I have had a very tiring week this week so rather than deal with the housework I have been playing hooky - Its been a s.. the housework type of the day so I decided to indulge myself and play. Part of the reason that I was tired was last night I paid my Frida night visit to my friend Eve. Eve had decided that she wanted to do some cooking again last night; she wanted to have a go solo at making Soda bread, which is a particular comfort food that reminds her of her childhood, and her Nan and her father. This time she made it alone and it was a success. She also wanted to have a go at making Focaccia, which although I had read about I had never actually made so it was a bit of a learning curve for me too, but then that's the only way we learn how to do new things. Needless to say the only recipe I could locate was for my bread machine but that is what I ended up using in any event, and it worked brilliantly with a tweak here and there and it was made by hand. I only usually make bread the in the bread machine as I don't find it easy to knead, but hey I did this and it has all come out extremely delicious. [please see separate post]. I supplied the sea salt, fresh sage and other bits and bobs. I didn't get home from Eve's until 1.00 a.m. this morning bit of a dirty stop out - but it was a good evening and we did lots of chatting and cooking. Put it this way Eve was quite content with what had been cooked.
Today I woke to gentle teeming rain. It was welcome, damp, humid, but by did we need it. It only rained for a little while and then has dried up during the course of the day, but it has saved me having to water up tonight. It will do the plants a lot of good.
I popped to the veg shop, I wasn't after much as did not have many pennies, but managed to get 3kg of tomatoes to make some more passata for the pantry larder for £1.50 (50 pence per bag) - as I am fast using stocks up. It has become a particular favourite. I also bought some leeks, red onions, white Spanish Onions and ordinary onions. 2 punnets of English Strawberries, 1kg plums (also to be bottled). Haven't spent very much just sort of topped up with things that I needed.
Also went to the Local Coop as they had an offer on olive oil at £2 a bottle so I have snaffled a couple of bottles as I was out of olive oil and I like to cook with. Also a couple of pots of Philadelphia soft cheese also on offer £1 a tub. I am quite partial to this on nice crusty bread too.
I also popped to the local charity shop; there were one or two nice things in there, but what I really am hanging my nose over is a pine dressing table with drawers for £50 - but I think will have to let this one pass by as don't think will have the funds available just yet, but it does not stop me looking. I like rejuvenating old things. I have an old collapsable card table to revamp, one of the splats is broken and the top needs re-felting, and the frame re-staining and varnishing, but just because something is scruffy and probably not worth a second glance, doesn't mean to say that it cannot be restored. Its easy to throw something out, not so easy to put it right but nothing a little time and patience won't put right; besides these types of table are so very useful.
I also popped to the local Asian shop and bought some pitta breads - they were cheap three packs for £1.35 so I have bought a scuttle full of these to make the crisp breads for dips and such like as per previous recipe. I also bought a couple of packs of butter, some plain yoghurt.
The rest of the day I have spent playing, researching different recipes. I then set too and made Focaccia for tea by hand. I used fresh sage and rosemary out of my herb garden and red pepper and spanish onion for the mixture. I kneaded by hand and did not get on too badly and we had the Focaccia with an Italian style salad for tea tonight, with different kinds of salami and chorizo sliced, rocket, spring onion, beetroot, cucumber, cheeses and coleslaw. The bread was served warm with butter and it was heavenly so full of flavour but not overpowering, together with strawberries and cream for pudding washed down with a bottle of my elderflower champagne. Very nice. You don't have to spend a lot to live well.
I then did some further research on recipes. I am going to have a go at making home made croissants and also pain au chocolat, although I think to start with I will do these in the bread machine, until I get used to the recipe at least. But it has been really good to play and to potter today and play catch up with friends in the neighbourhood - there has been lots of chatting as I have bumped into people going from shop to shop which has been nice. No doubt tomorrow it will be play catch up with the housework.
Catch you all soon