Sunday, 26 August 2007

Summer. Again.

So we finally got some decent weather at last. On Thursday I looked out of the window and commented to my boss that it looked like November. Then Friday it was actually quite pleasant, but still damn cold, so I figured Friday it was October. However, yesterday and today have been pretty warm, probably in the mid to high twenties, so we're back to August for a bit. Suits me!

Yesterday, in complete contrast to what we were planning to do, Jenny did a major garage tidy, uncovering numerous items which have now been advertised on Freecycle. And then she cleared all the dead clematis montana stems which had come in under the roof AND THEN vacuumed the whole inside, including getting down decades worth of cobwebs from all the deep dark corners! Amazing! First thing this morning we had to do a major run to the tip to dispose of great piles of junk accumulated over the years.

Last night we barbecued with Lorna and Richard and had a thoroughly good time. They'd marinated some shrimps which were delicious for a small starter. We had lumps of steak and a piece of tuna, while they'd brought foil packages of fish. To varying degrees this was shared out, bearing in mind that Richard is veggie, so didn't partake the steak. All accompanied by green and potato salads. And copious quantities of wine, of course.

The only thing that didn't work well was the barbecued figs with St Agur blue cheese. I've done this before and it's been great, but this time the figs weren't quite ripe enough, due to my having picked them early to avoid bird damage. Mistake. They needed to be sweeter to be any good.

Tonight we're cooking aromatic lamb shank stew with couscous from one of the gorgeous Nigella Lawson's books. We've done it several times before, and it should be delish. While looking for the recipe I spotted her version of slow-roasted shoulder of pork, so we'll be doing that some time soon, too. That one cooks for 24 hours and sounds awesome!

So there's likely to be silence for a week or so, as we'll be out of signal range, as it were. Tell you all about it in due course!


Lindystar the HOR blogger said...

Good lord how do know how to COOK like that???

I'll be making mexican chicken on the grill with stuffed jalepeno peppers (on the grill too, yum) but that's as fancy as I go.

Lamb and couskoooooss? More power to ya! :)

DJ Kirkby said...

Sounds yummy. Makes my home preserving exploits pale in ocmparison.

Rob Clack said...

Lindystar, it's a combination of gluttony and years of practice! I've been lucky because Jen is an accomplished and adventurous cook, and I've learned a lot from her.

I have a couple of 'rules': 1. Always try new stuff. If you don't recognise something, try it. Might be fabulous. (True, it's sometimes not, but then you only do that once!) 2. When cash allows, if you feel like looking at a cookbook, open it 3 times at random. If you get 3 really tempting-looking recipes, consider buying the book. 3 good recipes made regularly for the rest of your life have got to be worth the $25 or $30. Ah yes, 3. Reputable authors. We have lots of cookery programmes on TV and they seem to have tuned their recipes to "assemble ingredients, follow simple instructions, serve, receive praise". Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. Might not have made it across the pond, of course. 4. Everyone disasters. Don't let them put you off.

djk Don't knock home preserving. I can't do any of that. Or bake cakes. My bread comes out of a breadmaker 'cos doing it by hand is too hard!