Note to self: Don’t rub your eye after cutting chilli

I have been working my way through a large selection of plums recently thanks to some heavy duty raiding of hedge rows etc. These cooking sessions are waiting to be posted but are currently suffering from “silly cow disease” which in this instance manifests itself in forgetting to put the card back into my digital camera which means I can’t get the pics of the camera until I’ve found the camera lead – and I do like to include the occasional picture on Appetite for Cake.

In addition to copious amounts of plums we have had a busy weekend entertaining as we were visited by a couple of lovely Australians, who weren’t really Australians but have lived out there since 1976 (Husband’s cousin and her husband) – they can come again anytime, especially as they washed up before they left this morning.

Had been planning on emptying the leftovers in the fridge into a pie dish and covering it with pastry, but Husband had already got dinner under control (pasta and odds and ends of cheese) however there was still time to do a curry for lunch for the rest of the week.

This curry again is based on the things in the fridge that needed to be used up, plus a few store cupboard items.

Prior to the phone call on friday from Husband’s cousin asking if they could drop in over the weekend I had rescued some duck legs from the bottom of the freezer and was all geared up to stick them in the slow cooker. As they had now been defrosted several days cooking them was becoming rather a priority. I also had some elderly garlic, a sorry for itself thumb of ginger, part of a red chilli and an onion. In the cupboard there was a tin of coconut milk which had been there for rather some time…in fact all the ingredients for Peter Gordon’s Duck Curry with Pickled Plums -which is currently slowly cooking in the top oven.

The remaining plums unfortunately were a bit too ripe to be pickled so I have improvised with a plum compot (based on seasonal compot from Leon cookbook) but with the seasonings from the pickled plums (star anise, cinnamon stick and lemon zest instead of lemon grass). The remaining coconut milk I’ve mixed with some frozen rice.

I will report back tomorrow, as its going to be my lunch, Husband does not eat curry, duck and possibly not coconut milk…it is smelling “interesting”

Incidentally the recipe is meant for 6, I divided mine by 3….

And, despite knowing from past experience what can happen after you have been cutting chilli I rubbed my eyes whilst putting Spider to bed…I have however learned from past experience, usually its my nose I rub !

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Cupboard clearing…

Haven’t been baking much the last 10 days as there is plenty to eat and I keep being given left overs from people I know.

Started sorting the cupboards out last night, doing a stock keep of what I have and what needs using up, other than the obvious stuff in the fridge…

Still feeling run down so trying out a “tonic” rather than copious cups of tea as I still have some ginger left from my cold cures and I discovered some forgotten lemon grass in the freezer, which if I was in the mood I could turn into a Thai curry (as there are 2 tins of coconut milk lurking with the rice pud) but I am not in the mood…although there are still loads of goose bits in the fridge…and I wonder if the co op sells corriander…

Anyway rather than the curry I haven’t made here is the tonic (makes 4 cups, I’ve only made 1 as I may use the rest of the lemon grass on something else)

Lemon grass and Ginger Tea (Cook at Home with: Peter Gordon)

2 stems lemon grass bashed flat with a hammer or rolling pin

100g ginger skin scrubbed and roughly chopped

1 litre cold water

sugar, elderflower cordial or honey to taste

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat, out the lid on and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain before drinking.

lemongrass tea - a break for the liver

lemongrass tea - a break for the liver

ps ooooh, whilst rooting around in the veg drawer for the ginger I found the beetroot I bought just before christmas to do Hugh Fernley Whittingstall’s Beetroot Brownies, so I may do one last baking session before new year…

verdict on the tonic: Well I feel invigorated, the ginger was a bit strong for my taste, but perhaps its less intense if you drink it hotter, mine was a bit on the cool side as just as I made it, Spider dragged me off to show me a 3 he had just found – we’ve been playing a number recognition reward game, if he correctly names a number then he gets a small toy as a reward…it probably would be cheaper with sweets…!

Its been a week…if not more…

My sister in law, Islay asked me about the goose and whether I was going to write anything about it.

Well I did cook it and I will write something about it but not yet as I am really not feeling up to writing at the moment, I do not have the same stamina as the lovely Mrs Lacer over on Lacer’s Life who, like a true writer can keep going even when her body is falling apart – me I’m a bit of wimp.

I haven’t done a lot of cooking over Christmas as I have been down with a very nasty lurgy that leaves me with no energy. I did cook the goose on boxing day but it was only for the immediate family who presumably already have what I have, and also the Teenager and the Student. But I figured that catching something from me that means they spend most of the day in bed sleeping reading and listening to music would be no change in the norm for them !

Today has been one monumental cock up in organisation and I fear I may have upset both my sister in laws by ending up seeing them both on the same day and not really spending much time with either…and then at 5pm it all became too much for me and I once again retired to bed. Its odd this bug, apart from the hacking cough its very reminiscent of glandular fever in the way it saps your energy.

I was going to leave you here with a natural cold cure remedy from Leon:Allegra Mcevedy which I have been reading avidly since the 25th…but I had no rosemary (slugs, drought and then flood in the summer killed it off) so I followed a Peter Gordon recipe which was remarkably similar.