Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rainy Day Recipe

We're officially in the middle of a weather warning here, although it's not so bad right where we are. We did have to get the train to Lancaster yesterday as the roads were flooded, but no that isn't flooding in the picture, we were going across Morecambe Bay!
Times like this call for good food. Now, the recipe I made tonight could be described as 'wicked' or 'naughty' as there are some high fat ingredients in there. But I hate the habit of calling what's basically good, honest food by negative labels. Bad food is surely over-processed, low nutrition rubbish. Okay, so this food isn't something you should have every meal if you want to care for your heart, but every now and again, why not? Anyway, rant over, the recipe was inspired by a surfeit of leeks and potatoes, which suggested soup, then maybe dauphinoise potatoes. It's holy eye, so the amounts are very much guidelines:
600g potatoes, sliced very thin
600g leeks, washed and sliced
300ml single cream
garlic and herb soft cheese (I used a round of Boursin)
grated cheddar cheese to top
a little milk if needed.

Melt a little butter in a saucepan and add the leeks. Stir, cover and leave to soften over a low heat for around 5 minutes.
Meanwhile slice the potatoes as thinly as you can and lightly grease an ovenproof dish.
Put a layer of potatoes into the dish. Crumble over about a third of the soft cheese, then a third of the leeks. Pour over a third of the cream.
Repeat this twice more. Add a little milk if you think more moisture is needed.
Top with cheddar cheese, cover dish with foil and bake in a medium oven for an hour and a half or so- until the potatoes are tender. Remove foil for the last 20 mins or so of cooking so that the top browns.
We ate ours with simple boiled carrots. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back to simple

Isn't this just what childhood should be about? Splashing in puddles, kicking through leaves, scrunching on a pebbly beach and finding treasure (well, interesting pebbles at any rate!) Today we celebrated a few brief breaks in the clouds with a walk at Conishead Priory. Okay, so it rained a bit and we got a bit chilly but oh, that fresh air made coming home for a cup of tea so satisfying. Simple pleasures indeed.
More back to simple with my knitting. I just couldn't face the Fair Isle after my pattern misreading stupidity so I'm having a break with more needles and less balls (!). Now that I've got going this sock is growing gratifyingly fast and I love the colours- they remind me of Fruit Salad chews from when I was little!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Okay, so to begin with last night I got all the way to to the top of the back of my Fair Isle tank top. I shaped one shoulder, went to cast off the centre stitches and thought 'hmmm...too many stitches, I wonder why?'. It was then that I realised that through concentrating too hard on the Fair Isle and some good old fashioned 'not reading the pattern properly' stupidity, I had completely messed up the armhole shapings. Yes, those shapings that happen about halfway up. Nothing for it up to unravel right back to where I went wrong- and even that isn't easy with stranded colours. Hey-ho.
Then this morning a very rare event occurred, which was my little darling deciding that he was quite happy to stay cuddled up and asleep past 8am, which constitutes a lie in round these parts. Or at least it would have done if it hadn't been for a doctor's appointment at 8.40am. I actually had to wake him up- good grief!
With rain and wind swirling around with the clear message that going out walking was not a good idea, the boy deciding to set the dishwasher off on a highly eco-unfriendly 70 degree wash and our friends being occupied with visiting poorly relatives it was all pretty frustrating.
However, I decided that I needed to embrace the time indoors and indeed embrace my somewhat neglected inner-domestic-goddess. I have learned that cleaning is worth doing, but tidying less so, as anything tidied within a toddler's reach is seen as fair game in the 'you put it away, I'll pull it out again' ritual. That way tears and more frustration lies. Every now and then the sun comes out and I get my hopes up that we could go out for a wander after all, but a more serious look out the window inevitably shows the next swirl of stormclouds approaching. After my scary, night time, flood water driving in the Lakes a few weeks back I'm a bit more respectful of when it's wise to be out and about, especially when it's just me and the boy.
So now it's our somewhat optimistically named 'quiet time' when the boy is in his cot and the idea is at least one of us has a nap. Today it's actually happening- peace has descended, there's a pocket full of sunshine peeping through the window and I have a clean and tidy kitchen. And bathroom. Life's okay really, isn't it?