Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Weekend Update

It's been a somewhat manic week with my Big Sis and I dealing with some pesky RL issues - please forgive us for being away this long but I am happy to report that things are slowly settling back to normal - or at least what passes for normal for us!!!! Just what IS "normal" these days???!!!! Our September vacation has been brought forward (for various RL reasons) such that I fly out this coming Friday - in my head I'm already on that plane!!!! My case is packed and by the front door and packs of crumpets are in the freezer to be defrosted the day before I fly and stowed carefully in my carryon!!! My Big Sis loves English crumpets - for my US friends who aren't familiar with these gorgeous goodies, they are a yeasted dough treat, round with lots of holes, which are popped into a toaster then spread with most anything you like - in the UK butter and raspberry jam are favorite!!! They are primarily a Winter treat and used to be toasted on a long metal fork in front of a real fire. You can also make a kind of crumpet pizza with savory toppings, or for a nice lunchtreat top a toasted crumpet with a poached egg and a little shredded cheese then brown under a broiler for a few moments. That along with a little side salad is a surprisingly filling lunch!!! I always bring crumpets over which are always well received!!!! This time I'm also bringing some rather nice "gourmet" ground coffee from my local grocery store - a Nicaraguan blend which is strong with chocolate overtones - along with some malted milk cookies. These have been around a long while in the UK but go very well with a coffee for a mid-morning break. Now sadly I haven't got around to doing much stitching this week but hope to do some this morning. White Star will be carefully pressed then folded into a clean plastic baggie and placed in my carryon for my Big Sis to see when I'm over. An update pic will then be posted on her Fine Art Cross Stitch site. For those of you who haven't yet found your way there, I urge you to take a peek - among many other things it offers a refreshing change from cute charts - nothing wrong with those at all but it's good to have a wider choice for stitching projects. Oh - my pinger has just pinged to inform me that it's time to wash the color from my hair . . . I want to look my best for my Big Sis!!!! Later, gators!!!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Wet UK Saturday . . .

Now here we are again and just for a change it's raining! Yes that was a note of sarcasm there due to the fact our Met Office cannot get even the simplest forecasting right and from loudly proclaiming at the start of June it will be a "barbecue Summer" whereupon after a two-day heatwave it has rained and rained and rained some more, they have now agreed this will continue for August and most of September!!!! This is because apparently the Jet Stream is locked above Scotland in the North Sea and won't come "unstuck" until Fall . . . I think that's a clever way of saying oh gee we got it wrong and don't really have a clue!!! OK - weather rant over!!!! So today we're cooking comfort food for dinner . . . this means baked chicken (a proper one that was raised on a local farm and allowed to run and peck and be happy for its short life and yes it's expensive but as I freeze the carcase to turn into stock later in the year for soup it works out good value) along with roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, carrots, runner beans and marrow. This last for my US readers is a giant zucchini which is steamed in chunks then finished off in the oven with a little shredded cheese . . . all this and gravy will provide dinner for me this evening (and my Big Sis via the magic microwave although we haven't quite worked out how to send ourselves yet!!) as well as meals for the week. Dessert will be English strawberries with none of this fancy sugared balsamic glaze or general messing about that TV chefs seem to think is necessary. Fresh berries in my opinion need nothing more than themselves and MAYBE a light dusting of sugar along with a little cream if you need extra pampering!!! My fave TV chefs are Delia Smith who is the UK equivalent of dear Ina Garten in the US. When I visit my Big Sis I'm agog at the Food Network Channel as we have nothing like that in the UK. I'll watch Giada and Paula Deen but Ina is my fave US chef. Jamie Oliver is very enthusiastic but he has "gone Hollywood" a tad and as for that Gordon Ramsey - no thank you!!!! *fans self and munches a restorative strawberry* Now both my Big Sis and I have declared this a Stitchalong Weekend which means getting comfy in our PJs and stitching!!!! Happily the food will look after itself pretty much and a good thing too as I don't want to hop up and down every five mins to pray over it!!! And I know perhaps I shouldn't grumble about our weather here cos I know folks in parts of the US are experiencing hard droughts with extreme high temps . . . I'm grateful my Big Sis has a picture-perfect day and doesn't have to run the AC!!! It's back to stitching for me along with a few strawberries till dinner is ready!!!