Monday, 31 December 2012

Back Again

I’m back again, refreshed and ready to blog.

I could probably write about the weather, but I think that most people know that it has not been a typical year. Needless to say, we have had a spot or two of rain, and the wind has occasionally howled over the last 12 months. I’m used to putting on enough gear to explore an active rain-forest just to take the dog for a walk or get a newspaper.

We spent a very enjoyable Xmas at Amy and Harry’s, with lots of good food and conversation, and a quiet New Year is planned here in Brixham. Naomi and Eamon also turned up on Boxing Day, which was great. We didn’t manage to speak to George, but heard that she was OK.

I got a lot of food inspired Presents, including Damson Balsamic Vinegar, and some Cookery books. But the best gift was the Cheese Making Kit, I knew I was getting it but it means that now I can officially start making cheese. I just need a few days clear now and I will be off. I will try some soft cheese first, maybe Haloumi, then progress. I do want to make hard cheese, maybe Cheddar or Jack, but that requires extra kit.

We left a few festive style plants, (Narcissus and Daffs) out when we went to Nottingham, and on our return there was a nice display of flowers, the Christmas cactus is from Jason next door

I’m roasting the Gammon and Turkey crown I had in the Freezer (in case we were here for Xmas) today, and that will keep us supplied with cold cuts for a few days.

But first, I made stuffing, using some of my home made breadcrumbs, onion pickle and mixed herbs.

And I made some Onion gravy from caramelised, chopped pickled onions and chicken stock. That went well with the Pork and Worcester Sauce Sausages from Totnes Good Food Market.

The Gammon needs 2hr 50 minutes at 160, and the Turkey 1hr 40 minutes at 160, so I will start the Gammon off, then put the Turkey in with the veg.

I have, as usual, a list of New Year Resolutions, which I will endeavour to keep as long as possible, and of course if I find myself unable to keep them up, I must not become to despondent, but applaud my efforts.

So in 2013, as far as possible I will

Make more use of the things around me, fruits, berries and flowers.

Develop this blog, and its sister, and make them more of a mixture of things.

Be more adventurous in my cookery, in my bread making and try different wine and cheese recipes.

Actually decorate the house; I brought the paint in 2011.

Write more and try to FINISH a story, instead of leaving them halfway and starting a new one.

Weather permitting; make more use of the garden.


Not too bad a list is it; surely I will be able to get some of that done, especially if my stomach is the beneficiary. I might even be able to fit in a bit of work, if I really have to.

A very pretty sunrise this morning, it’s nice to think that it will be getting earlier every day now.


Anyway, back to the roast, I planned to do it all in one casserole, but there is just too much, I do like to buy a larger joint, and will wait until I can get one, it cooks better, and there is always enough left for several meals, so the overall cost is low. It’s just a case of spotting the offers. Fortunately we have several good local butchers, and there is usually something to be had.

So the Gammon has been scored and put in the dish, a large quantity of Orange juice will keep it moist as it cooks, about half an hour before its done, I will pour honey over it. Any more time than that and it tends to burn.

The Turkey has been placed on a bed of oiled veg, potato, parsnip, swede and shallots. Juices from the meat will flavour them as it all cooks.

And after all the effort,

 There is enough meat for at least 10 more meals.

So it’s now New Year’s Eve and the wind is howling. My back garden fence, which is secured with metal sockets in the ground has moved, I guess it’s because the ground is saturated. I will have to work out some way of holding it up until I can fix it properly.
It only remains to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.

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