Category Archives: food

Food glorious food!


Ah yes, food glorious food, cold jelly and custard.. and so on.

I’m a big fan of food, big being the operative word, a testament in fact to my love of food.

Many times I’ve wished I had Booful’s attitude to food. To him it’s little more than fuel to keep him alive. A few exceptions include fillet steak, cheese, bread and chocolate. When we go out for meal together I don’t even bother to ask what he’s going to eat as I already know – fillet steak, chips and a blue cheese sauce.

In the 31 years we’ve been married I have realised that the food no go list is extensive. It includes, but is not limited to: fruit, vegetables, rice, pasta, any kind of grain, yoghurts, anything spiced or flavourful, anything that requires chewing. I could go on.

When we first got married for the first three weeks I cooked us a lovely Sunday roast. On the fourth week he said, “do we have to have a meal, can I not just have a sandwich? And so it began. When I ask him what he wants to eat he generally replies with, “Ooh, I dunno. Egg on, beans on, cheese on.”

Over the next few years all attempts to get him to eat good food have fallen on stony ground. One small success is that he now eats his steak medium rare rather than cremated. At one memorable dinner party I cried in the bedroom when he left the table to make himself beans on toast after turning his nose up at salmon in champagne sauce. Not one of our best dinner parties.

Since I refused to join him in his eating habits I have got into the habit of making two meals. Generally something on toast for him and a real meal for me. It’s annoying but since it takes about two minutes to make beans, egg or cheese on toast it’s not the biggest pain.

Being included to fat I would shun ready meals, bottled sauces, packet foods or in fact anything pre prepared, preferring instead to know exactly what’s going into my food. Such was my food nazi-ism, I would mock anyone who bought pre cut vegetables. “How lazy can you get”, I’d proclaim, “it takes two minutes to prepare vegetables.”

My, how times have changed.

Now I’m feeling bit sheepish at my holier than thou attitude to food preparation. These days, it’s packets, preprepared vegetables, anything in fact that makes life easier. Fling it in a slow cooker, and Bob’s yer uncle. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

So what brought about this amazing volte-face?

Time.

Time and a change of lifestyle.

Being lucky enough to have always been self employed and have a relatively large amount of free time it was easy to shop for and cook healthy, nutritious and delicious food.

Since becoming the proud owner of a bed and breakfast emporium and latterly having rest and relaxation forced onto me after my big op, I’ve realised the only way I’m going to get a decent meal is by letting someone else take the strain. Hello ready prepared vegetables. Hello bottled sauces. It’s either that or join Boofuls with the egg on, beans on, cheese on diet.

Yesterday’s offering was a beef and lentil stew which took me about two seconds to prepare. Throw in a packet of veg, a stock pot, a packet of cubed beef and a handful of lentils and let the slow cooker work it’s magic.

I’ve discovered that it’s really ok to make life easier for yourself. If time, lifestyle and inclination permits then go for it. If not, that’s ok too. No pressure, no guilt it’s all good.

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Blog it!


I’ve been sitting here at my desk for a few minutes now wondering what I can write about now that I have the time to write.

Of course my head is blank. All I’ve done for the last two weeks is sleep, not a lot to write about there then.

Such is my blankness that I’ve even googled ‘ideas for a blog post’

Hhhmmm, let’s see…

1. Run a contest. I don’t know how to do that.

2. Review a book. Ooh, I can do that, I’ve just finished reading ‘the girl on the train’. Dammit, I’ve forgotten most of it. It’s about a girl on a train and it was obviously not that memorable.

3. Criticise a website/blog/person. No!! How mean can you get? Remember the old adage – If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.

4. Tell a secret. Ok. I scoffed a load of shortbread biscuits last night and spent all night farting. It was like the Trumpet Voluntary in my bedroom. I was offensive to myself.

Wot?

It said tell a secret. That was a secret, I haven’t told anyone else about it. Actually, I did. I told my friend Fiz about it earlier while we were chatting in the queue at a coffee shop about bowel movements, or in her case, lack of them.

5.Post a cool infographic. What’s an infographic?

6. Sing a song. Ok………………Did you enjoy it?

7. Share your blogs income and traffic info. £0.00 and 4 viewers today. Wow! Record breaking.

8. Post a picture.

Full English breakfast
Full English breakfast

9. Post an obvious lie. I’m a BBC newsreader and a size 10.

10.Share food recipes. Ok. here’s my recipe for my yummy breakfast pots that I serve to the guests. Mix together, oats, almond milk, honey and vanilla extract. Leave to soak overnight. Into the bottom of small kilner jars I put various fruits, strawberry and blueberry being a favourite. Stewed apple works really nicely with it and sometimes I mix peanut butter into the oat mix and slice banana into the kilner jar. I might put cocoa into the oat mix and put mandarins in the jar, anything you like really. They are very tasty, gluten and dairy free and filling. My friend who has a B&B up the road says I serve my guests cold porridge and stewed fruit. I suppose he’s not wrong. Enjoy.

Breakfast pots
Breakfast pots

I think these were chocolate and cherry.

So there you are. Theres’ my ‘no post ideas’ post.

Did you enjoy it?

John Bull please


What?
What do you mean what’s a John Bull?
It’s a delicious and nutritious delicacy. Ok, it is delicious but it’s not so much nutritious as a heart attack waiting to happen and delicate? Well, not so much.

Today happens to be Boofuls’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOOFULS!!

As it’s his birthday it’s up to him to decide what he wants to do from a dazzling array of options.

This morning’s option, once we’d finished work, was to choose from lunch at his favourite cafe, lunch at a posh restaurant follow d by a game of golf or whatever else he decided to do.

Lunch was a piece of cake and a nap.

The plan for this evening was for him to go out with Lashes and The Prof for a game of bingo. I offered to watch some paint dry as I thought it would be the better option.

BoofuLs decided he didn’t want to leave me alone on his birthday so he isn’t doing that either.

Poor old Lashes is at the end of her tether with him, all she wants to do is give him a lovely day on his birthday and all he wants to do is sleep.

This afternoon we thought we might go out for tea (dinner to you posh folk) since we didn’t get out for lunch (which is dinner to us poor folk). He didn’t want to do that.

Options then changed to, do you want pie, mash and beans or a takeaway, or a roast dinner, or a ……whatever. His reply was; “what do you want?”
It’s not my birthday, just decide.”

“I can’t”.

Eventually, just when I’d go to the point of wanting to inflict physical violence he decided he’d like a chinese takeaway.

During the conversations about what to eat I suggested John Bull and chips. Nom nom nom.

The Prof looked at me with his disbelieving face.

“John Bull, you’re making that up, there’s no such thing”.

If you are anything like the Prof then I expect that you are imagining a stout little man with a red face and a union flag waistcoat, not unlike a Toby jug – and you’d be correct, that is indeed John Bull. However, the John Bull I’m talking about is the edible one.

Still not convinced there is any such thing? Well, you doubting Thomas’s, let’s sort out this out once and for all.

Feast your eyes on this:

Cor lumme, I can feel my arteries clogging just watching that! All it needs is a pile of chippy chips and a huge dollop of mushy peas.

Hmm, it just goes to show that you can take the girl out of the north but can you totally take the north out of the girl?

Maybe not.

 

A what?


Killing a bit of time at the factory the other day with Lashes, Boofuls and The Rev, we were stood around chatting when Gembolina walked in.  Yes, yes, I know it’s supposed to be a place of work but at times it does become a bit of a family meeting place and it’s bee horribly quiet over the last few weeks. A situation I’m happy to report is going to change dramatically over the next  few days.

Anyway, back to the plot.

Not usually one to be controversial, Gembolina shocked  us when she announced that she’d left Batty at home having a diva strop.

“She won’t do her homework because it’s the summer hols and she doesn’t think she should have to.”

Then it got worse;

“Well, let me tell you she does have to because she’s turning into a proper  scrubber and I won’t have it!”

“WHAAAT?!!

I spat my coffee across the room, making a terrible mess on the nearest computer monitor. Did my ears deceive me?  She’s only eleven, how can she be a scrubber at that age?Even in this town that’d be pushing it!

“She’s just going to have to keep doing  it  till she gets it right.”

“Um. What?”

“She’s taken to feeling the words up and down when she’s brailling rather than run her fingers smoothly across the page. They call it scrubbing and it’s a bad habit we have to get rid of.”

Oh thank God. The relief!

Big N made us dinner last night. Silly me for saying that Friday is non diet day. I think he took that to be a challenge  to cram a whole weeks worth of calories into that one meal. Damn! It was goooooood!

Steak and ale pie with the richest gravy I’ve ever had. Topped with light as a feather puff pastry and served with crispy, crunchy roasties. It was delicious. After we’d eaten that we were full to the top. Ten he announced that he’d made a spiced apple crumble and custard. Proper custard mind, made with real vanilla, none of that cornflour stuff.

We needed a break of half an hour or so to make enough room to fit it in but we managed. I thought the custard tasted extra creamy. On investigation it turned out he’s put a huge dollop of double cream into it at the last minute.  Oh my God! the calorie counter in my head was whipping round so fast it was a blur. It didn’t stop me eating it though, or going back for another piece for supper.

People say to me it must be nice having a chef in the house, and on rare occasions it is. I couldn’t possible let him cook all the time.  The deadly  conbination of no will power and gorgeous food would see me as fat as, and the same shape as, a barrel inside  a month.  Fruit day today, I think.

Posh Nosh


Len and Lashes treated themselves to a posh tea the other night. Popping down to ASDA for a few supplies they came home with some extra special salmon en croute. Mmmmmmm my mouth’s watering at the very thought of it. A few green beans, maybe a few sauteed potatoes?

Lashes decided to give her own unique twist and thought it would work better with chips and spaghetti hoops. Who said the younger generation don’t have class?

In honour of Big N’s birthday we invited all the kids and clingons up for tea last night. Bit of a last minute decision so I had to concoct a meal for ten from whatever I could find in the fridge. We ended up with the Italian version of Friday pie: pasta with tomato and garlic sauce with chopped up sausage and chilli burgers. Not bad, not fantastic.

The snow arrived with a vengeance so everyone left in a hurry quite early on as they’d all have ended up sleeping on the floor otherwise.

Due to the same snow storm I had to cancel our planned dinner party with friends from Manchester. The menu was to be home made tomato and basil soup, beef wellington (Boofuls’ fave)  and an as yet un-decided on pudding. Shame, I was looking forward to seeing them, we haven’t had a good catch up for ages. While I was chatting on the phone with them this morning they told me about their old maiden aunt they’d recently been to see. She’d cooked them a special meal of Fray Bentos steak and kidney pie. For those sophosticated people who don’t know what a Fray Bentos pie is, it comes in a tin. Auntie popped the pie, without opening the tin and removing the lid, into a piping hot oven.

Yup, you’ve guessed it. After about 20 minutes there was a huge explosion in the kitchen as the tin exploded and splattered the oven door and all the contents of the  pie all over the kitchen. Thank God no one was in the room at the time or it could have turned into a very nasty event. I think they ended up with cheese sandwiches for lunch that day.

As a small child I was once on the receiving end of an oven explosion when my Mum only lit the gas jets on one side of the oven. It goes with an almighty bang, scared the bejesus out of me, I’ve been scared of gas ovens ever since.

I know you’re all dying to ask. What am I going to do with the beef wellingtons I’ve made for tonight’s dinner party? Eat them of course. I asked Boofuls what he’d like with it, guess what he said.

Chips and baked beans!

Bloody heathen! Now I know where Lashes gets in from, it must be in her genes. Why could she not have inherited her Granddads chef foodie genes like I did instead of her Dads lack of interest in good food genes. Sigh. It’s an uphill battle with this lot. She’ll be drinking Lambrini next. What? She does?  God help us.

I saw this article on the news website earlier and I thought it was lovely, take a look:  nature made an ice sculpture