Saturday 25 July 2020

Lamb Meatballs With Braised Savoy Cabbage With Lentils And Lardons


Red Lentils now you can either follow the instructions on the packet of lentils or use canned ones

Premade lamb meatballs or make your own 

Lardons if you want 

Vegetable stock enough to braise the cabbage in 

Savoy cabbage cored and shredded 


First cook the meatballs they’ll probably take about 30 minutes depending on the size and cook at 180 c or higher through and keep warm .Though you can aim to cook the cabbage about halfway through .

Melt the butter in a pan add the landons and cook for 3-4 minutes 

Add the cabbage and mix well 

Then add the stock and cook for 10 minutes till tender

Add the pre cooked lentils and warm through 

Plate up with the meatballs add mozzarella and bung in the oven for a minute or 2 just to let the mozzarella melt 

Monday 20 July 2020

Turning A StayCation Into A Yaycation

Yaycation that is a phrase I thought I would write let alone say much less irritating than the new normal .

I never thought this would be the year of the Staycation as In April Myself and my husband should have been winging our way to Corfu, we had heard so much about Corfu and we had managed to get a holiday for the bargain price of £595 half board and I was so happy.I though sunshine , wine and ruins and much much needed wandering as that as what I love doing on holiday. I am not much of a pool person or a beach person and I find it very hard to keep still until my gaze is captured by wonder.

More and more of us are going to be taking Staycations and the first Staycation you take in this current climate is always going to be filled with slight anticipation.I do have s Staycation planned at some point in Kent and yes I’m understandably slightly nervous but as long as I adhere to all the current guidelines then I’m sure all will be well (I hope )

I have seen people going on there breaks and it does seem normal out there but changed as we now have to wear masks on buses and shops and this is what I haven't experienced yet.I am avoiding buses and of course I will be wearing them in shops as from Thursday when I do go in a shop.

The shielding for me comes to an end on the 31st July and while I have popped out to the countryside in the form of National Trust and English Heritage properties .

One thing to do is to make sure you have a clean mask in a bag in the car just incase when you do go out you find that you have forgotten to put one in your shopping bag. Of course hand gel as well ( but never keep handle in your car just in case it catches fire because the high alcohol volume in the hand gel  as well as a back of tissues and some paracetamol , most people do have a First aid kit in their car.

I do recommend getting English Heritage and National Trust memberships as there social distancing at their properties is superb.Last weekend we went to Packwood  house which is only one of a few properties you can actually go inside at the moment.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

My Happy Cat Called Jack

I have a cat I used to have two but now we’ve just got Jack and he’s always just been there as the cat my son has grown up with.I am sure the cat called Jack is happy in his heart , Jack at times does look like some sort of tortured hipster artist or poet who is desperately seeking their muse .The aimlessly wondering in then meowing and the staring into the middle distance are the signs of a true artist as your best work is done when you just stare and it is never just aimless staring .

Then there is the cat food first it was the posh stuff hand blessed by Monks in the Le Loire valley ( this strictly may not be true ) , Jack soon went off the posh stuff just after we had bought a case of 72 pouches , I mean obviously Jack is a blossoming restaurant critic and is yearning after a Michelin star meal I suspect , and will utter four letted tirades if everything is not up to his high standards. But now Jack likes Tesco cat food that is gravy based and touch wood he seems to be holding firm on this , so should I stock up on this cat food.

Jack would be a life observation comedian to delivering startling truth observations on life but he wouldn't be deemed rude as he would be good old happy Jack ( tongue firmly in most on the happy part ).Jack announces himself in a room sometimes and you have to work out he precisely wants and it often turns into an Alan Carr gameshow style programs ( does anyone really actually watch the, , it is time that I can never get back )

And when you have a cat you really do pander to its needs from a day bed in the front door to leaving on Classic FM for it to making sure it has its Teddy bear for bed time .I say Bed time but this usually signals having to let the cat out the front door and 2 minutes later opening to let it back in again.

Monday 13 July 2020

Does Disability Inclusion Come Easy ?

Does disability Inclusion come easy ?

When I first joined my local ladies choir I was made very welcome but it took me a very long time to slot in and that, in part, was down to me being autistic. When a disability is invisible it can be very hard for you to been seen as anything other than normal but you are normal and being accepted is part of that. Being autistic I don't light up a room always socially and people find it hard to understand me and putting myself across takes a shed load of work and leaves me exhausted. I can write these words now and even now I wonder and worry how my words will be perceived!

Choirs are not always sunshine and roses - the real turning point for me was a rainy Sunday in May last year – my first performance with the choir, it was outdoors, raining hard and hardly any audience. It wasn’t our finest hour and I felt ill-prepared. Things have been much easier since although sometimes I still do find it hard to make myself heard but that is the rhythm of life just like the song! So like a phoenix out the fire I have grown in confidence and faith of heart. Throughout the last year and especially these last few months the choir have been there for one another and I am very honoured to be part of it. And that is the point of belonging to a choir it is a social anchor point and it more important that I ever realised especially during a pandemic such as we find ourselves in and I am so grateful that I have lovely members to reach out to even though we are not singing together.The power of music and friendships should never been underestimated as it is pure magic

Friday 10 July 2020

Summer Daze Smoked Trout New Potato Salad

Summer daze smoked trout potato salad ideal for those summer days eating Al Fresco upon your terrace ( in my case my decking )

Summer I admit is rather confused at the minute and I have worn my winter coat this week . Summer will be here I'm sure of it ~ halycon days are the long fun filled days we remember from our childhood.

Smoked trout and new potato salad
Smoked trout new potato salad


Smoked trout
Mixed salad
Bacon bits

Jackies Vinaigrette

1 0z light olive oil
4 oz white wine
1 clove chopped garlic
1/2 Dry mustard
1/8 Cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Brown sugar


Make the vinaigrette in advance of frying the bacon and warming the smoked trout through.

Cook the new potatoes enjoy for 2 people put to one side.

Combine 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper,1 clove chopped garlic ,1 Tbsp Brown Sugar ,1/2/tsp dry mustard 1 oz of light Olive Oil , 4 oz of white wine vinegar in a suitable bottle / container that will allow you to drizzle over the salad.

Fry the bacon bits till lovely and crispy , I got my bacon bits from the village farm shop and they were £1.65 , then if you wish also warm through the smoked trout ( you don't have to but it does gives a beautiful roundness to the dish. next mix them together . Combine this with the cooked new potatoes.

View of the boating club
Just popping to the village farm shop

Place on a bed of mixed salad.

Drizzle over the Jackies vinaigrette

And enjoy

Hopefully outside.

Monday 6 July 2020

Hot Dog Topping Grated Carrot and Black Bean

A few days I had hot dogs ( no it wasn't hot pets ) it was the food ! and I decided I really didn't want chips or fries or anything that was really heavy in carbs with them other than the hot dog buns. So I decided to instead grated some carrot and throw in some black beans and the result was I do have to say rather tasty.


Grated Carrot

Can of Black Bean ( drained )

Dash of Soy Sauce


Grate the carrot I used the big grating part of the grater

Next put a wok or frying pan on a medium heat with some oil in

Stir fry the carrot and black beans together till cooked and warmed through add a dash soy soy sauce and again mix.

serve on top of hot dogs or as a side accompaniment

Social Distancing At English Heritage Properies

English Heritage have started opening a number of their properties up and as soon as I heard I jumped straight on the booking site which I have to say was slightly easier than the National Trust as I could book far in advance with English Heritage.The first property we decided to go for was Kenilworth Castle as we hadn't been there in their yonks and we were desperate for green space and fresh air as we hadn't been further than the end of our noses in weeks and weeks.

And the signs were clear and the staff were remarkably well informed and there was a very calm atmosphere about the place.Social distancing is the new normal and it’s taking a bit of getting used to.

Kenilworth Castle is perfect for a relaxed stroll and it really does help to blow the cobwebs away.