Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Month Closer to Spring!!!!!

Can you believe we're already in February?? Yes I can hear the groans both sides of the pond that it's still Winter and when are we gonna see warm sunshine and Spring flowers!!!! Well Spring IS on the way and certainly in the UK it's still fairly light around 4.30 each day. I know parts of the US need to catch up a bit but it won't be long!!!!! We're lucky here that we can take advantage of the early "forced" rhubarb in the stores right now - a beautiful champagne pink and wonderful in muffins, crisps, pies or cakes - I've even made rhubarb juice which is just rhubarb cooked gently with a little brown sugar then pressed through a sieve, the juice collected and chilled. Serve over ice either as it is, spiked with spirit of your choice or cut with sparkling mineral water. And my rhubarb cake which is just diced rhubarb mixed into a basic sponge cake mix then baked is wonderful either as a cake or for a pud!!!! Today I've made a huge batch of chicken casserole to portion down and freeze - this is simply diced chicken thighs (skinned and boned) shallots, canned whole mushrooms, casserole mix and a bottle and a half of fruity red wine with some redcurrant jelly. This all bubbles slowly until flavorful and cooked ready to be served with rice, mash, noodles or whatever you like!!!! My kitchen smells wonderful which is eddying round the neighborhood as I have the kitchen window open a tad as it's a beautiful bluesky day here!!!! For meals in the week I'm making a good old-fashioned cottage pie today - nice lean minced (ground) steak cooked with chopped onion and seasoning then piled with mashed potato before the cooking finishes to brown the mash. I have some roast chicken gravy defrosting and peas to go with it. As pomegranates were on sale today I got one and will make a pomegranate-honey salad dressing to go over roast chicken chunks mixed in with salad greens to serve with a little garlic bread. Sunday is stitchalong and PJ day and I'm still stuck in confetti hell right now but it's worth it cos White Star looks wonderful and will look even more wonderful when I'm done!!!!! I took the last of the three little cat projects into the framers here today and will post pix when this is ready. My Big Sis finished this one off for me and it's lovely to have something she's worked on. All three are small but vibrantly colorful and brighten my living room. Luckily the framers I go to where I live are still hanging in there, even though business is down a little - but then these framers are the only good quality professional ones for miles around and if you've produced something good it deserves the very best framing rather than being framed half-assed or worse, stuffed in a drawer!!!!! Happy Stitching along with rhubard & custard muffins all round!!!!!

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