I never did do the dishes yesterday - I managed to successfully procrastinate till J came home, and then it was time to cook lunch (bacon & eggs & beans) :) After lunch we were virtuous and went and did stuff to the garden. J mowed the lawn (it hadn't been done in rather too long) and I got rid of a bush that had inconveniently come back to life (part had died, so we'd hacked it back to the stump a year or so ago, and planted a sage plant to one side of the stump) and cut back some of the leylandii. I hate those plants, but getting rid of them is probably even more trouble than brutally hacking them back once a year (or slightly less often). I've done half, and should probably do the other half sometime soon - possibly next weekend as the garden waste bin is very full now and it won't be collected till Friday. There's a spiky evergreen to the right of the lawn that I'd like to get rid of - when we moved in three years ago it was about J's height, it's now twice that at least, and quite spread out, too. And it's spiky. I think we could still manage (with J's Dad's help probably - I think we might be able to do it ourselves, but J's not so sure) to cut it down ourselves, but getting rid of the stump might be harder. I think there's stuff one can paint on tree stumps to make them rot, which would seem useful. A job for next summer though.
As well as reading a bit more of Programming Perl1 I started to read our historical atlas, "The Penguin Atlas of British & Irish History". I was reminded of it while we were in Bamburgh Castle because one of the parts of the exhibition was about the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. And I like looking at maps.
Dinner worked well last night. Although - half hour prep time, I think not. Took me nearly that long to dice the bloody turnip2. There must be a knack to it that I don't know. Though once I'd hacked off a chunk so I had a flat face I could set the thing down on I managed OK hacking slices off to be 'peeled' (more bits hacked off) and diced. More turnip with lunch, mashed, so I get to hack at the bastard thing again in a bit.
Title: Vegetable Casserole
Source: BBC Food Website
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 12 button onions, peeled
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into wedges
- 350 g. swede, peeled and diced
- 300 ml. vegetable stock
- 400 g. tinned tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbs. fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbs. dark soy sauce
- 1 tbs. tomato puree
1. Heat the oil, add the onion, leek, carrot and swede, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes.
2. Add the stock, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, soy sauce, tomato purée and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
I served it with mashed potato & dumplings. Does that make it a balanced meal? Mind you, I'd be tempted next time to add some nice diced pork :) It also felt like about half that amount would work well on top of pork chops (J hates chops though, so we'll not be doing that).
1. Which went on to discuss scope at more length. I'm figuring it's something to bear in mind, especially if I'm trying to track down bugs. But otherwise I'm not worrying too much about it as an abstract concept.
2. Where turnip = swede if you're from southern England.