Tag Archives: cooking

Saturday Again

Six word Saturday button

Once again it’s Saturday and time for six word Saturday.
Today my six words are

Man in the kitchen making dinner.

Want to play along? All that’s necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words – click on the picture above or  click here for more details.

My friend has been talking about using his slow cooker for ages.  We have had discussions about what one cooks in it and yesterday he announced that he was cooking corned beef in his slow cooker.

I am very impressed.  He chopped the vegetables and put them in the pot together with the beef and he has now left it to cook for 8 hours.  Meantime he invited his sister-in-law and her husband to join us for dinner.  My only contribution is to make the white onion sauce for the meat.  Easy peasy as they say.

Pot roast

For over 40 years I was married to a chef aka man who loved to spend time in the kitchen and in later years when he had retired, we had a reversal of roles when entertaining.  He cooked and I poured the drinks.  I wonder if this is going to happen again tonight.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright,
Pavarotti, My Own Story


Dear Diary

Six word Saturday button

It’s Saturday again so here we go.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.


I am blonde (well really more white than blonde now) and I do enjoy blonde jokes, so I am sharing this with you.  I hope it makes you laugh on this sunny but chilly Saturday.  And spare a thought for that Bob – he must be a saint!

Cooking and cleaning

Magnet on my fridge


It’s fun to cook for Bob. Today I made angel food cake. The recipe said beat 12 eggs separately. The neighbours were nice enough to loan me the extra bowls.

He wanted fruit salad for supper. The recipe said serve without dressing.  So I didn’t dress. What a surprise when he brought a friend home for supper.

A good day for rice. The recipe said wash thoroughly before steaming the rice. It seemed kind of silly but I took a bath anyway. I can’t say it improved the rice any.

Today he asked for salad again; I tried a new recipe. It said prepare ingredients; lay on a bed of lettuce one hour before serving. He asked me why I was rolling around in the garden.

I found an easy recipe for cookies. It said put the ingredients in a bowl and beat it. There must have been something wrong with this recipe. When I got back, everything was the same as when I left

He did the shopping today and brought home a chicken. He asked me to dress it for Sunday. I don’t have any clothes that fit it, and for some reason he keeps counting to ten.

I wanted to serve roast but all I had was hamburger. Suddenly I had a flash of genius… I put the hamburger in the oven and set the controls for roast. It still came out hamburger, much to my disappointment.

GOOD NIGHT DEAR DIARY. This has been a very exciting week! I am eager for tomorrow to come so I can try out a new recipe. If I can talk him into buying a bigger oven, I would like to surprise him with a chocolate moose.



Sunday …

It’s 11.15pm on Sunday night and I haven’t written today’s blog.  It has been a busy day but that’s usual so why isn’t the blog written?

I had a lazy start to the day.  The sun was shining brightly and I had been to the library yesterday so had a new clutch of books.  I decided that it would be good to sit in the sun for a short time and read The Sinner by Terri Geritsen.  This is a writer new to me and I found her book absorbing.  So much so that it was suddenly 10.30 am and I wasn’t dressed and had to be in town to help at an Open Home at 11.45am.  So rush rush.

It was such a lovely early summer day – the temperature at one stage reached 21*F such a difference from the past few grey days that I felt like singing.  Luckily common sense prevailed because I think I would have scared anybody within hearing distance.  I do like to sing but only if I am alone with only my small dog to hear me.

We had a short walk and then it was home to make dinner for friends who were prepared to chance my cooking.  Have I told you that I am no cook and in fact had to learn all over again once my husband died?

Well dinner was a success – or at least everybody was polite about it.  Stir fried chicken, mushrooms and vegetables on rice with asparagus and a side salad.  I really couldn’t go wrong.

But then, after they had gone and the kitchen was restored to order I was sitting enjoying a last cup of coffee with the one remaining friend when I remembered my blog.

So just to keep faith with myself and my commitment, this is a very short blog today.  I shall do better tomorrow when I shall tell you about the last movie I saw at the Italian Film Festival.

A man is generally better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table than when his wife talks Greek.
Samuel Johnson, English author, poet and essayist.
1709- 1784.

Look What I Found

“What’s for lunch the lady cried:
I feel a vacuum here inside” Anon

Last week when sorting out books etc to go to Mary Potter Hospice for sale in their shop I came across another, not quite so old book – 1966, that has had me in bursts of laughter ever since.

Anti bull cookbook

This is a hilarious take against the plethora of large, expensive cookery books that were coming onto the market at the time.  And yes, I do have some but my late husband thought this one would bring us all back to the real world.

The book is roughly separated into the various mealtimes, Le Fifoclock ( which according to Peter Evans is what the French call afternoon tea) and any excuse for food at any other time during the day or night.

He introduces us to the Impossible Person at lunch.

The Impossible Person

The Impossible Person

According to the writer “She is so old that there are some who believe she should be preserved for the nation as an Ancient Monument (and others who feel she should have been scheduled for demolition years ago)”.  Did he have me in mind when he penned this description, knowing how I would turn out some 45 years later?

She is portrayed as an archeologist “of great distinction who still rides a camel into the field…”  It is claimed that she has had rows with every eminent archeologist, believing as she does in her own worth and unassailability.  Her manners are appalling; she spills food down her clothes and makes ghastly noises when eating; she considers herself an expert and holds forth on any and every topic, interrupting others ; flicks ash all over the carpet (this was in 1966 remember) and totally discounts any opinion but her own. The perfect guest for lunch.

Oh I do hope that this isn’t how he would see me in the years to come.

We are told that she announces her arrival for lunch by telegram delivered the day before.  What no email or cellphones?  So you could get out of having her to lunch but she would only descend again later.  You may as well get it over with.

Our author further describes her as a glutton and on occasion food has even been known to put her in a good mood – whatever that may mean.  So he decides to feed her Boeuf en Danube saying that his recipe will feed four hungry archeologists.

Boef en daubeHis recipe:
2lbs stewing steak cubed
strip orange rind
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 sticks celery chopped
3 cloves garlic,  a bay leaf
Pint of red bordeaux
12 small onions
6 carrots chopped
4oz bacon and seasoning.

Put steak, to marinade in  wine, vinegar, seasonings, bay leaf and orange rind for several hours.  Heat bacon and brown onions, carrots and celery in fat.  Remove orange rind from meat.  Add meat to the vegetables and fry for 5 minutes.  Add marinade.  cover the pan and simmer for four hours.  Serve with plain boiled rice in which you have mixed peas and shreds of crisply fried onion.

And here is an up to date recipe that I have tried using a slow cooker, but I think I prefer the original.

Our author suggest this be followed by apricot mousse served with stewed fresh apricots and thin cream.

I think even the impossible person would be happy to sit down to such a meal.

And who would you invite to share the table?  Seven others to make a total of 8;  a good number to seat at a round table.

  1. Sir Noel Coward to pay her compliments, butter her up and then later put her into one of his clever songs.
  2. Sir Michael Caine to bring her down to earth and remind her where her roots are.
  3. Angela Lansbury to make sure all is calm and in the event of a murder she will be on the spot.
  4. Mahatma Gandi to pour oil on any troubled waters.
  5. Judith Martin aka Miss Manners to show this character how it’s done.
  6. Eleanor Bron, actress who can debate her choice of career with the impossible person.
  7. John Cleese at his Fawlty Towers best to bring some much needed humour to this lunch party.

I went to a marvelous party,
I must say the fun was intense,
We all had to do
What the people we knew
Would be doing a hundred years hence
From I went to a Marvellous Party,
Sir Noel Coward

Rainy days, gardening, cooking and other foolish things

Leaves wet with rain

“I’m old fashioned, I love the moonlight
I love the old fashioned things
The sound of rain upon a window pane
The starry song that April sings
This years fancies are passing fancies
But sighing sighs, holding hands
These my heart understands”  Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, 1909 – 1976, American lyricist, songwriter and singer.

This morning I awoke to rain.  Not the sound of rain but that soft misty rain that absolutely soaks everything and stops you seeing even the houses on the other side of the street. But as I have said before, I am English and we are used to this type of rain.  It is in the air and all around us.

So what to do today.  I shall certainly take my small dog for a walk.  She doesn’t much like being wet but I love the feel of this soft, caressing rain on my skin. It reminds me of walking home from school in the rain.



I won’t be able to get into the garden to pull out the weeds that have invaded since last week.  How sad!  In case you don’t know weeding is not one of my favourite pastimes, although I have been known to lose myself in the task for several hours.  In fact last weekend I spent a couple of hours trying to decide which were flowers and which were flowers in the wrong place.  My spiritual gardening friends tell me that weeds are only flowers in the wrong place.

That old garden bench in need of painting won’t get done today. That was something I was looking forward to doing.  Oh well, leave it for another day.  It has been waiting to be painted for so long that a few more days, weeks or even months won’t really matter.  And I can still sit on it and read on good days.  And with a rug on it, Lotte (my Tibetan Spaniel) doesn’t care if it is painted or not.

So now I can think of what I can do today because of the rain.

Yesterday in a cafe with a friend – those of you who have read my earlier blogs know that I frequent cafes a lot – we had mulligatawny soup.

Bowl of soup

via Wikipedia

Love the name.  It rolls off the tongue so easily so I looked up its origins.  According to Wikipedia (my go to place for anything I need to know)


“Mulligatawny is a  curry-flavored soup of Anglo-Indian origin. Translated literally from Tamil, “Mulligatawny” means “pepper water”(“Millagu” means pepper and “Thanni” means water).  There are many variations on the recipe for mulligatawny.  In the West, the soup typically has a turmeric-like yellow colour and chicken meat, beef, or lamb meat. Often it is thickened with rice.”

The soup was so good that I thought I would make it sometime.  Looks like that sometime is today.   My son will be very pleased if I do make it.  He will get some and he tells everybody how good his Mother’s soup is.

More on soups another time.

So what else can I do?  I went to the library yesterday and have a number of books I could start.  What a choice.  Time was limited at the library as I found a car park good for only 30 minutes.  Not nearly long enough to browse through the library.  But beggars can’t be choosers.  So I went straight to  C and found Robert Crais’  “The First Rule” then onto D for Jeffery Deaver and chose “Speaking in Tongues”  and then James Paterson “Postcard Killers” all three novelists well-known to me.  Then I came across three unknowns (at least to me)

  • Alan Dunn, English teacher and novelist.  His book is “Ice Cold”.  I am looking forward to reading that.
  • Judith Kelman is ‘an award-winning master of psychological suspense”.  She lives in New York City. Her book is called “The First Stone”.So another new writer to read and
  • Domenica de Rosa’s ‘Summer School’.  A novel set in a 13th Century Italian Castle.  That will make good reading.

So as you can see I am spoiled for choice.

But first, a cup of tea Toast and marmaladewith toast and marmalade for breakfast while I decide the order in which I am going to do things.

Such weighty decisions can’t be hurried.

Then check larder and refrigerator for ingredients for the soup.  I may have to make a trip to the store for some things.  That’s OK it can be merged with the walk for Lotte.  That is if she ever gets out of her bed today.  As I said, she doesn’t like the rain or water of any kind.  She is not a true spaniel as spaniels are water dogs and love the sea.  She hates it and won’t go anywhere near it or a river.

Are you old enough to remember Johnny Ray singing “Just Walking in the Rain”? If so take a walk down memory lane here.  Even if you are not old enough you might still enjoy it.

Now a question for you.  What do you do on rainy days when you have to spend time indoors?  I would really like to hear from you.

And today’s quote is from Terri Guillemets (1973-)  U.S. quotation anthologist
creator of The Quote Garden

Weather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella”.

If you haven’t discovered Terri and the Quote Garden you won’t know of her ‘Daily Harvest”.  Here is todays:

Daily Harvest for 4/16/2011:
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.  ~Elisabeth Foley