Month: March 2008

weekend 29/30 mar 08

On Saturday, I set to with a will, and the determination (and the assistance of The Tribe) to complete Project Kitchen. And I won!

  • All pulses and similar enjarred (apart from some odd pastas, where I simply ran out of jars).
  • The the shelves above the cooker – everything taken off, the shelves cleaned with bicarb, then steam cleaned, then new and different and more appropriate Stuff put on them. This was horrible, and involved me standing on a stool, which surprised perlmonger somewhat, as i get verdigris if I’m anything more than 12″ above the ground
  • the crockery cupboards were reorganised – all the bowls and jugs were sorted, and moved to a different cupboard, while the everyday plates were shifted to a cupboard of their own, where they should hopefully be more accessible
  • the shelves by the kitchen door were completely sorted, and now hold only “spare” stuff – all current foods are now properly organised into appropriate cupboards. I also found room on there for the bits of the Kitchenaid food mixer that I rarely use
  • moved said Kitchenaid to the other side of the kitchen – meaning that the Magimix is far more accessible, and the mixer is more usable

This – I think – concludes the kitchen reorganisation, and took me most of the day.

Supper was sausages, with red cabbage and roast potatoes.

Today perlmonger took himself off to the Bristol Cycle Path protest celebration, so I had the place to myself – lovely 🙂 Went to the farm shop for Bits, did the washing, emptied the dishwasher, hoovered (well, yes – the Roomba did it for me), made a silverside potroast for dinner, and watched lots of Jericho – not quite sure whether I like it or not. It’s rather Lost-ish, but intriguing enough to keep watching.

balance of Easter weekend

We didn’t do much Sunday – ate a humungous fry up for brunch (lamb and rosemary sossidge, apple-smoked bacon, egg, black pudding, beans, sourdough toast), and then some nice fresh home made scones for supper. And slumped.

Monday I decided to go to Ikeal. Astonishingly, perlmonger elected to accompany me. The roads through Bristol were very quiet; this was because everybody in the area was already *at* Ikeal, and it was *packed*. Still, we trundled round, buying 2 wicker hampers to tidy up Under The Stairs, a plastic mat with fish on for the cats’ food bowls, a new step stool, two mats for by the patio doors, and some tealights.

Came home and cooked dinner. We bought half a salt marsh lamb last year, and so we decided to cook the leg (why did we only have one leg, when it was half a lamb? Was it deficient in the leg department?). This leg of lamb was *huge*. And utterly gorgeous. Studded it with garlic and rosemary, and bunged it in the oven with a good sloosh of red wine. Had it with green beans and garlic in tomatoes, and roasted spuds.

While it was in the oven, we did indeed clear out the horror under the stairs, and put down the new door mats. So Project House is continuing well.

Last night, perlmonger chopped the rest of the meat off the bone, and we minced up most of it. We cooked some into Madhur’s Ground Meat with Peas, which unaccountably I have not put online yet. There are two more tubs of mince in the freezer, and some sliced lamb in the fridge, so thats [counts] five exceedingly generous meals from that joint.


I’m very glad I wrote that last post. It reminded me that the bone from the lamb was sitting in the huge cast iron vat. On the top of the fridge, rather than on the gas, being made into stock.

did you get the things we needed? (an occasional series)

We sallied off to Nailsea yesterday morning – it’s a nice little town that has most of what you might need for day to day stuff. I wanted to get some more catnip for the Tribe – they love it, but they want it in a herbal form. Sadly Aaron’s Pets didn’t have any, so the search continues (we are almost out of it). I also nipped (or popped) into the opticians to have my glasses adjusted *again*.

The rest of the haul included:

  • a new cutlery drainer to replace the ancient and horrible dark green plastic thing
  • a shoe cleaning kit wooden box, reduced to £6.50 in Woolies – been after something like this for *ages*
  • a small non-stick saucepan; I don’t like non-stick, but for scrambled eggs and white sauce they’re handy
  • cress, red chillis, eggs, beansprouts, new potatoes, cabbage from the greengrocer
  • 2 plastic bottles from the pound shop, to put my vinegar and lemon juice in (switching to a green cleaning regime, bit by bit)

Then we hurtled round to Taste at Barrow Gurney, to pick up some rhubarb, and a couple of their most excellent pasties for lunch. Disaster! – all gone pasties 🙁 So instead,

  • 2 crayfish tartlets – gorgeous, consumed with homemade lentil/tomato soup for lunch
  • some Parmeggiano Reggiano
  • a small sourdough loaf
  • apple smoked bacon
  • a stalk of teeny tiny vine tomatoes
  • organic milk

And that was that. Home for lunch, then the rest of the day was mostly slumpage for me after the disturbed sleep on Friday.

Supper was sublime – we did the Boy Oliver’s Hot and Sour Pork with Rhubarb, and I recommend it most highly. Really, really lovely. And there’s enough left over to put a tub in he freezer.

Tescowatch (an occasional series)

Yesterday, however, the 7,500 inhabitants of the town on the south Devon coast [Seaton] were readying themselves for a new battle after Tesco bought its largest employer, a holiday village, and promptly ordered its closure. The site also houses Seaton’s only nursery, catering for 35 children, and a swimming pool.

… If Tesco builds a store in Seaton it will be its tenth outlet within 22 miles. Residents have to travel 18 miles to reach one of its main competitors (Sainsbury’s, Asda or Morrisons), but there is a Waitrose seven miles away.

More here.

Did you get the things we needed? (an occasional series)

We sallied forth this morning to do a bit of shoppering – something we don’t necessarily enjoy, so we had several places to go. I wouldn’t say the weather was actually nice when we left, but by the time we got to Whiteladies Road, it was pouring. And neither of us had a jacket, a hat, or an umbrella. Soggy.

We started at Kitchens, where we purchased

  • a new cheese grater. The Microplane snapped its plastic handle in half last week, and we thus declined to spend £17.95 (if you please) on a replacement, and instead bought a stainless steel one for eight quid
  • 3 huge and 3 medium glass storage jars – the mission to Tidy The House continues
  • a 12 bottle wine rack. For shoes. Yes, really. Works really well, and we don’t have much any spare floor space

From there we waded round the corner to Wild Oats, the health food place.

  • two bottles of Teriyaki (two because they are tiny)
  • some laundry balls – they’d better work, at 35 quid
  • a sourdough loaf
  • Ecover washing powder and dishwasher tabs
  • no blackcurrant juice for perlmonger

In the greengrocer next door, I bought basil, mushrooms and carrots. I do very little greengrocery shopping these days, due to the Riverford box, but sometimes you gotta.

Then we hurtled over to Wai Yee Hong, the Chinese supermarket at Eastville, for

  • noodles
  • dried orange peel
  • 3kgs of bicarbonate of soda (great for cleaning)
  • oolong tea
  • fresh ginger

Next up, the Better Food Company at St Werberghs.

  • Ecover fabric conditioner
  • posh organic kitchen soap stuff
  • unpasteurised cheddar
  • brie
  • no blackcurrant juice for perlmonger
  • maple syrup

We had lunch there too – very nice pasta bake with roast peppers.

Last call was to Asda, to pick up

  • some more of the nice plastic storage boxes we bought last week – I WILL organise this house if it kisl me. Which it probably will.
  • turkey mince for Iggy, as he loves it so
  • some raw tiger prawns, to be stir fried tonight with the aforementioned basil
  • a nice little ceramic oblong dish, which will replace the one accidentally left on the gas (made a nice BANG when it exploded)
  • waffer thin meat for the cats’ treats
  • some cold meat for next week’s lunches, as I can’t be arsed to go down to Costco and buy a gammon, never mind cook it

We have to go out again in a bit to collect the wine from the offy, but that’s it, now – I’m in for the rest of the weekend.

perlmonger says he may go out on his bike tomorrow to Gloucester Road in a last ditch attempt to find the blackcurrant juice he likes, but I fear he might be better off tilting at windmills … and the forecast is very wet.

Did you get the things we needed? (an occasional series)

I nipped (or popped) up to the Local Shop* this morning – we needed potatoes and onions, and some shoop, as I didn’t get round to making any yesterday. and I needed to post a letter too.

And in that fine emporium, they had a single and solitary duck, on its sell by date, for £3.88. That duck is now MINE, and I’m very pleased that tonight’s LibDem Political Working Party meeting is cancelled, as now there shall be roast duck for supper.

I completely forgot to post the bloody letter, of course, despite it being in my hand; I brought it home again. And thus I have changed this post’s icon to a more suitable one.

*a Co-Op, and not at all bad.