Saturday, 13 February 2016

New Recipe - Celery and Lemon Soup

I tried a new recipe today.  You soften some celery and finely chopped onion, add stock and the juice and grated rind of a lemon and simmer until soft.  In a separate pan make a roux of flour and butter, add three quarters of a pint of milk very slowly until thick, then mix into the blended celery and onion in broth mix.  Then you beat up two egg yolks with three tablespoons of cream and then mix a ladleful of soup into the cream-and-egg-yolks and return to the pan.  The recipe was very insistent that you did not boil after this stage, so we didn't (DH was an equal partner in this).

I loved it.  DH loved it.  Bear asked for tinned ravioli as he didn't like the lemon.

It was the first time that I had used egg yolks to thicken a soup.  I had always been very nervous.  However it worked.  I may take a few more risks in future, obviously bear permitting.

It is a recipe from the first cook book I bought - Good Food on a Budget by Georgina Horley.  It is very dated.  The link goes to one published in 1969, though mine was around the 1988 vintage.  The Christmas cake recipe from there is awesome, and much recommended.

I love this cookbook.  The recipes are good, and all the ones I have tried have worked.  However the reason I keep coming back to it is that I love the way it is written and the down to earh discussion of the recipes.  It is someone who has tested each recipe to its limit, and I love the comments.  The recipes are unusual as well.

I am still feeling low, so I am working extra hard to avoid random shopping.  There is a type of compost made of wool and bracken.  I am working hard not to look at that, as it sounds awesome but the shipping would be prohibitive.  I shall scour the free ebooks instead.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Bear is Awesome

Bear has got an honourable mention in the Special Book at school.  Each teacher gets to nominate two children in the class each week and somehow bear has got a multiple entry.  I am still not sure exactly what he has done, and I suspect that bear may be overstating a little, but he is still in the Special Book and therefore is an awesome bear.  He also brought home a free book for completing ten reading journals (not sure exactly what that means either) so he ended the week on a high.

Normally bear gets treats for stuff like the Special Book, good reports and good parents' evenings.  We are stuck, though, today as bear doesn't actually want anything.  He's good for nerf guns, he has forty eight BeastQuest books, he is good for toys and he loathes leaving the house unless for maths or in extreme necessity.  I'm running out of ideas for days out.  Bear would much rather stay in.

It's a wonderful dilemma to have.  DH and I have both told bear that we are incredibly proud of him.  Once bear has slept on it, I'm confident he will be inspired.  I can't wait to find out!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Entertainment of Sorts

I am having a bad time at the moment.  I'm sure I'll pick up, and I am so aware that others have a harder time, but I am having a fail at the moment.

At least I am managing to look outside myself  a little.  Yesterday the smell of weed was so strong in the street it would stop a clock.  I have no idea who or what, but I am keeping an eye out and hoping that bear will be okay.

This morning I was sitting and trying to be positive when I heard an awesome argument going on.  Apparently there is a dispute about the bins at the back of the flats.  I had a look and saw a van from the council's environmental people (with Grime and Punishment written on the side - someone got paid for thinking of that) and a lad who looked about twenty, wearing a high vis vest and a nervous expression, standing between the owner of the pizza shop and the hairdresser.  Both were being very forthright and arms were being waved.  

DH was also good about me getting some geraniums that arrived yesterday.  One is fine but the other got a little battered.  I'll enjoy fussing over them.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Mathematically Challenged

It's the dratted 30 day clean.  Day 10 has instructions that use Oxyclean.  I think that could be an American brand.  Tesco have Oxi Powder, which is probably the same - a powder that has a bleaching action and stain removal for laundry.  Here is the challenge.  Do I buy 500g for £2.20 or 1kg for £3?

The same product, Tesco Oxi Powder, is £4.40 per kilo if I buy 500g, but only £3 per kilo if I buy a 1kg drum.  So buying 1kg is cheaper if you look at it as price per gram.  However if I buy 1kg of Oxi Powder instead of 500g I will still have spent 80p more.  I suppose I could look at it as if I buy one 500g pack of Oxi Powder for £2.20 and get the second for 80p, and both in the same pot.

I have washing soda in already and I am not in a hurry to build up cleaning supplies.  I'll get the 500g pot and save 80p.  It isn't a common requirement, and I don't think I'll use it quickly.

The next expenditure on the 30 day Clean may be a vacuum.  The author seems to assume a lot of different attachments and flexibility.  Mine has no attachments and I am happy about it.  I shall worry about the problem when I get to it.

Having a Beige Day

I can't really get up to much (ironing and pulling out the fridge) because I am on pins to see if the Water Board call, and if they do I don't want miss their knock.

I have started embroidering a tray cloth.  If I am successful I will share.  I bought it online (of course) and didn't realise that the edge was unfinished.  I have to buttonhole around the edge and then trim.  I am not looking forward to that!  I have started the buttonhole, after refreshing my memory on YouTube, and I am not convinced.  Still, it keeps my hands busy.

I have some ready made pancakes in the fridge, and I am considering making Toad in the Hole for dinner, in the spirit of using up eggs.

I am feeling very flat and restless.  In the past this has led me to be more random than normal.  I am sitting on my hands and avoiding eBay, just in case.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Bear is Becoming a Medium Bear

When I first started blogging I called bear, 'little bear'.  It was a nickname that stuck from the cuddly, playful, sunny baby that I brought home from the hospital.  I dropped the 'little' part around the time when bear started school.  I thought it was important to recognise that he was getting bigger and more autonomous.

Today, for the first time, bear was happy to skip night time songs.  It's probably only tonight, as DH is out so bear doesn't get a story.  Tomorrow the routine will continue as we have another chapter of A Horse and his Boy (by CS Lewis who could really write) which will be followed by the songs, but I suspect we have set a precedent.  It's just a significant moment because bear has always insisted on songs, and even extra songs if he wasn't getting a story.

Now that bear is in Year 4 he is getting to big and cool for mum kisses.  I can't kiss him goodbye in the morning as I drop him off anymore.  I have to sneak them in before we leave the house.  I have been uneasily waiting for this, as most of the cool dudes stopped kisses a while ago.  There are not so many hugs.

I suppose bear is now becoming a Medium Bear.  Before I know I will have a hulking, awkward, independent teenage with hollow legs hanging around.  I going to sneak in as many cuddles as I can, while I can.

Back to Day One

Doing okay actually.

I'm not doing the spice cupboard again, but I'm working through the Daily Cleaning List and I'm finding the Bullet Journal useful.  I've been on to the Water Board and chased up a missing duvet.

I am considering a pot plant or two.  They are supposed to be healthy, and geraniums are supposed to be good at absorbing formaldehyde, at least, according to this article on the BBC website.  I adore scented geraniums, and it would be great to have a few.  What more could I want - something I want that is good for my health.  The two problems are that there are not many good places to keep a sun loving plant in the house and also DH isn't as keen.  At least we no longer have cats ready to prune anything green.

It's probably the wrong time of year anyway.