Weekend Coffee Share – Braemar

If we were having coffee it would be in the small village of Braemar, in the highlands of Scotland. A lovely feeling of remoteness where the main thing on offer is fresh air, relaxation and time away from the office.

A Sunday morning run in the bag, bread in the oven and the paper to read, the week is starting well. Trying to forget the shower incident. The call from son number 1 who managed to break the shower, or to find the only thing with the potential to stop working in the place. Mainly we couldn’t get the shower to switch off. A hunt for the stopcock ensued, cutting the water off at the mains. Perfect timing in terms of me needing a post run shower!

Back to the coffee though, and breathe…… the shower now fixed post a quick visit from the owner of the place. The cottage is tranquil and warm, surrounded by great views. In April the camper van although an option is hard in damp, dreich and cold climes. The four of us for a week, we’ve tried in the past, no one comes back happy from being cooped in a small tin on wheels. The highlands at this time of year is still cold, below zero overnight and the mountains still covered in patches of snow. The appeal of a cottage was too great to ignore and the boy needed a place to revise with Exams kick in when we get back.

The main agenda of the week, to cover some of the hills in the area, mainly soak up the air, detox from the office and spend some time with the boys.

….…the week went by quickly, we were blessed with blue skies, albeit very cold days.

Managed a couple of Munro’s in the area. Carn Bhac….One of the less visited and we suffered for it struggling through peat bogs to get from Beinn Iutharn Mhor albeit we did it in reverse to the route suggested from walkhighlands. Mountain bikes to altanour lodge were a godsend for the way back.

Carn a’Mhaim from the Linn of Dee my favourite of the two hill walking days, the lush green scots pine against the blue skies, the rivers and the views from the top were just amazing. Another one of those if you could bottle up the feeling for the day and take a drink when you’re back at the office in order to deal with 200+ emails a day kind of moments….would make the office a better place if you could share the feeling. The mountains have been there for thousands of years….and will be there for a little longer.

Back at home and eager to get a few things done, my pc running like a dog, a week of being switched off has put the final nail in the coffin….I feel a rebuild coming on….but the whole recovery disk and Windows 10….has moved on…they don’t make it easy……..more coffee?

Various pictures on route to the top of Carn a’Mhaim

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

The Weekend CoffeeShare – Spring is in the Air

Longing for the first few days of March to show the markings of Spring. Storm Freya put a stop to any thoughts of me going out for a run, so I’m sat with my coffee browsing the Borough Market recipe book.  Willing the spring section to come up with inspiration.

The recipes talk about late spring, April even and I sigh. I think March is a hard time for a cook, on the cusp of something that’snot quite there.  The tail end of the winter root veg.  The beetroot in the veg box this week was massive and will take an age in the oven.  I’m looking to start turning my hand away from the comfort stews, something lighter and healthier but just can’t take that leap as another gust of wind buffets against the kitchen windows.

Eventually I came across a pot roast chicken recipe with a carrot top pesto that I think will aid my transitional state of mind.

Chicken not a problem….but finding young carrot tops is. Maybe they are in abundance in the London Market and to imagine that the greenery has been left on….well I had no such luck.  Closest I came to young carrots made a big thing about them being trimmed!

A week later I’m sat at my PC, with a nice strong coffee and wondering how time keeps flying by.   I didn’t manage last weeks post but for completeness I’ve included it here. I’ve wrestled with a sore throat all week,  which has given me an excuse to lay off the exercise in fear of coming down with the whole man flue thing.   The days are getting longer and at some moments showing some signs of warmth.  

Not today, Sunday morning and the boy has a football match. So before taking him up to the school I managed to get a stew in the oven.   The beef cheeks in the freezer finally coming out to play.  I also managed to soak some beans last night…so it’s more of a store cupboard stew with the root veggies from this weeks box, a splash of wine and some stock and tonight’s tea is in the bag.  

Lunch is from last nights remains where I’ve managed to grab onto last weeks feeling of needing more salad.  Waitrose supermarket provides a great little bag of mixed grains, combined with some Camargue red rice, zest and juice of an orange as a base for healthy carbs, served with greens and Annie Bells Quiche Lorraine (not so healthy).  A coleslaw from the veg box cabbage and I think we have picnic lunch for work tomorrow as well.

At some point during the day I need to get out in the garden, I want to move the gooseberry bushes before they spring into real life.  They haven’t moved on like I’d hoped and sure they will do better in a sunnier place which I don’t have yet.  Garden plans imminent……so a false economy I know I bought a couple of planters to keep them portable for now.  Would have been cheaper to buy new plants!

Thanks for joining me for this weekends coffee share.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

The Weekend CoffeeShare – Dancing on the Clouds

If we were having coffee we’d be marvelling at the moon, and discussing how over the space of the week the light has got better and the day slightly longer. 

I’ve had the title of this post bouncing in my head all week since Monday.  I had the pleasure of seeing a full moon at both ends of the day. 

With a 6am start it drifted across the house roof tops that we can see from the kitchen window and then slowly drifted below sight as I packed my bag.  Then later that evening just before leaving work.  At the moment I’m fortunate to have a seat that has full view of some of the castle, and the moon in full splendour moved across the horizon just dancing on the clouds.

I’ve taken pictures before, but the reflection of the office lights on the glass always detracts from the image.  I get the same feeling when I walk in onto the office floor….I’ve been getting in early as part of my new routine, usually first in where I trigger the annoying sensors that flick on the minute I open the door.  Just once it would be nice to walk up to the window and take a deep breath before turning the lights on.   Still I have amazing moments from my vantage point that I know won’t last as the ebb and flow of office movements take place as teams morph and change to meet the needs of the organisation.

This week has been a hard come down from the last, and a great deal of will power to reduce my calorie intake of the bad stuff (not a diet!) in order to reverse the cheese and wine effects of last week.   I thought the scale was lying last weekend……amazingly today I feel slightly better as I’ve brought the needle into tolerance levels, albeit high….so lots to do.

I tackled the Cullen Skink recipe from “The Almanac, a Seasonal Guide to 2019”.  A fairly healthy version of a chowder, just full fat milk rather than cream.  I made the mistake of adding mushrooms which turned it a little grey in colour…but none the less tasty.   The Almanac is a lovely little book, a reinvention of a traditional rural almanac with charts, thoughts, seasonal ingredients,phases of the moon, sun, tides and recipes. This month I have my eye on the blood orange and pistachio cake.   I’m trying to use it as a prompt….if I make one thing this month it will be….

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

The Weekend Coffee Share – or Vin Chaud if you prefer

If we were having coffee it would be small and European (annoyingly so), or you could have a Vin Chaud to warm you to your toes.  It’s been a cold morning traversing the slopes, and a little warmth is required although for some crazy reason we are sat outside drinking it!  The power of the sun is a welcome sight forthose of us emerging from a Scottish winter, pouring over the majestic Frenchand Swiss alps.  The little mountainrestaurant has found the perfect spot away from the wind chill and I take adeep breath, it’s a Monday and it’s not a workday!

The last two days the resort has been on lock down due to wind and snow, so it’s with great relief that we are now able to enjoy ourselves, move away from the lower crowded tree lined slopes and up to the peaks with the fantastic views.

We are staying just off the French village of Avoriaz, part of the Porte de Soleil, a vast network of interconnected ski resorts and we’ve been in and out of Switzerland already today.  Early birds catching the first of the fresh snow and the best day to do the Swiss Wall without concern of breaking something!  At certain points it has a 90% incline, so it’s steep and daunting in equal measure.

The Swiss Wall

The boys are happy with a hot chocolate and frothy cream topping.  Another year older, and stronger we are covering more distance and the reluctance to go over the edge typically rests with me now.  Although I’ve brought them to the wall with no knowledge of my plan, we go over and down like it’s the most natural thing to do in the world.  Out the four of us it was me that was last down….age and the feelings of being the weaker skier start to creep in.  Feels like only yesterday I had these boys between my legs when anything got too tricky, now it’s them who support me with yelps and the odd grunt from the eldest.

I’m writing this at Geneva airport a moment of pause after luggage drop off and boarding, an early start of 4am to get from the mountains to the airport….I’m sat having a coffee in an effort to bring some element of stability to my system and dreaming of being back at the start of the week again.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my WordPress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share, Snowdrops

Sunday Afternoon, and I’ve managed to get away with my cup of coffee and an old School CD.  I don’t buy many now, and this one a Christmas present from my Mum….an easy gift for her…..but mental torture for me as I pleasure delay by not steaming the material pre-gift giving.   I still don’t think you can beat listening to new music from your favourite artist for the first time on a physical medium.

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January and they appear #snowdrops

A post shared by The Cook (@edinburghcook) on

I’ve been searching and these have got to be the bravest flowers as the pop their heads out not knowing what weather they are going to face, I have no idea if it’s the earth’s axis, the moon or a change in temperature that drives them to appear in January.  My favourite flower that I think stems back to my childhood, possibly something I had to illustrate at primary school.

They appear in clumps, and easy to split down, spread out and over the years the clumps grow and spread further.  The farm that I used to visit as a child had a blanket of them at the entrance. A sight to been seen as you entered the gates.

The weekend has been filled with a few chores, carpet measuring and ordering…surely a sign of this home build coming to an end.   The sockets that were fitted a couple of years finally getting the much need plaster repaired round the edges ready for  final coat of paint

Kitchen wise and tales from the table…. A mixed bag of activity

Bread

Started Fridaymorning kicked off a leaven so that when I came home would be in good fettle tokick off a sour dough for an overnight rise. Eventually got it in the oven Saturday afternoon…..  Really struggling with the whole shapingthing.  The one thing that has saved meis the dutch oven approach.   If anyoneis thinking of attempting sour dough then this technique is a no brainer.

Saturday Tea

Got the smoked Haddock out the freezer from pre-Christmas and intended to put it too good use in a Risotto, to be presented with the job of dealing with the veg box left over potatoes and kale…..Dauphinoise sprung to mind with the Haddock being given a short sharp pan fry.  One of my sons not happy with the potatoes, he has some kind of aversion to creamy things unless Mac and Cheese or…..it’s chocolate.

For after’s followedwith individual prune sponge puddings….the boy managed the cream as a caramelcustard amazingly!   The only issue withindividual pots….there’s no 2nd’s.   Probablya good thing given the unofficial diet that I’m trying to be on……I kid myself.

Soup

Whilst all that’sgoing on I throw together a soup for tomorrows Sunday lunch, we’ll have it withthe bread.   A mildly spiced SweetPotatoe and lentil concoction

Sunday Tea

Sunday tea going for a Moroccan style butterflied leg of lamb, it’s been marinating in what I always seem to remember as called the ra’s al ghul spice (too many hours watching Batman) when really it’s the ras el hanout, a mixture of the shops best spices on offer.   Taken this recipe from the Borough Market book I got for Christmas.   First trip out.  As ever happened to pick something that wasn’t your usual fair.  A butterflied leg of lamb and a small one at 800g.…..Butcher was a bit thrown….and I didn’t realise why.  It was the small size not the cut.  Helped me out by taking few steaks to put back in the window….fully committed it wasn’t cheap at half the price and although the butcher said it should serve 4 at that size….my thinking it will serve 4 over 2 meals.   We’ll see!

Having now done my research the butterfly method is popular with BBQ’s, A way of folding the meat out and getting an equal cook across the joint.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, thank you for popping by, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my wordpress account or my picture diary (instagram feed).

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share, welcome to 2019

Come on by and grab that coffee, welcome to 2019 from the EdinburghCook!

It’s been a funny week from a schedule point of view, both work and holiday intermingled.  The boys still off on holiday from school.  One revising for his first batch of what we’d call real exams

I’ve been in and out the office, which has been quiet with an element of thinking time.  I’d craved it so much that when I got it I was almost paralysed with too much choice, like a rabbit in head lights.  It didn’t last long and service was promptly returned to normal yesterday as folk started returning.  The nuance of the day changes, people need things, decisions need to be made and the time for thinking is reduced…even by the simple hello’s along the corridors or the stairs.

Cooking wise there has been a one pot with chicken and oranges (good seasonal produce) and a disaster spelt loaf that turned into an amazing Focaccia.  This evening we have our last Christmas invite…albeit overdue, catching up with friends who are cooking for us….which is a real treat and leaves me at a loose end cooking thoughts for a Saturday.

Means a trip into town guilt free without the rush of having to get back in time to start preps, it’s really nice to be cooked for at a personal level and not to be taken for granted.

The weekend otherwise is looking cold and damp, the decorations are down and we are very much starting to think about the warmer times ahead.  And this reminds me I want to look up a list of Munro’s (Scottish Mountains over 300ft)in Excel format.  I’m going to tackle or more correctly bag 50 before I’m 50 as a challenge.  I’ve revisited an older post on new years resolutions and what it means blogging wise….advice for myself more than anything else.

The bulbs are starting to come through and I’m looking forward to seeing Snowdrops, the temperature doesn’t know what it’s doing so maybe by the next time you come round for coffee….I’ll be able to report back sightings.

This is my post for the weekend coffee share, if you like my ramblings and want to hear first hand how I’m getting on in the kitchen as a cook then please subscribe at the top right, to either my wordpress account or instagram feed.

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

2019 the Resolution post

At this time of year I like many others are trying to start a new habit, put right the things I didn’t get right and change the way we approach the world.

My most popular post by a good distance has to be the one I wrote about New Years resolutions some advice for food bloggers way way back in 2015! I thought I’d revisit and steal, re-purpose that content and jump in on the resolution band wagon. Mainly remind myself what it’s all about.

Your Only Human – Take Time

Forgive yourself for what you didn’t achieve last year and give yourself a pat on the back for the things you did. Also recognise or acknowledge that you most likely helped others to achieve through out the year.

I’m reminded that at the tail end of November my 8 year old son got a bronze in a local swimming gala. He’d won his heat, but got missed off the final race due to a mess up…so raced against himself, with everyone watching….. They’d retained the actual commonwealth podiums from the 2014 games and he stood there proud as punch. This was not only his achievement, his teachers but also his mums for taking the time to get him to class after school in amongst the errands. The smile on his face, this was one of life’s precious moments for me…..and it’s important to take these moments when you can.

Sharpen Your Saw

To do that relax and take time out. Remember to live and enjoy the things around you. Go to an art gallery, visit the cinema or simply take a walk. Even maybe taken a different route to work. The lost art of free time time struck a cord with me in that it’s important to plan free time.

Crisp walk into work today, allowed me to catch the sunrise, a bright orange opening up the day

Join in

Join a community and get involved. I was given a huge boost mentally by taking part in the blogging101 course ran by the daily post. The free course was great for creating momentum, a schedule around activity, genuine feedback and some good old fashioned advice. Looks like the format has slightly changed, the courses look available all the time and some great articles that I think I’ll go back and take a look at.

I take part in the weekend coffee share (hosted by EclecticAli), helps start my frame of mind in terms of just writing, a nice community of bloggers with a good mix of content from all manner of folk across the globe. Helped me create a good heart beat to posting.

Avoid Rabbit Holes

This is the process of following link after link. I find following rabbit trails too easy, going from site to site. I find lots of good stuff, and usually end up adding to my list of things I want to do and read. A bit like finding new recipes when I already have some to try! It’s easy to procrastinate and follow too many links. Set yourself a time limit and realise when your doing this.

Ohhh help me to follow my own advice!

Daydream

Not the same as procrastination…..this is about visualising your goal. Think about what it is you want to achieve and picture yourself succeeding. The telegraph wrote an article related to Sports Visualisation and explores this further.

Getting Things Done

Discipline is key here and what you do gets done!

Find yourself a process and stick to it. David Allen has defined the GTD process. If you haven’t heard of GTD then for me this guy is the most widely known author of Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity.

There are a few GTD videos on YouTube. This one is a TED talk as well…..be careful you might go down a few rabbit holes with this!

I’ve still not got to grips with GTD….what I have found that works is bullet journaling

Got a Tablet?

There are a myriad of apps out there that promise the world in terms of being organised and the new you. This is another one of those rabbit holes and the irony of procrastination comes to mind as I try to find another life saver app. My recommendations are to-do (Microsoft took over Wunderlist), Trello and OneNote. I’m still battling with to-do/Trello but OneNote seems to be the one constant in my life. Across all operating systems, I plan holidays with my wife through to simple lists such as my list of Jack Reacher Novels that I’ve read, still to read, got and not got. Its a god send when you’re at the school fair and can whip up the list on your phone!

There are quite a few productivity tools out there, my key advice is to choose and give it a good shot, stick with it and your process……saying that if it isn’t working at the same time don’t be afraid to swap and try something new (just to sit on the fence). The key thing is that it’s you who gets things done……not the app! The app is purely a mechanism to organise and group your thoughts along with your process. Discipline is key here! Same with the bullet journal. I think that the old fashioned list writing can’t be beaten.

Get Organised

Easier said than done, juggling is hard work. We all find time for the things that must be done. Treat your being organised as a priority. Book a regular slot and stick to it in your diary where you choose and stick to just organising yourself. That diary you’ve just bought isn’t going to organise itself. Make it work for you and put the things that are important to you into the regular slots. Can’t find a diary that works for you…..create or tweak your own. I use CalendarPedia a great free calendar resource. I take the excel version and tweak to suite my style of working. I download the school term calendars and fill those into the spreadsheet as well.

Bullet Journalling also allows you to bring your own creative streak to organising and I think that’s why I’ve taken to it. I’ve just created a 6 week block in my journal. 42 Days between now and term ends….a really short spell of time. I’m going to focus my head around what I want to achieve in those 42 days and stick to it.

The Blog

Sort it out! Only you can do this.

There is a great list of resources at the Blogging University. You could build a plan to achieving this list….they all take time so be realistic. I’ve definitely not mastered this! I find myself less proficient throughout the summer as I take to the outdoors at the weekend. The key message to myself in this space is to take a few moments to plan out the schedule…….take notice of the getting organised section and stick to it.

2019

Have a great new year! Remember for all the organising and planning that you do there will be curve balls, these can be both good and bad. It’s how you choose to deal with them that’s important. One thing is pretty certain, there are 24 hours in the day….and in the main you do choose how to spend them!

2019 New Year – New Day

For some in Scotland today is the big party day, with neighbours operating an open door policy…..the door staying open until the wee early hours of the next day.  We kicked the new year off early yesterday with a late afternoon meal out for 2 before the stramash of madness kicked in that is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Walking against the flow of the inward bound city revellers, we could taste the excitement in the air.  Back home the dark had crept in whilst we emptied our messages, the boys still not home from the cinema….we cracked a bottle of fizz and got ourselves  setup in the kitchen.  The hourly count down started at 6pm lighting the skies with a flurry of colour.   We are lucky that in if you turn your head 88 degrees and stand on your tippy toes we are able to see some of the castle way way in the distance.

A smoked, haddock risotto was the plan followed by a crumble….it ended up being a sea wolf risotto.  Having had a doh moment when Iunwrapped the paper to find that I’d taken the wrong block out the freezer.  My excuse being that the paper had stained yellow!  The good news is that I now have some smoked haddock to look forward to in the freezer.

Our eldest sensing there were better things to be doing willed his phone to ring at our weakest point, we’d had dinner and a 2nd round of Cluedo was going to be too much for the boy.  Despite the promise of MarioKart for 4 on the switch, he disappeared for a couple of hours whilst we washed up, channel surfed and entertained the youngest whilst he put me in my place time and time again despite switching cars, wheels, characters and race tracks.

The minutes tick by and the boy returns closer to 12 rather than the agreed 10, he’s kept in touch which is the main thing.   The fireworks last for 8 minutes and by 12:10 give or take a minute we hit the hay.

8am came around fast and there is a calm about the place, I don’t hear any street noise, coffee in bed and the sun rising above the chimney tops hitting the crags with a majestic force that says this day is mine.  There isn’t a cloud to be seen.

I’d started the post with a view to giving some advice mainly to myself around the plan of attack for the year and ended up with a match report of the last 12 hours or so.    I am going to write that advice post…..but to start, remember the moments are passing by, enjoy today.  Work will be there first thing in the morning…..and it’s going to be a tough 6 months by all accounts.

Happy New Year Folks

Weekend Coffee Share – Last One of the Year

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my lower back pain which started just as I finished up from work for the Christmas break.   I’ve managed to use it as an excuse to not do any of the exercise I’d planed in order to keep the excess away from my body.  I think I overdid it in the lead up at the gym and cursing myself.

Christmas has been and gone in the blink of an eye and I’m starting to think about the New Year.  The resolutions are there looming and I’m pondering how did I get to here without accomplishing the things I’d wanted to and then I’m reminded of the things I have done this year….a family trip to Orlando and a life dream of visiting NASA (which has to be a highlight).  Importantly I’ve kept my job despite a number of turbulent moments.   The house that owns us is starting to feel and respond to our ebb and flow rather than the other way round.

The boys are growing so fast now and an independent 15 year old in the house is both opening up free time and challenging the family of 4 dynamic.   Exams are looming and the need to create study time a constant reality as he hit the books on boxing day.

My food aspirations are ever present and I did manage to tackle a few things from the supplements I’d collected over the last few weeks in the run up.   My highlight has to be the Donna Hay Chocolate Meringue and the Cranberry and Pear Compote from the Waitrose magazine.  Roast Shoulder of lamb (Cumin and Szechuan pepper lamb with steamed aubergine) from Ottolenghi in the Guardian provided us with a few meals, not sure the rub was worth the agro and perhaps just slow roasting au naturale would have wielded just a wonderful result.  The aubergines, steamed and dressed in the juice were pretty tasty though.  The masterclass yule tide log, although simple in it’s constitute parts…assembly under time pressure proved a challenge…..the boys didn’t seem to mind though.

I’ve set myself a challenge of tidying my desk today, filling those things that have built up over the year in order to be ready to hit the new year running.

I hope that you had a peaceful Christmas and wish you a great start to the new year.

I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger!  Please subscribe at the top right. 

Weekend Coffeeshare

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffee Share – The One Before Christmas

Saturday, It’s 11am already, the morning has just run away with itself.   This is despite me waking at 6, the normal work day time.  I dosed till 7 and then was keen to get the day on the road.  The plan to hit my favourite fish and butchers shop before the chaos starts.

Nowhere nearorganised enough to think ahead and place an order this year, the dates forlast orders long since gone. We are also being cooked for on Christmas day sothe pressure was off.   Despite thatthough I’m whipped up into a frenzy of trying to fit in a years’ worth ofcooking over the space of a few days. I’m a rabbit in headlights though, so many days, so little time tothink, all my books staring at me….the food magazines pushing all these thingsthat oooze Christmas.  The ramp up hasnowhere been subtle and then there’s the TV chefs with their Christmas specialsfilmed way back in autumn….the leaves on the trees giving away theinauthenticity of the whole thing…..harmless though.

So breathe…..we drewup a plan last night a simple grid….days across the top and breakfast, lunch,dinner/tea by the side…..a simple plan to fill in as things firm up.

The butchers……they’dbeen open since 7.30 I arrived at 8, and a fine display of everything, full onstaff and a couple of runners for orders. I’d clocked a couple of recipes for slow cooked lamb shoulder recently,an Ottolenghi and a Nigel, not sure which off the top of my head.  Boxing day taken care of.  Some stewing venison….if anything can go inthe freezer for the week of January once stewed.  Chipolatas and streaky for the pigs inblankets….we are in charge of the nibbles for Christmas lunch…..they need to besubstantial….who knows when we will eat.

The fish monger……Ipassed them first but I don’t think they were ready for me, so 20 mins later ahealthy turnaround of folk….but not too bad that I would be looked at as anidiot as I ask for a side of salmon (not in the window) for home curing.  Christmas tea/boxing day lunch taken careof.  A few other pieces, couple filletsof haddock for a risotto or kedgeree. Couple of fillets of trout.  Atsome point a light salad is required and then two pieces of wolf fish for thefreezer.  The fish shop shuts for 2 weeksfrom Christmas eve….so I’m thinking ahead.

Puddings anddesserts are spinning round my head…..apparently an egg mountain has grown inthe fridge and I’m in trouble with the boss. It was my fault, I was going to bake for work.  The school Christmas concert and a Ceilidh atthe local church hall for some pals who returned from New Zealand for 4 weeksgot in the way.

I have plans for ayuletide log, and a chocolate méringue, again from magazine cuttings and thepaper…..the idea of getting more than 5 mins to sit down and read a luxury……Ineed to carve some time out. 

In the odd momentwere I got to read some of the paper food section last Sunday, the articleinterviewed some well know chefs who talked about the favourite thing they atelast year.  I was racking my brain tothink what was my favourite thing and where. Then it came to me and I’m making it this weekend.  Cured Salmon, grated beetroot, salt, vodkaand time in the fridge.

So one thing I’mgoing to do from now on in is get better at keeping a food diary, so it’s easyto reflect and use this year as a forward plan for next (promises,promises!).  

Thanks for popping by for Coffee,  as the days go by I hope you find peace and tranquillity, you enjoy the holiday season and I wish you a Merry Christmas.

The weekend coffee share, is a great place, gives me something to aim for, thank you for popping by.  Hosted by Eclectic Alli

Weekend Coffeeshare

I’m a wannabe cook, semi part time blogger!  Please subscribe at the top right.