31 December 2018

Last Day of the Year

Kat’s request for her birthday yesterday was food, alcohol and games.  A bit like when she was small except there was only alcohol for adults in those days and the food was easier.  I did have to do the Prosecco jelly again though.

more jelly for Kat's birthday
After another day of eating and drinking we are all feeling a bit stuffed.  Paul is making soup today.  And baking bread.  He’s also just going outside to rotovate his new vegetable patch.  Then he's going to make pizza for supper. Superman. He makes me feel lazy. 

The last day of 2018.  This time last year we were talking about the possibility of selling our flat and buying a bigger place with a garden for Rick.  Well, it all came about and after a couple of false starts here we are having our first Christmas and New Year in Lincolnshire.  It’s certainly been a busy year. 

It feels strange not to be planning our return to France for the summer and I keep trying to imagine the new people in the house.  The quick sale was so unexpected. But we have lots of plans for our new home and the garden will keep us busy.

We will see the New Year in at home, six of us including Rick and Craig, Kat’s boyfriend.  We might just shock the neighbours and end up doing the Conga around the village at midnight.  Do-do-do, come and do the conga...

29 December 2018

Dog Break Out

Fine dining in Lincoln yesterday but a pub meal today.  We went to the King’s Head in Tealby, reputedly the oldest pub in Lincolnshire.  It’s a very English country pub with thatched roof, beams and cosy bars.  It’s also dog friendly so Rick was able to join our party.  It was busy and buzzy and the food was good. We had a table in the corner of the snug and I wrapped his lead around the table leg.  He was as good as gold and just wagged his tail at the other dogs in the bar.

Unfortunately he wasn’t so well behaved on the journey home. Somehow he broke out of his crate in the boot of the car and attempted to clamber over the rear seat, barking manically at all the passing traffic.  I think I need to reinforce his crate with steel bars!

peek a boo!

Tomorrow is Kat’s birthday.  She has requested boeuf bourguignon for dinner and another fruit prosecco jelly.  I shall need to get my chef’s hat back on.

28 December 2018

It's not easy writing a blog...

castle ramparts

It’s not easy writing a blog surrounded by family and dog.

This morning we visited Lincoln castle and walked the ramparts.  The castle dates back to William the Conquerer and the medieval wall walk offers fantastic views across the city and surrounding countryside.  Inside the walls there is a Victorian prison, it was only occupied between 1848 and1878 and is now just a tourist attraction.  (Has anyone fed the dog?)

couldn't resist the children's jigsaw

Lincoln prison
The prison chapel fascinated me. Every Sunday prisoners had to listen to the Chaplain’s sermon. They were individually segregated in upright stalls and all they could see was the Chaplain preaching from the pulpit.  (Do you want to try this beer Mum, I bought it for Kat? It’s called the Lazy Cow.)

prison chapel

At midday we headed down the steep cobbled street to have lunch at the Jew’s House Restaurant.  This 12th century stone building is extremely old, one of the earliest existing town houses in England.  (What’s for tea tonight? Is there any ham left?)

The dining room was small and intimate and they clearly pride themselves on service.  Our young waitress looked like a ballerina moving about the tables with a practised ease, pouring wine and serving dishes with one hand held behind her back.  The food was excellent, although my wood pigeon starter was so rare it could have just fallen out of the tree. (Haven’t you finished writing your blog yet?  Are we going to the pub tomorrow?)

26 December 2018

Boxing Day

Our Christmas Day was really all about eating and drinking.  I was head chef for the day so tried hard to get everything perfect.  There was a small crisis when I realised that the prawn ring hadn’t thawed out but the  turkey was delicious and the fruit and prosecco terrine was .... fizzy.  It didn’t turn out quite like Delia’s but it still looked pretty on the plate.

Delia's version

Sue's version

In the afternoon we played a new version of Trivial Pursuit.  I think it’s been dumbed down from the original game because we actually managed to come up with some answers so it wasn’t quite as hilarious as it used to be.  The game was over before we even got round to refilling our glasses.  We watched Bird Box with Sandra Bullock in the evening.  I managed to stay awake so I must have enjoyed it.

And now it’s Boxing Day and cold meats and salad for lunch.  I should be relaxing but I couldn’t stop myself using up some leftovers to make bubble and squeak.  Like I said, Christmas is all about food in this household.

bubble and squeak

I have upset my daughters.  They are going shopping tomorrow.  I told them to get clothes that were classy and not too tight.  Kat has upset Sarah by saying she has an angle grinder she can borrow to do her nails...

Peace and goodwill.

24 December 2018

Christmas Eve

If I was Delia Smith this is what my fruit terrine would look like

The ham is cooked and ready for supper.  I simmered it in the slow cooker for three hours and then finished it off with a honey and mustard glaze and a quick roast in the oven.  This morning I made a prosecco and fruit jelly, we shall have this as a dessert tomorrow as the girls are not keen on Christmas pudding.

Sarah is dozing on the sofa and Kat has taken Rick out for a jog.  It’s been a lovely day here, cold but lots of sunshine.

The hospital rang this morning to offer me a date for my operation – New Year’s Eve!  It put me in a bit of a spin.  I didn’t want to turn it down but it would totally ruin my planned celebrations, Kat’s birthday is on the 30th and Sarah returns to Australia on the 4th.  I need not have worried, they gave me another date of the 11th January so all is well.  It will be good to get it over with.