Monday, 26 January 2009

Gawd, I'm stuffed

Masses of food at our Chinese lunch. The six of us began with prawn crackers, prawn toasts, "money parcels" and spring rolls with a plum sauce dip; then steamed char sui pork dumplings; then the roast duck pancakes; and then egg fried rice accompanying sweet & sour chicken with sweetcorn, sweet & sour battered king prawns, battered chicken in lemon sauce, vegetable chow mein, and beef and mushroom curry. We finished off with fresh fruit salad and lychees, ice cream, and dishes of marzipan stuffed dates, liquer chocolates, dark chocolate preserved ginger, and assorted toffees.

We all wore something new and something red, had lucky money envelopes, and fortune cookies. The latter were found in a Lidl supermarket and the fortunes were in German on one side of the slip of paper, and fortunately in English on the other, though the translations were a bit suspect.

A very enjoyable occasion all round. I expect to sleep well tonight!


Gong Hei Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome the Year of the Ox.

Back down on the south coast again for another meet-up of the old "off-licence" crew, and this time it coincides with the Chinese New Yaer, so we're cooking Chinese dishes for our lunch together. I've done the roast duck and have the pancakes and hoi sin sauce, spring onions and cucumber to go with it. I'm also doing a large veg stir-fry and a beef curry - yes, curry - the Chinese version, not Indian - much less hot and more aromatic.

In Brighton yesterday evening I found the Chinese take-away I used to go to when I lived there, and it was open, so for old times sake I went in and ordered a bag of chips. (What expense! What luxury!) I didn't like to tell them that the last time I was in there was some 25 - 30 years ago! Not the sort of regular customer they want! Mind you, when I was a regular customer I must have spent a small fortune there, and probably put their young daughter though school! In fact, I think she was the adult lady who served me!

Friday, 23 January 2009

What a let-down

I feel cheated.

No high winds have swept across the Suffolk tundra. No torrential downpours giving rise to fears of an inundation. In fact, the last 24 hours have been almost without a breeze and reasonably, for January at least, dry. Only now on Friday lunchtime is the wind picking up and the (light) rain falling as the back edge of the Low moves through. All my preparations were for nothing. Candles were strategically placed. Matches were to hand. The small camping stove was ready in the kitchen to boil water for hot drinks and maybe heat a tin of curried beans.


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Heads down!

Munching on a slice of Christmas cake and slurping a mug of coffee before the weather sets in tonight. Wind and rain forecast, and I have a PCC meeting to go out for. At least its the one where we get wonderful refreshments afterwards - all home-made things like mini quiche, gingerbread, shortbread, cake ...

And then the forecast for tomorrow night is even worse.

High winds with damaging gusts and torrential rain, maybe snow and sleet in places! The map shows that at 6.00 p.m. we're just about to drown!

Frosty, but no snowman

A fresh morning here in the land of the East Angles.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Back in the city

Another trip to Norwich, and a very French breakfast in Caffe Nero, followed by lunch in Cafe Rouge - which was roast chicken in a cream and roquefort sauce, with baby roast potatoes and french beans. I spent my £10 voucher this time, so for the dish and a glass of fresh orange juice I only had to find just over £4. Not bad.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Shared Supper

The first Benefice Shared Supper of the year, and a feast! Lots of different dishes on offer, and nosh and natter in a warm house until past 11.00 p.m.

I took a dish of king prawns with a sweet chilli dip, a bowl of pork sausages cooked in a hoi sin and spring onion sauce, some potato jackets stuffed with haddock and topped with a cheese and potato mash, and some meringues topped with thick double cream and a mandarin segment.

Roll on the February supper!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Lunch out

My day off was spent in Norwich, and I lunched at my favourite watering-hole, "Cafe Rouge".

I enjoyed their set menu for £9.95, and chose chicken liver pate with french bread; a Normandy pancake stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and creme fraiche, accompanied by salad and frites; and then finished with a Belgian waffle with ice cream and hot chocolate sauce.

It was a tough job, but somebody had to eat it!


Saturday, 10 January 2009

The beauty of freezing fog ...

... lies not when you're driving through it, but in its aftermath on a fresh new morning.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Me Porgy, you Bess

An enjoyable day today, making a visit to Milton Keynes, the highlight of which was that I got the chance to sing "Summertime" for the legendary chanteuse, Cleo Laine.

Well, actually, I sang "Summertime" to her standing outside the door to her room.

Or to be more accurate, I sang the first word of "Summertime", softly, outside her closed door, and she probably didn't even hear me. But why let the facts get in way of a good story?

Which reminds me - tomorrow is the Feast of the Epiphany .......