Thursday, 21 July 2011

Back to the Day Job.

I’ve been blogging for a while now, and while I enjoy writing about the food and various home projects, it all feels a little impersonal, there is not a lot of real information about me and mine, whilst I don’t intend to bore you with my life story, or my bank account details, a bit more background may not come amiss. It also gets quite hard to post without saying anything personal.

After 10 weeks off, in which time I had a small operation on my knee and generally got used to not doing much I had to go back to work last week. It was a bit of a shock to my system, especially as I had to start at 0700. It meant driving from my house the night before and staying in Gravesend, which I always used to do, but after all this time it felt strange.

So that you know, I work for the Port of London as a ships pilot on the River Thames, assisting ships of all sizes navigating anywhere between Southend and London Bridge.

You never really know what to expect, you just do whatever comes past the window, and these are the ships I piloted whilst I was on watch.

 As you can see; quite a varied days work.

When I got back to Devon, I needed to make some bread, and had a few ideas for meals that I wanted to try out. Also there were berries to pick, and the first of the runner beans for dinner.

First, I had ordered a replacement cherry tree, mine died in the frosts last winter, and as it had arrived I had to plant it. I now have a five tree orchard, 2 apples, a plum a pear and the cherry, hopefully there will be fruit next year.

To make room for the tree, I had to cut down a huge Cardoon that had been left by the previous owners, a shame because it was a striking plant, but it was covered with blackfly, which were spreading.

Whenever I make bread, there is usually more than Yvonne and I can eat, so I share it around the neighbours, the last time I took some round to next door Tracey told me that she suffered from Coeliacs and could not eat any, although Jason enjoyed it. It was slightly embarrassing as we have lived here a year and I didn’t know. Jason gave me some Gluten free flour and I tried a loaf for them today, it smelt great, although the dough seemed a bit runny when I kneaded it. It rose well and coloured nicely, I will have to wait for her comments on the taste.

I found two pork loin steaks when I was cleaning the freezer, and thought of cooking them with apple, honey and breadcrumbs, they should be complimented by the runner beans, and some new potatoes baked with olive oil and salt.

Added Stewed Apple and Honey

And Breadcrumbs

I’m still picking broad beans, although they are coming to the end now, and the bean skins are very tough and bitter. A tip for you if you aren’t keen on the skins is to steam the beans for a couple of minutes, you will find that the skins split and you can peel the beans easily.

The potato peelings pie made a welcome return, this time with onion, grated cheese, chorizo and some shredded chicken. That will be good with salad tomorrow.

 Several years ago, I produced a framed Cross-Stitch picture for my eldest Daughters 21st Birthday,

 and also for my middle daughter,

When it came to the youngest, who was travelling in Australia I couldn’t decide what to do. In the end I decided on a cushion, which, with my wife’s help has just been finished. I hope she likes it; she will be coming home in a couple of weeks for a short stay.

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