Monday, 30 November 2015

Those were the parties!

Perfect a party trick day - I confess that I didn't get around to doing this one, however I was impressed at Kevin's party trick of matching the Le Bistrot Pierre cheeses to people at Bernie's birthday celebration!

Apparently Kevin himself is the Fourme d'Ambert (rich and creamy apparently!) and I'm the St Marcellin (nutty - although personally I think it's more to do with young and tender) and Ray's the Tomme de Savoire (I daren't even comment on this!) - Ray did get his revenge by saying that the Saint Maure could apply equally to either Kevin or myself as we both seem to be companions to many white wines!

How very rude! And totally unfounded of course...

Those were the days day - Some day these will be the days we'll look back on and remember as the 'good old days' - a scary thought lately!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Parsnip Appreciation!

Parsnip appreciation day - I used to really, really dislike parsnips. 

But then I also couldn't stand bacon until my Dad made me bacon sandwiches when I was about 5 or 6 and was really poorly having just come out of hospital - I can still picture him walking in the room with the plate of quartered butties, I don't think I've every tasted anything so good (except maybe cream crackers smothered with Primula (ham or prawn) and then topped with thinly sliced cheddar)! And I used to refuse to eat spaghetti so while everyone else was tucking into spag bol I just had the sauce with cream crackers, I also wouldn't eat any of the tuna kedgeree type dish we used to have except for the tuna so used to sit for ages picking tuna flakes out of rice!

Happily I grew out of all these strange dislikes and now enjoy bacon, spaghetti and all of the tuna, egg and rice dish!

Anyway, I digress. Back to parsnips...

Rather than doing the usual roast parsnips I made some crisp honey mustard ones which were delicious and also some parsnip hash browns which were surprisingly very good (thanks to John's grating skills!)!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Don't worry, get mashed!

Mashed foods day - I didn't even manage any all week! The BBC have some good ideas though and it is getting to the time of year for good old comfort food...

BBC Good Food top 10 ways to use up mashed potatoes!

Don't worry about anything day - This goes against my nature but I really did try! This reminded me though of the time Bernie and I were leaving a concert (Billy Ocean or Michael Bolton I think) and, rather than get caught up in the crazy rush of cars trying to get out of the car park at the same time and getting nowhere fast, we just sat comfortably waiting with the windows rolled down and 'Don't worry, be happy' belting out at full blast - much to the amusement of the other vehicle owners in our proximity :-)

Monday, 9 November 2015

Powerful Excitement!

Get excited about fireworks day - I was in Eastbourne for fireworks day so I was excited about seeing something different but sad to be missing the Stray fireworks, I wonder if we'd have attempted another hot dog picnic if we'd been here!

Powerballad day - I was quite surprised at John's powerballad skills this week. 

No, I don't mean singing - although that would have been very entertaining! After incorrectly guessing Peter Cetera as the singer for every single end-of-movie theme we've seen recently (I think he's seen Karate Kid ll too many times - interesting fact time though...Glory of Love was originally written as the closing theme to Rocky lV apparently) he was finally right when it turned out to be Peter Cetera and Cher at the end of 'Chances Are'. 

The recent viewing of 'Only You' sparked a nostalgic journey through cheesy 80's movies including 'Chances Are' and 'Maid to Order'. Oh dear.

But seriously, how on earth could you confuse the Powerballad King (Mr Bolton himself) with Peter Cetera? Having said that, there's no denying Mr Cetera's skill either - in fact I think I need to stay away from YouTube, I've just spent an inordinate amount of time unintentionally listening to one 80's powerballad after another!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

October Mission - The Results!

So, in the pursuit of a fabulous tomorrow I did indeed look into the tea leaves and the cards!

I found an "authentic" online tarot card reading at, which sounded exactly like the sort of reliable and credible source I was looking for...

I particularly liked that my card to "describe situations that are currently helping or interfering with my progress" was 'The Fool' and the advice was to "look out for those that think they know what they are doing but really have no idea." I don't need to look out for them, they seek me out with little or no encouragement. On a daily basis.

It seems my 'Present' card is 'Judgement', "If I get things right then everything will turn out in my favour, if not then there may be problems ahead." Well duh. Apparently the 'Future', being 'The Sun' card means a happy period for me though so I guess maybe that means I'll get things right?

When it comes to my 'Goal' it appears that 'The Moon' means that there are forces working against me. Would that be all 43 of them or just the usual "treachery, deception, and unknown danger."  it portents?

When it comes to 'Myself' my card is 'The Star', basically I'm awesome and the future is bright. No surprise to anyone that one then.

My 'Outside Influences' over which I have no control are represented by 'The Tower' card, apparently "this is not a very nice card when associated with the devil or death" - I only have 2 cards left to turn over at this point...

And wouldn't you just know it - my 'Inner Self' card is indeed 'The Devil'. It represents that my "actions are motivated by negative influences such as temptation, addiction, greed, lust or power. Alternatively, I may be the victim and suffer from lack of control, subordination, weakness, and now find myself trapped in a situation I never intended to get into." Yep, that sounds like me, all of it ;-)

My final card 'The Outcome' is 'Temperance', which seems to imply that "with patience and moderation my future will stabilise and I can look forward to a time of happiness and harmony." It does also warn though to avoid friends or family upsetting this harmony with their problems.

So all in all as long as I avoid the forces working against me, treachery, deception, unknown danger, those who don't know what they're doing and friends or family with problems then everything should come up smelling of roses. Simples.

Moving swiftly on to the tea leaves.... too can teach yourself to read tea leaves here. I say "too" but perhaps this is misleading - my attempt was such an abomination that I couldn't even bring myself to photograph the resulting mushy mess. If my cards are anything to go by I may have just sealed my fate by not doing this right as per the 'Judgement' card presiding over my 'Present'. Bring forth the forces of treachery, deception and unknown dangers - not quite the fabulous tomorrow I was seeking!

And I'm still waiting to get my email from Alisha who claimed she was going to "get to work right away and send my revelations that nobody has ever been capable of revealing to me before now"...

Call me a cynic but I strongly suspect that every single person using this completely free service may find that they've arrived at just the right time as she was right in the middle of a Numerology session. In fact a number probably appeared when they arrived.Number 7. Immediately, she may see a brunette whose name starts with the letter M...

In keeping with the destiny/fate type theme (and the fact that it's Halloween) I also watched the one and only film featuring a ouji board which you're ever likely to get me to see (I cannot believe this film is 21 years old!!)!

And I'd totally forgotten that the theme song is by Mr Bolton!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Scary possibilities!

Make the impossible possible Day - I actually did this last week! For the last several months it's been absolutely impossible to arrange a get together with a certain couple of friends (you know who you are!).

No joke, between all our diaries (social butterflies that we are - haha, I wish, it's mainly been because of work!) it's taken literally months to sort something out. However, last week I was absolutely determined so gave a list of dates and suggested that we either consider a night we wouldn't usually socialise on (Monday) or give up altogether!

The impossible became a reality last Monday when we all had a lovely evening together over lamb stew, a few bottles of red, Trivial Pursuits and several hands of Scabby Bitch (it's a card game!)

Halloween - we really wanted to try this but it'll have to wait til next year or the year after, so this year we had our annual pumpkin carving competition...

and the 'loser' was sacrificed for the best pumpkin soup I've ever had (my own recipe too!)!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 large garlic gloves crushed/finely diced
300g white potatoes
1kg pumpkin peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
handful fresh coriander chopped
1 litre chicken stock (I made using 2 knorr chicken stock pots)
1/2 cup double cream
100g spicy chorizo sliced, quartered, fried (no oil required) and then drained on kitchen roll

Heat oil in large (very large!) pan and add onion and garlic. Cook stirring for 3 minutes or until onion has softened, add potato and pumpkin. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until potato starts to brown. Add chilli flakes, ground cumin and ground coriander. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add stock, cover, bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes then set aside for a couple of minutes to cool. Use a hand blender to blend it in batches then return it all to the pan on a low heat, add the cream, chopped fresh coriander and chorizo, season with pepper and serve with toasted bread!

And then we decided to take ourselves off to the Pine Woods for the Halloween walk! 

Now we've walked through the pine woods before in almost dark conditions (against my better judgement) and I swore I'd never do it again - not to mention the bizarre things I've seen in the daytime - yet, at my suggestion, we found ourselves wandering over to see what it was all about! It wasn't quite what either of us was expecting, we thought it would be a group walk through the pine woods and that there'd be spooky things along the way (like when they did the scarecrows along the path) but it was nothing like that and we left, having walked 'the walk' in just over 5 minutes. 

After a look around the gift shop at Harlow Carr John gave me the option of heading to Charlie's via the safe and well lit main road or to take the eerie and terrifying route through the pine woods proper (by now it was approaching true darkness). In a fit of what can only be described as madness I opted for the latter. By the time we were halfway through it was pitch black, my death grip on John's hand had cut off the circulation to his fingers, and by the time some idiot on a bike, with no lights, came up behind us I was ready to drop to the floor, curl up in a ball and scream my lungs out (which wouldn't take long)!

After a couple of much needed drinks at Charlie's it was time to head home (via the safe and well lit main road) to watch suitable Halloween entertainment with plenty of trick or treat goodies (I always buy some and no-one ever knocks - waste not want not haha!).

And then I spent half the night awake and terrified just waiting for it to get light so I could get up!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

November Mission!

November's mission is all about ninja-dom!

Oh dear.

It looks like, despite the title which had me raring to impress with my, as yet undiscovered, karate chopping moves, this months challenge revolves around more biscuits. 

And to make matters worse it appears the to achieve success I must perfect the art of dunking (on the rare occasions I consume a biscuit I am not a dunker).

However, in my quest for extreme success, complete happiness and global world domination needs must! 

Fortunately I have a secret weapon in my ninja arsenal... this space...