Archive | September 2013

The Lord Of The Rings

Yesterday night L and I finished reading a book I’ve been reading out loud to us for a while.

Not just any book, mind you.

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We finished reading The Lord Of The Rings!

I first bought this book about 4 years ago, on a mission to read classic books that most(ish) people have read/watched or at least know the basics of. The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings were some of the first I picked up in charity shops or in this case, a read and return shop – yeah, this one never got returned and exchanged for a different book!! 😉

I was about 1/2-2/3rd through The Hobbit when I went home for Christmas with L, just a couple of months after we started dating. He got a sicky bug while we were at his parents and I offered to read to him – what about The Hobbit?

That was the start of a tradition for us and after finishing The Hobbit we started on The Lord Of The Rings. As any of you who have read this book will know, it’s quite a hefty volume and quite a bit more involved than the lighter Hobbit!

We have been reading this book together on and off for the last 3 1/2 years, with other books sprinkled in-between … it is well-travelled, well-loved, a little worse for wear when you look closely … but it has brought us so many hours of enjoyment!

I can honestly say that The Lord Of The Rings is one of the best books I have ever read!! I don’t know if I would have had the self-discipline to slog through the slightly heavier middle bits, but thanks to reading it with L, we have conquered!!

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Sausage, Leek and Cider Casserole

I got asked today if I post recipes on my blog. I said no, because I tend to add a bit of this and a bit of that without measuring it properly. It got me to thinking … I love hearing about other people’s food and flavour combinations and having a go for myself, so maybe you might like to do the same with my creations? Anyway, I thought I would post a few of my recipes from time to time, so let me know if you like it or if you’d rather I went back to my culinary ambiguity! 😉

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Sausage, Leek and Cider Casserole

1 good dessertspoonful of butter or margarine and/or a good dollop of olive oil

2 medium-to-large onions, chopped,

3 big garlic cloves, crushed or chopped (or to taste)

8 sausages, cut in half (I use kitchen scissors!) – I used Cumberland (peppery) pork sausages, but you could use any flavour or type of meat you like – or veggie!

2 regular/1 massive sized carrot/s, cut in half-rings

2-3 sticks celery, chopped

2-3 leeks, cut into large, chunky, whole rings

2 heaped tbsp plain/all-purpose flour

1 regular sized bottle of dry cider – about 500ml

2 heaped tbsp tomato puree

2 overflowing tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (if you can’t get that, try some vinegar and/or mustard)

1 scant tbsp brown or muscavado sugar

150-300ml/as needed hot stock (I used a chicken stock cube)

1 heaped tsp of dried thyme, oregano and sage, or other herbs to taste

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

1-2 bay leaves

1 tbsp lemon concentrate (bottled lemon juice) optional

  1. Fry onion in butter/oil for about 5 mins, till slightly translucent, add garlic and cook for another 3-5 mins.
  2. Add halved sausages and fry until nicely browned, but make sure onions aren’t burning.
  3. Add carrots and celery and fry for 5-10 mins, then add leeks and fry for another 10 -15 mins or until all veg very slightly softened/just look right!
  4. Add flour and stir, cooking for 2 mins, until all flour well mixed.
  5. Add cider and mix until the cider has combined to make a sauce, along with extra stock.
  6. Add all the rest of the ingredients except lemon juice, bring to a boil and then turn down to simmering, with a lid on.
  7. Leave to simmer for about 40 mins, stirring occasionally (or if you’re like me – as few times as you can resist! 😉 ) or until veg are cooked to liking.
  8. Add lemon juice and adjusting seasoning towards end.
  9. If needed, remove lid and simmer until your desired stew/casserole consistency has been reached.

The first time I served this in a bowl with boiled new potatoes and crusty white bread, but I have also served with mashed potato and fresh veg, or baked in a pastry pie in the oven. I would also serve this with rice.

For me, this made 3 man-size (or 3 regular and 3 small) portions and freezes really well.

I hope you enjoy! 🙂

Autumn is here because …

I put on a pair of fluffy slipper socks tonight.

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I cooked this Sausage, Leek and Cider Stew last night.

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I cuddled up in my slanket this week for the first time since the spring.

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My laundry is taking twice as long to dry as it did a matter of weeks ago.

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I’m wearing my well-loved monkey slippers around the house.

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I’ve dug my long socks out from the bottom of my drawer … and remembered why I thought I needed to buy some new ones!

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My head is starting to buz with thoughts about starting on homemade Christmas presents.

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My strippy hat has been reinstated as a daily fashion essential – I don’t think it’s actually that fashionable, but I’m wearing it regardless! 😉

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It’s less then a month until my birthday.

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Oh yeah, did I mention something about the arrival of cold weather?! 😉

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Smiling

Here are two things which have really made me smile this week, despite a number of things which have made me very sad …

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L bought me a dozen red roses for our anniversary – not just any red roses, but my very favourite shade of red and my favourite kind of roses!

How can I not smile?!

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I made my hubby a Cherry Pie!

I’ve cooked and baked many things for L, before and during our marriage, and one of the sung favourites has been a Cherry Pie! What’s not to love?!

I am told I inherited my Grandmother’s skill for pastry, so let’s bake!! 😀

What has made you smile this week?! 🙂

Three years ago today …

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To love, comfort, honour and protect

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forsaking all others, be faithful as long as you both shall live.

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To have and to hold

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from this day forward

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for better for worse

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for richer for poorer

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in sickness and in health

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to love and to cherish until death us do part.

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According to God’s holy law.

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And this is my solemn vow.