politicians will care less about them?

Saturday, 10 August 2013

A quick catch-up

I have been very remiss in this posting lark.  But then I have been a bit busy.

I have spent eight days filming an archaeological dig, in the very hottest days of the year, in the middle of a field, lots of yards/metres (depending on your age) from the nearest trees.  Fortunately we did have a gazebo affair over the actual hole but still absolutely wilting weather. 

They had to go down two metres to find what they were looking for - the remains of an Augustinian abbey which was pulled down by Henry VIII's mob.  On the way they dug through several cess pits - full of broken potties and animal bones and hundreds of oyster shells.  It would seem that in days gone by oysters were actually cheap food consumed by the working classes.

One day we climbed over 100 feet up to the top of the adjoining church tower to film from up there. 

 Sorry, I should be able to find a better picture than that, but at least you get an idea. It did have rather splendid views but was a tad lacking in shade from the sun.

And then, following on from my previous post, I have been making strawberry ice-cream in industrial quantities, digging up potatoes in sackfuls and making redcurrant jelly and blackcurrant jam.  Not to mention the bottles full of "Ribena".  Those currant bushes were just groaning under the weight of fruit - the redcurrants especially just looked like glistening with jewels.

When I went to get more sugar and met Polish Charlie, one of the waiters in my son's caff, I said I was making jam and he said "Really?  Home-made jam?  Can I have some?" so of course I said yes.  And he made pancakes and put the jam on and said it was delicious.  So 48 hours from bush to plate.

In other news it would appear my daughter has been selected for Team GB in the 4X  World Champs in Leogang in September and has also been interviewed for hardtailnation:

Right, things to do ....