Month: December 2010

December 30, 2010
For the last couple of months, following my decorating, I have been living without floor coverings downstairs, apart from a few rugs. This is because I thought I would be daft to order my carpets in November, with the sales so close.

So yesterday I ventured out to the sales – in particular at AHF (aka the Co-op). I had them call on me before Christmas to measure up my lounge and kitchen, so all I had to do was go in and select what I wanted.

December 30, 2010
Haven’t been online for a few days, so thought I would catch up.

Christmas Day was spent with friends near Spalding. I was due there at 1pm, but arrived half an hour early, having allowed for problems that never occurred. I had been concerned about what the roads would be like, but in the morning, the sun came out, and the roads were completely clear.

December 25, 2010
So while my turkey was smoking and the beef was bubbling, I made a couple of trips to complete my last minute shopping, including – believe it or not – a loo seat to replace the one I prescotted yesterday. Christmas eve shopping has never been sexier.

Got home, and rearranged my lounge. Although I had said I wasn’t moving any more furniture in until the carpets went down, I now have visitors on Boxing Day, News Years Eve, and New Year’s Bank Holiday (Mon Jan 3), so I decided I needed the other, larger, sofa, after all. Which meant moving it in from the conservatory – easy for 2 people, but a bit of a handful on your own – and then moving the two bookshelves that were delivered last week (5 weeks before they were due to arrive, in fact) out to the conservatory. Which is kind of neat, as rather than stuff my fridge with everything, I have my veg and semi-perishables out there instead – it is hovering between 2 and 5 degrees, so is fine.

December 24, 2010
I’m at friends for Christmas Day, but a man’s got to eat on Boxing Day, so I have the smoker going today, cooking some stuff to have cold over the next few days. I’ll have friends popping in on odd days over the holiday, so I thought I would do something special.

First up is a Turkey Crown that I got reduced from Tescos. I’ve removed the skin completely, wiped it with a thin layer of butter, then covered it completely with a new “skin” of good quality unsmoked streaky bacon. It’s then gone into the smoker on low, to cook throughout the day.

December 22, 2010
I had prepared a brisket for smoking, over the past few days. This was using a recipe given to me by a friend, first brined for 2 days, then dried and a rub applied for 12 hours before cooking.

The interesting thing is that the “brine” is actually coca-cola based, with herbs and spices added. It sounds strange, but coke is actually quite acidic, which helps with the breakdown of muscle tissue. The rub was heavy in paprika, with salt, garlic powder and a little brown sugar added (too much brown sugar has a tendancy to burn).

December 21, 2010
December 16, 2010
On my way back from the hospital, I popped into Currys, to look at their microwaves, as mine has recently conked out. While there I took a look at their gas cookers, as I intend to replace my old one, now that the kitchen is done.

I’ve been looking around for a few weeks, but hadn’t seen anything outstanding. But today I saw it – a Zanussi which was the right size (55cm), has a fold-up glass surface (so increases my usable counter top) and has a dual oven – the smaller top oven being so much more economical when cooking for one. An electronic timer, nice easy controls – all in all it looked perfect.

December 16, 2010
mouldEarlier this year, I mentioned I was seeing an orthodontist. This resulted partly from having a broken tooth removed about this time last year. Having had the tooth removed, I was told to let it heal for a month or so before considering my options – plate, bridge or implant.

When I returned in February this year, I discovered the dentist I had been seeing had left the practice, and so I had a new dentist. One of the things we discussed was my bite – something I have been asking dentists about for the last 10 years. For once, I found myself talking to someone interested in more than a “quick descale and polish”, and after examining me, she encouraged me to see an orthodonist before doing anything about my gap.