Back Again!

Once more a great big gap appears in the blog with no posts. Regrettably, I've been laid up in bed with the start of a pressure sore. This means that my internet access has been via my daughter's lap-top computer: a machine that I don't think I'll ever get used to!

Needless to say, I've done no cooking, curing or sausage-making, so I've nothing really to write about. However, one thing I am happy to have been able to do, is help one of the old gits sorry... ...the gentlemen revellers at the Elephant and Castle, with his sourdough starter... ... or lack of it. I'll explain, you see Keith (a.k.a. Victor Meldrew) had a sourdough starter which he'd been taking good care of and which he'd used to make his daily bread...

...now Keith is what they call around here "an eligible batchelor" - that is: he's breathing and got four limbs and most of his faculties! As such he's in constant demand with the local ladies, who having worn out a few husbands already, can't be too choosy. That said, he can occasionally be seen 'walking out' with a very nice lady - you know, a proper lady - she's far too good for the likes of 'im! Anyhow, it seems that said lady got to cleaning Keith's kitchen, and assuming that it was "sommat pass'd it's sell-by date", chucks his sourdough down the Khasi! Or something similar anyway! Laugh? I nearly bought a round!

Now Keith's not daft - I know, he does a good impression of it, but he's not. No! honest, he's not! So he makes up another starter, feeds it etc and, well to cut a long story short, every-one he makes dies. Now, my sourdough starters usually work OK. They daren't do any other with Mrs Phil on the case! So, kind old soul that I am, I made one for Keith. I called mine Selwyn, just because of the alliteration - Selwyn Sourdough - get it? Keith says that sourdoughs given as gifts should be named alphabetically, or is that hurricanes? I forget. Anyway, his is called Brenda. as in Brenda Barm! (pot or cake?)

Blow me, less than a week in and he reckons Brenda's flagging. Super-sleuth Phil to the rescue! It turns out that Keith's tap water stinks of chlorine! No wonder he was having problems. Anyway, Brenda's now drinking bottled water and is up and running on all four cylinders. She's making some great bread as this photo of Keith's shows:

Keiths sourdough
Photo: Keith Smith. Copyright © 2012 Keith Smith

Nice one Keith!


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Another Bloomin' Christmas

Well, we're into the new year, so that's seen the back of "Another Bloomin' Christmas":

Happy New Year to you all.

Do you know, I actually enjoyed Christmas this year; amazingly that also extends to Christmas lunch, a meal that having cooked I rarely enjoy eating. It's funny, we did but a few things differently, but it seemed to make the preparation so much easier. Yet, the only things we didn't make from scratch were the pork pie, mincemeat, and some of the buffet items. Mum made the cake and pudding, leaving us to do the sausage-rolls, sausage-meat, bacon, ham , mince pies, smoked salmon and cheeses, and a few sundry cheese palmiers that were just to use up the rough puff pastry but proved to be very popular. Oh, we did more than I thought! Perhaps we we just better organised than normal:

Produce for Christmas

I cured Pauline's Ham somewhat differently this time, using a lot less brine cure thereby saving quite a bit of money. I'll write about it in a separate post, but here's it curing:

Ham curing in a bag

The turkey was from a local farm and was superb as usual; not only that, but much cheaper than the ones at the supermarkets. The only picture I took of it is in it's bag, oops:

Turkey

Needless to say, the remains ended up in a Turkey Korma!

Turkey Korma