Sunday, April 26, 2009

Super Sunday - Hot-Pot good - Idea 6,333 !

Picture 1 is of an annual event - "the counting of TJ's change bottle". Y hasn't really imbibed the bottle of brandy so we put the glass at the side for 'narrative' reasons.

We have a £1 wager on how much there is going to be and I was closest at £46.20p. But there was almost £60 and I didn't feel close enough to collect my winnings. Man of honour ? or what ?

Picture 2 illustrates the latest of my 'good ideas', number 6,333. The black basins are what supermarkets sell Christmas Puddings in, and I have saved half a dozen of various sizes, some red and some black.

Their attractions are that they are flexible enough to facilitate bending into a sort of spout, for pouring purposes. They are dish-washer proof, freezer proof, microwave proof and they are incredibly cheap i.e. nothing ! Well worth idea 6,333 status.

Picture 3 is mainly for Pete B who wondered about block ice-cream for ice-cream wafers. The only one we know for sure is the Walls version illustrated.

Most of the major Supermarkets stock it. But I'm not sure about the supermarket position on the Isle of Man. Wafers are easy. If they carry the block ice-cream, they carry the wafers too. A very pleasant 'back to childhood' experience.

The Bolton Hot-Pot was, even if I say it as shouldn't, great. I had cooked it, in total, almost 6 hours at about 100/120° which had brought the flavour out and produced tender meat. With part cooking it yesterday all the flavours of the ingredients had melded together successfully and the sliced potatoes on top had browned nicely.

I did Roast Potatoes as one of our accompaniments and I remembered to use the Goose Fat which Santa included in our hamper from Long Eaton. And WOW! everybody is right - it is the best stuff for the purpose. Using Maris Piper I achieved the sought after crisp golden brown outers and the white fluffy inners.

For pudding Y did a Rhubarb Crumble and Custard which was spot on and not 'commercially' over-sweet. Again, the real flavour of a good old-fashioned English Pudding. We had a good cheese board, which we returned to after Y and TJ had been Garden Centre-ing and I had had a nap.

Nice chat to David this morning and it was good to hear the Long Eaton news. In particular his continued successes on Ebay, as a seller. Brooke's Nintendo DS had broken completely. The hinge had disintegrated and the thing was in bits in fact. One would think the bin was the only solution.

But he described it fully, published a picture which showed the state of it. And it made £22 - truly amazing !

David and Helen have worked hard to create a patio halfway down the back garden and the picture on the left shows it. An excellent job folks ! Now you must take some time to sit on it and enjoy it rather than immediately starting a further project.The magnificent Clematis looks like a Montana. either Rubens or Grandiflora - hard to say because I can't really see the colour accurately due to the plant being in full sun etc.....

My responses to your previously penned comments

Bob ..... Vinegar is truly a cure-all of a liquid. I know you and I both have a booklet listing around the first 200 or so uses.

I would have thought the sodium bicarbonate might be good. If the aphids are suffering from indegestion.

Your dislike of sheep meat, particularly the cooking smell is well known to me and I wouldn't dream of serving it when you visit.

Re Y's 'Moving' comment. The position is that we would like to move, when the country's financial situation makes that possible. Until then we have decided to grin and bear it, and enjoy some of the advantages that Brinsley/Eastwood/Derbyshire have to offer.

Not a bit surprised about the Gordon Ramsey exposé.

Rob ..... By popular acclaim you are now Radiogandy's Poet Laureate ! I can't promise the annual case of Claret or whatever though.

Writing verse on demand is a responsibility of the post I understand. And it was that aspect that Andrew Motion had difficult with.

I think in the matter of Dandelion Haikus you have the winning hand over Wordsworth. 'Dandelion Haiku' sounds rather like a Chinese dress designer I think.

I hope your 'Illustrated book of Haikus' is advanced as a serious suggestion. Now that would be different and has great potential. As they used to say - "Run up a flag and see who salutes it".

Jill ..... Welcome back 'pet'. We've missed you. So glad the weather played the game and provided those blue skies.

The 'big room with a view' sounds good, but a shame about the food. Was it a matter of regional variation or simply not of good enough quality ?

It sounds, going on the tulip report, that garden wise they must be at least a fortnight or three weeks behind.

Well now ! A steak mince and gravy sandwich ! That really sounds something. Does the gravy run down your chin?

Looking forward to Part 2 .......


Quotation time .......

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin"

I know Rob will appreciate the re-publication of this Man Utd memorial line



Pete said...

Graham, thanks for the photo of the block icecream. I'm sure I'll be able to get it at Tescos (we have one only in Douglas). I see it's soft scoop. If I remember rightly the stuff we used to get was rock hard.Still it will bring back happy memories.

bob said...

Typical rainy washing day.

We too save useful pudding basins. Squeezing to pour sounds hazardous though!

As a child I liked an ice-cream ‘sandwich’ (more grown-up). Now I prefer a whippy cornet.

6 In-laws for lunch.
I’d precooked a casserole (3pt venison, 1pt beef). Went down well with roast roots (parsnip/celeriac/sweet potato), mash, carrots, cauli, broccoli.
Oaty gooseberry crumble’n’cream or fruit-filled brandy-snap baskets followed.

Our Montana blossomed this weekend.

Don’t wish to dampen relocation ambitions but someone forecasts the ‘downturn’ will be 20yrs!
Another sage commented that the last recession heralded the Sixties. Let’s hope THAT’s a prediction.

I liked Saturday’s poacher story.
It illustrates a compassion I suspect is more often than not absent these days.

That’s it! Definitive dandelion.

Waye, aye, hen. Burr’ah’ve niver heear’d of a mince ‘n’ grervy san'wich, laike.

Yvonne said...

Pete: Don't be picky about hard and soft icecream : Remember the state of one's teeth as we get older!( I dare not bite into an apple any more but have to slice it with a knife).

Jill: Who was lucky with the weather then? The rain is so heavy now (or should I say 'at this moment in time') that it's bouncing off the patio. Sorry about the food but you could always come to Nottingham and sample one of our delights - no, not mushy peas but CHIPS with GRAVY!

P.S. Graham forwarded me an email that started 'Darling' I immediately got a site in the right-hand side column "Seeing a secret lover" ........ (As if one has got the time!).

Jill said...

I keep those plastic basins too, useful for heating things up in microwave.... I haven't seen that sort of block ice-cream for years, but must admit haven't been looking for it, I'm not an ice-cream fan, R (who is, but it has to be plain vanilla) buys something in a tub from Waitrose.

Welcome to goose-fat, I always use it now (about once a fortnight).

I think it is a montana clematis, we planted a new one last year and it is in flower.

Part 2 - we had a good long day out going to various Roman forts along Hadrian's Wall, walked a bit of the wall, went to Hexham, and Northumberland National Park, which is superb unspoilt country. We passed on Beamish, as it was the following day, we needed a rest day!

Food - it wasn't HOT, just warm, roast each night was not good quality (it takes a special skill to make chicken tough), not helped by a carver who hadn't a clue. Veg. were under-cooked (pots./carrots/swedes) and over-cooked greens/cauli.And tepid. Soup was hot and OK. Puds were obviously out of freezer - fruit salad had chunks of unripe, rock-hard ice-cold melon with 1 grape and 1 orange segment - I threatened to photogaph it - which got it changed for something else. But waiting staff were so nice and concerned, hard to be cross with them - in the end Saga rep. complained and last night was much better.