Its been cold again, very cold, and after the period of snow, its nice to see a bit of sunshine now and again, but today alas was not one of them, its been cold and grey and last night it chucked it down with rain. Its weather like this that tends to make my arthritis flare up - and for this past fortnight I haven't been too bad, so will just have to keep myself warm. If I go cold - I find it very difficult to warm up again.
Its been a long old week and I still have the remains of the dreadful cold bug that has been tooing and froing in our neighbourhood, but I am a lot better than I was. However it has left me very tired, so I haven't done very much today apart from pottering around doing housewifely chores, i.e. the washing machine has been whirring away, load after load, closely followed by the tumble drier. Now it is fixed it is working much more efficiently at drying its contents.
I managed to watch a programme I had recorded during the week, My Dream Farm with Monty Don. I quite enjoyed the programme and it was nice to see Monty back on the screen as well.It was nice sensible advice, that was given which was thoughtful and I think helped a very much get up and go couple focus on practical ideas, rather than missing the pertinent issues. The couples emphasis was about a good quality achieveable lifestyle for them and their children, that could be sustained over the years. If you haven't seen it, it was on Channel 4 on Thursday night at 8.00 p.m. Apparently there are six very differen couples having a go at doing something different, and after enjoying this first part I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
I then set too and did the washing and drying up and got the kitchen nice and tidy again and the pots all put away, in an effort to keep it nice and tidy after its scrub out the other day. I prefer things to be tidy, but don't always manage to achieve it, but its what I aim for.
I then went and visited my veg shop. We don't have many pennies at the moment and so are largely living out of the freezers and pantry, but I do like to have fresh veg and fruit where I can. When I visited last week I specifically looked for some Seville Oranges. Very unusually they did not have them; they indicated that there were not many about and I therefore asked them if they would be having any this week - they said that they would ask the boss, and if they could would get some as several people had been asking for them.
So today I bought 2 kg of Seville Oranges for £1.50 kg = £3.00 and am looking forward to a Marmalade Session. I love home made Seville Orange Marmalade it is delicious.
I also bought two punnets of blueberries at £1 a punnet. I would have had more if I had had the pennies, but the two I bought are destined for the freezer, in readiness to drag out when I decide to make some blueberry muffins which are one of my favourites.
I did also buy some more carrots, cabbage and broccoli to boost the veggies I have left over from last week.
We couldn't decide what to have for tea straight away, but I ended up disappearing into the kitchen to check the freezers and the pantry and fridges to see what I had lurking there and ended up doing a home made prawn stir fry, by just literally using what I had to hand.
The veggies I used were:
Carrots cut into julienne strips about three carrots
Quarter of cucumber chopped into cubes kept the skin and pips in.
Pickling onions about three quartered
Bag of home frozen mixed peppers
Remnants of a bag of frozen beans
Half a cabbage finely shredded
But you can use whatever variation of vegetables that suits your taste.
Half a bag of large prawns
About 6 squares of crystallised ginger soaked in warm water and then cut into tiny pieces (use the soaking water in with the vegetables as well)
Sweet Chilli dipping sauce
A little sunflower oil
Two teaspoons of sweetcorn relish
Tin of pineapple in natural juice (using the juice as well as the pineapple)
Prepare all your vegetables and then
Using two frying pans:
Put your oil in the pan and heat until nice and hot, then add the vegetables that take the longest amount of time to cook i.e carrots, potates, swede, parsnip, and then add the rest of veg in order of how long they take to cook.
Put on Jasmin Rice to cook - I do mine in the microwave. For each cup of rice I use a cup and a half of water so for two cups of rice you will use 3 cups of water. It only takes 12 minutes to cook in the microwave. I then take out of the bowl and fluff up with a fork.
Once all the vegetables are cooked, put in the ginger and water, with some extra water (about 3/4 pint including ginger water) the bouillon and two teaspoons or more of sweetcorn relish. Put on a lid and turn the heat down. Leave to cook a littl longer and then taste the juice and season to taste.
In the second pan add the oil and then your prawns (I used frozen) and heat through until nearly cooked then add loads of chilli dipping sauce to taste (If you don't like too strong use only a little) and cook in with the prawns - very quickly, then thicken the sauce with some cornflour to thicken up.
Serve in bowls with the rice, the vegetable mixture and then the prawns.
It made a very tasty meal and made use of what I already had. Made my own sauce and didn't have to buy any just by using what I already had to hand.
Needless to say I am now stuffed.
There is a little bit of rice left but this will not go to waste as I will give the cats it in with their meat tonight.
Its nice to have a meal consisting mostly of fresh veg and some prawns, very easy on the system, but getting all of the natural goodness out of the food is important to me, as it is much better for my system as it is fresh food pure and simple - not processed.
This method of cooking is quick and nutritious and you literally can use anything you have to hand.
Go on have a play - its a good way of getting to grips with what goes with what, and is something I do every so often, rather than just make soup (although I do that too as it is lovely with a big hunk of fresh bread).
Enjoy the preparation as much as the eating.