weekend 25/26 june 2011

The road goes ever ... oh

The road goes ever ... oh

Poor Pete worked most of Saturday, as we had been running around on domestic stuff for a bit last week. I cleaned the kitchen, did a run round Anlaby (pet shop, returning buckets to someone we borrowed them from, Morrisons), and watched some tennis.

Sunday dawned *hot*. We went over to Skirlaugh to look at an aquatic centre, then over to Albrough (where the photo was taken) – frightening how the coastline is collapsing there. Despite huge red warning signs about the cliff collapse, and huge warning signs about unexploded ordnance on the beach, a gaggle of women were still determined to clamber down, but thankfully they decided not to.

We headed across to Withernsea, a smashing little seaside town. It was full, so we went over over to Paull to have a pint and a sandwich in the Humber Tavern. Good news! – crab salad on the menu. Bad news! – crab salad crossed off the menu. Ordered a prawn sandwich. They don’t do sandwiches on a Sunday. Sigh. Drank a pint of Tetleys and shared a bag of dry roasted peanuts with Pete. Came home and ate an apple. Not, perhaps, a healthy diet.

Slumped for a bit, then tried rockscaping the big tank, and Pete tidied up all the wiring onto a wall mounted block. Constructed a nice Thai stirfry with the raw prawns purchased from Morrisons, and then a blackberry and apple crumble with blackberries ditto. How I miss my brambles at the bottom of the Long Ashton garden.

And that was it, really. Today is HOT.

Oh, and forgot, i think, to mention that we saw Ukulele Orchestra of GB again on Thursday. In Hull! – so rare to actually manage a gig without travelling 80 miles :) Fab as always.

Fish diary

This weekend, added five more White Cloud Mountain minnows, one piece of bogwood, one suction clip to hold vegetation.

Siamese George loves the bogwood, and flitter flutters along it all the time – it is colouring the water a little, but I have some charcoal to go in the filter, and I’ll change the water tomorrow.

Having tried – and failed – to interest Bristlenose George in cucumber, I put some spinach leaves in the clip yesterday, and he loved them; all gone!

weekend 11/12 June 2011

Yesterday, big carb-free fry up for breakfast, then walked into town, saw X-Men: First Class (fabulous – best of the bunch),  dash in the rain to Ferens Art Gallery for a cup of coffee, and a look at the photographic exhbition (interesting, but badly lit), then home for chicken stir fry. And we made a start on The Shadow Line, which really is rather good, particularly Rafe Spall, who is terrifying.

Also changed the fish tank water, and moved it out of the fireplace, so we can see it better now. We want a bigger tank! and I have my eye on one on Ebay, but there’s no rush. God knows why they’re all so ugly, though.

This morning we sallied once more to Frisby Aquatics, where we bought two new plants, some stripy stones, three White Mountain Minnows, and a cleaner fish (total:  £15:10). All looking much nicer now.

Pete cooked dhal for lunch, and we have just been slumped on the sofa for the afternoon, in front of the fire. I’m watching Mad Men, and Pete is currently making cheese scones for supper. We’re supposed to be going to a showing of Inside Job, but it is absolutely vile out there, and I suspect that we shall remain slumped in front of the fire.

more George!

these are not our fish!

these are not our fish!

We sallied to the fishmonger yesterday on the way back from our shortened day out in Lincolnshire. George the Siamese fighting fish has settled well, and so it was time for a couple more Georges. We bought a couple of platies, for the princely sum of £1.40 each – recommended by Frisby as being fairly hardy.

So we now have George I, Shy George, and Elevator George (he goes up and down in the water); the tank is giving us enormous pleasure and, inevitably, we want a bigger one!

quick update

For our own records, really. Another bank holiday weekend – Saturday Pete went out on a 26m bike ride, while I tackled the ironing mountain. And beat it.

Sunday, I tested the fish tank, which we set up on 25 April – we deemed it acceptable, so went over to Frisby Aquatics to purchase fish! I’ve been in there a few times, buying tank chemicals and asking advice, and always been very pleased with their service, so we have determined we shall use them always, not least because they’re nice and local. They recommended that we start with one for a week or so, and we brought home a Siamese fighting fish in black, with a lovely blue streak in his tail. He was briefly named “Pteppic”, but we have, I think, settled on George as a collective name for the fish, singular or plural.

George seems quite happy in his tank, is eating his fish flakes, and entertaining Ron and Henry a treat :)

After settling him down, we walked into town and had lunch in the Handmade Burger Co. We had a meal there soon after it opened, and weren’t hugely impressed; I actually complained about my chicken being cold, and they gave me a refund which was quite impressive. They also gave us a 2 for 1 voucher, so we decided to give them another shot yesterday; they are much improved, but the service is still quite slow, and whatever they brought me in a mug, it wasn’t coffee! Then we went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean 4, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected – but it was far too long, and a lot of it was far too dark for my tired old eyes to see clearly. We were bad, and had both an ice cream (Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia – om *nom*), and a large bag of Maltesers between us, and in fact we didn’t have any supper at all, we were so full.

Yesterday we’d planned to go for a walk on the coast, but it was chucking it down in the morning, so we didn’t. Instead we walked the long way round to the other side of the city, and back a different long way, purchasing a mop and bucket at the mid point. A rock and roll life, ’tis true. Before going out, we put a shoulder of lamb in the slow cooker, with aubergines, sweet potatoes and butternut squash, red onions, mustard seeds, onion seeds, garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, cumin and coriander seeds. And tomatoes, lime juice and coconut milk. Pete made some little fenugreek dumpings to accompany it and it was exceeding nice. Followed by strawberries and ice cream.

Last night was quite frenzied, discussing almost the same thing with *almost* the same people in three different online media – it got quite confusing, and my keyboard melted :) And that was it. Back to the grindstone now.

fish and broccoli pie

fish pie filling

A while back when we were in Costco, we were offered a sample of hot smoked trout. It was delicious; like sheep, we bought a bag, and I wrapped each fillet separately and put it in the freezer. I completely forgot about it until I was trying to make space for the mega chicken cookout last weekend, and then I made a mental note.

Thankfully, I managed to retain this note long enough to think about the fish when I needed to use up the broccoli, and this is what I did …

read more at Reactive Cooking

it’s endemic …

we just had a ring on the doorball, from a chap selling door to door from www.goodtastefoods.co.uk. He had a van full of stuff, and we were interested enough to let him show us his wares.

he brought a heap of boxes to the house; he had salmon, tuna, hake and cod, and all the rest was ready-cooked. We don’t buy – or eat – ready-cooked food, as we’re lucky enough to have the time to cook most nights; and if we don’t, we take something we’ve previously cooked from the freezers.

so he was a bit disappointed that most of his offerings didn’t appeal. perlmonger and I were interested in the fish; it seemed to be from reasonably sustainable sources, but we were concerned about freezer space.

and “it’ll be ok if *you* organise it”, he said to perlmonger. I told him he nearly lost the sale by making stupid sexist remarks, and he was really quite taken aback. P pointed out that actually, it would in fact be much better if *I* did it. And I did, and 12 tuna steaks and 14 pieces of cod loin* are in there.

* I find it very difficult to think of fish loins, don’t you?