Sunday, 2 March 2014

Which list shall it be today?

I have been a life-long list maker. I make them because

a) I have a terrible memory
b) I try to pack as many things as I can into the available time
c) I hate getting somewhere without some essential item
d) I have a terrible memory

When the boys were little we used to go camping in France. Weeks before I would start with a list of lists that I needed to make:
  1. Clothes
  2. Toys and journey entertainment
  3. Washing gear
  4. Tool kit for the car
  5. Toiletries
  6. Kitchen items
  7. Maps, money, passports
  8. Any other list that occurred
That was part of the holiday - the exciting run up - the extension to the actual ten days or fortnight that we spent away. We usually arrived without something but it was often only one thing. Those lists were fun. Lately though I seem to be finding the lists a bit depressing - am I trying to cram too much into my life or am I just not getting things done that I should?  

Yesterday on my list was to do housework and shopping so that I could get some serious work done today - how sad is that?  I scrapped that list. Alison and I went to the Cotton Tree for some much needed fabric. We are so lucky with quilt shops in and around Durham and Northumberland. I haven't seen better anywhere and the Cotton Tree has so much to choose from. These little beauties will be lovingly transformed.
We had a lovely cup of coffee with two sweet treats (half each) which were so nice I have just been testing some recipes for Thursday's Quilt Class at High Street Quilting. (Looking forward very much to seeing everyone there as I was in Oxford last Thursday) 

Golden Orange and Walnut Flapjack and Millionaire's Shortbread, recipes courtesy of BBC Good Food:
Spooning the marmalade glaze over the flapjacks.
Sadly I took my eye off the caramel for about twenty seconds whilst I emptied the washing machine (washing is always on my list!) and the mixture 'caught' so there are little specks of darker caramel in the millionaire's shortbread.  Will have to remember to stand over it when I make Thursday's batch.

But the star of today's baking has to be the No-Knead Bread.
A gloopy dough waiting for the oven to heat up.
 The loaf just out of the oven and I must wait for a while to cut into it.
And the exciting bit - what will it look like inside? Light and airy but still with good texture and chewiness. Mmmmm

I came across this recipe on the Attic 24 blog. It takes minutes to mix and 12-18 hours to rise so I think this may be a Friday night regular.  Warm bread for Saturday morning breakfast sounds so good doesn't it?

We are up to July now on 'Picture the Year'- remember it's free to download.

It was warm and sunny yesterday so the chooks had a little freedom in the back garden.
They are not far off full size now and they are making more of a clucking noise than a cheep cheep. They are very tame and you can't help but smile when you look at their funny little heads - just like chimney brushes! It won't be so long before they can go into the main pen.

We are going to have a pork and cider casserole tonight. I usually use a pork shoulder joint because they are good value for money and the meat doesn't dry out. This will serve four handsomely and costs about the same as the millionaire shortbread!
My brother uses this recipe for pheasant as well but he uses Calvados and stock to cook it in. You need to be light-handed with the cream though only a couple of spoonsful. Dee-lish with creamy mash and savoy cabbage.

So how have I managed without the list today? Not so good - I've ended up with lots of things to do at the end of the day, so perhaps the lists will have to stay. I'll just not have to beat myself up when I don't have everything crossed off. 

Last on my list today will be my new book. I have just downloaded another crime thriller - Silent Witness by Rebecca Forster.  It's the second in the series, the first was Hostile Witness which I enjoyed. I'm happily working my way through the Jack Reacher books too - I've just finished number 8 and have 10 to go.  I don't want to read them too quickly so I intersperse them with other books.

Sometimes I have difficulty reconciling my hobbies which are mostly creative and quite girly with my pastimes like thrillers and F1 racing and rugby. Must be something to do with growing up with two brothers and having two sons. My girly side struggles to come to the surface.

Well I'm going to have a walk down to see John, Steph and Ben with gifts of biscuits before Will eats them all. I wonder how long it will be before Ben grows out of cuddles? The blink of an eye no doubt.