Saturday, 7 May 2011

Its been that kind of day

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




  1. You've had a great day :o) I've just read the focaccia recipe - I may just give it a go!

    I renovated a card table a few years ago and had no idea where to source the felt (pre internet days for me) I looked in yellow pages for a local snooker table renovator to ask him if I could buy a small square to re-cover the top. He was brilliant - he sent me some squares off one of the tables he had stripped free of charge! It ended up looking better than a brand new piece would have as it had 'aged'. May be worth a try....
    Enjoy Sunday as much :o)
    Rose H

  2. Your dinner sounds ever so delish!

  3. Sounds as though you've had a good weekend so far. Your Saturday tea sounded delicious - is your elderflower champagne from last summer? I have some left and have been wondering whether it is still OK to drink? I know the cordial goes off after a while so have been a bit cautious about the champagne. We've had a really good steady downpour here during the night - hope you had the same. The garden has really enjoyed it:)

  4. Hi Rose

    Thanks for the advice re the Green Baize will have to check out the local area. It would be nice to ressurect it just to play cards or games on as it is a nice size.

    Hi Kimmie

    Dinner was very tasty, and it has been nice to have a bit of salad, and cold meats after the heavyness of winter dinners. The Focaccia was very tasty too and complimented the salad.

    Hi Rowan

    Not been too bad as weekends go. The Elderflowre Champagne is from last year's batch. I have a few bottles left up to use before I make the next lot - am going to make double the quantity this year. My Nan always used to make this and used to keep it for ages. As with all older home made wines try it to see if it is still palatable to you and very quaffable if it is then use it. My mum made a load of rhubarb wine wasn't very impressed with it at all and left it in the demijohn for a while. Went out to friends for a posh dinner and was served some wine which Mum thought tasted just like her home made rhubarb. (she had by this time chucked two demijohns away) but the final one was fantastic. There are guidelines like there are sell by dates, but quite a few wines mature in the bottle. We have had lots of nice gentle rain which the garden and plants so desperately need, as do we to top up the domestic water supplies. It also freshens up everywhere.

    Hope you ladies have all have had a lovely weekend too.

    Take care



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