Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sausage Fest - Lidl Orchid - Tulips

What a lovely day we've had. Remembered to put the clocks on, slept well, and apart from pit-stops during the night I didn't surface until after 9am. Y prepared the vegetables and I concentrated on the yorkshires and the sausages.

I'd better explain our term 'Sausage Fest'. It involves selecting lots of different types of sausage, 2 links of this and 3 links of that etc., some highly spiced, some plain, some large, some thin. These are then grilled and served in a flattish dish where people can pick what they fancy We provide information like 'That's a highly spiced one, I don't think you'ld like it.'

The kids (of all ages) love it. We also had Yorkshires because Miles loves them so. Today, with their early arrival, he could see the whole process from pouring the batter into the tin, through peeking through the glass oven door to see if they are rising, to the finished product. Potato with swede, mashed with plenty of butter and a glub of milk and some chopped up chives. Hannah went with Y to pick the chives, so she knows for the future. Plus carrots, broccoli, and plenty gravy. I made onion-sauce but burnt it while Steven was showing me how to open up the new TV as a laptop monitor. Then there was jelly and ice-cream, jam rolypoly and custard, plus a cheese-board and coffee.

For Bungus's benefit I must report that Y went completely haywire and came back with at least 6 chive leaves !

Steven liked the 5 metre VGA cable from Maplins. He said "Some cable. I bet that cost you 30 quid!". "Completely wrong" I was able to reply "It cost me £29.92p". He fixed it to have the TV monitor open at the same time as the laptop screen, so I don't get confused and have to click things when I just want to use the laptop as normal.

Picture 1 is some tulips from Lidl. Y loves them best when they start to droop elegantly (a look I've been seeking for years) and Picture 2 is a beautiful two-stemmed Orchid, also from Lidl (for the princely sum of £4.42p) and I have 'photshopped' an enlarged detail into the corner.

Comments..... Bungus....Great to hear that you are feeling 'chipper' and planting seeds and potatoes. Magic. Sorry about the reds again, in the Flowering Currant,- I haven't enhacned them, just the 'I'm feeling lucky' button and a crop. Ours have never deserved the term 'dusty' red anyway. We had a very washed out pink one but we 'outed' it.

The folding vases Jill described intrigues me and I hope she will explain in greater depth. I have a drinking glass/tumbler which came from a Lifeboat Shop. The structure is concentric rings which collapse down into each other when you press, but, when they are pulled out, the result is surprisingly watertight. Perhaps the vases work on the same principle.

My salad phobia doesn't include sandwiches; I love cheese and lettuce, cheese and tomato, egg and cress, and water-cress with almost anything. Probably been mentioned before but I abhor the cheap restaurant practice of putting a substantial salad garnish on the same plate as a hot meal.

Jill...... It is well worth giving 'bacon in the oven' a try. In a shallow baking tray, lay out your rashers without any oil/fat (streaky un-smoked works particularly well) and they cook to a delicious even crispness. If you prefer floppy bacon it doesn't work at all.

Thanks for the info on The Petersham. In the 1980s the Home Office used to give us £12 for an evening meal, without needing a receipt and whether or not you actually bought a meal. I don't know what the current rate is. Prolly have to tell you under the Freedom of Information Act - but I'm not that interested.

Re Ted Davison and Caesar (his dog) Ted used to travel around in an old Bedford Dormobile which was in fact, Caesar's mobile kennel. And the vehicle used to grace the front car-park of The Richmond Gate, I'm sure to their unspoken dismay.

Picture 3 is of our guests leaving. You can just see half of Millicent's face in the rear window. They had managed just one last game of hide & seek, which she loves and I mentioned yesterday.

I had a nice chat to David this morning. He has tried again to send photographs, both to my new mobile, and via his mobile to my e-mail address. But they haven't arrived. None of us seem to be able to get the particular system working properly. They are all OK but Helen has a bad neck. My mother would have said "She'll have been sitting in a draught" an explanation for many ills. I'd like to go over to see them while Y is in London and he is going to get back to me as to which day would be best.

Quotation time..... This appealed to me,

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

Douglas Adams

Much as I liked 'Hitchhiker....' I loved Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and the sofa getting stuck up the staircase. And trying to write a computer-programme to work out how to do it. Probably within the scope of the average teenager today - well perhaps a gifted teenager !

Sleep tight etc., and I'll catch you tomorrow.


bungus said...

I hope the surfeit of chive did not spoil the mash.

The flowers look nice but I think the black background is in danger of becoming an affectation. In many cases I find it too hard.
Lovely as they are, I think orchids have this year become de rigeur. Which means that next year they will be considered ‘common’.
I blame the Dutch. We should have finished the job when they tried to sail up the Medway in 1665.

I think you have largel captured the ‘droop’. Now you just need the ‘elegantly’ bit!

It could be that the washed out pink currants are the only ones I have seen.

I too had a metal travelling tumbler as you describe (no idea where it came from; it was jiust ‘there’) which must have got lost somewhere along the way.

A cheese and lettuce sandwich doesn’t appeal (I think cheese needs chutney or pickle) and I do not like the sogginess of tomato in a sandwich at all. But I go along with 'egg and cress, and water-cress with almost anything'.
And I agree about salad with hot meals although, unlike you, I don’t ‘create’ (as my mother would have said), I just leave it.
Do you really mean cheap restaurant practice, or the cheap practice of restaurants? I think the habit started at the posh end and filtered down. I do not understand it, especially in places doing lower priced meals as salad is not cheap but expensive and the plate space could easily be filled at littel cost by potatoes or a third veg.

Helen is lucky didn’t ”catch her death” (usually of cold).

I like the Douglas Adams quote.

I've never heard of chicken dripping and cannot fancy it (I once arrived home from school to find what I thought was a dish of cold custard in the ‘pantry’. Fortunately I made a last minute decision to smell it before eating. It was chicken fat).
I only fancy bread fried in decent oil or, preferably, in bacon fat. But I habitually avoid it except occasionally at home (I like it fried in olive oil with baked beans). I prefer to use the bacon fat for my tinned tomatoes.
When 'egg-dipped' isn’t it known as French Toast or Gypsy Toast?

From Wikipedia:
Shindig refers to any sort of clever party, covered dish gathering (?), box social, (archaic) a brawl. Also it can refer to a dance party with lots of music.
(probably of Irish origin?)

And ‘covered dish’:
Synonomous to potluck. Each person at a gathering brings an unique dish so that a large meal is created for everyone.

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago” (unknown author)

anonymousrob/niftygoogler said...

Lots to catch up on as I've been missing for a few days. We went to Yorkshire over the weekend as I was one of the judges for the print section of the Yorkshire Photographic Union (Yorks equiv of N&EMPF) annual exhibition. 1,414 prints marked in 6 hours - nonsense really but it gave me a chance to have some influence on the type of work selected. 'Nature' shots with no discernible background got short shrift as did milky water shots, RG will be pleased to know. I think I managed to give the lowest mark possible to every stained glass window picture. How can people photograph a stained glass window, print and mount it to avoid including anything else at all and then claim it as their own work?

Wildlife fakery - I know someone who paints his own out-of-focus mottled green backdrops so you can't even be sure the background is real. But, if it was a 'pictorial' photographer wouldn't we be praising the use of imagination to get the result you want?

My first offering to the 'things we were told' series comes from my mother who was fond of telling us, as kids when we were ill, 'The more horrible medicine tastes the more good it does you.'

THAT Becks freekick was probably the best taking into account the need for a goal at that particular time - pressure ot what?

The Mighty Stags look doomed. Is this the result of imcompetence in the boardroom? Speaking of which, Panthers have failed to make the play-off finals weekend after winning it last year. It seems like the coach is also doomed, even though he has taken them to 2 trophies in 2 seasons. No other Panthers coach has achieved that I believe.

I don't mind a salad with a hot meal but prefer it not to be on the same plate. At the weekend we had a pub meal and Elaine had fishcakes with a 'side' salad. Rather unusually, it was served with a dressing but, then again, the people running the pub were not British. I don't understand why places, especially pubs, serve salad with no dressing although they seem happy to provide little pots of salad cream or mayo. At one point we used to ask for some olive oil which always brought strange looks.

Thanks to ChairmanReg for the EPS Programme update. I always knew 10th April was the 'theme out of the hat' night but I got the dates muddled in my head. SecretaryRoy had also given me the same info after I e-mailed him about his op. He seems to be doing well.

Bungus - I don't like the names Claude or Gerald. I'm happy to go with NiftyGoogler but, as I've done in the previous paragraph, will AnonymousRob, ChairmanReg and SecretaryRoy suffice? Of course, Reg and Roy may not want to be known in that way.

Moving on from the digital/slide controversy, how about the monochrome/colour one? When is a monochrome print not a monochrome print? When FIAP (Federation International de l'Art Photographique) decides as follows:
FIAP Definition of Monochrome
A black and white work fitting from the very dark grey (black) to the very clear grey
(white) is a monochrome work with the various shades of grey.
A black and white work toned entirely in a single colour will remain a monochrome
work able to stand in the black and white category; such a work can be reproduced in
black and white in the catalogue of a salon under FIAP Patronage.
On the other hand a black and white work modified by a partial toning or by the
addition of one colour becomes a colour work (polychrome) to stand in the colour
category; such a work requires colour reproduction in the catalogue of a salon under
FIAP Patronage.

The image that we decided to award the Best Pictorial Colour Print in the YPU exhibition on Saturday was a monochrome print with a very, very subtle additon of colour in parts of the print. Reeesult! A mono print wins the colour section; I think I had an influence :o)


Jill said...

I like droopy tulips too.....the sausage fest - I don't know where you bought the sausages but nowhere I know sells them 'loose' - they are pre-packed. Butcher does, but only two sorts. I looked on the Sainsburys meat counter today, none. And what worries me, how do you know when they are cooked which is which? apart from the little and large ones. Was the jam roly-poly homemade?

We wouldn't have liked anything delia cooked tonight - I still think plain traditional English-style cooking cannot be rushed, like all this foreign stuff....

I am sending you a vase under plain cover - I bought a large pack with a friend. You could put a few flowers in it - you are getting the smallest size, I've got about 4 daffs in mine - and photograph it. I know the sort of drinking cup you mean, but it is not at all like that!

I do like the quote - have copied it out into my notebook - there's glory for you.

My granny use to say of someone 'they are as much use as a chocolate teapot' - she came from Manchester originally, my Manchester friend says it too, so it's obviously a northern saying.