Sunday, 31 January 2021

A Trip to the Butchers

 As planned, we paid a trip to the Butchers and got stocked up on our meat supplies I hope for the best part of 10 to 14 days, but we will see how things go.

I managed to find some very nice Rib Eye at the Butchers which was hand cut to the the thickness I required.  Not particularly big, but they look as though they will have a lot of flavour.  I just hope OH likes them.  They are for his birthday meal tomorrow and I shall cook home made chips, fried onion, fried button mushrooms and maybe do a cauliflower and broccoli garlic bake to go with it.  Will see what the birthday boy wants with it.  I will also make some Creme Caramels which are his favourite pudding and a Lemon Self-Saucing Pudding.

I then prevaricated as to what joint we were going to have for tea today.  I was a tad extravagant but none of it will go to waste.  I bought a small leg of lamb and also a one rib piece of beef.  Since we got home we decided that we were not up to a full scale roast this evening and so we have indulged in a Sausage Sarnie each which has gone down very nicely.  We do well on the food front, and to slow up a bit now and then is no real hardship in fact I need it.  OH might be able to eat for England but I cannot always do the same.

I also bought three Chicken breasts for home made curry during the week.  If he does not fancy the curry then may make them into Kiev's as have plenty of bacon and also garlic and cheese.

One kg Minced Beef.  There was an offer on in that if you bought One kg of Minced Beef, then you would get a further kilo free.  We use a lot of mince so that will not go to waste either, although it will not be Lasagna this week as we had that last week.

As OH has taken a fancy to cooked breakfasts again, I have also bought in One kg of Back Bacon and also One kg of Gloucester Old Spot Sausages.  I like Chipolatas and I may well get them next time, however for this coming week I think Sausages are a more practical option and I may well be able to get a Toad in the Hole out of them as well.  Fingers crossed as it makes a good hearty meal during the middle of the week and does not take too long to make.  Equally if a quick tea is needed have the possibility of a fry up instead of a full blown meal.

I also bought a strip of Sausagemeat to make some home made Sausage Rolls and Bacon and Cheese Stars as I have some puff pastry defrosting in the fridge.

Some strong cheddar for use generally.  I may have to get some more during the week as we use a fair amount of cheese.

I found a small gammon joint in the fridge before I left out to go to the Butcher's which I put into soak to remove excess salt as otherwise the meat is far too salty.  It has had its first soak and is currently in its second.  

If you look at the above photos carefully, you perhaps will see that the water is cloudy.

Here is the Gammon after the second soak, you will notice that the water is not as cloudy now. However, I still think it needs another soak.

I shall then cook that in the pressure cooker and then finish it off in the oven with a marmalade and brown sugar or marmalade and ginger glaze (either the juice from a jar of preserved ginger or ginger powder and sugar.  We shall then use that for sarnies or a Ploughman's Platter during the week.

Still in the fridge I have a couple of Gammon Steaks (I have managed to locate a couple of tins of pineapple so OH should be happy about that).  I have been having difficulty in getting hold of pineapple and certainly have not been able to get any from the Co-Op.

I also have some Pork that will get used up during the week as well.  I have seen another pastry recipe that I want to have a go at.  Am working with the meat and some of the pastry things I aim to have a go at towards a Ploughman's Platter plate each.

The meat from the Butcher was packed into a large box for transporting home for me. After sorting the fridge out when we got back from the Butcher's and getting everything packed away the cats have taken over the box playing tig and chase and eventually curling up fast asleep in said box.  They are worse than children.  I can see that I am going to have to let this stay for a day or two until I can sneak it out.

I also had to nip to the Co-Op after the fridge was sorted for some bits and bobs.  Whilst in there I spotted a couple of bargains on the reduced section and I ended up bringing home two packs of diced chicken which I think will make a good chicken pie and two packs of Loin chops which I think will be ideal for going into a couple of home made pork pies.  I went on a course quite a while back on how to make these and I have made them a couple of times, although it is some time since I have made any so time for another play.

I could do with a couple of chickens, a couple of packs of Chicken thighs or drumsticks and a couple of packs of stewing beef and that should see us fine for the fortnight.

As I am in effect cooking twice a day most days i.e. we are using leftovers for mid-day meal and then have a fresh meal of an evening this will soon go.  I envisage that there will not be enough bacon or sausages for OH but the Butcher's is not that far away so he can always nip and get these re-stocked.

I suspect that there will be fish either on the Thursday or on Saturday.  So more than plenty to go at. 

I need to do a veggie shop as I am now low on veggies.  That will probably happen on Tuesday when the veg shop is open again.  However I did pick up some more cucumber to pickle, some Kale, Rocket and Spinach to dehydrate for the greens jar. how to here Dehydrating Kale. I may go back for more cucumber tomorrow as OH has used all that I made before Christmas.

So plenty to do as usual.  Looks as though am going to be having an early start tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Saturday, 30 January 2021


Today started off with me watching the new cooking series on ITV at 11:40am with Raymond Blanc OBE.  It was on right after James Martin.  I have always liked Raymond Blanc as a cook as he has always stayed true to tradition and using the best ingredients possible.  A French man showing the UK how to do things when it comes to food and going to the extreme of setting up his own Restaurant Garden which still supplies the restaurant to this day.  When he first started doing this it reminded me so much of the way in which my grandparents used to live with growing their own and making the best of what they had.   I really enjoyed the new show, the recipes were simple but stunning.  His guest today was Angela Hartnett MBE, and it was lovely to see the two of them working in the kitchen together. You can see they are very good friends.

I have been quiet today as OH gave me (Chef) the evening off tonight by ordering a take-away for a change.  It is not often we have one, but I do like the occasional curry. I have to have it cooked very very mild as I cannot always cope with the more fiery spices even though I like them my body does not seem to be able to tolerate them these days.  So if I have a curry, I always have plenty of plain yogurt with the curry.  Just calms it down a bit for me and means I do not miss out.

It has been a quiet day today.  I had a very rough night last night where I could not settle nor sleep properly and kept disturbing OH and the dog who growled on a couple of occasions. I either went very cold or extremely hot, so have taken today gently.  We have not even been shopping like we normally do on a Saturday.

However, I do have a trip planned to the Butcher's tomorrow.  It is nearly a fortnight since we last paid a visit which is not bad and we have had a lot of really good meals within that time span.

It is OH's 66th birthday on Monday and for his birthday meal I would like to get some Rib Eye steaks freshly cut to do a simple tea with for him.  Something along the lines of pan fried steak (he has his Blue), fried onions, fried tiny mushrooms, a side salad, and some home made chips with some home made Creme Caramels for pudding or Lemon/Orange Self-Saucing pudding.  Might make both as he likes both and they will not go to waste.

I am not sure what we are going to have tomorrow will have to see what they have available

I have spent some of the quiet time today doing some crochet to my long-suffering crochet blanket.  I am now up to 35 squares worked and I still have a fair few to make yet.  I am hoping to do about 60, but I am not sure that I have quite enough wool.  Will have to see how it goes.

Right am off to get a cuppa.

Hope everyone has had a good day tomorrow.  I have a lot to get to grips with tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Things achieved and out the way January 2021

It is the last day of January 2021 a month has gone by into the New Year and we are still under restrictions, but I am trying to use my time wisely and concentrate on things generally.  As well as my everyday life, some of which I write about on this blog, there are other things going on in the background in readiness for other things to happen.  It is the way I operate, do things a little bit at a time and collect things together in readiness for said project.  I do the same when I am stocking things up in the pantry, buy a couple of things here and there when I can, and get a nice little stock of items together a bit at a time.

I like my lists, they track my progress or not so much progress and give me focus on what I have achieved (when I am feeling blue and rather unconvinced that I have made progress).  Or confirm to me that yay, I am on schedule and that things are more than okay.  So back to my lists I am returning.  In the past I have recorded these weekly, but rather than do this weekly this time round I thought that would give myself more time to get things done and out the way with as in practice some weeks are better than others. I therefore intend to publish a list of achievements for the month just passed on the last day of each month. That way on I will be able to keep track of things.

Here is the list of what I/we have achieved in January 2021:

  1. Mended the jumper that needed sewing up.  This had been lurking for about 9 months.
  2. Got the Gas back on and the heating.
  3. Getting the house nice and warm and dried out.
  4. Got the new cooker connected.
  5. Got the electrics sorted in kitchen and dining room.
  6. Got the sink sorted, i.e. ordered delivered,  built up.  Waiting for worktop before it can be installed in the kitchen.
  7. New worktop arrived. Still waiting for another unit until the new sink can be fitted for sink area.  Worktop needs to be cut to fit the sink and this new unit.
  8. Another unit and side-board as well as handles ordered for under worktop as OH made an addition to it.
  9. Sorted out the waste and water supply on the washing machine and the dishwasher.
  10. New Boiler installed and working magnificently.
  11. Finished sorting the kitchen cleaning.
  12. Got the new tumble dryer in situ.
  13. Sorted out some more of the kitchen units want for kitchen.
  14. Choosing tiles for walls in kitchen. Identified which ones  - not yet purchased.
  15. Choosing tiles for floor in kitchen. Identified ones want but not yet purchased.
  16. Started replacing kitchen cabinets to give more storage.
  17. Got all the electrical appliances into kitchen.
  18. Planted the Amaryllis my step-daughter bought for me at Christmas.
  19. Cooked most days from scratch.
  20. Up to date with washing.
  21. Up to date with ironing.
  22. Kept the Christmas Cacti alive.
  23. Bought two cherry trees
  24. Bought two Victoria plum trees
  25. Bought two apple trees
  26. Bought two pear trees
  27. Started creating Seed Planting list.
  28. Making the most of what I have. Instead of heading for the shops, I have been using stuff I already have and have been surprising myself in the process.
  29. Continue to sort out items do and do not want.
  30. Start to sort out those preserves want to make this year.
  31. Making Seville Orange Marmalade.

So I/we have not too badly for the first month.  I am ever hopeful that more progress will be made in the kitchen for this month coming.

I have however liberated some more appliances from where they were being stored.  I have found my steam canner, my small dehydrator, my cheapie all in one cooking pot (cheapie version of an Instant Pot purchased from Wilkos on an offer.  I think I only paid £20 for it.  It is another useful piece of equipment though.

I have also liberated another couple of my baking bowls as well.

So things are very slowly starting to happen.

Catch you soon.



Friday, 29 January 2021

Friday Roundup

 I have had to wait in for most of the day for a delivery of the new work top for the sink area of the kitchen. They eventually came around 4pm.  Think we were last on his list, but everything has arrived safely and is ready for OH to get on in the kitchen, once I have cleared the sink area. So really I have not been able to do much by way of things because we were listening out for the driver to deliver.  In this house, we cannot hear if anyone goes to the front door.  We do not use the front door in any event and I have had to put a notice up on the front door asking people to call at the back.  The work top is massive but now it is up to his highness to sort things out.  However, I do not think that will be straightaway as he has ordered some other cabinetry around the sink area.  The worktop is quite nice and should go well with the units we are having.  It will be lovely and clean which is the main thing.  We are having white tiles to go with this, to give a bit of a contrast.  The units are Navy Blue and Shaker style.

I did have a look at my magazines and seeds and I have started to prepare a planting schedule - for seeds, month by month with the seeds I received yesterday.  I will then add in the other seeds that I have when I can retrieve them from the front bedroom.

The Daffodils that I bought home yesterday and put into a vase and a jam jar have opened up a bit to what they were.  Before I put the flowers in I put a tiny drop of sugar in the water.  They do look very cheerful though.



I have also prepared some more future posts on the computer or half drafted them at least.  I have also had a bit of a scoot about the Internet following up on different topics.

I have quite a lot of preserving to do in the next few days. I have Seville Orange Marmalade to make, Seville Orange Curd and some Vin d'Orange.  I also have Orange Curd, Lemon Curd, Lemon Cordial, and some more Souper Mix to make.

When I was in Waitrose yesterday, I also spotted some Blood Oranges.  One of the Gin's bought for OH for Christmas is Blood Orange Gin so I may just have to have a go at this one as well. Might also do curd. I did look for some forced Rhubarb yesterday in Waitrose but unfortunately they did not have any.  I shall keep my eyes peeled as if I can get a decent quantity I would like to bottle some up.  I also want to make some Rhubarb Cordial and some Rhubarb Gin. I would also like to get some Grapefruit and bottle them in syrup.  Very useful as a pudding or indeed for breakfast.  There is also a marmalade recipe using Grapefruit and Ginger. The peels can be turned into mixed peel or Orange or Grapefruit thins, used as firelighters, or can be used to make household cleaning vinegar.  So there is not a lot of waste.

I have also bought the latest edition of Country Living Magazine.  There is an article in there on how to make a Rye Bread starter and a loaf.  So that is on the Project list to have a go at as well.

As it is Fish Friday (well it was in my childhood in any event), we have this week had a Lemon Sole each, just served simply floured and then fried in butter and oil.  Was absolutely delicious and not a bone in sight.

The wet Lemon Sole which has been placed in a bowl with a layer of seasoned flour.  Further seasoned flour is then sprinkled on top. Both the Sole were a decent size.  I had the white part of the fish which is the underside and OH had the dark which is the top.

Fish which has been floured both sides and then the excess flour shaken off back into the bowl.

I put the fish skin side down to start with and then turned it over to give the fish a light golden colour, and then turned it back again.  I only cooked it on very low heat as I did not want the fish to burn and I also wanted to make sure that the fish was cooked before serving it up.

It really was delicious and it was served simply with bread and butter and also some Tartare Sauce.

I then had a very naughty cream cake which OH had bought me yesterday and which I was too full up to eat yesterday.  Very naughty but very nice.

Right upwards and onwards.  Another busy day tomorrow.

Catch you soon.



Seville Orange Marmalade


The colour of these oranges lightened my soul when I saw them and they are a particularly good batch of Sevilles with the skins being near enough perfect.  I managed to get hold of 4kg of Seville Oranges yesterday with which to make my home made Marmalade.  I have calculated that I need about 20+ jars for home use plus some extra for making up Christmas hampers for this coming Christmas.  So initially I am starting with the 4Kg and will probably buy some more to make up Vin d' Orange and also Seville Orange Curd.  I will also try and get some prepared pulp into the freezer so that I can make another batch later on in the year if needed.

I am hoping to start this tonight so that I can complete it on Saturday.  If I do not get to it today, it will be tomorrow and will get made on Sunday.

Please see my previous post on Seville Oranges and Marmalade making.

Orange Marmalade

There is also this post which gives a lot of links to making other preserves out of Seville Oranges.

And a further recipe.

Vin D'Orange Recipe 3

I personally was very pleased to get hold of my Seville Oranges this year, bearing in mind Brexit etc.  There is a lot that you can do with Marmalade, you can use it as a glaze, use it in cakes, make a Mousse with it and loads of other lovely things.  As I say, this is the first batch.  I may not need anymore Sevilles but at least I am in time to stock up more if needs be.  They had plenty at my Veg shop and also in Waitrose.  They are about £2.50 a kg or thereabouts which seems to have been a bit cheaper than other years.

Right must get on have loads to do.

Catch you soon.



Gardening Magazines

When in Waitrose yesterday, I managed to pick up two of my favourite gardening magazines with a bonus of 10 packets of seed with each magazine.

I am speaking of the Kitchen Garden Magazine in the first instance the March edition.

These are the seeds that came with that magazine.

I also bought the Grow your own magazine.  March edition again.

And these are the seeds that came with it.

I have some other freebie seeds that I have recently obtained elsewhere as well.  What I need now is a reasonably mild dry day so that I can get out into the garden and start to get rid of the rubbish.  In those bad gales we had a while back my greenhouse (lightweight one) lost its cover and plant pots have been blown about a bit.  So I need to get stuck in so that I can make the greenhouses ready for getting some plants on the go a lot earlier than I managed last year.

I have to wait in for a delivery today, but once the worktop for the sink and the handles are delivered I should then be able to get along into town to have a look in Wilkinsons and the £ shop.  I need quite a bit of garden fleece to protect stuff.  I also need some seed potatoes and some potato growing bags.  If possible I would also like to get hold of some Asparagus Plants and set up a small long term bed near where the greenhouses are to be situated.  I would also like to have a look at the seeds.

So another set of projects to sort out, currently in the background but soon to be brought to life.  Such are the seasons of our lives.  On the QT I actually love growing stuff from seed, but I still need to get a load of fleece to protect early plantings and other plants.

Right upwards and onwards things to do.

Catch you soon.



Thursday, 28 January 2021

Pattypan's Kitchen Fish and Shell Fish - Moules Mariniere -Cooking Mussels

 We managed to get up early this morning and so were able to go off and visit the fish man.  It was extremely foggy when we left out and particularly so over the fens just outside of Peterborough with the big wind turbines suddenly appearing out of the mist like ghosts.  As we travelled on, the mist started to clear a bit and was a lot clearer by the time we got to the fish man.

As usual he had quite a nice selection of fish and shell-fish. He even had Conga Eel steaks, which did not appeal to me whatsoever. We are avid fans of  most fish and shellfish though.  With my auto immune conditions from what I understand fish, shellfish and chicken or other poultry are quite easily processed in our systems than red meats.  I therefore try and have as much fish as I can.  We haven't had any fish for the past two weeks so it made a real change to be able to get some today.

We came away on the shellfish front with some Crayfish, Cockles, Crevettes, a Crab (for me), and 2kg of Mussels.  On the fish front there were some Lemon Sole on offer and so we bought two.  They will be served probably for Saturday night's tea simply fried.  Fortunately my new fridge is an absolute cracker and it really keeps the food lovely and cold.

Coming back the mist had more or less gone and the sun came out.  Wherein we were treated to a lovely Rainbow which cheered me up  We called in at the Farm shop but they were not open and unfortunately we did not have time to wait.

We called at the Bakery on the way home and by the time we got back it was nearly mid-day and so we had some of the shellfish.  OH had his Crevettes and I had my crayfish with a fresh crusty bun from the Bakers.

After dinner, I did some pottering and I needed to go to the veg shop to see if they had any Seville Oranges in.  Thus far they had not had them but I was in luck today and I came away with 4kg to start with.  I also apart from Marmalade have some Vin d'Orange and some Seville Curd to make as well.  I will probably load up with more Oranges on Saturday (if they have them). I will be making marmalade for the year and I have worked out that I need a minimum of 20 jars, with some extra to give for Christmas pressies.  We like our toast and marmalade here.

I only bought the Sevilles from the Veg shop today, but will go back on Saturday and see what they have then.

After bringing the Oranges home, I then walked on to Waitrose (unbeknown to OH).  I needed some fresh Parsley for tea this evening and OH also needed some sweeteners.  I came back with a few bits for things I want to make over the next few days as well including unsalted Butter.  I also treated myself to a couple of bunches of reduced Daffodils.  I needed to see something bright and they look lovely in this vase.  I do have another separate vase full of them.

I cooked the Mussels for tea.  They are a quick and simple meal which is absolutely delicious.  We are avid fans of fish and shellfish here and regularly have Mussels.  When I met OH I had never had Mussels before and actually did not like the look of them.  i have since tried them and I love them and have since gone on to learn how to cook them myself.  I cook them simply with water, some white wine, crushed garlic, finely chopped shallot, butter and then finished off with fresh finely chopped Parsley.  From bringing up to the boil they perhaps take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook and the shells open when you are there.  

When it comes to quantities, we only have the Mussels as a one course meal so we tend to go overboard with the quantities.


2kg of Mussels (Usually a quantity for four people) but we have these between us).

1oz butter

About 1/2 pint of water (I tend to use a little more than is probably needed but that's just the way I do it).

Glass of wine or cider (about 1 wine glass full)

Fresh Parsley finely chopped

3 cloves (or more) of fresh garlic crushed


The Mussels out of the fridge ready to be prepared.

I washed the Mussels in clean water and then because there was a bit of weed on them, I have gone on to take off their beards and do some weeding.

I cooked then in the Ninja Foodie on the steam function, which has a Pre-Function where the water comes up to temperature and then it starts steaming the contents. (However, before doing this, I sauted the shallot and garlic in the butter gently to start with until just golden)

I also finely chopped up a couple of Shallots and crushed three cloves of garlic.  They were not fat cloves so I would suggest add to your own liking. Fry these ever so gently 

Adding the fried chopped Shallot, Garlic and Butter to the pan.  I used about 1 oz of Butter.  There is also a a little white wine in here.  You can add Cider or just use water as well.

Fresh Parsley which will need chopping down finely.

The Mussels starting to cook.  You can see some of the shells are open.

The Parsley finely chopped and put to one side until ready to use.

Once the shells all appear to be open, liberally sprinkle the fresh Parsley into the pan, give it a good stir and then switch off the machine.

The cooked Mussels.

We tend to be a bit uncouth when it comes to serving up.  We both enjoy Mussels and so what we tend to do is to serve the Mussels in a big pan or bowl, take out the Mussels as we want them.  We use the shell itself to remove the meat from the shell, especially the little muscle that is stuck to the inside of the shell and connects the main body to the shell.  We then have a bowl in which to deposit the used shells.  We always serve crusty bread or buns that have been buttered with this.

If you were serving at a dinner party then I would use large Soup bowls to serve the Mussels with perhaps an empty side bowl into which to put the shells.

I must say that it was terribly tasty and is an absolute favourite.

I have a lot to do tomorrow. I am hoping to start off my Seville Orange Marmalade tomorrow night

Catch you later.



Wednesday, 27 January 2021

An earlier post today - Pattypan's Kitchen Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

Not what I had intended but I guess it is called going with the flow.

I had planned on having the remains of the Lasagna warmed up mid-day but when it came to it I was not hungry OH was.  So basically I have switched things around a bit to suit what we are actually doing through the day.

OH got a fry up as he was hungry.  A bit spoilt I think. His breakfast consisted of two Toulouse sausages (garlic ones), three rashers of bacon, some fried mushrooms and two fried eggs. I cannot always face a breakfast of this magnitude and am quite happy with a bowl of cereal such as Muesli or Granola with milk, or a pot of yogurt (homemade of course) with some fruit.

So tonight's tea is the remnants of the Lasagna and for pudding a Marmalade Bread and Butter pudding served with cream.  Only a small one, but I needed to use some old bread up and this is a nice simple way of doing it.

Here is how I made the Bread and Butter pudding


Enough Stale bread to fit your chosen dish for this small dish I used six slices but for a larger version you will probably need double this.

Enough Butter to spread on bread

Marmalade (I have a partial jar to use up), but you can use a whole host of ingredients to vary the recipe ranging from jams, to frozen fruit, fresh fruit. dried fruit, chocolate etc.  You can even add a little dash of booze i.e. Grand Marnier if you choose.

3/4 a pint of milk

5 medium eggs

100g of sugar (I used some home made vanilla sugar yummy)

Some chocolate chips (I had some to use up which were milk chocolate, but bitter chocolate is particularly nice with orange).


I used a standard loaf sliced bread for this which is what I had to hand.  I buttered the bread and then cut the stack from corner to corner so that I have four pieces of bread per slice.  I then put the marmalade on these once buttered. I then stack the bread pieces on their end I used one long one and then two small ones all along the dish but you can arrange it differently if you want to.

I don't chop the crusts off but you can if you want to.  I tend to leave the crusts on so that the pieces can stand properly in the dish.

I then make the custard from the eggs, milk and sugar.  I use a whisk to keep the mixture  moving quickly and so that it does not catch on the base of the pan.  You want to make sure that everything is mixed in well.  My eggs were bright orange a wonderful colour which has given a lovely lemony colour to the custard.  Do not boil, just a little below that.

Then take off the heat and pour onto the bread arranged in your chosen dish.  Leave to stand for about an hour for the bread to absorb the custard.  Here mine is soaking.

Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180 degrees C and then cook the pudding for approximately 45 minutes until nice and golden.

Mine is currently in the oven and will add a final photo once it is cooked.

Very much looking forward to this as it is a long while since we have had one.

Will updated later.

Catch you soon.




This was very very tasty.  Here is a photo of the part-cooked pudding:

Here is a photo of the completed pudding:

And photos of a generous portion of the pudding each.  It was lovely and went down a treat. Simply served with a dash of cream.  Yummy.

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)