Two and a half weeks into the New Year already. I am not sure where it has gone or indeed I am really not sure where this week has gone to but its gone in a flash. We have been really busy at work and I have been shattered when I have got home two early nights this week which is unheard of for me. Then I have started reading again. I am about a quarter of the way through The Pillars of the Earth and enjoying it very much. I am only reading for an hour or so a night.
I have played a little catch up on blogs I read and also ordered some more DVDs to add to my collection. Some more River Cottage DVDs and the Victorian Farm Series. Have seen all the programmes before and really enjoyed them and so that I can continue to pick em up and put em down as and when I please or indeed check on something I can now do so.
I have been and done a little food shopping and as per my promise to myself I am going to be starting the cooking for the week - tomorrow morning. Cannot do today as I have other things on my plate. I have only been to the local supermarket I may nip elsewhere yet but I have come back with Two large chickens (cheaper to buy two together as buying them individually would cost over £10 and at £7 for the two that is going to provide at least a couple of meals. I intend to cook them both (roast them) - and then strip all the meat down and then create my meals from there. If I am not going to use them they can then be stored as meals in the freezer. I am thinking curry, chicken in gravy, if enough meat chicken stew (Mum used to use cooked meat for this and then add veggies make a nice thick gravy and then it was done in the pressure cooker and made a nice quick tea for when we got home from work). It was a favourite as it is a nice light stew. Or just meat frozen (interleaved with freezer paper) so that I can make my mind up what to cook when it comes out. Ideal for meat pies with some veggies like peas, mushrooms and some sauce. And of course there is always the carcase or carcases to make stock. If I do not have an opportunity to process them I freeze the carcase or carcases so that they are not wasted and then use up when I have time to do so. You cannot waste such a useful side product. It is too full of goodness. Also if there are scraps that are particularly fatty the cats get a look in too as well as Missy. They all love chicken.
Yet again I have bought two packs of stewing meat and two packs of mince as it works out cheaper to buy it this way. Maybe a lasagne, a cottage pie and then home made beef and carrot stew. I have an electric pressure cooker I want to get to grips with and so I am contemplating doing the stew in here to see how it comes up. Mum always used to prepare steak pie filling being stewing meat, carrots and onions in the pressure cooker and then put them into pies. She used to cook mince and onions with a little grated carrot and then put a deep layer of the mince in a pastry shell and then top it with finely grated carrot. That was another favourite with a lovely rich gravy.
For puddings I have bought a couple of tubs of peaches in juice and am going to do a light trifle for OH or pancakes with a little ice cream. Just to lighten things up a bit. There may be a homemade rice pudding on the cards as well. It is cold here today and I am intent on keeping body and soul warm. I also have a couple of tins of pears in juice. I intend to use them in a pastry case filled with frangipane and then the pears popped on top (half pears) and then cooked. Can be served as a pudding with some cream or custard or just eaten in slices. The shops charge an absolute earth for something like this. There may also be a Tart Tatin on the cards as well. I also have some ham that either needs to be put into a soup or used in a quiche. Cannot waste good food.
If I get chance in the morning I shall also make some scones, some coconut cheesecakes and some puff pastry fancies like palmiers, puff pastry slices with cream and fruit, cheese and ham savouries, cinnamon pinwheels. I may even get chance to make some home made buns.
Its early days yet. I am still trying to work out a work list, trying to prepare sequentially so that everything flows into everything and is part of a much bigger picture. Just have to fine tune it a little more.
I have to go to the veg shop yet - I need swede (at least a couple) carrots onion, parsnips, some celery, sweet potatoes. Staples in this household. I also want cabbage, cauliflower, I have a sack of potatoes, but am very keen on green veggies like broccoli, cavalero de niro, spinach, leeks. In all honesty we just love veggies here. A good meal can always be had with even just a little bit of meat if you have lots of veggies - not that we are vegetarian but I do like some of the vegetarian recipes. We shall see what else they have on the fruit and veggie side but I could do with some clementines and cox's apples. We like to eat the clementines cold they are very refreshing and a Cox's apple goes particularly well with cheese and fruit bread.
Right had better got a wriggle on. This girl's got a lot of jobs to do as usual.
Catch you soon.