My love/hate relationship with perfume

Did I ever say how much I love perfume? No? Well… I LOVE PERFUME!!

I’ll tell you how much I love perfume… I work from home; mostly the only humans I see are my husband, the postie, & delivery people. Yet, every morning after I’ve showered, moisturised, and dressed I use one of my many perfumes, not for anyone else – because let’s face it, my sometimes expensive, (sometimes not so) perfumes are wasted on the delivery person – just me, and maybe my husband… 😉

So now you know all that let me reveal another nugget…

I hate perfume advertisements, I mean… REALLY hate them! And I hate them to such an extent that I have a list of the worst offending brands that are on my ‘no buy list’ due to what I consider a rubbish advert.

Who are the adverts for, anyway? Is it for the end user? ie. Me?

If these adverts are for my benefit all I’ll say is… you don’t have to… no really. Don’t!

I know for sure I don’t want to see a close up of Keira Knightley’s beige clad arse as she straddles a motorbike, which is surely a metaphor I don’t even want to think too hard about, and I don’t know what’s worse; the close up of the arse or that the arse is beige clad.

Then there’s the woman waking up in the middle of the night to run through town solo – naughty! Don’t go out on your own after dark* – just to retrieve your bottle of perfume is very careless, and beyond silly. If you need the perfume that badly keep some in your bedroom.

Then there’s the woman writhing around on what looks like a very grubby floor clutching the perfume bottle to her mouth. Far from giving the impression of ‘Decadence’ as the ad would have you believe, it instead looks like she was taken hostage. Hostage or not you would think they could give her a chair to sit on and something to eat.

And finally there’s the very talented Charlize Theron being hauled up to the ceiling on a length of gold fabric, or the equally talented Julia Roberts in ‘chains’. Hmmph. I would be impressed with the former if she carried a feather duster up there… And as for the latter, where’s the kitchen sink?!

With these few examples, I conclude that the ads aren’t actually aimed at me; they are perhaps, and stereotypically aimed at my husband, which is where I get even more annoyed. My husband I think, has bought me three bottles of perfume (ever) because I like to buy my own, I don’t need or even want him to buy it. It’s nice if he does, but he doesn’t need to.

You see, it might just be me, but I find these ads so unintelligent, the makers give us little credit. Do they really think we’re swayed by their unassailable, unrealistic stories? Do they think we are mesmerised by the sight of Keira Knightley’s arse, or Charlize’s ribbon? Or Keira and Charlize themselves?

Or is the ad giving us an idea of how the perfume smells? Because all I see in these ads is the aforementioned, so I really don’t want to think about arse, grubby rooms, or chains when imagining a perfume!

What I would love to see in an ad are normal women in normal situations.

Maybe she sprays her favourite fragrance after a long day at work and is instantly lifted as she snuggles into her favourite bath robe. I could see this in an ad!

Maybe she sprays her perfume after a long shower during which her partner looked after the baby, allowing her a brief period of alone time and the opportunity to get rid of the smell of baby sick. I can picture the advert now!

Or maybe they could shoot the story of the backpacker, who after a hot, dusty day trekking through Australia, takes a tiny atomiser from a pocket in her rucksack, allowing herself the luxury of the one spray per week. Carrying a rucksack means bare essentials only, but that teeny atomiser was invaluable (true story). Nicole Kidman could be in that one, think Australia the film!

Yeah, I know these scenarios aren’t that exciting, but that’s sort of the point. These faboo advert creators can make it work, and I hope they do… because my banned list gets longer by the week, and a few of my favourite perfumes ‘aarrrrgh’ from brands now on the banned list!

*This applies to all humans, not just women. Use the buddy system!

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My love/hate relationship with perfume

My mad weekly kitchen diary

Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.

If ever I talk about a dish that you want more info on, let me know and I’ll do my best to elaborate!

Larger image below
Larger image below

Sunday

Pork is always a good deal so guess what we had… Slow roast pork and crackling. It’s always a crowd (of two) pleaser and relatively low maintenance. Instead of blasting the joint as I used to do for about 30 minutes to try and start the crackling, I just put it in on low, about 150 degrees centigrade with a view to dealing with the crackling later.

To go with the pork I made roast potatoes (proper ones) in the usual way, peel, par boil, rough ‘em up, sprinkle with a little semolina, season and roast until crunchy on the outside, fluffy inside. There is almost nothing better.

Next I made celery gratin, talked about previously here, but instead of my favourite leeks, I used onions. Lastly I steamed carrots, and baked two cored eating apples. I much prefer the apples that way rather than buying Bramley’s cooking apples and adding a ton of sugar.

When the pork was cooked I whipped off the un-crackled top and shoved it under a medium grill, taking care not to let it burn. It’s not an exact science but I chopped bits off as they crisped up, it took about ten minutes. Much less stressful than trying to crackle it on the joint!

I made a cheats gravy, thickening the meat juices with instant chicken granules because I had a lot going on!

Somehow I managed to get everything out once, had a great meal, forgot to take a pic, and we had leftovers… more later!

Monday

I wanted easy, because, you know… Monday, so I found a recipe online for Mediterranean roast potatoes. The ingredients were roasted together, there wasn’t too much prep, so it was ideal. I planned to serve the veg with fish, and with that in mind C came home with frozen salmon fillets. I’ve never really had success cooking frozen fish to serve as is; it always ends up with the white film which makes it look really unattractive. So this time I followed the instructions to the LETTER. I was off to a losing start though, because one fillet was mahoosive and the two I had were teeny. Anyway, I followed the instructions, cooking them from frozen in tin foil with a little lemon and oil, and by the time the middle was warm, the edges were milky, which is not what I wanted, but they tasted fine. The veg worked well and was great for Monday ease. I’ll definitely be doing that again.

Tuesday

Okay… I’d been craving mashed potatoes like you wouldn’t believe, so this was the day that craving would be satiated. And what better way to do it than sausage, mash, and onion gravy. I started early by caramelising sliced onions. I cooked them on low, for hours, whilst working. Nearer the time I took the onions from the pan and gently fried the sausages until brown. I then removed them to a baking dish to finish off in the oven. In the pan I’d cooked the sausages in I added the onions and a couple of dessert spoons of plain flour, stirring that for a while before adding water and a stock cube, I used beef. I just let that simmer until the gravy was thick and the onions were melting.

You all know how do make mash, I happen to use a ricer, and my favourite way of cooking the potatoes is baking them first, then ricing the middles, but I didn’t have time today so I boiled and riced, then added seasoning, milk, and my favourite dairy free spread.

The plump brown sausages paired with the creamy mash, and topped with onion gravy are a match made in heaven. And because we’re grown ups I sautéed savoy cabbage to accompany my craving quasher.

Wednesday

… Our guest was due, and I had leftover pork. Inspired by rice noodles I thought I would test my pad thai-ish on WedJ. I know he will eat almost anything but he’s a good test subject, and gives feedback. Now… I love Chinese roast pork, and although I couldn’t properly replicate it as I was using leftover pork, I thought I would attempt to give it that vibe, so early on in the day I sliced the pork and tossed it in five spice powder and let it sit in the fridge.

I prepped what I could beforehand, including omelette which I just make with egg and light soy, and the liquor for the stir-fry. I think I’ve said this before but the combination of soy, garlic, chilli, fish sauce, and tamarind would make an old shoe taste good! I also defrosted a few cooked and peeled prawns, bashed a handful of peanuts, sliced spring onions, fresh mint and coriander, and also savoy cabbage which I needed to use up.

At dinner time I started by soaking the rice noodles in boiling water. I needed to soak the noodles for 7 minutes, that’s how quick the dish cooks! Next I heated my pan, added a little oil, and then dumped in the spring onions and cabbage, then the pork and the liquor. I stir fried that for a few moments before adding the omelette and the prawns. When the noodles were just soft enough strained them into a colander, then chucked them in with the rest, stirring well. At the end I added the coriander and peanuts, but left the mint because husband doesn’t like it. I served the noodles then sprinkled sesame seeds on all, and mint on mine and WedJ’s meal to be stirred through before eating.

Now… back to the pork. I don’t know what happened… but a combination of the five spice and the liquor really gave more than a ‘Chinese roast pork’ vibe, it was a real feeling. My husband commented as he ate, and I’d not told him I wanted to give that effect. Success!!!

Thursday

… I’ve been messing about with ground turkey, and to that end I decided to make turkey burgers to see if they could come anywhere near a beef burger. The turkey we get from our supermarket is quite course ground, which I like, and I started with that but improvised with the rest. With the turkey in the mixing bowl I noted it seemed wetter than ground beef so I whizzed up white bread until I had breadcrumbs and added that along with an egg. I stuck with good old salt and pepper for the seasoning, but I did add a good sprinkling of chilli flakes, because why wouldn’t you! I took a little of the mixture and fried it off so I could test the seasoning and it was bang on, which was lucky, so I moulded the mixture patties and stuck them in the fridge till needed.

At dinner time I gently fried the burgers, then finished them off in the oven, adding cheddar cheese for the last few minutes. I served the burgers in flat side toasted sesame seed bun with lettuce, onion, and a little mayo. I added ketchup whilst eating, and served the burger with oven fries.

So… as an experiment, I definitely wouldn’t miss the beef, the burger was delicious! Husband enjoyed it, said it ‘was different’ from beef. Well… yeah! 😉

Friday

… I used my magic spice mix and dried methi leaves to make a methi (fenugreek) chicken and potato curry. I usually like to make a separate Bombay aloo but my head was really bad. I used some principles that I’ve been practicing, such as cooking sliced onions until soft then whizzing them up with chilli, garlic, ginger, and a little oil. That mixture is then cooked out until the oil splits away. The spices are added and the process is repeated, at that point I add the chicken, potatoes, methi leaves, salt, and water to cover; then let it simmer away before adding green peppers. The onions being whizzed makes a lovely gravy, and the whole thing is lifted at the end with fresh coriander.

I served the curry with boiled basmati rice to which I added grated raw carrot just before I strained said rice. I love this find, the carrot brings new texture and flavour!

Saturday

… Leftovers! Curry!

Sausage, mash, & Onion Gravy, Pad Thai-ish, turkey burger, methi chicken curry & carrot basmati rice
Sausage, mash, & Onion Gravy, Pad Thai-ish, turkey burger, methi chicken curry & carrot basmati rice
My mad weekly kitchen diary

My mad weekly kitchen diary!

Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.

If ever I talk about a dish that you want more info on, let me know and I’ll do my best to elaborate!

Larger image below
Larger image below

Sunday

I don’t do meat and sweet, so on this day I decided I wanted to make fruit cocktail chicken! I know, I know, fruit and meat. A mad thought one day was the inspiration for this dish, and I’m not sorry I’m mad!

So… Fruit cocktail (fruit salad), tinned; in natural juice is one of the few tins I try and keep in the cupboard. To make this strange Sunday dinner I undressed the chicken (removing string and shaking it out) and plonked it into a shallow roasting dish (a lasagne type dish), then added washed but unpeeled baby new potatoes around it. Next I went to my go to ingredient… garlic! In this instance (and in most instances) I added four cloves, crushed, to the opened tin of fruit cocktail which was then poured mainly over the potatoes, but I allowed a little of the juice over the chicken. I then poured a little chicken stock (made from a cube) to the potatoes, not much; about 200ml, but I used the whole stock cube. I finally seasoned the chicken and shoved it into the oven to roast. I left it for the time it takes to cook the chicken, but at some point I added foil to parts that had browned quickly because of the sweetness of the juice. Other than that I didn’t have to look at it.

When the chicken was ready I put it and the now roasted new potatoes on a warm carving tray, taking care to leave the fruit pieces in the roasting dish. Once the potatoes were out, I took a right angled metal potato masher to the chicken-y, garlic-y, fruity, liquid that was left in the dish until it resembled gravy, which I thickened just a little more with chicken gravy granules.

I served the fruit cocktail chicken and potatoes with steamed mange-tout. It was delicious!

Monday

I had planned to make Vietnamese chicken salad, but I decided I would prefer a pad thai-ish. This is my variation of a pad Thai, and one that I don’t have to use a recipe for. And I love the dish because the prep is modular!

So… we had leftover chicken from Sunday which was the main protein. At some point during the day I took the chicken off the carcass, stuck it in a container and back in the fridge. Next I bashed a few peanuts and put those in a container. Okay… everything will be put in its own container and either stuck back in the fridge or left out. Next I chopped spring onion from one mahoosive spring onion (nearly a metre long!) from our friend’s garden. I made up a liquor for the pad Thai-ish consisting of equal measures of brown sugar, dark soy, fish sauce, and tamarind liquid. To that liquor I added a clove of garlic and a spritz of lime juice. I put all of these ingredients into a clean jam jar for easy mixing later.

Nearer the time I used a potato peeler to make carrot ribbons using two carrots, and even nearer the time I chopped fresh mint and coriander.

At dinner time I put the rice stick noodles in a large bowl and covered them with boiling water to sit for 7 minutes whilst I cooked the rest. Adding a little sunflower oil to my wok I chucked in the spring onion, carrot, and chicken, and stir fried it for a minute or two. Then I added the magic liquid stir frying a minute or two more. When the noodles were soft I strained them, chucking them into the wok with the bashed peanuts, stirring well for until all was combined. Finally I added most of the fresh coriander. At this point I would usually add the mint too, but husb apparently doesn’t like the dish with mint. HOW CAN THAT BE?! Anyway, I love him dearly so I left the mint out, sprinkling it liberally on my own meal and tossing it through before eating. I really could eat this stuff every day!

Tuesday

I love a chilli, but we always use ground beef, this time I wanted to try cubed meat. Our supermarket had ‘diced beef’ on offer, we used it last week in a curry so we got more of that because it cooked really well. I browned the meat off first before removing it and setting aside. In the same pan I sautéed the trinity of onion, pepper, and celery until translucent or soft. When the trinity was glistening I added cumin, paprika, cayenne, dried oregano, a smidge of cinnamon, and a little cocoa powder, stirring and cooking out for a minute or two. At this point I added the browned meat and a splodge of tomato paste. I like to cook the tomato paste out for 6 minutes before adding liquid, re chef extraordinaire Simon Rimmer’s advice and it really does work! Then – differently from the ground meat chilli – I sprinkled in a couple of dessertspoons of flour and stirred that in before adding a tin of tomatoes, kidney beans, a fresh chilli, snipped with scissors, and beef stock to cover. Then it was just left to do its own thing until the meat was tender and the sauce was thick. I served what is nearly my favourite chilli con carne ever sprinkled with fresh coriander and strands of lime zest, boiled basmati rice, and warmed tortilla chips.

Wednesday

… Our guest was here and we had take-away, but I’m that behind I can’t remember what!

Thursday

… We were supposed to be having sausage, mash & onion gravy, but I couldn’t be bothered! I made a chicken noodle soup with more leftover chicken, stock made from the carcass, rice stick noodles and julienned veg (carrots and spring onions). It was certainly cheap and cheerful!

Friday…

I wanted to try a double test. The first test? Using ground turkey instead of beef in a lasagne. The second test? Using cottage cheese instead of a béchamel/cheese sauce. If this worked it would save a chunk of faff when making a lasagne. I think the cottage cheese idea was from Simon Rimmer’s mum incidentally – see Tuesday and tomato paste – !

Anyway, I made the ragout in the usual way, brown meat and remove, sauté onion and garlic, add meat back, tomato paste (cook out six minutes), then salt and pepper, oregano, mixed herbs, passata, and grated carrot, I like to hide extra veg and lasagne is perfect for that. I then cooked out the ragout until thick and absolutely delicious. I check at some point to make sure I don’t need to add a sprinkle of sugar, but passata usually isn’t acidic.

So… Assembling the lasagne I just used cottage cheese, then a sprinkling of grated parmesan and mozzarella instead of the sauce and layered it up with ragout and pasta sheets. Unfortunately I had to be sparing with the cottage cheese – I could have done with another tub – but I saved the majority for the top. I added extra mozzarella on the top layer, I like the way it crisps up, and then I threw the assembled lasagne in the oven for about forty minutes.

I served the lasagne with basic salad, and I must say this was a great start. Next time I’ll use more cottage cheese, add cheddar, and more parmesan. Husb commented that he was ‘getting dairy’, and he does cheese, but not other dairy so I think the extra cheddar and parmesan might de-dairy the ‘sauce’, if not I’ll go back to plan A!

Saturday

… Leftovers! Lasagne!

Pad Thai-ish, chunk chilli con carne, turkey lasagne with cottage cheese
Pad Thai-ish, chunk chilli con carne, turkey lasagne with cottage cheese
My mad weekly kitchen diary!

Her name is Rio (2016), their names are ‘dopes’

I’m vocal on this subject, and I will be as long as people are CHEATING! So here’s round 526265…

The subject I’m piping up about (again) is doping in sports, or ‘dopes’ which is my preferred word. And the various committees talking about Russia, and its apparently state sponsored dopes.

Now, part of me wants the widespread ban (They are already banned from athletics, have appealed, and lost) against Russia for the 2016 Rio Olympics, because I feel it’s the only way to hit them where it hurts. It seems nothing else has worked. Maybe this is the only way to get them to listen, and toe the line.

But then another part of me feels bad for the Russian athletes that have been proven clean and will be penalised for the bad behaviour of others.

I was pondering this last point when… Eureka! The PTB (Powers That Be) suggested these proven clean athletes compete under a neutral flag. Excellent Idea!

But… Yes! There’s another ‘but’… there will probably be plenty. Let’s whiz back to the issue of the widespread ban.

I haven’t watched, listened to, or read every segment, article, or pause for thought on the subject – I have to work for a living, but I am a gleaner of information, and as far as I can see not one Russian, be it official or competitor (or not… hopefully) has expressed remorse or regret for the situation. Okay, some officials were ‘suspended pending investigation’ but to me that smacks of ‘let’s give the idiots something to cling on to’.

When the McLaren report was released on Monday I expected some seriously humble regret, but what we got was a succession of arrogant and snotty text-bites.

How can you say otherwise when Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko apparently called the decision to uphold the athletics ban…

“politicised and illegal”.

No mate, organisations and countries are perfectly within their right to hold people and countries to account should they be in the habit of CHEATING. *angry face*

 

Then Evgeni Plushenko, a Russian skater, said he wasn’t a dope, but finished with…

“I suppose the countries competing with Russia, who launched this campaign, are just nursing a grievance and are burning with envy because of that.”

No mate, the worldwide system found your country’s system to be corrupt, and it would be great if you could acknowledge that, at least just a tad. *sarcastic face*

 

Next was Yelena Isinbayeva. Someone, whom I’ve watched in the past as a sports fan and enjoyed her accomplishments. She was quoted as saying (allegedly)…

“Thank you all for this funeral for athletics.”

No Yelena, the funeral for athletics would be continuing to ignore widespread doping. And if you mean because you won’t be competing… apparently you can, but under a neutral flag. And if competing is your life, your breath, then that’s what you’ll do. (I’m sure you can wear nail polish in the Russian colours if that helps) Otherwise I question your motives. And don’t worry about ‘other countries, I’m sure the PTB have everyone in their sights. They just started with the apparent worst offending country first. *sad face*

 

A little remorse may have been all that was needed, but instead, subterfuge, slight of hand, and mouse holes were the order of the system.

I will miss Yelena (and the camera on her, asleep during jumps) if she doesn’t compete, because she’s fantastic, but there will be more than one winner. The female that wins the pole-vault, the other competitors, and the spectators who are reassured in the knowledge that the PTB are doing something about dopes in sport will be winners, because Yelena might be clean, but allegedly others weren’t.

The Russian competitors and officials that are, need to stop blaming everyone else, and turn and look behind them, maybe then they can have a sport to be absolutely proud of. Winning is not winning if you’re a dope.

Now we have the hurdle of the IOC making a final decision on the rest of the ‘sports’ competing at Rio, and I URGE them to be strong. Any other decision will look like ‘persuasion’. As long as you let ABSOLUTELY PROVEN CLEAN athletes compete under a neutral flag that’s all the compromise you need at this point in time.

Trust is a many layered entity, and it breaks my heart every time I hear of a competitor that would have medalled had the dope or dopes not been in the mix. Yes, when the dopes are found out the athlete that previously came fourth gets his or her medal… in the post. Now that’s what I call ceremonial. At least if it was third or second place they got to that podium. There has to be trust that the athletes want to compete clean, coaches want their athletes to be clean, and if not we have to trust that officials all the way up the ladder will stamp hard on dopes. It might get worse before it gets better, but I want to be able to watch sports without that niggling doubt in my mind, the one that questions whether the competitor is a dope every time they step up to the line. And yes Gatlin, I’m looking at you.

 

Sources for quotes: BBC, The Indian Express, Bangkok Post

 

Her name is Rio (2016), their names are ‘dopes’

My mad weekly kitchen diary

Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.

If ever I talk about a dish that you want more info on, let me know and I’ll do my best to elaborate!

Larger image below
Larger image below

Sunday

I decided, instead of a Sunday roast, that we would have a Sunday steak. We don’t have steak often because it’s expensive so as Sunday is the day for special dinner, it’s a good day for the occasional steak!

I couldn’t be bothered though, to make onion rings, which really is a must with steak. Now, husb had a steak when we went out for a meal recently and instead of onion rings they served caramelised onions. This sounded like a good idea, and I always keep two (three if you count spring onions) types of onion, red and mild (Spanish) onion. So… I halved and sliced two mild onions which are very large, and put them in a cold pan with a little oil and seasoning and just put a lid on and left them on low. This was hours before dinner needed to be ready because I like to do as much as I can ahead. When they were soft and delicious I added a little butter and with the lid off, let them brown. At this point I took them off the heat for later. At dinner time I reheated the onions and added just a splash of white wine vinegar.

I did garlic mushrooms too before hand, I’ve mentioned them so many times on here that I’m not going to again! I also baked fresh tomato halves sprinkled with salt and pepper, and dried rosemary. If I’m baking a tomato, I always do them this way because they are so delicious.

You may have gathered I was in ‘can’t be bothered to cook’ mode, so I didn’t do a black pepper cream sauce either, I wanted to be able to have horseradish, and the two don’t mix!

The usual suspects made up the rest of the dinner; chips and petits pois and when I plated up I served the steak on the onions so you can’t really see them in the picture, but they worked so well I will be doing that again!

Monday

So we’re still experimenting with pizza and anything remotely close, so today we were going to try pizza, and the garlic bread you get from the pizza shop. The ones we use never seem to show the garlic bread any garlic at all, so it was a given I would tray and make it. I’m scared of a lot of things but garlic isn’t one of them!

The bread machine pizza dough recipe that I use makes enough for two pizzas so it’s ideal for this. The pizza was a pepperoni pizza with onion and peppers, and for the garlic bread I crushed four cloves of garlic in a small bowl and added olive oil and seasoning.

Super duper counter top pizza oven
Super duper counter top pizza oven

At dinner time I rolled out the dough and made up the pizza first, and after cooking that in our super duper pizza oven we put it on a tray in a warm oven and put the garlic bread the SDOven to cook. At some point we lifted the lid and the bread had ballooned and caught a tad, but that ended up being my favourite piece! I served the pizza with a basic salad.

Tuesday

We bought a teeny chicken and husband cooked it in his rotisserie. I know he puts lemon inside, because I always use the carcass for stock and I have to discard the lemon so as not to make the stock bitter, other than that though he uses a secret blend of herbs. I served his delicious chicken with salad and a baked potato topped with the onions left over from Sunday, which was also a perfect match!

Wednesday

… I had ground beef so wanted to try a Korean beef recipe I found on Pinterest, if you post a picture of something with rice, chances are it’ll draw me in! I almost followed the recipe, I just had to substitute the sesame oil for sunflower oil, oh, and I had mushrooms to use up so I added those, and also a fresh read chilli. It was really quick, and it was something I’ll do again!

Thursday

… A gold old British favourite… fish and chips! I didn’t batter the fish, but we bought good oven bake battered fish, I made the mushy peas and the oven chips though, and the oven chips have been a revelation. The peas are easy peasy, you just soak fried marrowfat overnight with a little bicarb, then rinse and boil, in this instance, until they’re mushy.

For the oven chips I cut baking potatoes into chips then par boiled them for about six minutes, just until they lose that raw feel when you poke them with a knife, then I take them off the heat and leave them in the water that’s seasoned with salt and scented with rosemary. I don’t have a time for steeping them, I think it was about an hour, but depending on the par boil you wouldn’t want them breaking up. If they are just off raw though that shouldn’t happen. Anyway… after steeping I drained and dried them well, then brushed each side with olive oil and placed the chips on a baking tray. When needed I bunged them in the oven and roasted for about forty minutes, until cooked. The only problem with the chips is that, at this time of year potatoes are really sweet, so the brown on the chip is more of a black because of the sugars. The chips were delicious though, regardless. I served the fish, chips, and mushy peas with a wedge of lemon and lots of tartare sauce!

Friday

… I wanted to continue testing the secret curry spice mix I found in my dad’s book, and tweaked a few weeks ago. Diced beef was on offer so I was using that.

This time with the curry I wanted to follow the procedure for methi gosht. So… I sliced the onions and cooked them down for ages until soft and melty, I then put them in the food processor with a little more oil, a fresh red chilli, a knub of ginger, four cloves of garlic (my default setting for garlic appears to be four cloves), and half a tin of tomatoes. I whizzed the contents well then poured them back in the pan and sautéed until the oil split from the mix, I then added the spices mentioned in the previous post, and again waited for the oil to split. At this point I added the meat, water and salt, after half an hour I added potato too, which saved me from making Bombay Aloo! The curry was just left to do its thing then for an hour or so, until the meat was tender, potatoes cooked, and the sauce was thick and dark, which is my FAVOURITE type of curry! I served the curry with basmati rice and poppadoms.

Saturday

… Leftovers! Curry! Yum! Curry, or anything cooked in a dark sauce, always tastes even better the next day!

Steak and chips, homemade pizza, homemade garlic bread, rotisserie chicken, Korean beef, fish chips & mushy peas, beef and potato curry
Steak and chips, homemade pizza, homemade garlic bread, rotisserie chicken, Korean beef, fish chips & mushy peas, beef and potato curry

 

My mad weekly kitchen diary

When lots of wrongs make it right

I started pondering this when my head exploded for the 354466978th time because someone on a cookery programme pronounced chorizo ‘choritso’.

Obviously, they are ALL pronouncing chorizo incorrectly. If they don’t want to pronounce it correctly (choreetho), they could pronounce it in English (chorISo), which I can handle. But no-oo, they have to pronounce it like pizza. ITALIAN! Where did the Italian come from?? It’s a Spanish sausage, and we’re talking about many of my fellow Brits pronouncing said Spanish Sausage, Italian is not suppose to be anywhere near this convo!

Anyway… the reason for this post… after my head exploded for the 369966978th (what? I know the number’s different, I am exaggerating here! And my head didn’t actually explode either) time my husband uttered a very simple but ultimately chilling sentence, which shook me to my very core.

He said… I don’t know if I can even say it… He said…

“You do know if enough people say it, it’ll become the norm, therefore right…”

Aaaargh!! I cannot bear the thought!

Ponder once more! All of those people saying ‘Europe’ instead of ‘The E.U’ or ‘The European Union’ will be right? And those of us saying ‘The E.U’ etc. may be roundly mocked, even sneered at should we slip?

Ponder again the Spanish person living in Blighty who thinks that ‘Choritzo’ is the correct British pronunciation, so uses that, the incorrect pronunciation because that’s all she hears. This ACTUALLY happened.

I just can’t take it!

And ponder further… Does this apply to the written word?

Will ‘Your welcome’ become right, and ‘You’re welcome’ be wrong?

Will ‘Their/there doing very well in the match’ become right, and ‘They’re doing very well in the match’ all of a sudden be wrong?

Will ‘The other team are playing very well to’ become right, and ‘The other team are playing very well too’ now be wrong?

Will people look at my tweets, see ‘you’re welcome’, and roll their eyes? Will they have just rolled their eyes at me writing ‘roll THEIR eyes’??

It’s just all too much! Or should I cave and write ‘it’s all to much’??

Nope. Not going to cave.

IT’S ALL TOO MUCH!!!

When lots of wrongs make it right

My mad weekly kitchen diary

Just a weekly bit of fun whereby I can natter about any culinary ‘inventions’, successes and disasters in the kitchen.

If I ever ramble about a dish without a recipe that you want more detail on, give me a shout and I’ll do my best to be more precise!

Larger image below
Larger image below

Sunday

… I wanted ham, but C has decided that the usual ham, colcannon, savoy cabbage, parsley sauce isn’t ‘Sunday roast worthy’ *raises eyes to the ceiling*! So… I came up with a plan. No colcannon, no parsley sauce. Instead, roast potatoes and Cumberland sauce were to be the accompaniments that could not be substituted.

The ham almost takes care of itself. I boiled it for an hour or so, then drizzled honey over the top before sticking it in the oven. The vegetables we had were French beans, and carrots so I peeled the carrots and ‘batoned’ them, and just topped the beans leaving the cute tail. I was to steam these later. I then parboiled peeled potatoes before roughing them up a bit so that there are lovely edges to get crispy, and tossing them in a little oil to roast in the oven.

I found a Cumberland sauce recipe online, but had to adapt. We didn’t have redcurrant jelly so I used cranberry. I also added extra seasoning and more water to create a pouring sauce, rather than a spooning sauce.

The meal worked really well. The Cumberland sauce went beautifully with the salty ham, so that is a worthy Sunday roast imo!

Monday

… I know I keep banging on about this but the reason I love ham so much is that it’s frugal. One uses everything. This Monday was no exception. On the Sunday night I put 250g of dried marrowfat peas to soak with a little bicarbonate of soda. On Monday at lunchtime I was able to cook the rehydrated peas in the ham stock until they were tender, adding a little ham towards the end. Once everything was cooked I took the pan off the heat and let it cool for a while before whizzing it with the stick blender until smooth.

Now… Even I know it’s really just pea and ham soup, so I spiced it up a little with pici bread. I’ve mentioned pici bread before. I usually have pici spiced oil in the fridge, which is dried garlic, parsley, and chilli. In the first instance I add a spoonful of each to a pan and cover it with oil. I then put it on a low heat with a clove of fresh garlic and a spritz of lemon to infuse. So… with the pici spiced oil in the fridge I was able to whip a few slices of crusty bread from the freezer, spoon over the pici spiced oil, making sure to get nuggets of garlic and chilli as they tend to get left behind, then bang the bread in the oven for ten minutes. The result? Pea and ham sooooooup!!!

Tuesday

… Pork steaks were on offer so we bought those, and mushrooms were too. This planted a seed of ‘pork in a mushroom cream sauce’, as I had cream in the fridge. I started by slicing the mushrooms and frying the slices in a little oil until they released that delicious caramel aroma, there’s nothing worse than insipid mushrooms! I then put the mushrooms aside and fried the pork steaks for a few minutes to brown, then shoved them in the oven to finish off to enable me to do the sauce. In the same pan I sautéed a little finely diced onion then added the browned mushrooms. Next was a splosh of brandy. After the brandy had reduced I added chicken stock and a little cream, and let it bubble away until it was thick and lovely. I served the pork with ‘savoury rice’, I just cooked rice using the absorption method using stock instead of water, and sautéed diced mushrooms and peppers before adding the rice. I added a handful of petits pois towards the end.

Wednesday

… We made pizza with the wonderful pizza oven. This thing is a revelation, and I like pizza done this way. Wed guest was here so I made the dough, upscaling the ‘bread machine pizza dough’ recipe that I like to use. I made a tomato sauce for the base earlier, using up tinned tomatoes and passata that I had in the fridge along with a little onion and oregano. It was then whizzed until smooth and cooled. So… at pizza time I rolled the three pizzas then we topped them with tomato sauce, salami, mozzarella, pepperoni, onion and peppers. I had pickled jalapeno on mine too!

I know our guest is easy to please, but he absolutely loved the pizza. To understand why we are so enamoured with this thing I have to tell you about the local take away pizzas. I’m sure for most pizza lovers they are great, loads of dough, loads of topping, and loads of cheese. They are heavy, doughy, and really not my thing at all.

Our version is thin, crisp, and not loaded with topping and cheese, but is so tasty!

Thursday

… We had soup… Pea and ham soup… and leftover pizza.

Friday

… Chicken shwarma was the order of the day, and it was so because I wanted to try making my flatbreads on the pizza oven. I marinated diced chicken for the day in oil, red wine vinegar, a grated fresh tomato, garlic, chilli flakes, and oregano. At some point during the day I made up the flatbread dough using my favourite recipe then wrapped the ball in clingfilm before leaving it out of the fridge.

I also decide to try oven baked zucchini fries again, C wasn’t particularly fond of the first attempt. In addition to panko breadcrumbs I added the usual seasoning, but then garlic granules and chilli flakes. After chopping the zucchini into batons I tossed them in flour, then egg, then finally the breadcrumbs before lining them up on a baking tray to go in the oven.

At dinner time I skewered the chicken, and some separate veg skewers, and grilled them until cooked, then readied the flatbreads that I’d rolled out earlier. C put the super duper pizza oven on; then slid on a flatbread. After a minute or so he flipped it over because he thought they needed it.

When everything was cooked, I tried to assemble the flatbreads and chicken, then decided it would look better with everything on the plate, the zucchini fries threw me, but they were delish, and C liked them too! And I don’t need to say the chicken was great, because it was marinated grilled chicken! Oh and the flatbreads were fantastic!

Saturday

… We had a microwave meal… It was a nice one, honest! Marinated lamb rogan josh with pilau rice. Delish for a microwave meal!

Roast ham & Cumberland Sauce, Pea & Ham soup with pici spiced bread, Pork in mushroom sauce & savoury rice, Chicken Shwarma
Roast ham & Cumberland Sauce, Pea & Ham soup with pici spiced bread, Pork in mushroom sauce & savoury rice, Chicken Shwarma

 

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My mad weekly kitchen diary