Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Christmas Present...

Bit by bit over a number of months our cooker has been slowly dying a death and the main oven door would no longer close.

Eventually, we've managed to get the money together to purchase a new cooker. You have no idea what a trouble it has been just using a microwave. I have lost track of how often I have seen something I'd fancy and then read that the food cannot be cooked in a microwave.

It will probably take some getting used to as it has a fan assisted main oven but I understand this means it cooks much quicker. It will be fun to get back to cooking simple but tasty recipes again(Casseroles and the like)chicken and veg pies, home made bread(I might've considered baking cakes)but when there are only two of you, it's cheaper to buy items in a supermarket, though doing your own may offer a greater variety, it saves time and energy even though I love homemade fare.

And now I have a slow cooker, a steamer and microwave it will be great being able to use any of these or a combination of them.

Also, it's been ages since I have been able to grill anything and after many years this cooker has a smaller second oven so you can avoid using the larger one or use both.

There was a worry as we were cutting it fine but just as I was about to order the cooker from one the nation's biggest electrical retailers there was some concern about how it would connect to the mains and though we were promised a delivery before Christmas with the bad weather we've had it was possible we would not have it delivered and be eating beans on toast for Christmas.

The other problem was that they promised to deliver before Christmas but could only install it on January 2nd so that was a waste of time.

However, I found a willing electrical contractor and he disconnected the old one yesterday and came back today and installed the new cooker, it took minutes.

So though I will do a very simple meal tonight, it will be christened tomorrow with our Christmas meal.

Fingers crossed it will go ok but it isn't a difficult meal as much of it comprises of just putting items in the oven, the roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings just need to placed on a baking tray. The vegetables(frozen)into a saucepan of boiling water and the gravy you just add hot water.

But we can also work with the microwave too and make the meal even easier and quicker. We have a small Turkey roast but I have some sliced cooked roast turkey with stuffing(8 slices)so we'll probably have that for Christmas so that saves cooking again.

I'm so happy to see the back of the previous cooker, it was so bad I don't think I would have like to have posted a picture.

Looking over the cooker's details, the company is British and the cooker was manufactured in Turkey. So it's travelled quite a distance to reach my home.

And since writing the above we have had our first meal and it came out ok(Breaded Haddock, New Potatoes and Tinned Tomatoes)and so far it still looks new. I wonder for how long...

Merry Christmas to you all.

Update:How does a chef or cook copyright a recipe? After all we all adapt our own meals and add an ingredient here and take another out there. We serve up various combinations and often it could be something our parents made us when we were children.

So when I sometimes offer a recipe I worry someone will say you've nicked my recipe but many are so similar.

Just in case I'll give credit to Nigel Slater who offered this on his tv programme the other night and we tried yesterday(a few days after this post was originally posted)

He was mentioning things to do with leftovers after Christmas...and we wanted a simple meal so...

He mashed parsnips and Brussel sprouts and moulded them into patties(putting some soft cheese inside)and frying them in a pan for a few minutes.

I changed that and avoided the cheese this time and I added mashed new potatoes. I moulded them into a pastry cutter so they had some form and did not crumble(I am careful with adding salt)but did as he had and for the first time that I remember I added some pepper for seasoning.

I say I fried them, often I fry items like this without any oil of any kind. And they can get a kind of light crispiness.

Nigel coated his patties in flour for the same effect.

Anyhow, we served them with Baked Beans and they were lovely. I suppose it's a variation on Bubble and Squeak.

Give them a try!

Simple, tasty and...as far as I can see healthy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse...

Normally from the front of my house the Sun and Moon can be seen without too much trouble all the year through and the only way it cannot is when the sky is cloudy.

After a lot of publicity in the media we were told that especially in the North of the UK we would witness a lunar eclipse from approx 6.20am this morning.

The sky was clear so I was ready.

Unfortunately, it took so long for the Earth to cast it's shadow that the moon managed to disappear behind three trees at the top of the street and by the time it cleared them it had dropped further down the skyline and the sun had brightened the sky so much the moon was virtually invisable so it was not as spectacular as it could've been.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Icicles Are Still Around...

I decided to knock down what I could reach but today I opened the door into the back garden and it took a bit of an effort, then I found out why.

The door must have been stuck against some very big icicles as you can see by the following images.

And they really did take some knocking down as they were so thick, you can see a piece that broke off and landed in the passage.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


No particular reason!

I don't know why but there are certain foods you often just never get around to trying. I can imagine some are because they simply are too gross to consider eating(It could be if you lived in a country where they are part of the every day diet, you'd think nothing of it)but we all have our own personal preferences.

So some weeks ago I purchased a jar of something...I actually purchased the smallest jar they make and said to myself this will last ages but it is almost empty.

I am sure I must've eaten it at some time earlier in my life but it never made an impression so strong that I thought we must have it in the cupboard.

In fact it's whole advertising campaign revolves around(and I cannot think of any other product that does this)whether you love it or hate it! And many of it's advertisements are very clever.

If you haven't guessed so far what it is so far it is "Marmite!"
And I can honestly say that I love it!

So far I have only spread it on bread or toast or purchased some little cheeses that have Marmite included in the mixture. In time I am sure that I will become more adventurous.

I now wonder why I have waited so long. I have purchased another already and moved onto an even larger sized jar.

I haven't tried it but I suspect that the Australian product Vegemite is very similar in all but name.

The following story broke which in the popular press was a good bit of publicity for Marmite but this link explains it in a more detailed report.

Can 'Marmite chemical' aid the heart?

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Icicles Are Back...

The bad news is they have shown up some water is leaking through the soffit boards but I'll leave that until next year, at least I don't pay to have the repair done and...it is outside.