Monday, 21 January 2008

A weekend's activities

Almost the entire weekend was spent sorting out the office. Fortunately the weather was foul, so we were not tempted to spend any of it gardening, nor did we regret the fact that we were snug inside! On the other hand, it was pretty tedious. We've now gone through most of the hanging folders in both filing cabinets, chucking out stuff which is clearly out of date and archiving stuff there's not really space for but which can't go yet. By archiving, I mean sticking in boxes in the loft. The only snag with that is that we already have a number of full boxes in the loft, so to make space for the latest generation of archiving, we have to get rid of a load of stuff that's already up there. And a lot of it needs to be shredded.

We've already taken about 10 black bin bags of shreddings to the recycling centre and there's another 5 waiting to go. Stuff like 20 years worth of pensions statements, life insurance statements, health insurance from when I had income protection, medical documents from when the company I worked for provided BUPA cover and my back was bad. Each document needs to be assessed and then either binned, shredded, archived or put back. Fabuloso!

As a reward for our diligence, Lorna and Richard fed us the most delicious sea bass on Saturday night, and we had a really lovely evening. Then yesterday we cooked Jamie Oliver's slow-roasted shoulder of lamb and it was simply gorgeous! The butcher could only sell us a rather small half-shoulder, because the rest of the world had also seen the TV programme and they'd got there first, but in the event there was plenty of meat for the two of us.

For those who missed it, you season it and stick it in a roasting dish with a handful of unpeeled garlic cloves, a bunch of rosemary twigs and a drizzle of olive oil, covered with a double layer of foil folded tightly to the edges to seal in the goodness, then roast at about 180C for 4 hours.

When I tried to lift it onto the carving tray the meat just pulled away from the bone. Not really possible to carve it, so I pulled it into bits and piled it onto the plates. The gravy was made from the goodness left in the roasting pan; we picked out the rosemary, poured off the fat, smeared the yummy roasted garlic paste out of the skins, then added flour and hot veg-water to make a wonderful sauce. Served with roughly mashed mixture of potato, carrot and swede and some steamed savoy cabbage, it was succulent and splendid.

To wash it down we had a nice bottle of Cote Rotie and had barely cleared up when Lorna, Richard and Jane arrived. Perfect.


Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Sounds heavenly! If only I ordered lamb from Tesco this week.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Another great recipe, Rob, I really must try that one. You do make it sound so simple - maybe your next trick should be a book of shorthand recipes? I think it would be a winner.
Regards, Margot xx

Polgara said...

My mouth is watering.....
Pol x

Rob Clack said...

Interestingly, V, although we buy poultry, beef and pork from the farm shop, most of our lamb comes from Tesco, because we find it tastes just as good.
Margot, it is pretty simple for me, because actually, Jenny does most of it! I'm flattered by the idea of a book of shorthand recipes, but the only reason I can report these successes is because the way Jamie (and Delia and all the rest) present their recipes suits the way we like to cook.
Mostly I just follow the instructions, though there are a few things I've learned to do well. My first wife taught me how to make a decent white sauce, and that's still my job. And my roast potatoes are pretty good, too.
I have to say, Pol, mine is too, just remembering it!

Woozle1967 said...

Hi Rob - almost back into the land of blogging so thought I'd catch up. Father Christmas brought me the Jamie O book and now the kitchen's in I will be copying you (and the whole nation, by the sounds!) - can't wait!

Rob Clack said...

I think a few pics of your new kitchen, posted on your blog are in order, Woozle!