The Aga Can

It has been a while since we had an Aga update. I suspect this is largely due to the fact that when the warm weather arrived, we turned it off. I switch the hob on to cook most days but have not used the oven a great deal recently.

Mr L says that the Aga was worth buying even if only for the way that it cooks rice and I have to agree that the beautifully dry and fluffy Basmati he has been cooking of late is absolutely spot on – and he has made a couple of smashing Biriyanis. I have been making bread occasionally, sticking mainly to rolls. I feel that I may still have a thing or two to learn before the Aga and I marry together in perfect harmony to produce some exceptional bread but I do believe that we are on our way.

We had pizzas yesterday and I think this is one thing that I have now cracked completely. I am making the best pizzas of my life.  I keep the pizza stone in the top oven now so it is always there on demand and I also find it very helpful when baking bread rolls. Yesterday’s pizzas were simple affairs – one of baby plum tomatoes, pepperoni and mozzarella and the other of mushrooms and goats cheese. Very tasty when served with a simple green salad.

I used to have quite an anxious relationship with my pizza stone. I found the fact that it was not to be washed quite disconcerting as it became ever greasier and spotted with black. However, no traces now remain of the original clay colour and it is completely worn in and fully blackened and now I love it! I am looking forward to the day when my La Cloche bread baking dome reaches the same well-worn state. It too is suffering from an unappealing speckling and staining of god-knows-what.

The weekend was not for me a wholly constructive one but Mr L showed willing and re-pointed some of the roof. The need to do so became apparent after he sealed off the spots where the rain gutter runs into the porch – this was to stop the birds from getting in and  nesting. He had not reckoned on the rain coming through the roof, filling the internal length of guttering and running over to fill the porch with water…

Front side (unblocked)
Front side (unblocked)

I cast off the Pavonated curl, which I think is absolutely lovely. It needs blocking yet but is clearly going to be something special. Both sides of the fabric look equally good, though very different. I took the opportunity of photographing it this afternoon while I was shut out of the office for the duration of Mr L’s weekly conference call. The pictures are not great as I found that I was on one side of the office door and my tripod mounting plate was on t’other. I considered going to sit in my caravan and spin but found it far too hot in there! I have opened the door to allow things to cool off a little and I have extracted my Warriston sweater project but have yet to refresh my memory as to where I am up to on it.

Back side (unblocked)
Back side (unblocked)

We have finally completed all series of 24 so last night instead of watching stupid TV in bed, we began our French lessons. We have yet to choose a learning course so simply played around with resources on the BBC web site.

Did you know about WikiVoyage? I did not and only stumbled across the site today. It offered lots of helpful information about driving in Norway and we are both quite energised about that project now, long term as it is. Unfortunately the resources on Brittany and Normandy seem to be as yet less well developed.

As regards the Norway trip – Mr L and I seem to be occupying different mind sets just now. My idea was that we would only go if the new ferry service happens; He has plotted a driving route via the Channel Tunnel. I imagined that we would drive up the E6 and wander back on lesser roads, exploring Norway further; He wishes to return South through Sweden. Ideas will firm up over the coming 18 months, I think 🙂

In the post this morning, Herbin’s new ink: 1670 Emerald of Chivor. Can’t wait to play with that!

Colourful, iridescent, inky goodness
Colourful, iridescent, inky goodness

Finally, Kohl Rabi

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I spotted these beautiful Kohl Rabi in the local shop on Saturday and they were so fresh and beautiful with that perfect velvety bloom. I wanted to photograph them. Unfortunately I did not get around to it until today, when the bloom had gone. I had wanted to do a low key shot with them and perhaps I may get around to that this evening but they will certainly be eaten tomorrow: with sausage and mash, I think. Pork, Black Pudding and Pear sausage. Yummy. I am looking forward to that as today is a Fast day and I shall not be eating until lunch tomorrow.

Lunch, now there is a thing. Back when we ran away to Scotland and I ceased to work outside the home, we switched form an evening main meal to a lunch time one. Part of the reasoning was to allow us time after the working day to go out and about with our boots on and the dogs at our heel. We found that we both lost significant amounts of weight by  not eating heavily at night. Now that we are anticipating reticent we have been thinking about returning to the old pattern of eating to support a lifestyle where we are out and about during the day. The thing is, I don’t wish to see an automatic weight gain by doing that. The conclusion that I have reached is that we need fewer cooked dinners. When I was growing up we had one cooked full meal a week, our Sunday dinner. It did us no harm at all. So, we may try two light meals a day of salads, sandwiches, cold meats – that kind of thing and cook less meat and veg.

The thing is… will that not make my lovely new Aga pretty much redundant?

And now, I think it is time to reacquaint myself with my fisherman’s smock.

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