First Time For Everything

There has to be a first time for everything and in my case, yesterday was my first time ever cooking roast beef.

It’s not much of a life achievement, I know, but as someone who stopped eating roast beef in her teens it was undoubtedly uncharted territory. I always found roast beef to be rather dry and leathery, which was a shame as I love the taste of beef but ended up having it drowned out by flavor of mashed potato and gravy just to combat the dryness.

Last week Hubby requested roast beef for diner one night. He doesn’t normally make direct requests as he is happy to let me run the food budget and set meal plans so I was more than happy to try my hand at it.

My instincts said that slow roasting it would be best so I searched out a recipe and managed to find one that seemed to be fairly fool proof. Believe me, this I need!

I am pleased to say that, despite my use of dried mixed herbs instead of the fresh rosemary and thyme the recipe called for, it was a wonderful success! the meat was still pink in the middle and was lovely and tender! It was even yummy on our sandwiches this morning too!

Here’s to one more feather in my cap!

However … I forgot to take any photos … AGAIN! *rolls eyes*

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A Bit More Than A Patch Job

This last year has been one of the happiest of my life, so why is it that I feel things have begun spiraling out of control? I have fallen out of routine after routine and felt myself get dragged down into a feeling of “what’s the point?” that I’m struggling to pull myself out of.

On the odd occasion I will have a positive day where I have stuck to what I wanted to achieve. Then the next day I miss fire and then end up right back where I was. It’s rather exhausting.

I am really going to have to try and pull my finger out and knit my life back together before things really fall apart! I can’t just sweep things under the rug and expect everything to be OK.

I need to be a better person for myself and those around me otherwise … I don’t even want to think about the consequences.

Response to Daily Post prompt: Knit

Forgetful With Success

I am quite familiar with having to ‘wing it’ as far as cooking goes, normally to my lack of preparation when it comes to ingredients. Last week I pulled a gammon joint out of the freezer and set it defrosting in the fridge however I promptly forgot about it until the day I had planned to make it.

When I saw “slow-cooked gammon” on my kitchen chalk board (The only way I can actually stick to a meal-plan) I rolled my eyes at myself as at 4pm on a Sunday with the shops shut there was no time to amend a recipe let alone actually use the 8 hour cooking recipe I had intended (add gammon to slow cooker, pour in contents of can of chopped pineapple and let it have at it).

So, with the need to cook the darn thing anyway I popped it into a pot of water and decided to settle for boiled ham. This particular joint didn’t have any skin to make crackling, neither did we have any honey for a glaze … *sigh*

Once it was cooked and I began on the other accompaniments, the Husbat flowed into the kitchen as some kind of culinary savior and started rummaging in the fridge and pulled out … a jar of sweet chili jam!

Yes, sweet chili JAM!

(Well … it is described as jelly but the seems to be to cater to international visitors … for me jelly goes with ice cream, not gammon)

I had purchased this from a National Trust gift shop at a castle we went to on a trip down south last summer (which I still need to post about here at some point!) but had completely forgotten about it, as with so many other things I buy. It was very nice and I am pleased that it can be purchased online from the National Trust web-shop.

Hubby then proceeds to score the top of the joint, grab a spoon from the drawer and empty half of the jar onto the unsuspecting lump of gammon! Needless to say I was bit surprised. My husband, while able to follow a recipe to the letter to create really nice meals, is not normally comfortable when I go off spec so this was something very new!

Into the oven it went for 20 or so minutes while I finished the rest of the meal. After removing the meat and letting it rest we took a tentative sample of the sweet chili glazed gammon … and it is quite possibly the nicest piece of gammon I have ever tried in my life!

The saltiness of the meat took away countered just enough of the sweetness in the chili so that it wasn’t overpowering and the slight heat from the chili worked amazingly well. Add in top a couple of slices of seared pineapple and it was quite possibly one of the best meals we have ever come up with! We at the whole thing between the two of us (which meant I have no leftovers for my lunch today, but oh well)!

The problem …

I forgot to take a photo.

*sigh*

 

 

A Naturally Dubious Nature

If there is one thing I would like to change about myself it’s my self confidence. Not as in ‘can’t step out of the house’ confidence, I mean confidence in my own ability to do things. I have a phrase that perfectly sums me up.

I doubt therefore I don’t.

Because I have such a dubious view of my own ability sometimes, I end up not even trying. Why try if you know you are going to fail anyway? Why waste the energy? Believe me, I don’t like this about myself and I hate even more the fact that I have just grown to accept this about myself.

Someone hands me a task to do and my first instinct is to cry because I just know I’m going to screw it up. I start going to the guy but end up giving that up because I know I’m not getting anywhere. Why bother trying to stop biting my nails when I know I’m just going to start again at some point?

I could go on.

This is why I have always operated online through … secret identities. I have had a couple of online personas in the past, most notably for when I was writing fanfiction (under a different name back then). That way I didn’t have to worry that if it wasn’t any good then I would be blamed for it, I always had deniability and the ability to disappear and become someone else.

Why am I like this? Well, I could always use the good old crutch of the fact that I was bullied a lot as a kid but was that the cause or a symptom? I don’t suppose I will ever figure that one out (See? there I go again).

My life at this particular moment is on a knife edge of the biggest decision my husband and I will ever have to make. Do we stick with living where we are now, in boring old suburbia with a low paying job, or do we up sticks and move everything we have to somewhere beautiful and remote where we can run a home business? My hear says “YES!!!! Go for it! Don’t let this opportunity get away!” but my head says “eeeehhhhhh, I’m not so sure …”.

*Sigh* Would someone like to make my life choices for me please?

Response to word prompt “Dubious“.

Getting Back On The Bandwagon … Again

As I sit here feeling bloated and sluggish I really wish I hadn’t fallen out of the routine of my exercise classes. I Gingerly  prod the tendons on my right foot which I hurt a few months back after attempting at-home zumba after a glass of wine. Unfortunately that meant while I was out of action I was also out of any routine I was beginning to get into.

I am terrible at sticking with things! Always have been but I know it is a character flaw that I do have the power to deal with, if I just get my ass into gear! So now I have bought myself a new ankle support that I can also use at pole classes (which have also fallen by the way side) so fingers crossed I will be able to get back into action shortly.

While I have not really put any weight on, any semblance of toned belly I was beginning to achieve has melted away into podge again which I am not happy with! I will defeat the dreaded “sit-down-belly”!

I will!

 

The Last Of The Freezer Meals!

We are now on week 3 of Operation Use-What-We-Have-In-The-Freezer and the light is finally at the end of the tunnel. Most of the ‘main meal’ type things such as the endless number of chicken goujons, the beef burgers, the dices meats and bags after bags of potato products have all been consumed resulting a lot of nicely usable (and reorganisable) freezer space. The “sides” drawer is still full and the frozen veg has been topped up but pother than that it seems to be a success. On the cards this week is …

Monday:

Yesterday we had roast lamb joint with new potatoes and fine beans with a mint gravy. Now … it seems lamb and I do not get on and it was an over-cooked stringy monstrosity which meant that, as the meal was one of my husbands favorites and was supposed to be a cheer-up-glum-husband meal, it crashed and burned spectacularly. I think in the future I will stick to lamb shanks that you cook in a bag … Oh well.. onward and upwards

Tuesday:

Today I have Zumba class after work so I know I’m not going to have a massive appetite but will still want something to help recover from the energy drain. It may not be the healthiest of summer meals but tonight is a smoked bacon Quiche Loraine with a side salad and crusty bread. I’m avoiding having chips with it this time to try and keep fat levels down even a little bit.

Wednesday:

Time for the last supplies of an all time favorite – IKEA meatballs and mash with lingonberry sauce and IKEA gravy. It goes down perfectly every time and we have just enough in the freezer to feed the two of us and clear more space without it being too big of a meal.

Thursday:

Sweet chili chicken with jasmine rice. These two things have been sitting in the freezer for weeks now, both purchased from the “still fresh” isle at the supermarket where they have all of the reduced items. that would make this meal an absolute bargain for the both of us, I just hope the flavors compliment each other …

Friday:

Wifey’s day off. This is the day where it’s a take-out or bust! Or at a pinch something like a bung-in-the-oven fresh pizza from the local supermarket, something the husband can cook without too much difficulty.

Weekends are normally a bit of a “wing it” affair as it really does depend on what we have had to do that day as to what we feel like having for tea at the end of the day. All in all this has been a success as we have managed to get a lot of the long term stored food eaten and also saved quite a bit of money while doing so! Success all round I think (except for the lamb).

Being An Adult

When I was younger and I was being bullied by other kids at my school I used to long to be a grown up so that it didn’t happen any more. Now bullying just seems to be more subtle but still just as prevalent. It’s not the name calling or throwing mud at you anymore, it’s so-called friends skulking around behind your back. It’s people turning on you in the blink of an eye over the word of someone else.

It’s a lonely place to be when the group of friends you thought you had, don’t even have your back offer the most basic things.

Facebook and other social media outlets have given us a false sense of security in our friendships. With over 300 friends on my Facebook list you would think I had people talking to me, hanging out and generally being good friends to me ever day. Nope. Most of the people on my friends list are people I have maybe met once or twice, and a majority of them I don’t even really know who they are, just that they are friends with other friends who I do kinda recognize.

We have come to use it as a crutch, but out of those 300 friends, only two ever make an effort to talk to me outside of it. Even then those two friends live 2-3 hours away and can only visit/be visited every so often. Those are the type of friends that it takes effort to stay in touch with but when you do hook up it is like you have never been apart.

but how do you deal with the depression of knowing that you don’t have anyone immediately to hand to talk to. Anyone at all. This is what my husband is facing at the moment and it is heart breaking knowing that I can’t fill that gap he feels in his life.

Human beings are capable of amazing levels of compassion and kindness, but also astonishing levels of cruelty and hatred. Be it on an  inhumanly large scale or down to intentionally hurting one person emotionally.

When I grow up I want to be a bat so I can just fly away into the night.