Sunday, 30 October 2011

Inaugural Night @ the Livingstone Supper Club

I am pleased to announced that our fundraising evening in aid of Best Beginnings went really well and we raised a total of £280.  It was great fun and everyone said that they loved the food.  Myself and Anne split the cooking so we even managed to sit down and eat with our guest's at one stage.  Any worries I/we may have had before the evening melted away as it was all very relaxed and I think much more fun for having done it with someone else.  It was so nice to hear people chatting and laughing as we cooked.  Obviously not everyone knew each other, so to have all that chatter going on was calming for the nerves.  Things got forgotten of course, like Anne's wonderful Parsnip and Sage bread which was to go with the main (I am taking one for the team and happily munching through it).  The chocolate dipped candied peel which I spotted on the side as people were starting to leave,  "No no no" I cry, "it is but a wafer" and so they duly munch.  With smiles all round we were very pleased with how it went, so watch this space for up and coming events in the New Year. 

Table by candle light

Cook in action
Olive oil crackers with peppercorn salt

Poppy seed and Parmesan bites

Chocolate buttons with space dust
 Some guests enjoying themselves and still more came to enjoy the evening

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


I am so nervous about our first supper club on Saturday.  I so want people to enjoy the food and have a good time.  I made my pate yesterday and I'm afraid to taste it, that it might be awful and then I will be all upset that its all going wrong already.  The main problem is that I made more than I usually do and maybe I didn't get the quantities right.  On the other hand the pesto is done and looking & tasting good, so that's one box ticked.  We tried the Fishermans Friend cocktail I found and we're happy with that.  Not sure we have enough glasses of course.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Certain things.

I amuse myself with some of the things I do, like when I'm going to sleep.  I have a thing for Action movies and last night I saw that Die Hard was going to be on TV at a time when I would be snuggling down.  If gives me that warm fuzzy feeling, I know the movie so well that I don't get into it and can just fall asleep.  I'm not half listening out for the dialogue and even the gun fire/explosions are soothing. On the other hand if I'm not that tired I can easily watch and enjoy it.  Con Air is another fav, although I do admit to keeping an ear out for my favourite scenes with that one.

Any ho - The grapefruit marmalade was a success this time I am happy to report.  4 jars and a bowl (ran out of jars) were produced.  My little pantry is starting to build up.  My next objective is to use some of it.  I also treated myself once more to another cook book - River Cottage Handbook No.2 Preserves.  Flicking through it I am making a mental note to myself to purchase fruits that are on special, ahh that creative gene is tickling me.  At the back of the book it has a list of some food festivals including a Citrus Fruit Festival - for marmalade's held in Cumbria.  That sounds interesting, I have never been to Cumbria I don't think. 

I tried to give my neighbour a jar of my marmalade which she was about to take until I mentioned that it was grapefruit at which point she steped back said that she couldn't have it as she was on Statins for her heart.  It turns out that there is something in grapefruit that interferes with the Statins so I made her treacle bread instead.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Why am I like that?

Why I can't follow instructions I'll never know.  I had a look on google to see where I went wrong with my marmalade and strangely enough its down to the fact that I didn't put the pith and pips into a muslin bag and in with the other ingredients that the marmalade didn't work.  It's not that the recipe didn't tell me to do that, its just that I didn't have any muslin and I wasn't aware that that's where all the pectin is.  Given that I am now fully clued up I shall be trying it again tomorrow and all going well I will have something to show for my effort.  My breads are driving me crazy at the moment too.  I can't wait to go on my bread making course in November and get some of my questions answered.  I should write the questions down so I don't forget.

It finally looks like the weather is on the turn and thanks goodness for that.  It all feels very odd to be considering sunblock in the middle of October.  And as the man in the garage said - 'it should be snowing by the end of October' - I wouldn't be at all surprised!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Grapefruit Marmalade

 Grapefruit Marmalade NOT!

And I was so looking forward to enjoying my marmalade it tasted so nice.  I had reduced it to the required level prior to putting in the sugar but once I had added the sugar it didn't get to the jammy stage quick enough as per the recipe, so i cooked it some more and then some more and then I it burnt!  Dame shame and what a waste.  Of course my next problem is how to get rid of it, old cat food tins will have to do wrapped in a plastic bag as not to completely destroy the grey bin if it all leaks.  Well onwards and upwards I'm going to give it another bash later in the week - 3 grapefruit for £1 @ Sainsburys that and a bit of googling to make sure I get it right this time.
Something that I am finding out about writing my blog as I read other peoples, is that you really can write about almost anything.  From what happened to your eyebrows at the beauticians to the sandwiches you make your children.  The reason I mention eyebrows is due to the fact that mine got dyed black today when they should have been brown and am now looking abit edgy but not in a good way.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Driving me crazy

Ahhh, my kids just drive me crazy.  I spent 5 hours in the kitchen yesterday making 4 hour lamb with white beans, only to be told that 'you know we don't like stews' before even trying it.  Turning their noses up, the cheek.  Obviously this is the rod I have made for my own back over the years, giving into their demands, trying to make them happy.  Firstly that lamb cost a small fortune, then there's my time and effort thinking I'm making a lovely Sunday dinner for my family.  It's a good job that the husband loves his meat whatever form it comes in otherwise I'd be lost!

Tonight myself and my friend are going to be trying out our menu for the Livingstone Supperclub.  So I need to make some fruit bread to go with the pate & pesto I made over the weekend.  I also need to source some pumpkins for the soup and perhaps some olive crackers to go.  Even before the day has really started I can see it not going my way.  The Girl needs collecting from school at around 6pm, Anne is arriving at about 7.30pm so if the Girl ends up being late arriving to school that might throw me right out of sync.  I think I drive myself crazy more than the kids do.